Ray Anthony ClaxtonThunder Road: A Graphic Designer’s Journey from Anxiety to Agency

My thesis is entitled The Thunder Road, and it is about teaching graphic design students courage and personal agency using Joseph Campbell’s idea of “the hero’s journey” as metaphor.

The thesis is a triptych: One part is my personal narrative, and details my experiences on the Thunder Road. The second part is an analysis of the hero’s journey and its effect on how I understand myself as a graphic designer. The last section is about how I’ve used what I have learned as a teaching tool while working with my design students.

While the three parts build upon one another, they can be read in or out of order. The reader can experience them simultaneously, by flipping back and forth between sections, or read them as separate books.


Ray is a graphic designer, art director, and design educator who lives in various places. Sometimes it’s Rochester, New York. Sometimes it’s Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Sometimes it’s Oxford, Ohio. He’s a rambling man. He also has an unhealthy obsession with ravens and pop culture, and is a superhero in an alternate reality.


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