Sorry that I've waited an entire year to update you guys on what's been happening in my life—well, those of you who read these journal posts anyway. I swear that I just do this for my own sanity.
Last time you heard from me, I had graduated college, moved across the country, and was working on freelance projects while hunting for a full-time job. Freelance work took up the majority of summer 2013, but I knew that it couldn't sustain me. Financially, it was unpredictable and I feared that I wasn't growing as a designer if I couldn't work alongside someone from my industry.
Now that I've been out of school for a year, I am thrilled to report that I have found a job in my field and have been doing what I love for the past nine months. Right after we moved closer to Asheville in August, I interviewed at a marketing agency downtown and ended up being welcomed onto their team as the new art director in September. For my experience level (lol, what experience level?), it was a huge shock and I've been working hard to make sure that I earn my keep ever since. Along the way, I've learned so much about the industry and its standards, about how to work with professionals outside of your discipline, and definitely about how to perform under pressure! For better and for worse, it's everything I had hoped for.
About two months ago, however, our creative director left and every design project fell to me. I became the lead designer—in fact, the only designer—at the agency and had to put my skills to the test. Many late nights were spent just trying to keep all of these projects afloat, but it was all worth it in the end. We've produced some stellar portfolio pieces as of late and I can't wait to share them with you guys as soon as they're ready! I do still wish that there was another designer here that I could study under and learn from, but this role gives me the opportunity to work on some very impressive projects and get my agency's name out there.
One really great thing about running the creative department is having the opportunity to make hiring decisions. I decided who we freelanced out to while I interviewed replacements for our creative director, which was a very surreal experience considering I had never been on the other side of an interview. In the end, I decided to hire someone more at my level so that we could become a team instead of a hierarchy. Even though our combined experience amounts to a only few years, I feel like we are capable of seeing the agency through because of how much we care and how hard we try. It's an exciting time!
Now that I've been living in North Carolina for a little over a year, I can be more genuine about how much I love it. I think that the scenery is my favorite part—the way you can be in a thriving city one minute and then be completely surrounded by a vast, breathtaking wilderness the next… It's just amazing. So much of the state feels untouched, like it's been that way for ages. I drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway the other day and was overwhelmed by how grand nature truly is. I'm making a list of all of my favorite places and plan on frequenting them as often as I can, especially during leaf season!
Another fun update is that I got a puppy from the humane society. His name is Cooper and he's a German Shepherd/St. Bernard mix—clever as they come but hopelessly clumsy, it's a fantastic combination. As of right now, he is a little over seven months old and growing fast! Just this past weekend, I took him into the river for the first time and he learned how to swim. He's my best bud and follows me everywhere like a little duckling, but he's also quite the troublemaker. Here's hoping that his restless, destructive puppy stage will soon be over, lol.
While I do have plenty of things that I need to upload and share with you guys, it all depends on when/if I am allowed to share them. The thing about working for an agency is that the work you do doesn't fully belong to you. For instance, I'm working on an animated infographic video for the hospital system here and did all of the vector illustration work, but I can't share anything with you until the video itself has been released to the public. Strange waiting game though it may be, that's just how agency life goes. Everything is up to the client, no matter how hard you worked on it, haha.
One thing that is on the horizon, provided that I have free weekends to work on it, is the overhaul of my portfolio website. I have known for some time that it's not up to snuff—the layout isn't responsive, there aren't static pages for my portfolio pieces to live on, and the design itself isn't particularly inspired. To help with this, I purchased Ultimatum, which is a drag-and-drop design solution that allows you to create custom, responsive WordPress websites. Though I haven't tried it yet, I have a good friend who is using it to build her own website and she is loving its capabilities so far. I will keep you updated about my opinion, for sure!
I hope everyone is doing well and I look forward to digging through all of these deviations/comments in my inbox! Happy summer!!! <3
Thanks for viewing, faving, sharing, praising, chatting, and watching,
Listening to: "Angels EP" by Crywolf
Reading: "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan
Watching: Penny Dreadful
Playing: with Cooper ^^
Drinking: lemon flavored iced tea