Big things are happening.

In the last month I've managed to complete my senior thesis, publish a booklet that has reached an international audience and has been unofficially endorsed by Minneapolis Children's Hospital, graduated with my BFA in graphic design, and power through four seasons of Chuck on Netflix.

I will call that a bit of success on my part. Cue tooting of own horn.

Despite a relative lack of success landing a job in Minneapolis, I chock it up to "all for the best" since we will be relocating to the DC area on the coast. And that means a brand new community of designers with whom I am excited to share my first design career. This opportunity has also allowed me to step back and evaluate what I really want in a workplace. While ad agencies sounded very sexy and elusive a few months ago, 60 hours and working on weekends did not, so I have since shifted gears to new goals.

If you live in the DC area, or know someone who does, please feel free to reach out! I'm looking forward to meeting new people out there, and hope to do so via some AIGA DC events.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for a wave of posts of what I've been up to these past few months; think design work onesie-twosies that didn't make the official portfolio showcase cut, but are still fun to share and did take time to create. Until then, what's your best DC advice?

When it rains...

Wowzers. It has been a crazy few weeks.

Life has turned a complete 180 and instead of watching Netflix marathons all day, I find myself doing a myriad of new projects! Here's a summary of my change in luck:

  1. Landed first freelance gig doing logo and symbol design for a small upstart web design business called Uptown Butter (see below).
  2. June 6, 2014 is a day that will live on in "famy." I channeled my interview skills at two (2!) interviews this week, and received call-backs from both. That leads us to...
  3. You are now looking at the newest (only?) photography intern for the Hennepin County Libraries, as well as one of the new design interns for Make-A-Wish Minnesota.
  4. Later that week I received an email and was paired with a mentor with graphic design experience through the American Corporate Partners Veteran Mentorship Program

The kick-off event for this streak of good luck goes to the guys at Uptown Butter, Ricky and Jim. I met Ricky at the See Change conference (mentioned earlier) thanks to the introduction by Smitty. After a few weeks, Ricky reached out to me and said he and his business partner were looking for someone to do some design work for them, and I happily obliged! Keep an eye out for a slick new logo for these guys, and look them up if you own a business and need some marketing/web design help (particularly in the Athens, OH area). They're great!

Next, I am beyond excited to get some on-the-job design experience through my two newest opportunities. Over the summer, I will be taking a variety of photos for the Hennepin County Libraries for use in their online and print publications. I will also be starting a six-month internship doing design work for Make-A-Wish Minnesota. For those unfamiliar, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, and this chapter focuses specifically on kids living in Minnesota. I'm excited to intern for such a high-profile organization, and who wouldn't want to serve these kids and their families?

Finally, I got an email saying the ACP mentorship program found me a mentor with design experience! It was a total shot in the dark since I think the majority of the mentors that volunteer are more business-driven (hence the "corporate") in their careers. So thank you, Ben, for taking the time to share your experience and expertise with me! For any of you veterans out there, whether you're creative-minded or not, you should definitely look into this program. It doesn't hurt to at least fill out the application and see if something comes your way. Although my mentor lives down in Atlanta, GA, having a monthly phone conversation and exchanging emails is better than no help at all! 

Here's to new beginnings, and getting this design train rolling full steam ahead.