Transitions in life.

5 years ago today, I was a Design Assistant for MBI Publishing, (Quayside Publishing). I was able to get my name into a handful of books and several illustrations. It was a start, it was something I was proud of. A stepping stone that in all reality, I should have fought harder for. I was laid off due to the lack of consumers buying books. The recession comes in and slaps me in the face. I applied, I begged, I pleaded, nothing.

For a year, I was left alone, unable to pay my student loans, barley able to make rent. I applied, grudgingly, out of my field. Desperate to find something, anything, someone throw me a bone. Almost a year to the day I was hired as a Transporter for a local hospital. I was knocked down a few notches. The respect, gone. The income, really gone. The ability to find joy in my day-to-day, vanished.
Jaded from my fall from grace, I am now petrified to pursue my dreams of working in graphic design again. Waiting for another slap in the face from a romance I held so tightly. I am unable to reach as far as I should due to fear. I am now outdated in the field by 4 years. Who’s going to want me now? A graphic designer who is only a print designer seems unheard of in the market. I want to go back to school but due to my $100,000 + loans, that’s NEVER going to happen.

I have to try.

The last few years were some of the hardest I’ve ever lived through. My car was stolen, crippling my daily needs. Money came and money went. The idea of having money in savings is a luxury I can’t afford. I find myself envious of those who have cars, homes, well paying jobs, respect, and honor.

Working at the hospital has been very humbling. I’ve been put in my place and it still stings. Its one of those life events where you start to take a long hard look around. I want better for myself, for my family, for everyone around me. I’ve been so humbled that I don’t really recognize myself anymore, and I think its for the better. I am going to take my skills I’ve learned to better myself.

Every day I am going to do something that scares me, design. Word Press willing, you’ll be seeing my progress. If you have words of advice, please, hand it over. I am walking through the dark with a broken flashlight, not sure where I’m going. A helping hand would be appreciated at this stage in my life.

 

Cheers

 

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4 thoughts on “Transitions in life.

  1. This sounds very hard. I think it’s a very good idea to do/try something new every day. Don’t ever ever give up, there’s a light at the end of every dark tunnel!

  2. deep entry and i can definitely relate. it’s been roughly 4 years since i graduated with a degree in graphic design and all i have done is an internship. i think the expectation is you have to know a lot of coding and having the latest version of adobe creative suite, while not required, is recommended.

    you just have to hang in there and take it one day at a time. always look for design related jobs you can definitely qualify for that meet your current skill sets, but definitely add to your skill sets already. participate in a few design contests to get the ball rolling too such as Threadless or designbyhumans.

    stay optimistic, just like steffiegraph stated above, there’s a light at the end of every dark tunnel.

  3. Lindsay, Keep working toward your goal. Taking a job that is not in your field to pay your bills is sometimes a necessary evil. Try look at it as a stepping stone, something that might be taking you where you need to be. Keep your eyes and ears open as to who you are meeting, who might be able to help you jumpstart your graphic design career.

    And keep being creative. Every day.

    Design something for fun, something for yourself. Write out a job description for your “dream job” and then see what steps you might take to create this job. Maybe it means contacting a local non-profit that can use your part time help with print design. Be willing to do some pro-bono work for a good cause in order to build a current portfolio. Avoid larger agencies that just want the slave labor that comes with an unpaid internship that never turns into a job.

    You were in book design. Make a book about something you are interested in. Hand stitch it. Make it tactile. Embrace the fact that you are a print designer. Find images you like. Photograph it and post it on your WordPress site.

    I am also a print designer in a web world. At 54, I think, who would hire me if I did not have my own company? I am out of touch. I am too old to learn new things. Being 4 years out of your field means you are still young. You can catch up. Partner or become friends with someone who does web design. Your print aesthetic will help you create websites that come from a different perspective than those that originate from a web-based designer. If that’s what you want to do. After years of resisting delving into web work, I at least have a toe in the pond…and its fun. I just think of it as moving print.

    I also think that print design still has a place in the world. And even if a book is on a kindle, I still judge the book by its cover when I am selecting something to read. I love book covers…someone is designing those, right? Someone will continue to create those cover images to lure the reader in, even if it never sees the printing press.

    Check out the Graphic Artists Guild website. You might find some good resources there.

  4. Don’t give up on your dreams, EVER. When I graduated from high school I started going to school for graphic design. For many reasons I dropped out of college and didn’t go back. Ten years passed and I realized that I still had a passion for graphic design. I crossed my fingers for luck and went back to school. I shared the same ‘I’m too old’ fear but knew if I didn’t give it a try I’d regret it.

    Once I graduated it took me over 6 months of non-stop job applications. I thought I would be stuck working at a clinic in customer service for the rest of my life. Just when I was about to give up, I gave it one more try. I applied for the position, gave it my all and landed the job.

    What I am trying to say is that there is a job out there for you, a perfect job, you just can’t give up. I got my job because I was persistent, eager and offered my employer ideas no one else had thought of. I told my boss I would work harder than anyone else and that I would give my left pinkie for the position (I still have both pinkies but my boss jokes that someday I might have to prove true to my word). Showcase your creative self by doing something different than every other applicant like here: http://www.creativebloq.com/career/guerilla-job-resumes-11121419.

    Contact me if you have any questions. Good luck to you!

    P.S. Print is not dead!

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