It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time and as of one month ago, I am FINALLY self-employed.
As you can see from the photos below, I’ve really really been trying to keep up my appearance… Haha. I think my boyfriend (who also happens to be self-employed) is starting to get sick of my non-stop-PJs-habit that’s rapidly becoming a problem.
This post isn’t actually about fabric. It’s more about me… and where I am in my career… and my super big plans and aspirations… plus my pledge to keep up with my blog and fabric site.
I graduated from Furman University about 5 years ago with a degree in fine art. After that, I completed a graduate program in graphic design at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, which was awesome! I can’t really say enough about the Portfolio Center… maybe I’ll do an entry on that sometime later, because for anyone interested in graphic design, it’s the place to be. (Some of my projects are below.)
This was from a perfume branding class…
So was this…
This was done for a city branding class…
A currency-design class…
After I graduated, I didn’t find a job right away, which led to me and my mom starting our fabric-design gig.
And then about 5 months after finishing school… I was offered a job at G2 Interactive as a junior web designer, which I immediately accepted! I was incredibly lucky to work under a fantastic creative-director, Jayson, who quickly brought me up to speed in the terms of designing for the web. It was his guidance that helped my own neurotic obsession for pixel-perfection to develop.
The web is an entirely different ball game (compared to print design). In school we were always taught about the value of negative space and clean-open-designs… but with the web, while negative-space is important. You also have to cram a lot of stuff into very small areas. Essentially, fitting the content together like little puzzle pieces. It took a few months for me to get used to these new concepts… but I got there and love it!
While at G2 I worked on a number of different brands… Smuckers, Pillsbury, IE Games, Campbells Soup, Heineken, Chunky, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and a bunch of others. I feel like I was able to try out a number of styles across these extremely varied clients, and it was great as far as gaining experience.
After a while though, I got tired of working off of other people’s designs (because of my lowly position). I wasn’t ever able to design something from scratch, start to finish.
So when an opportunity to work at Infragistics (a software component company) came up, I jumped at the chance.
I started there as a Web Designer and was working under a super fun guy named Hope, as well as a fantastic design-director, Ambrose. Hope left soon after I started, and I was promoted to his old position as art director within the first year. I took on the company’s rebranding as well as their website redesign.
Blah blah, a lot happened during those next few years… I was transferred to a new team… worked on the a lot of website stuff, print ads, booth design, etc…. and about 2 years in, I became disgruntled with my salary.
Being proactive about this got me nowhere… So I began doing freelance to make up the difference.
…And much to my surprise, I started to double my income by just doing freelance on the weekends.
Which caused this whole full-time-freelancer idea to hatch. 🙂
About 3 months after I started doing freelance, I had enough clients lined up to quit.
And so I did.
Since quitting, I’ve been doing some Facebook applications for the Max Plank Institute… I’ve worked with FOUR startup companies to create their websites / web applications… I’ve also been designing fabric, building booths, working on a cupcake website, and doing menus for a deli in New York City.
I probably should have made the jump a long time ago… but you know how things go. You never really know if your plans are going to work out…
I have one super big project going on right now that I’m not allowed to talk about quite yet, but I’ve just returned from a very successful trip to California, and I’m hoping within a month or so, I’ll be able do a really wonderful post about the outcome of the Cali Trip.
Anyway, that’s my story… and now that my schedule is finally under my own control… I plan to start blogging again. I have been so ridiculously slack with this!!
Oh, you can see my portfolio here… jung-graphicdesigner.com
Some of my more recent projects haven’t launched yet, so those aren’t up. But I’ve redesigned my site recently… so that it gives off a much more stream-of-consciousness vibe. Which is how I think I probably come across to most people, when I’m speaking or writing… maybe. 🙂
Lauren! You’re so amazing, talented & cool. What a great post, congrats on your self-employment!
Thank you!!! Dude, I miss you like crazy!!!