If you are on the Passion for Pattern bloghop today, you’ve probably just joined us from the wonderful blog of Claire Smillie. After you have read my post, make sure you visit Femi Ford’s who has some great designs to show you. If you have only just found the hop, pop over to Claire’s blog where you can get started and join in the fun!
I’ve been a Graphic Designer for more than 15 years and I have loved it!
In my first job, creativity was limited by time. We had to design to a brief and produce as many pieces a day as we could. It was graphic design mass production! I enjoyed it a lot, and I mean a lot, and learned an amazing amount about the industry but the problem with this kind of job is that it steals your creative soul. My imprint got lost, or maybe I hadn’t even had time to develop one. I needed a break, I needed to find out what I really wanted to do because I knew this wasn’t it. I left my job and went to London to study a Multimedia course. I wanted to see my graphics on-screen , I wanted to experiment, I wanted to be a student again. No briefs, no clients, no boss. A time for learning!
After finishing my course and hundreds of cvs later I landed an apprenticeship in a web design agency in London. I had a fun time, learned a lot and made some fantastic friends but my creativity got buried under a pile of code… I left that job too…
Then motherhood grabbed me and I decided to give it all my attention. My design brain went down the plughole. Apart from the lack of time, I needed somebody telling me to design this or that. I felt that without the brief there wasn’t any point. I didn’t grab a sketchbook for 7 years!
At the end of last year my youngest started school and I found myself with loads of time on my hands. I wanted to get back into designing and my brain was kind of ready. I told myself this could be my last chance. But there was something stopping me, I had to find some clients.
A friend mentioned the ‘Print & Pattern’ blog over a cup of tea. After she left I poured myself into this eclectic world of patterns and couldn’t get out for hours. This was it, it all clicked, all fell into place. This was what I was supposed to be doing!
I have always surrounded myself with bright, colourful patterns and if I ever enter a shop, patterns are always what calls my attention, never mind what they’re on. For some strange reason it never occurred to me to be the creator and not the buyer!
One of the things I liked about this new discovery was that I could start creating right now, no more excuses. I didn’t have to find clients first, quite the opposite, I had to build a fantastic portfolio before I could approach anyone.
A few months later, a couple of online courses under the belt and hundreds of hours of research and I’ve never been happier! I rediscovered the creative soul I had lost and my fear of blank pieces of paper it’s mostly gone. I wake up every morning excited about what the day will bring, what I will learn and what pattern ideas will come to me.
I really like the idea that I can design non stop and it is all part of building up my business. I couldn’t have designed a poster, a business card or a website and then found the client for it.
I’m doing it the right way, I’m doing it my way!