Wow, it's sure been a crazy year! I started working at Harris Media, a mid-sized digital firm whose clients consist primarily of political candidates and advocacy groups. I continue to freelance and remain on retainer on a smaller scale to the Hamlin Home Team and Sola Salons Austin. And I also started my own business, Hum Studios (which I go into further detail in a separate post). More to come soon!
Right around Christmastime, people are always the most generous - whether it's volunteering their time or donating food, clothes, or toys to an organization. This year, it's made me feel especially empty. Back in high school, I used to volunteer in my community all the time, and lately I've been wanting to be a part of something again where I can make a real difference. My time has been so consumed with the job search and making ends meet freelancing that volunteering has been on the back burner. I told myself that I wanted to get settled and have a full-time job before I committed myself to a non-profit or other organization.
I would absolutely love the satisfaction of working at an organization that works towards enacting social change for good. Throughout my senior year at the University of Oklahoma, I integrated social change campaigns into several of my projects - so many, that in order to accommodate other projects that showed diversity, I had to cut a few off. Here are a couple of the projects that didn't make it to my home page:
End Homelessness poster series
For this project, we were required to create a typographic-based vocabulary that is developed and applied to a series of three designed pieces. I created a socially-geared poster series that directed passerby to the website endhomelessness.org. The main objective of these posters was to first grab the viewer's attention, then garner his or her sympathy. This could be done through big, bold images in a muted color palette and an unusual type treatment.
Technology Addiction PSA
My intention with this PSA was to shed some light on just how much time humans spend using technology. With the advancements the world has made with creating new and improving upon devices, it comes as no surprise that we (especially teenagers) spend so much time with our faces glued to screens.
A couple weeks ago, I moved to the great state of Texas - more specifically, Austin. I'm very excited to explore all that this city has to offer in terms of design, art, FOOD, and adventure.
In all the craziness in getting back to school and work, I've neglected to write about my study abroad experience over the summer. My last update in May detailed my plans for the summer, including my European itinerary. We were originally going to stay in Dublin for a couple very short days, then meet with our classmates and professor in Rome. Our plans ended up changing a bit when our flights got delayed right from the start and we were stuck in Chicago for a day and a half - it took a toll on my emotional sanity, to say the least. The airline rerouted our flight to go straight to Rome (where we would stay a couple days on our own before meeting up with our class), then we'd (thankfully) still get to visit Ireland after studying abroad by extending our trip a couple extra days.
I found that I learned a lot about myself by traveling in Europe without any sort of help. I learned to navigate the cities safely, "blend" in, and converse with the locals. I became very thankful for the kindness and understanding of the people there. Oklahoma is, unfortunately, sorely lacking in public transportation of any sort. This made the European public transit system even more of a learning experience, especially since each country has its own unique system. Although I missed my family by the end of the month, I already feel more capable of living on my own in another city.
The past few weeks have been extremely hectic as the semester has been winding down. All the seniors are graduating this weekend, and it's becoming very real to me that I'll be in that position a year from now. As scary as that is, it's made me feel even more pumped about all the opportunities that I'll be experiencing this summer - my LAST summer vacation.
For about two months, I'll be working at OU Recruitment as a design intern all summer, creating pieces to send out to prospective high school students. I'm also trying to leave time aside to practice coding HTML and CSS and work on some design side projects. In late June, I'll be traveling to Dublin, Ireland for a couple days, then heading over to Arezzo, Italy to study abroad with the University of Oklahoma's Fine Arts program for a whole month! I moved to Pescara, Italy when I was about five years old, and my family stayed there for two years. I've been dreaming of traveling back ever since, and now it'll finally be happening. Even better, I'll have a chance to practice my photography skills in one of the most picturesque regions in the world. I'm pretty sure I could die happy after that.
This seems like an excellent opportunity to voice my thoughts on the importance of experimenting. I feel like once you graduate and start working a full-time job, it could become easy to succumb to the rhythm of a routine and allow your creativity to become stagnant. You might work with just one branding style for the company you work at or maybe not. Depending on the work you end up doing, it can be easy to feel as though your creativity is suppressed. That's why I try to come up with new ways to apply design and work to learn new skills. I love having side projects, even alongside all the school projects that I get and working part-time. To me, these exercises could become even more important once I've graduated and am no longer working with a variety of different kinds of projects at once.
I'm always trying to exercise my creativity and come up with new ways to demonstrate both my design/art skills and my entrepreneurial spirit. Throughout my college career, I've been working on expanding and advancing my skill sets to make myself as marketable as possible. I've found that creating for myself a network of friends and professionals is the best way to make my work more visible.