My love for creativity and design began at a very young age. My first graphic design projects were making neighborhood newsletters and school flyers. My mom did many wonderful things to foster my creativity and frequently reminds me, in jest, of how much paper I used back then. I remember how proud I was as an elementary student using the MSDOS prompts to open the design software gifted to me by my grandparents on our old PC.
Using Frontpage, I began to make my first websites and published my school work online instead of losing it on some floppy disk in a drawer.
For my last semester in undergrad, I worked for my Aunt Louellen’s company, Your Content Solutions. I began learning web and graphic design using the very first Adobe Creative Suite. My dad generously bought me the software, and it was probably one of the best gifts and best investments he ever made in me.
In the beginning, I bartered with friends or simply gifted them with a website to help their businesses grow. It was good practice and rewarding, too. I even worked as a photo-journalist one summer as I backpacked through the Philippines with a collegiate travel program. I would travel between five groups of students and write articles. I would then work in tiny internet cafes in the city to publish news for their families to keep in touch back home. When I lived in Spain, I kept a blog to keep my family and friends informed of my life and whereabouts. (This was before Facebook!)
As my professional career took off, I used my skills to support my projects for my employers. I kept learning more so that I could do more without having to outsource the labor. So, even though I have an undergraduate degree in computer science, my web and graphic design skills have been entirely self-taught.
In the end, this might be one of the most valuable skillsets I have, not because it brought in money, per se. Instead, because it allowed me to share ideas in a way that I would not have been able to do otherwise. It enhanced my thought leadership as a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner because of the skill in which I could communicate challenging ideas through design.
I’ve learned that one of my greatest joys and passions in life is bringing ideas to life. I love creating things that communicate ideas, and I’d like to help you do that, too!