On Learning Patience

Let's talk about a little thing called patience. I really have none of it, if we're going to be honest with ourselves. But I'm starting to realize how important it is in order to accomplish all the things I'm passionate about.

Flashback. When I graduated from college in 2009, things were pretty bleak in the job market. I spent that whole summer frantically looking for jobs, knowing it was tough out there, but still somehow optimistic that I'd find something in the field of my dreams (graphic design). I moved to Chicago and ended up landing a part time job at a non-profit and an internship around the same time to hold me over until I found something full time. But my sense of ambition felt totally shot for a while. It was exhausting writing cover letter after cover letter and getting nothing but radio silence. Not even a rejection letter! What felt the worst was that I wasn't creating anything new. I had this impression that I had to be working for someone in order to be creating work of value. Then one day I got so sick of writing cover letters that I just started designing. I had no direction and I didn't really know what it would lead to but I did it anyway. I designed and redesigned my portfolio and resume about a million times. It brought back that same sense of happiness I had always felt while in school when I was learning what I loved. This was the start of a completely new journey of learning, but this time around I had to teach myself. It took a lot more time, but the payoff has been so, so, worth it.

I recently landed the freelance gig of my dreams working as the creative director for a magazine. Ultimately, it happened because of the relationships I maintained from that internship I did three years ago and my incessant need to redesign my portfolio. Throughout those three years I spent a lot of time wondering if it was ever going to pay off and comparing myself to others who seemed to be moving past me career-wise. There were a lot of times I wanted to give up and go down a different path, because it just didn't seem to be happening soon enough. Now I see what a huge waste of energy that was. I still have a long way to go before I'm ready to become a full time freelancer, but I finally feel like I'm headed in the right direction.

It happens at different times for everyone. I'm glad it is taking me a while to get where I want to be, because the whole process has forced me to really evaluate my life. It's ok to take your time. What I thought I wanted when I graduated and what I want now are completely different things that I might not have learned had I gotten a full time job right out of college.

So please, learn patience. Understand that you will probably have to do uninspiring work, and for free before you get to do what you really love. There is a lot of sacrifice involved. It's incredibly hard to envision a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's there. Any step you take to perfect your craft will lead you in the right direction, even if it doesn't seem like it.


Preview / Andy & Nicolette's Wedding

  Here's a little preview of the wedding Mark and I photographed this past weekend. Andy and Nicolette's wedding was such a delight; there were so many well-thought out details that made it so much fun to photograph. Despite the rain just before the ceremony (which promptly cleared up), everything turned out wonderfully, and by the end of the ceremony the sun was out and left us with some gorgeous golden light to play with. Congratulations you two, it was such an honor to be a part of your incredible day. More to come soon!

Things Are Changing and It's Good

Image source unknown

Things have generally been feeling great lately - I've been feeling productive and more importantly, I've gotten to a point where I can see how much my work and vision has developed over the last 2-3 years. There is a stronger sense of who I want to be as a designer and creator, and a heightened sense of optimism that hasn't always been there. My etsy shop is slowly but surely picking up business, and with each new order comes a huge sense of accomplishment and excitement - along with a stronger drive to improve my work even more and create new things. It is the most challenged - and happy - I have felt in a while, and I hope to keep up the pace. The most exciting and satisfying thing about this career path is that every day is something new and eye-opening. There is always something to learn and new opportunities to grow. There are certainly days where inspiration simply does not come, but I'm slowly learning how to make the best use of those too. But all of the successes and failures are mine, and that feels great In the coming weeks I'll be reaching out to others who inspire me in hopes of creating some great new work for this blog. I'm so grateful for the mountains of support and feedback from friends and family, who undoubtedly play a huge role in helping me get here.