This is going to be a very tough post for me and I’m not quite sure the tone it will take on as I type. I was just reading through some topics posted on the etsy forums about graphic design. More specifically these posts:
First of all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I have no problem with that, as long as I will be entitled to mine. I know that I am most likely inviting a ton of criticism to my own designs and that is fine with me. I’m a big girl, have been for a long time, and I can take it.
When reading the first thread it seems that most people’s opinion of what makes a professional graphic designer is their education. Most said a formal education in the field is key. I disagree. Then again, I do not refer to myself as a “professional” so maybe I took offense too early. I do, however, call myself a graphic designer. I design graphics every day. I’ve never had an unhappy client. I successfully sell my designs. I pay my bills with the money I make doing what I love. So, I’m happy with what I do.
Would I love to go to school and broaden my abilities? Absolutely! Can I? Not at this time. I’ve never had the opportunity to further my education. Mostly because of choices (good or bad) that I have made in my life. I became a mother at age 16. Circumstances then did not allow for me to seek higher education. I had to prioritize and still stick with my decision – my child first. Since then I’ve gone through a very bad marriage and had two more children. Again – education was put on the back burner and my children came first. I’m not asking for pity, and I don’t want sympathy. These were all my decisions and I still stand by them. No regrets.
I decided that I would do what was best for myself and my children during those times. They needed their mom, and they needed her working and bringing home money. That meant no time for school. So, I did what I could and started to slowly teach myself how to do things. All of my computer skills, all of my business know how, all of my graphic design abilities – all self taught over a period of 6 years.
I know my limitations and never pretend to know more than I do. If I am asked to do something I am uncomfortable with I make sure that I recommend someone else who can help with the client’s needs in a better way than I could. That is my responsibility as a business owner.
(Get to your point Ang – I know, I know) I think my point is this. Don’t pass judgment so quickly. Some people have natural talent oozing from their pores. Others have to find that talent and tweak it. While still others will spend endless hours in a classroom trying to find that talent or skill and never will. I chose to stay positive and do MY best with what I had. I will continue to do just that.
I am proud of my work. I am proud of the family I am raising. I am proud of the services I offer. I am proud of my small business. I am proud to say that as a graphic designer I am able to help provide for my family while also being able to be available to them night and day. I am proud of myself!
Read my “Who is Angela?” page – you may understand just a bit more.