2014 has been a year full on new opportunities, connections and experiences. There were plenty of highs, with a few lows, but looking back I am thankful for each as they have are helping me develop personally and professionally. The highlight would be interning in New York over the summer. That experience alone produced so many inspirational and challenging moments. I also had my first interview, work featured on Dribbble and GotPrint blog, won a few design awards, worked on some great projects and had the chance to speak to middle and high school students. To kick off the new year, I wanted to share a few things I picked up this year.
- Be bold in your curiosity and confidence: Don’t let a key opportunity pass you by because you are afraid. Get out and explore – the results/answers may surprise you! For me this meant participating in a sports design trivia game during Creative South. I was not going to try because I was afraid of being wrong. But with some encouragement from friends I gave it a shot. Not only did I win, I was able to meet the panelist who ran the game. One of the panelist, Todd Radom, is now a committee member for my thesis!
- Know your niche: This was a big one this year as I work on my thesis. After years of dabbling in different areas and styles, I finally found an area of design I really enjoy. I love the visual style of sports branding, but want to know more of the history, process and craft that goes into their creation. So far I have read a lot of great articles that I am excited to add in my research. If you are working to determine if a niche is for you, take some time to understand what it is all about.
- Take time to reflect: At the end of a project – be it for work, school, or freelance – I am learning to think about my process and things I could do to make the next round better. Reflection is also important in personal and family matters. I think about how supportive my family and friends have been in all areas of my life.
2014 was a big year for travel and conferences. Made new friends, met some of my design influences, and got to explore two new cities – Boston and Columbus, GA. Below are a few of my favorite quotes:
- “Strange is important, it sets you apart from the rest” – Johnny Earle, aka Johnny Cupcakes
- “Push yourself with personal projects so people know what you are capable of” – Dana Tanamachi-Williams
- “Make kid stuff” – Jim Krause. I really got back into some of my childhood favorites this year, from Lego to vinyl collectables. What I love most about this experience (beside making an excuse to play with toys) is the ideas and perspectives it inspires.
- “Don’t let culture brainwash the originality of your ideas” – Bob Gill
- “Be better, not best. Best is a static state” – riCardo crespo
Between graduation in May and another line up of great conferences, I am looking forward to making 2015 even greater! Thank you 2014 and thank you to everyone following my journey on the blog!