Okay, so before you formally-trained graphic artists get on me, please know this.  I'm a teacher.  It's in my WIRING to push the importance of a formal education, and I still believe that to be true.  But on my path to learning graphic design, I weighed all my options - including going back to school to get a graphic design degree.

What I found were a few things:

  • Art school is expensive.  Like, CRAZY expensive.
  • My local state schools wouldn't accept students seeking a second bachelor's degree.
  • I don't have 3+ years to spare.  I'm 30 years old, people.
  • I've heard that the key to success comes down to having an impressive portfolio.

I also found that there are a TON of resources online!  One of the resources that has intrigued me most is Designlab.  I've enrolled in my first course: Design 101.  I just started and I love it.  I'm learning how to use Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.  I'm learning what UI/UX is.  I'm learning fancy words like visual hierarchy and wireframing.  It's pretty challenging, but it's super interesting and I really enjoy it.

With DesignLab, I also get to do projects using the new knowledge and skills I've acquired.  Best of all, I'll gain feedback from my peers and mentors who are already working in the industry!  My mentor is Carolina De Bartolo from San Francisco who is a typography expert!

One thing's for sure.  I'm willing to work my butt off.  I love being creative, and I want to explore graphic design because I find myself constantly drawn to it.  Whether it ends up being a career choice down the road, or something I do on the side, I'm hoping that this new exploration will fill this creative void I've had for a while.  Here's to a new year and a new world of possibilities!