Going Back to High School

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at Brunswick High School to a class learning essentially the programs I use on an everyday basis in High School. They are getting the opportunity to use Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and that is freaking awesome! When I was initially asked to speak there was never a moment of nervousness. I immediately went to a place of excitement because I love working with people, especially kids! I made some quick notes on my phone and in my head, but basically, the speech was not planned at all. Do I encourage this, probably not but I wanted to be in the moment and speak from experience and from the heart. Kids don’t do Powerpoints well, and I knew I would lose a couple of them with the monotony of that, so I sat down in front of them at eye level and went for it. I was honest; I explained why I did not finish college and that I eventually changed my mind in my career path. Did I say they shouldn’t go to college, never once BUT I made it clear that we all have a different path and if you cannot afford to go there are options. When all was said and done, I think it went reasonably well, and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on what I have learned as a small business owner.

Put yourself out there.

Even when the work sucks and you are scared, be brave enough to take the first step, so the second step is more natural. Practice makes things to make them better. It’s not just the drawing or painting that is the practice; it’s also the process of practicing to accept your art and not beating yourself up for it. We live in a social media world, and you are putting yourself out there so much more than ever before. It’s complicated and beautiful at the same time, be brave.

Find your people.

People who inspire you, people who will support you, people you admire, people to collaborate with. Be yourself in who you are and in your art, do not try to be what others think you should become because you will fail every time. People who are part of your tribe will support you, the real you and those are your people.

Never stop learning.

I don’t mean tests. I say never stop learning by taking classes that focus on your end goal. Get outside and go to art museums, concerts, festivals. Push yourself when you feel uncomfortable and attend something you usually wouldn’t just for the experience like volunteering. People of all ages need good mentors. When you open up and try new things, it makes you see things from another point of view so never be hesitant to do that.

Mistakes are your friend.

It’s the hardest way to learn, and we try so hard not to make mistakes, but I promise you it’s the best way to learn. You might learn how never to do it again or you might a way that worked better. Mistakes are your friend, don’t be afraid to make them.

 

Special thanks to empireskyco.com for the photo.

What Do Graphic Designers Do?

Many people have said to me lately “I don’t know exactly what you do.” When I hear that I get worried. I think to myself am I not doing something right to communicate to my clients what I actually do? What can I do better? Have they not been paying attention to my posts on social media? But then it dawned on me, I truly don’t think people understand all that graphic designers do.

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If you Google this question here is your answer:  “Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.”  But what do graphic designers, freelancers like myself actually do? There is a long list so get a cup of coffee, sit back and be ready to be amazed! Ok, we don’t have to go that far but here is the list.

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Logos. Branding. Business Cards. Packaging. Menus. Brochures. Rack Cards. Promotional Items. Consultation for Non-Creatives. Invitations. Blog & Website Concept Design. Digital Banners & Ads. Letterhead. Custom Stationary. Billboards. Appointment Cards. Post Cards. Surface Pattern Design. Signage. Folders. Mailers. Stamps. Stickers. Posters. Printables. Thank You Notes. Tote Bags. Wrapping Paper. Gift Boxes. The Label on Your Favorite Salsa. Your Favorite Dress. Umbrellas. T-Shirts. Get Where I Am Going With This? We Are Literally Everywhere.

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My, my where do I start. There are truly so many things we are capable of. However, many of us have a strong point. Something we love in this crazy design world more than anything else. For me, it’s a logo. But it doesn’t just stop with a logo, I love all the things need for creating an entire brand such as business cards, letterhead, I love to make it all work together. Many times before people ask why I enjoy it so much and the truth is, I can’t stop it. I drive by businesses every day and think to myself, “How would I have done it differently.” I know that sounds crazy but I do believe there are some things you are just really good at in life. This is mine. Now, with this being said, this does not mean I won’t do anything else. Of course, I will! I have the skills needed to design and have printed many items on paper or digital or any surface really. We are the folks who set up the things you need for your life with programs you have no idea how to use. Like a plumber who comes to fix a leak in your house that you also would not attempt to do yourself. Hire a designer, be proud of your results. Hire a designer who is an actual person you can talk to and not someone somewhere who you will probably never meet or know their name. Hire someone who wants to make you and your business better, who invests in you equally as much as you invest in them.

Graphic designers have a skill set of style cultivated through many years of education, along with many aches and pains…kidding. Critiques are rough y’all! But we are flexible, we want to help you with various projects, not just your logo but also that menu that has the logo we helped you create on top of it. We know a lot about printing and could probably give you some money saving advice without compromising the vibe of your business. I highly encourage you to create a relationship with a designer you know. You just might find a sensible friend at the other end of the line.

Thank you for signing up to receive my newsletter! Every month I will send my latest blogs, work and a few little juicy secrets to help your small business grow.

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Digital