Pursuing a Career in a Creative Field

By: Sara Halter

Throughout my life, I have always loved to make things. Over the years I have made things with crayons, yarn, paint, cameras, chalk pastels, pencils- anything I had available to me. In tandem with my love of making art, was my love of learning. Combining those two passions into a potential career left me feeling stumped in high school; what career would allow me to do both? After one semester of college as an interior major that was not quite the right fit for me, I stumbled upon the graphic design major just across the hall. As I learned more about the profession, I finally felt as though I was right where I was meant to be.

The reason I fell in love with graphic design is because graphic design is everywhere, and in everything. Someone designed the label on the vitamins you take every day, the cover of the book you’re currently reading, and the signage on your favorite restaurant. Graphic design is the art of balancing and communicating information in a way that is easily accessible and visually appealing (if done well). Designers are constantly learning and researching new things to communicate effectively with their audience or their client’s audience. This practice spoke to my love of making art, while also having the opportunity to learn about a multitude of subjects and communicate with people in all different fields.

Over the course of my time as a graphic design student, there are several lessons I have learned along the way from my professors, my peers, and myself. My time in school has provided me with two key aspects; technical skills and style development. When it comes to technique in graphic design, the details matter. A lot. Things like alignment and kerning can make or break a design. Maintaining organized files and managing file sizes is also incredibly important; in addition to always backing up your work in at least one other place.

Techniques aside, the hundreds of hours I’ve spent making projects over the last four years has also developed my personal style and aesthetic. I understand the themes that run through my work, what I am drawn to, and why.

As I continue to move forward in my design career, I am really looking forward to continuing to explore my style, using the skills I have learned. The process of creative discovery never ends, only grows, and evolves.