This week, I will be focusing on my journey in the creative realm, my personal testimony on how I landed a gig as an in house designer, where I am currently and what I hope to do in the near future. This post is part 1 of my 4 part design journey.
I honestly don’t remember a time where I wasn’t doing something creative. My favorite classes in school were English (reading creative) and drama (acting is creative). I’ve always loved drawing, painting, even singing. In every office job I’ve ever had, I have incorporated my love for creating. Early career was in the fashion industry. Ironically enough, I wanted to be a fashion designer but that dream never took flight. But, I did work retail for many years. I loved merchandising (creating looks).
Eventually though, I ended up working in an office setting. First job was working in the management office of the Fox Hills Mall. My creative endeavors included making flyers and other digitally produced and hand manipulated items like brochures, bookmarks, etc.. At that time, this was known as ‘desktop publishing’. (Yes – I do believe I just dated myself). At some point I dabbled in gift basket creation as well. That makes me chuckle looking back.
Around this time, the internet was getting increasingly popular. Sheesh I sound old. Since my husband was (and is) an IT nerd, we always seemed to have a computer around. I thought myself how to code by looking at the source code of websites I liked then manipulating various aspects. It was fun and came pretty easy. I enhanced my created website with custom designed headers and images. I was very heavily into glamming up my BlackPlanet page and those of my friends. Those were the days!
I had gotten pretty good actually. I didn’t realize it then, and it feels funny to say so now. But looking back over it all, I can see how this part of my design journey was actually pretty incredible. I was 100% self taught and had found my way without any training whatsoever.
I landed a job at L.A. Care Health Plan. Initially I worked in Human Resources but eventually made my way to Marketing. At that time, I had a boss who allowed me to be a part of the creation of marketing materials, and a teammate, who was a full time designer, that was willing to show me how to use actual design apps. At that time, it was Photoshop galore. I was heavily on the internet and eventually created a fan page for my favorite band ~ Mint Condition. I was creating digital graphics galore for this pet project. I had forged a ‘bulletin board’ where other fans and I would discuss our undying love for this band… LOL!!!! It was a lot of fun.
Many of these things I did rather instinctively and for fun back then are legitimate paying jobs for folks these days. There are community managers, social media marketers, etc. And I was just having fun. Until I got my first opportunity of a lifetime!
Tomorrow: A Mint Opportunity
Looking back over your lifetime, what were some early passions that followed you all throughout your life thus far?