I don’t think I’ve ever been interviewed before for anything other than a job. To be asked how I started in design, where my passion came from, and my thoughts on HOW was a totally new experience for me. Crystal was someone that I met via the interwebs and I was finally able to put a face to the handle at HOW Design 2012. She was so welcoming! I loved meeting her and the rest of the iNote crew so, when she asked to interview me/to chat 1:1, there was no hesitation on my part.
My design life story…
We chatted about the world of design and how I got started. When she asked me how I became interested in art/design, I couldn’t pinpoint an exact time…I’ve always loved art! My parents were amazing at embracing my wicked imagination and helped me develop a love for creativity. Once I was in high school and found out I could take art classes, I jumped at the opportunity. Most people only took Photography so they could leave class and get a head start on lunch but I took it because of a genuine interest in how to work an old Canon AE1. (Totally still have mine and it comes out for special occasions) From then on, I took any art class I could and found myself applying to Iowa State University in my senior year to major in design. Once on Iowa State’s campus and in the thick of college art classes, I realized that this is where my passion is and couldn’t wait to learn more about it. (and to think, I almost became a lawyer!)
Crystal and I talked about my college experience and what I did after graduation. I have to tell ya, not much. I wasn’t one of those amazing graphic designers that had a stellar internship that led to working in a small studio with great people. Instead, my college experience led to a stellar internship in Chicago and even though I was offered a position with that company after college, I decided to turn it down. I felt as though the position wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. This led to me becoming the typical college graduate that crashes their parents basement in hopes of landing a job. I did take a few months off…simply to decompress from all the things I had going on in college. (I don’t remember sleeping my whole 4 years so I made sure to make up for that!) After a few months I was able to find a temp job creating tables and graphs for the state of Utah’s testing materials. From there I moved on to Yellowbook as their e-Learning Specialist. Had no idea what the job was but it was full-time with benefits!
When asked, ‘how did you hear about the HOW conference?’ I had no answer. The only thing I could come up with was that I bought a HOW magazine somewhere and saw their advertisement for the HOW Conference. It had postcards that you could punch out and give to your boss to ask about attending the conference. Fortunately, I had a great boss at Yellowbook and she approved me to go! This was the moment that started me down a whole new path in the design world.
Ready, this is the part where I tell you all about fate and how things happen for a reason…
If I never bought that magazine I would have never seen those creative postcards. If I never dropped one of those postcards in my boss’s mailbox, I would have never gone to my first HOW Design Conference in Boston. If I never went to my first HOW Conference in Boston, I would have never found out how amazing it was. If I never found out how amazing it was, I would have never asked to go again. If I never asked to go again, I would have never gone to experience Denver, Chicago, and Boston again where I met the amazing Crystal in person. If I never met the amazing Crystal, I would have never received her very last iNote and we would not have had a great convo and thus, you would not be reading this right now.
See? Things do happen for a reason.
Now I have a group of designers I can chat with about anything and everything. I love the connections I was able to make through HOW and Crystal. Having someone talk to me about my design life was very fun and interesting. It made me think about things I usually don’t think about. Everyday there’s always something to learn and everyday I hope to accomplish that goal. I know I still have a lot to experience to reach the level of designers at the HOW conferences but, as they say, the greats had to start somewhere!
To everyone that has welcomed me, that I have met and connected with, I say thank you. You have no idea how much it means to this shy designer that has high hopes of one day becoming a big shot Art Director in a corner office.