I had no clue what to post, write or lament about. Design isn’t the easiest topic on the face of the earth for “non designers” to understand. I wanted my blogging to mean something, and to be receptive to all readers that come across it, in some fashion or another.
So I believe the most appropriate topic to talk about in my very first post is ME! Once you get to know my story, then everything will fall into place.
When I decided I wanted to study design I was at a Community College in Orchard Park, NY. I was working 80 hours a week for a girls detention facility at the same time. I learned the ins and outs of the actual printing process, from stripping a plate to running press. NOT graphic design in it’s completion- more along the lines of printing and setting up files to be printed- commonly known as pre-press. At the time I was frustrated that I wasn’t learning what I believed was graphic design in order to be a “designer” but in retrospect I was learning much much more. It was more than what students just entering a four year college to study graphic design would learn. It was more than what my counterparts in the industry would have learned… it was the basics how graphic design is produced in reality, not some thought and inspiration pulled out of a creative’s head that is scratched on paper.
After I graduated with two degrees I decided to work in industry to put to practical use what I had learned. Being hired as a pre press graphic designer opened my eyes to all of the costly mistakes and poor mechanical renderings these actual designers were making… that was actually costing their clients money to fix to be able to be printed properly.
While I worked as a pre-press designer, as young as I was at the time I had these glorious ideas that I would be the only designer in the world that knew how to set up files to be printed correctly. To every dream there is a reality… My professors at the 4 year SUNY school had preconceived notions about my abilities as a student, thinking that they were going to take it upon themselves to “retrain me” so what turned out to be a 2 year plan in conjunction with my associates really became a 4 year battle to get my degree.
Through hell and high water I got it, and caused some MAJOR restructure to the faculty in the design department to boot. I interned with a company that hired me before I graduated. I received a $3,000 a year raise very quickly after and was the first graphic designer to be sent on assignment. Things seemed to be great, until they weren’t. Jealousy soon gave way to a poor working environment and during the big economic downfall I was the last man on the totem pole… next head on the chopping block. My complete surprise when called into the office to be “laid off” (which by the way is just a fancy way of saying you fired, but don’t say anything bad about us because you are getting severance pay) turned into an elation I have never known before, like the world had been lifted off of my shoulders. No more woman-hating hippie boss, no more fellow co workers blatant disrespect to the owners of the company, no more petty back stabbing NONE OF THAT. So as I’m being escorted from my desk, (because laid off graphic designers are VERY similar to disgruntled postal workers) I felt like skipping, like yelling at the top of my lungs “I’m FREE AT LAST!” “HALLELUJAH, I AM FREE AT LAST!” That was then followed with an “Oh shit!” what the HELL am I going to do… as the panic rushed in while driving home. Then just as I was about to freak out, the heavens parted and I had my BIG IDEA- I’m going to own my own business … that’s what the hell I’m going to do!