Bloganuary: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame

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Day 14. I’ve had a lot of challenges in my life. Most of them are about education. I have studied things I wanted to. The challenge has been how to stay motivated. I always preferred short educations. The longest has been 2 years. Before I applied, I thought it felt long. In fact, it went pretty quickly. Finding friends has never been an easy task for me. That is a challenge in its self. I have a hard time fitting in. Feeling a part of a group and then trying to stay motivated on the education, that is hard. I’ve noticed through the years that being part of something helps to get through a challenge. I overcame the challenge with help from the teachers and the school psychologist I went to. Without that, I probably wouldn’t have passed the education.

I take you back to 2009, when school started. It was a basic examination in graphic design. Photography was also part of it which is the reason I applied. It was in another city, so I lived in a dorm. I didn’t like to live there. There were too many noisy people. I didn’t have any friends to spend the evenings with. My classmates lived at home. I made my own entertainment. I went outside for walks and so on. The problem with my classmates was that most of them were smokers. It’s a bit unfair for those who don’t. Smokers bond, and they get to know each other that way. Smoking is an awful habit, and I would never start to get friends. All I had in common was education. In time, I get to know them. I’m still in contact with one of them on Facebook. They were friendly people, and we did get along fine. I wished they would have been someone who didn’t smoke. Who knows what they talked about on the breaks. The second year was a little better. There were times I thought about quitting because I felt left out. I wasn’t sure I wanted to study the subject after all. But luckily, I did. There were things I wouldn’t have experienced if I had quit. I got an internship in a local newspaper, and we also learned about portfolios. In 2011 the school was over, but I didn’t continue with graphic design until 2018. I was into photography which was the reason why I studied it in the first place. The education was useful in the future.

I’ve had another challenge that I overcame, but it wasn’t as hard as the one above. In 2016, I studied web design. It was for a year. The challenge in that was when the job learning started. We had one in the Autumn and one in the Spring. We had to find clients by ourselves. I thought I wouldn’t have found anyone, but then I did. The first job learning was complex, but the client was very understanding. Coding was complicated for me. I didn’t know if I could finish the project. Even the start was a challenge. The first one wasn’t crucial. It was only practice. The 2nd job learning was more important. We had to have at least 3 clients. I found two in the end. It would be our last assignment which we would present in front of three evaluators. I was really nervous. I don’t like to do presentations. I don’t know how I got through it, but I did. I passed the course, and I didn’t have to do the presentation again. I had experience with clients and project work, so at least I have something to give. It’s a great feeling when you know you faced a challenge and overcame it. You can be proud of yourself, and the next challenge will feel easier.

My path to becoming a graphic designer, or not

I have recently taken part in a few challenges on Behance and Instagram, so I haven’t had the time to blog. The first one mentioned is an Adobe Illustrator challenge. The other is a typography challenge which is once a year and for 36 days. There is a letter (and number later on) every day. You can use any tool you like and any way you want. If anyone is interested, you can see my work over here. There is a lot of great work other people have done. You can use the tag #36daysoftype on Instagram. The one of Behance about Illustrator has been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned new things. It ended last Friday, but the videos are still there. I also tried the Photoshop one, but I didn’t have time to do that too. There is also a chat on Discord where you can get feedback. That’s very important because graphic design is a learning process. You are never ready. Not only graphic design but also other things in life.

It feels like I’m always late. It took me years to find what I was looking for. I’ve tried different occupations, but I have never found something I felt passionate about. I wanted to do something different. Money hasn’t been a motive for me. I rather do something that makes me feel good. I want enough money so I can afford to live. I don’t believe in that having a job that pays you well. I will rather be without a job than be in a job I don’t like. During those years where I thought about what I want to do for a living, most people already found their things. I feel like I’m only starting out even if I’ve done things for years. I don’t know what my working title is. I have never had a graphic design job where I get paid, so I don’t know if I can call myself a graphic designer. I have only had clients in web design, but that was part of the education. Having a portfolio is an important thing in creativity. Looking at other people’s portfolios, it feels like mine is plain. I don’t have much to show, only school work. If I started with graphic design earlier, I would have something to show. You can’t go back in time. It’s not too late to get something done. You only need enough confidence in yourself. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but it isn’t easy. You still feel you’re not up for it. It doesn’t help either when you don’t get hired anywhere. Not even an internship.

On Discord, there is a chat about creative careers where you can post your Behance portfolio. Then you can also get feedback. There are a lot of great work people have done, and then there is me. It’s a bit of an embarrassment because mine isn’t that great. I don’t even dare to introduce myself because I don’t feel like a graphic designer. Even if the first time I studied graphic design in 2009. But I wasn’t doing any of it after 2011 when it ended. The same goes with web design, but I don’t want to do that after all. Another thing is what kind of projects would I do. It seems that a lot of people have branding and visual identities. Trying to be different from other designers is difficult. My confidence in becoming one myself is soon gonna break into pieces like glass. I’m running out of options. I probably will never get a job. I hardly get any follows on social media, so getting those in the professional won’t be easy. I don’t think I will get “discovered” on Behance or any other portfolio places. My path to becoming a graphic designer started too late, and it’s only in my head that someone would hire me for my work. I shouldn’t give up, though. We all go through different paths, and there is no right or wrong way to become something you want to be.

Slow movement

movement
©Mia Salminen 2014

Sometimes I hate it when I’m too slow. Especially when it comes to making decisions. Even getting up early in the morning is slow. The bed feels so comfy, and of course, I go to bed so late. I don’t have any reason to get up early, so maybe that’s the reason why I sleep late too. I’m not a morning person anyway. The only fast movement I have is neither walking nor cycling. Other times it’s just slow.

Every day I think I’ll wake up early and do things. But when it comes to it, I don’t do any of it. I’ve thought about starting something on my own in my professional life, but I still haven’t done much. It’s been 4 years since my web design education. It’s been two years since the graphic design in Helsinki Design School, and about 3 years since the course about entrepreneurship. I bet all those former classmates had done something during these years. They have probably become even better at their job because they have had a chance to practice. Before I wake up, half the day has gone. I have no motivation to make up my own projects. I’m not even sure what kind of creative work I want to do. Every graphic designer does the same things. I mean, how many graphic designers do, e.g. branding and identity for small and big business? Looking at what graphic designer do, in the end, it’s all the same. They’re only much better than me. People probably would say this about my designs, “even I could do that” That’s what one said about my photography once. Why pay for the service when you can do it for free yourself. I don’t even know what my style is. Nothing special doesn’t sell. I feel like crap when I see people’s work on Instagram who studied or studying at Helsinki Design School. My ideas just aren’t good enough.

A slow movement is better than being rushed. If you’re doing things fast, the result might be bad. I don’t know why people must be in a hurry in the first place. You shouldn’t stress about things, because then no one enjoying themselves. I don’t like waiting, but you don’t need to be in a hurry either. If things happen or don’t happen, it shouldn’t be the end of the world. Maybe I’m just a laid-back person, and these things don’t stress me as much as it might be with someone else. It can worry me for a while, but I get over it after a moment. See, what I wrote earlier in this post, I’m already over it 😉