“A memorable experience is a greater gift one cannot
exchange or return. Once it’s been had, it’s over and you are left with the
memory. “ -Kimberly Kay Urban
I dine at fine restaurants for the
environment and knowing I will have good service for the experience. I
appreciate when they set up the silverware in exchange for plastic ware or
eating with your hands. I take notice if they use cloth napkins or paper
napkins. I remember their choice of music they played and how I couldn’t hear
the ruckus coming from the kitchen. I appreciate the work they put into cooking
the food to perfection and refilling my glass of water before it empties and
bringing my food out when it’s still hot, but not too hot leaving me to be
forced to stare at the food that’s too hot to eat.
I will never forget the day I got
my first brand new MacBook Pro in the mail. I sent it to my parent’s house to
ensure the safety of delivery rather than sending it to my dorm. I was so
excited. I drove over an hour to get it. I just knew how grand it would be to
open this box. Every box had finished designed cardboard. Inside the postal box
was the main box. In the main box were several little boxes. Every device and
cord came in a black foam cushion inside its box. I inspected the engraving on
my free iPod that came with purchase of the computer. It was perfect. Could you
imagine having to return this order had it not been? What a hassle and poor
experience that could have been! Disaster avoided.
If all the young kids wishing for time to go faster so they can do more things. And then if all the elderly are wishing for time to slow down so they are further from death and can spend more time with their kids and watch their grand kids play. Maybe everyone's wishes are not coming true, because in fact everyone's wishes are coming true and just canceling each others out.
Ever since I was a kid, I would be intimidated
by reading novels. That’s a lie. I never read a novel as a kid… but it sure
seemed that way in proportion. I avoided it so much in high school that I found
an alternative class to get the credits I needed just so I would never have to
take Novels class. It takes me a really long time to read. A novel would’ve
taken me forever to read, and the class was expected to read one per week.
It’s not that I can’t pronounce the
words when reading allowed or have a problem with the English language. On the
contrary, I’m quite brilliant in that area. I got straight A’s in English (ok, maybe
an A- or two). The problem was imagining the meaning of the words. It’s not
hard to read allowed, “Sally had on a pair of red shoes.” Usually in class when
I was learning to read, I focused on pronouncing the words, saying it in a
volume so that everyone could hear me and focused my overall performance of
reading the words. Not only that, but everyone always focused on SPEED! I was
trying to out-read all my classmates by reading out loud as fast as I could. I
read so fast with my mouth that my mind wasn’t keeping up. “Letters, syllables,
question mark sounding tones, ”i” before “e” except after “c” “th” aaaa eeeee
iiii oooo uuuu” was the only thing on my mind. So I would have to go back and
reread it later so that I could imagine Sally, standing there in a room,
looking down at her feet and seeing red high heels on. Or maybe they were
sneakers. What color hair did she have? Were they comfortable shoes? I’m
hungry. Is it time for dinner yet? What time is it? Am I done reading yet? I
hate reading. I’d rather be watching Full House.
I guess I’m too much of a dreamer
and thinker. Every time I read a
sentence, I stop and stare off into space, this having reminded me of something
else relating to the story or instantly relating it to my life. Then I think
about what I’m going to do when I’m done reading or thinking about what I wish
I could be doing instead. You might think I have problems focusing. But when I
look at a page of text,
I get intimidated thinking “How long is this going to take me?!”
I read slow the way it is! And the text is looking exactly the same. There’s no
emotions or highlighting of the words except for the occasional italicized word.
Every morning since kindergarten I
remember waking up in the morning and eating cold cereal with my family. I
would spend that 20 minutes reading the back of a cereal box. I always liked
the cereal boxes with the cartoons and activities on the back.
I bet I could read 500 words on the
back of 10 cereal boxes a lot faster than 500 words on 3 pages of paper. It was
then I realized I liked reading when it was visually more fun. I mean, think
about it: It’s reading! It’s 100% visual. Why does it have to be so boring? Why
does it look the same? Even while I’m typing this in Word, I don’t want to go
back and proofread it. Thank Microsoft for spell check and red squiggly
Million-dollar idea: Make a program
that could animate your words as you speak them. I speak into the mic of my
computer and right in front of my eyes, the words are digitally colored, in
fonts, and are the right size of the tone, meaning, and volume of my spoken
words. Thus, of course, putting me, a graphic designer, out of a job.
So I guess, that's why I like being a Graphic Designer. I get to encourage people to read. I make reading cool. I help make the words look more appealing and easy to read. It's so easy that they won't even realize they are reading! And with that I make sure I get the message across, because that's what it is all about: Communication.
