In her own words –
“From this time forward, you will never see things the same again,” my architecture professor told my freshman class as we began our 5 year design journey.
It took me a while to appreciate what he meant. But it was absolutely true… Once you open your eyes to patterns, proportions, colors, and overlapping systems, you really see the world differently.
Design to me is like solving a puzzle. There’s always a set of rules, a program, a brand, a story to be told. At the end is a solution. Imagine looking at design challenges as if through a kaleidoscope lens. If you twist the kaleidoscope, you’ll find another solution, maybe more questions, and then another solution… and so on.
My career I could argue has taken just as many twists and turns.
I started out in architecture as expected. I kind of always had a sense that I’d be self-employed some day and I didn’t see that happening as an architect. While I was a little frustrated and distracted in that world, my “hobby” of creating paper goods for friends in the form of wedding invitations snuck up on me and presented itself as a viable career path. I followed that path and created Spilled Ink Press along with thousands of wedding invitations over the span of 10 years.
Did I know how to run a business?
Absolutely not. That wasn’t the question that needed to be answered though. There were invitations to be designed and I knew how to do that, so I got to work.
My husband and I (who I met about a week into starting at that architecture school, also a student in the program) designed some greeting cards, first for ourselves as kind of a joke. Then American Greetings liked our stuff and we started writing for them.
Did we know how to write greeting card jokes?
Something about the way Tony and I came up with jokes worked though and before we knew it our cards were being sold in Target stores all over the country.
I began working for a printer as an in-house graphic designer while still creating wedding invitations, and also setting up print collateral for businesses- business cards, brochures, etc.
Did I know the deep inner workings of the print world?
But there were business cards to be designed and I soon learned the business card is the wedding invitation of a small business- it says it all, in a 2” x 3.5” package. It needs to be tight, efficient, branded, and effective.
And now, at this moment in time… I’m starting back into the self-employed world, taking all the pieces I’ve learned along the way and starting Caffeination Design- a graphic design company for small businesses.
There are A LOT of questions I could ask myself at this juncture that start with “Do I know how…” and the answer would be “absolutely not”. Does that scare me? That’s not the question that needs to be answered right now because it’s irrelevant.
Doors are opening because I want them to be open. My only question at this time is, “which door am I walking through?”
And maybe, “who’s coming with me?”
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***