Beth Howard - Wonder Woman.jpg
TWU's Beth Howard, right, poses with Phyllis Gilchrist at Women of Wonder Con.

Howard goes 'geek' for convention

As a child, Beth Howard was glued to the television whenever Wonder Woman was on.

“I pretended to be her,” she said.

Howard, a senior design specialist in Design Services for Student Life, paid homage to the female superhero again at “Women of Wonder Con” March 10 at the Dallas Public Library. The event was designed to support women in creative industries and encourage new generations to follow in their footsteps.

Howard has been involved with the event, previously known as the Creative Women’s Conference, for five years. Organizers renamed it this year to “embrace the geek,” she said.

Attendance at the event doubled this year, Howard said. The convention closed with an attempt at a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as female superheroes. About 65 people participated, she said, adding that the paperwork has been submitted to the Guinness organization.

“Now we wait.”

As a member of the convention’s planning committee, Howard served as webmaster for the event’s website, helped with social media and managed guest and media relations. During the convention, she was in Artist Alley, a room where artists, authors and others sold art, jewelry and books. Howard represented her company, Wilde Designs, which features handmade jewelry and art “with geeky flair.”

Howard started the company in 2007, one year after earning her degree in graphic design at Texas Woman’s University. She had studied computer science at a community college, but wanted more creativity in a career.

“A friend’s mother told me, ‘You like computers. You like drawing. Why don’t you go into graphic arts?’ I had no idea what that was,” she said.

She enrolled in TWU’s visual arts program because people “were genuinely helpful. It felt as though they wanted me to be there.” She was selected for an internship in Design Services and, when a full-time designer position opened, went to work for the department.

“I really enjoy it,” Howard said. “We get to design graphics for so many different things — flyers, shirts, brochures. Different items in different styles.”

Howard carries that creativity into her company, representing Wilde Designs at six or seven conventions each year. While she now meets and talks with ease to potential customers, she recalls feeling extremely nervous prior to her first convention experience.

“I was terrified of sharing my work with people, but it was actually fantastic,” she said.

 

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