So my mom and dad say not to put anything personal online (haha they are soooo anti-facebook) and this includes my birthDATE, which is a security detail on everything from online banking to my proof that I’m an U.S. citizen. But to Facebook and my friends/family, it’s my birthday: the day to celebrate with drinks, presents, and cake. It’s a day to remember to remind me how old I am, a way of counting the rings on my stumps. It helps me track my physical and mental health.
So why do we celebrate such things that are also security numbers? Why not also celebrate my social security number! Yay today is my SS# Wednesday 006-29-2011! Hahaha!! I don’t know. Facebook lets you leave off the year for reasons I’m sure like ageism, “denyity” of age, and security reasons. But I’m sure Identity Thieves could figure it out when my sister wishes me a “Happy 25th Birthday” this year! This is why my Facebook is kept very exclusive and I have the highest security settings possible.
I say just put your month and day on Facebook. My close friends and family will know how old I am. If the identity thief/hacker/whoever figure out the rest, well Congrats! However, they are going to need more pieces of the puzzle to steal my $$$ school debt (if they really want it.) =)
In college you sometimes have 10 minutes to get between classes. There was a long list of things I learned to do in those 10 minutes besides walking across campus to my next class: Go to the bathroom, call and make a dentist or doctor appointment, find out the hours of a restaurant, price compare the cost of an oil change, call my mom, do some sketches for an extra project outside of class, eat lunch, pay my bill on campus, etc. At the end of the workday, it’s 4:50pm and there are those people that are “packing up their things and heading home for the day.” “They are making their way to the door.” I am still at my desk sending off a quick email, saving and backing up my files, or cleaning my work area. At my previous job, I once took my last 15 minute break at 20 minutes before the hour and I came back to work for those last five minutes. Even though we are allowed to leave 10 minutes early without penalty, I came up to do my 5 minutes of work that I owed. My co-workers thought I was crazy and just assumed I went home. However, I thought I could get a lot done in five minutes and it’s not something to take for granted. Ten minutes everyday really adds up: Nearly an hour every week. That’s also 2 weeks a year! The next day always seems a little bit easier if I have just one more thing crossed off my list. I can go to sleep with a peaceful mind knowing everything is done for the day.
In my experience with cake decorating I have learned to take direction from my superiors, add my own unique ideas, and compromise with customers when taking cake orders. You wouldn’t think at first that cake decorating relates to graphic design. However, I have experienced three main similarities:
1) Client interaction: Communicating and compromising to find out what they need and how I can help them. We work with what we can get for them on a budget and explore the options.     What I’ve learned most is that a lot people don’t know what they want! And some of them don’t have a clue what is visually appealing. It is my job to guide them. I need to know my target market, and to suggest appropriate designs and themes for the customer depending on age, gender, and personality.     In opposition, what I have learned as well is that I’m not the only one with an artistic eye. Many people have been educated on what’s visually appealing and appropriate, even if their focus is in another field completely. So don’t assume everyone doesn’t know what’s going on.
2) Typography: Writing on cakes made me more aware of how much room I am given. I visualize where the beginning, middle, and end need to go and getting it right the first time, because there is extremely little room for error.     Fonts. I have my own handwriting (or cake writing actually.) And then I can pretend to be anyone I want to be! I can be like a doctor and make a font that has that scribble-ness to it that is most appropriate for skateboarding boys ages 12-17. I can be a duchess with elegant script creating sophisticated wedding cakes appropriate for adults 18+. And I can be a junior high girl that write with curly-q’s on the serifs of all her letters appropriate for girls ages 12-17.
3) Details: These are very important! It is always needed to double-check the spelling of the name. Becoming aware of color changes, the size of cake, proportionally changing the size of the design to fit the space, the choice of medium, the texture, and doing this all remaining to follow corporate guidelines and restrictions. Checking it, double-checking it, and triple-checking it are all necessary in what I call Customer Complaint Prevention. Even if I have to start over from the beginning and do it twice as fast, I do not crack under pressure. For when the customer picks up the product, they will have no idea what I went through to make it perfect. They will just go through their day as planned. Get the present, pick up the cake, go home, clean, pick up the kids.
Now those I say are the top three, but in addition there are plenty more similarities. Fourth is edible imaging. I scan and print images. There’s plenty of cropping, printer maintenance, test copies similar to a press checks, and technical knowledge involved.
Lastly there is creative freedom. FREEDOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!! I can test out what sells, what doesn’t, and stretch my abilities, pushing the creative boundaries everyday. It keeps my mind entertained so I never get bored. I look forward to going to work and would do it on my Saturday afternoons while listening to music.
I am a recent graduate of MSU for Graphic Design. I got my BFA in 2009. Before graduating I started out as a creative writer and when I tell stories or write them down, people have told me they find what I say to be entertaining. So I thought I should blog about design and document the things I'm learning.
Also, check out my "Home Page"! It's my art portfolio!