At the beginning of 2015, during the spring semester, one of my classes (Business for the Designer, I think it was called) really changed what I wanted to do with my design degree. Most of my life, I’ve wanted to be a published author, and because that could take years and years before I ever see any money from it, I chose something that I loved just as much to get a degree in, a more “safe” career to fall back on as I used to say to those who asked the crippling question “What do you want to do after you graduate?” Since I’d always been interested in art and design throughout high school, graphic design seemed like a good fit.
Even throughout my first few semesters, I didn’t really like it—I mean, I sort of realized that I more enjoyed the idea of design, and I could appreciate good design, but doing it wasn’t for me. That terrified me. I spent a lot of time panicking, believing I’d made a mistake. But slowly, I started to not only like it, but love it. As I learned more and honed my skills, it became something I enjoyed doing, not just appreciating. And it was that business class I took, almost a year ago now, that finally pushed it over the edge for me to realize graphic design is on the same level as writing.
This class is the same class that I started this blog for—a semester-long project to focus your goals and a place to network in the industry. While working on the blog and coming up with different ideas to do with it, a thought came to my mind: I always saw these incredible prints and posters and calendars online or on a wall in someone’s apartment, and it had always intrigued me about the idea of doing that for myself, creating those things. And it all sort of clicked together.
My goal is to design and illustrate prints, calendars, cards, and anything else I’m inspired to create and open an online shop. Now of course it will be small at first, I don’t expect this to be a great money generator (especially right away) but with the combination of my other business and writing, I think that it will all be enough to support me—hopefully. I’ll have to keep my job at the restaurant I work at for a while longer until it does, I’m sure.
I don’t have a projected timeframe, but I’m designing 2017 calendars at the moment…so…maybe? I don’t know. If they aren’t completed by then or if it’s just not working out, adjusting them to be 2018 won’t be too difficult.
That’s what I’ve been working on for the last year, slowly and not knowing exactly what I’m doing, but getting ideas down and sketching and making plans. Of course, with my job and school and business, it’s a bit hard to carve out the time, but it’s working nicely for now.
Hopefully within the next year, I’ll be able to set everything up and start promoting my work around on social media and in my area.
Here are a few things I’ve been working on this passed fall/winter.
Inspired by Charli Prangley’s map outline poster tutorial, I made an inverted version of my home state as a Christmas gift for my aunt and I’m really proud of the result. And because it was so cheap to have printed, I printed a few extra and sold them to a few friends and family who asked for one.
For the business I co-own and run (called Mamacita’s, we sell our Salsa Fresca locally—working toward expanding) I’m the social media manager and designer, among many other things. I do all the design work for our marketing and create images for the recipes using the salsa we post on our blog. Here are a few of the recent ones.
For 2016, some of my personal design goals include:
- design 3 calendar sets, and 2 holiday card sets
- practice hand-lettering skills more often
- design and illustrate at least 2 prints
- set up online store, or at least begin the process
2016 is going to be a big, busy, and beautiful year—I can just feel it.
Yes, I used beautiful because of the alliteration. I couldn’t help myself.