Just a note that I’ll be off in the wilderness for a much anticipated week of backpacking the Rae Lakes Loop Trail from the 21st-29th. I’ll be back in action (in this case “action” is ironic since I will simply be back in front a computer instead of hiking all day) and filling your feed with more infographics and illustrations upon my return.
Hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since I decided to dive into the sea of uncertainty that is freelancing. I’m happy to report that it’s been a fantastic ride, and I’ve been having more fun and more adventures than I ever anticipated for the first 12 months of this journey.
Looking back over my progress, I am most pleased to have found a niche in designing infographics. Hindsight is 20/20 and it seems so obvious from where I am now that this is where I was headed, but it really took having the flexibility and initiative to design/take projects around it in the last year that made it possible.
An added bonus for this new phase in my career has been the confidence I feel in my own abilities. I have had to put myself out there in ways I never had to before, and having a few more projects under my belt and a growing client list makes me feel like “I’ve got this.” It certainly still feels like a roller coaster, but I kind of enjoy the ebb and flow.
Most of all, I have had a ton of fun working on a variety of projects. Every one has its challenges and rewards, and I’m learning so much. Here are some highlights from what I’ve been working on in the last year.
Here’s to another year of fun projects and learning!
Just finished the second in a series of birth announcements for my client (isn’t that the nicest way to say I’m making the announcement card for their second child, too?). Last time, we went with the owl theme in their nursery which I made into a little pop-up card. This time, I decided to do blocks, the ubiquitous childhood theme (that I adored oh so much as a child). I used some bright and warm colors, and found this amazing wood grain cardstock that added a wonderful texture to the block shapes. Putting my wonderful die cutting machine to work once again, I pieced together this new card on a light striped cream colored background that labeled what age each photo was taken at.
It’s official. After nearly 7 years working as an in-house designer, Director of Marketing, and manager of both people and projects, I have decided it’s time to go rogue and have started my own Design & Illustration business. It will be a big change to not have that paycheck hit regularly, to not have coworkers to mingle with day in and day out, and to not have anyone but yourself to blame when it doesn’t go right. It will be difficult, but it will be rewarding.
It’s been a long time coming, in truth. I’ve been doing freelance work since college, always making time for it outside of my usual work hours, and in the last year, have been increasingly more busy with projects and new clients – enough so that the idea to commit to doing that full-time actually seems feasible now. It is not without its fears and concerns, but I am overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I’ve received from friends, family, and professional acquaintances who all believe I will do great.
It is not without sadness that I will leave the job of 7 years behind as I’ve made valuable friendships and learned many great lessons, both on a professional and personal level. I’ve learned what my strengths are, and know I can leverage them when conducting business for myself. I’ve learned what my weaknesses are, so know there are options for avoiding or delegating them so that I can focus on the good stuff. I expect I will make many mistakes still, but hope I will meet them as a challenge to just get better. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve worked with, and how it all is leading up to this new direction for me.
So consider this proclamation the beginning of a great new adventure, and come back here to keep checking out the latest projects I’ve been working on, ideas I’ve been having, or the things I’ve been admiring. Oh, and of course, feel free to get the word out to anyone seeking some design or illustration help. I can help with posters, info graphics, brochures, game design, invites & announcements, packaging, apparel, logo & branding, editorial illustration, as well as web and mobile design. And of course, I do still paint, so keep an eye out for some new landscapes or what not – perhaps to fill that nook between your bookshelves and tv stand that needs a little extra color.
I am moving again (something some friends of mine know too well, as it happens rather too often).
I made my typical “I’ve moved” graphic (see above), but realized I never did post the little animation I made for when I moved (about this time) last year – my first big step moving from Silicon Valley into San Francisco proper. In fairness, it was designed to be mailed via snail mail, and I was super excited to use my awesome die-cutting machine to cut the intricate “monuments” of SF in card stock, then glue together to make one large fold-out card. I mean, I still could, but time never quite permitted that last year, so I turned the art into a quick HTML5 animation instead (click the image to see it in its full glory). For laziness continuity, I have kept the same Golden Gate Bridge image in place for both graphics even though neither apartment is near or in sight of the iconic bridge.
Oh well. Here’s to (at least) another year in the beautiful city by the bay.
My friend that I painted the mural in her baby’s room for did finally have her baby (oh… 5 months ago now). Just got the announcements out last week. I wanted to keep with her owl theme, so took one of guys from the wall and put him on this announcement (she named them all, but I don’t remember which one he is). I put my lovely die-cutting machine to work again to build his name into the branches of the tree, and she picked 4 pictures of him as he grew up from birth to 3 months, and they sort of grew up the tree from there.
I initially built it so that the whole tree and parts were glued down flat to the green background, but it seemed too flat, so I added a very small pop-up to the top half of the card. All the leaves (thank you again die-cutter) are glued down flat though.