Ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon, I've had a passion for creating beautiful things. My family has home videos of me drawing in coloring books, making up a dance to a Tran Siberian Orchestra song (you wouldn't catch me doing this now), and somewhere deep in the abyss of their basement are some of my "doodles" on old church bulletins.
As soon as I was old enough to work, I did what any normal teenager would do—got a job at my favorite hangout—the movie theater. Life was awesome! I got to work with my friends, watch free movies, and get as much free soda and popcorn that I wanted. Who could ask for more?!
Then, college came along. It was like getting hit with the "Responsibility Train" and I soon realized that my fun theater job wasn't going to pay the bills. I got a scholarship that paid for my first full year of school and was able to take that year to save up my income from the movie theater and a job that I took at a local bank.
Once I got my associate's degree, I had a great opportunity to work at a start-up photography studio. This is when my skills really bloomed. In high school, I taught myself how to use Photoshop and InDesign in order to become the Design Editor of the yearbook staff—so I had the knowledge, but I didn't have the real-world application. As a professional photographer at this studio, I learned how to master lighting, photo manipulation, and how to put the customer first. Unfortunately, the studio was taken over by a chain studio and quickly became a quantity-over-quality-focused business—something I just couldn't agree with.
From there, I transitioned into a job where I was responsible for building and maintaining the company's brand. I designed logos, created promotional materials, wrote press releases, printed collateral on a weekly basis, designed t-shirts, produced banners, and so much more. You know that part of the job description that says, "All other duties as assigned?" Yeah. That was basically my job. It was always changing and each day brought something different to the table.
It only took me four jobs to realize how to best use my talent and passion for design. This is it. Helping others bring their stories to life. Whether it be through creating a brand, designing a poster, creating merchandise, or capturing their photos—this is where my heart lies.