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The Beginning is Crap so: Don't Give Up

 Oh my gosh. It's been a hot minute since I've sat and typed out a post...and I'm not gonna lie, it feels good! For those new here, I used to blog a lot back in the day...ahem, I'm talking literally 2007/08 when I first started my family blog. Man that seems like another lifetime! Those were the "good 'ole blogging days" (haha), and It's been kinda wild to watch the world shift and turn to Podcasts (which are totally awesome btw). I'd like to try that one day, but for now I will be sharing more art + design tips and tricks here (the good old fashioned way) to help YOU! I'm excited about it.

As I have been designing and setting up this new space-yes, yet another platform and website (gimme a facepalm here. i know I KNOW)...you guys. I think I have a problem in the fact that I love starting new projects...but anyways-I have been thinking a lot about my purpose and how I can help other new artists and designers. I want to share what I have learned the past 10 years as a freelance artist and designer with you! If you read my about page, you got a glimpse of it-a quick overview really-and I'd like to dive more into that and share with you how I got my start.

Okay so I've always been the crafty, artsy type. Big shocker there. I played zero sports growing up, however I DID make it onto my middle school's C3 volleyball team in eighth grade. Needless to say, I stuck to...not sports. I was the girl who was always happy to get new pens, pencils, markers, and notebooks in my stocking on Christmas. If I was bored, I drew. If I didn't have anything to do, I drew. Long road trip? You bet I packed ALL my art supplies and sketched and doodled away to my hearts content. And I always took all the art classes I could in high school.

College hit and I didn't truly know what I wanted to do or be. Yeah I wanted to be "an artist" but didn't know what that really looked like. All I saw was the "fine art" style, and I didn't really love that or feel drawn that direction. It wasn't until my second semester, when I took a basic "Art & Design 110" class, where I feel I began to build more structure. I really enjoyed that class. During a random morning, after we had gone through everyone's work and given "constructive criticism", I remember standing at the counter on the far side of the room with my big design binder laying out in front of me. My teacher approached and as she looked over my work, she made the comment: "I bet you'd make a great graphic designer."...that or "I bet you'd love graphic design." Haha my memory fails me, but It was something specifically along those lines. And that one comment stuck with me. This was in the spring of 2007 and I truly didn't understand then, what graphic design was. But I was curious.

That fall, I decided to take an "Intro to Graphic Design: 101" class. This is where I first was introduced to the glorious Adobe Creative Suite. I was SO pumped when my dad bought it for me ("C3!" back then the software was in boxes on the shelves-not a monthly subscription)! Photoshop was the easiest for me. The first time I remember opening Illustrator, was in my graphic design class. We had to go down into the basement of the building, through a big thick metal door with a punch code. It was a room filled with computers, and it was dim and uninspiring. I remember opening up the program and feeling completely overwhelmed. This was also my first time having any experience with a MAC. Everything was totally foreign and I was sooo frustrated and confused! I had a hard time keeping up with the teacher, who was explaining and trying to walk us through some basic steps/actions.

There was a couple projects we had to do in that class, like "create a logo" and "put together a brochure of some sort with images we created in illustrator". I laugh at how simple it seems now, but oh my word it was the absolute WORST when I was living it and trying to figure everything out. I just didn't understand or put the time in to figure it out honestly. This was also the semester that I began dating my husband...so you can image how that turned out. Nope, I'll actually just tell you: I got a C. A big fat C in my graphic design class! I had never had that grade before and I felt like a total failure. There are many moments since I've wanted to actually go back and show my professor what I've accomplished since then. I've wanted to walk up and be like "HERE! Look at this! Look at what I do now! I'm not an idiot and I have actually made some pretty fantastic things! And hey I know how to do this, and this, and THIS!"

We hear hindsight is 20/20, and oh how true that is. I could have let myself think that I was a horrible artist and could never be a designer because of that experience, but I didn't. I am so glad I didn't let that get me down, and I didn't just give up! Because hello! then I wouldn't be here showing you what I can do, and helping you along your journey! No one just "makes it". There are years and years of trying and failing and growing and I'm going to show and tell you all about mine (eek! I can't wait!). Spoiler alert: I am STILL learning and growing, and I don't intend to stop! So that is my biggest takeaway right now for you or anyone starting out in this art+design field-or any field honestly!

Don't you dare give up!

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