I hope you enjoyed my post yesterday. It was just a brief, overall introduction so today I’m going to go more in-depth into my background and qualifications and how I became a web and graphic designer in the first place.
So, settle in because it’s story time!
Like I said yesterday, I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Web Design and New Media from the Academy of Art University. However, it was not my MFA that led me into the world of web and graphic design. My schooling definitely helped refine my skills and enhance my knowledge of this creative world but my interest in web design and graphic design started when I was just a little sophomore in high school with braces and the need for an elective in my class schedule…
I went to Austin High School, right here in Austin (Hey, hey Austin High!), and I joined the yearbook team when I was a sophomore because my mom told me she had enjoyed her experience on her high school’s yearbook team and thought I might too. And, well, I needed an elective, so I marched my happy self to the yearbook room and requested to be in the class. I was taught how to use Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop as well how to write copy and all the other many things that went into producing a yearbook and then, lo and behold, I was made co-editor-in-chief my senior year. Well, it was this experience in high school that led to my unfailing interest in all things creative – more specifically things you could create on a computer – and I continued exploring this interest during my undergrad years at the University of Texas at Austin.
My Bachelor of Arts degree is actually in English – hence my secret love of copy writing which actually comes in handy when clients hand me an amalgamation of bulleted lists and scrawled notes that I lovingly turn into website content – but I continued to explore the world of graphic design outside of my undergrad courses. Oddly enough, it was actually my very last English course at UT that introduced me to web design. We were tasked with building a website – using a very simple website generator – to showcase our projects throughout the course. It was this final project that opened my eyes to the world of web design and development – real web development – and led me to pursue my MFA in Web Design and New Media.
During my masters program, I learned the Adobe Creative Suite along with front-end development which allowed me to combine my interest and skills in graphic design with my newfound skills in web development. From there, it all just came together and helped turn me into a web and graphic designer.
I was reading a book called Big Magic the other day by Elizabeth Gilbert and there is a part in it in which she discusses giving yourself permission to enjoy your creative pursuits – whether it’s for fun or for something more serious, like your work. She goes on to say that you should declare, out loud, “‘I enjoy my creativity.’ And when you say it, be sure to actually mean it,” and I really love her explanation for this:
“For one thing, it will freak people out. I believe that enjoying your work with all your heart is the only truly subversive position left to take as a creative person these days. It’s such a gangster move, because hardly anybody ever dares to speak of creative enjoyment aloud, for fear of being taken seriously as an artist. So say it. Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
So, I guess you can say that, ultimately, I got into web development and graphic design because I’m just a “weirdo who dares to enjoy.” I love helping people turn their ideas, hopes and dreams into reality with a website showcasing their new business or a logo that fully encapsulates their personality. It makes me happy to get lost in the grind of web development and then turn around and design in Illustrator. The mixture that it requires of my left-brain and right-brain makes this self-proclaimed middle-brained weirdo excited and eager to start the next project. And the next… and the next.
Thanks for reading today’s post and stay tuned for a new one tomorrow!!