Updated: Oct 18, 2021
If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be a freelance graphic designer I would have laughed! I never thought I would be able to do what I do now.
It all started when I was 18 years old and interning at my home church. I was looking up prizes for an event and started noticing how terrible the web designs were at the sites I was finding! Then I would see it everywhere. Bad logos, busy layouts, obscene color combinations, and worst of all, CLIP ART. I thought, "Come on, people, this is 2011! No excuses anymore". Being a graphic designer professionally still didn't seem feasible to me, however, so I continued my path and just helped out where I could - creating event flyers, painting signs, etc.
After college and into the years of, "Is this what I really want to do with my life?" phase, I started to work at a kids' summer camp, and part of my job was to create media content and keep up with the website. Here it was again - graphic design work. It seemed daunting at first looking at all the programs Adobe offered and knowing I had to quickly figure it out because there was no one else to do it!
Slowly but surely, one Youtube video after another, I finally began to get ahold of how all this stuff works and found I really enjoyed creating posts, videos, t-shirts, camp merchandise, random office forms, and whatever else was needed! Shutting my office door, putting on some good music, and getting to work on whatever project came up, became one of my favorite parts of the day.
After two years working for the camp, I talked to my husband, trained my replacement and set out to begin this dream of becoming a graphic designer! When I left, one of my good friends gave me a beautiful mug that says, "Enjoy the Journey." I held on to that mug and it still reminds me I don't have to have it all figured out right now - it'll come.
Then they came... the voices, the thoughts, the doubts, the questions, the fears. It was like they were waiting for me to take that first step then sent in the cavalry! "You're not good enough!" "You don't have good ideas!" "You'll never be as good as those professional designers!" "No one will take you seriously!" "You can't charge that much!" "You'll never learn how to do what your clients will need!" I felt so discouraged but kept pressing on. Signing up for any free course I could find, watching more youtube videos, doing small jobs for family/friends to practice.
Eventually, I found some reasonably priced courses and really began to understand how to create branding and logos. I found groups I could join with other designers, both beginners, and professionals, who supported each other and helped each other grow. I could give input and also gain wisdom.
Finally, on January 27, 2021, I received my certificate from the Secretary of the State of Texas congratulating me on my new ownership of JS Design Company, LLC. I never thought it would come. Everything was finally perfect!! My logo was done, my website was launched, my business cards were in & I was the proud new owner of my own graphic design company - nothing could get in my way!
Oh wait, there is legal stuff... there are taxes... there are clients to find... there are social media platforms to update daily... there are more skills to learn.. blogs to write... I was quickly realizing how much I still had to learn about business! I kept telling myself, "Your older self will look back and laugh at how bad you were when we started this!" That is the beauty of this life. Every day is a journey and there are always new things to learn.
It's been about 9 months now and that journey is never-ending, but I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. The people with whom I've gotten to work, the businesses I've gotten to help bring to life, the stories I've heard from other small business owners, are all helping me build my own dream as we build theirs. What was I thinking? I'm not sure, haha, but would I do it again if I had the choice? Absolutely :)