I love being a Graphic Designer. I absolutely love it. It makes me so happy and so fulfilled that sometimes I forget that it took me so long to realize that it was what I wanted to do in the first place. I went through three career changes and two college changes (one of them in a different country), but I made it. I totally have a career in design, and it’s super cool. So before I tell you why I love it, I’ll tell you how I ended up becoming one…
Growing up I was always interested in art. I took painting classes, pottery classes, watercolor, lettering, you name it, I did it. I remember I used to draw a lot as a kid too. I would take a bunch of copy paper, lay them out on the floor and map out my favorite cartoon world. I drew all of Bikini Bottom, every character neatly sketched by their house, I spent countless hours perfecting my Sailor Moon drawing and I would even take pieces of paper and design furniture for my Barbies.
I loved art but for some reason while growing up it never occurred to me that it could be a career. My mom is a therapist and my dad is an old school business man, I have no idea where I got the art gene, no one in my family has a career in the arts. At different points in my life I said that I wanted to be a therapist, a doctor, interior decorator and even a model (I’m 5’1″ so imagine that ????).
When it finally came that I had to choose a career I actually went for a Marketing major. I guess my dad, god bless his soul, wanted me to have a ‘viable career’ and pushed me to pursue business like him. My friends had picked design related majors like Fine Arts, Architecture, Industrial Design. All of these had similar classes the first year like: Color Theory, Illustration, Design 101 and things like that. I remember the first day of college, all my friends were carrying around these little boxes with professional rulers and Prismacolors, paints, fancy pencils, brand new art supplies and all I had in my backpack were some boring accounting books and a stupid TI-84 calculator. I went back home that first day and cried.
I stuck it out for a whole year before I had the courage to tell my parents I was miserable. This time, my mom told me that I was a great writer and that maybe I could be a writer, in fact, I should try it out! So, to please my mom I switched my major to Communications and it lasted for exactly one semester. Luckily I took a class called Multimedia, which was full of both Graphic Design majors and Communications majors, and it was all about storytelling and animation. I loved it, I think it was the first “design related” class I had ever taken, the Instructor actually told me I had a knack for design and he asked me why I was in Communications. That day I went straight to the Admin office and switched my major… for the third and final time. I didn’t even tell my parents until after I had done it.
My first semester of Design school was pure bliss. I had no idea that you could love every single class you took. I was so happy and for once things felt right. I got the opportunity to do a summer program at the Art Center in Pasadena, CA and I absolutely fell in love with it. I was in a constant state of utter euphoria that the last day of the program I called my dad and told him I wanted to switch colleges and pursue a career in the states. He was so happy and so supportive so off I went!
We applied to multiple colleges in California and settled for the one my parents could afford. In a matter of 3 months I had packed and left my country and I have never looked back. I can still remember my parents leaving me at my dorm hand in hand with a nervous but prideful look on their faces.
So why am I telling you all of this? Honestly, I’m reminiscing. I’ve had quite a journey so far in my career and my love for Graphic Design lead me here. To building a business, finding my courage, helping others, becoming who I am meant to be. My passion for design, my love for it has helped me shape my life. Design has been the foundation of my career and my life, it’s what fuels me to show up and work hard every day. It keeps me in a perfect flow state and gives me a sense of purpose.
Whatever it is that fuels you, do that everyday. Focus on what you are good at and always always listen to your gut. It’s ok if you haven’t gotten everything figured out yet, life has a way to show you the door.
How did you reach your purpose? Have you? Share your story with me below!