I was born/grew up in: Dearborn Heights, Michigan, USA
I now live in: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I completed my training/education at: St. Clair College
Describe what you do at work.
I provide copywriting for the social media presences of some of the accounts we manage. I also do graphic design for social media, digital, and print. This could be for advertisements, websites, and posters, respectively. But it stretches so far beyond just that!
Many of the agency's accounts are "business to business" -- we work with companies in automotive, infrastructure construction, environmental services, and much more! We also work with companies from furniture to firefighting! In order to write or create graphic designs for the companies we work with, I have to learn the science and technology behind their products and what they do. For example, I've learned about the science, mechanics and design that go into high-tech automotive seating. I’m also learned about the power transmission processes, natural gas, and simulation training! It's a science-y way of being creative!
The math and science I use at work comes down to simple fractions and measurements, and the specific science behind colour printing methods (CMYK, RGB, PMS). As a designer, I use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, and InDesign. Not necessarily scientific, but math and colour science to come into play. Writing to engage an audience is a problem solving task in itself -- connect with people! When it comes to design, the problem solving requires use of color, space, typography, etc. to attract attention (or take attention away). I don't make too many decisions, other than the creative ones like "Do I like this version better than that version?". My decision comes down to "What do I like, and what would I be drawn to if I were the audience".
The knowledge I have in colour science and mathematics are a necessity when working with design, as it's something people will enjoy visually. Design, however, can stray far from what's "right" in order to please the eye! For example: exact measurements vs aesthetic balance! I know what an exact measurement might be, but my creative side tells me to break that in order to properly balance something. There are no rules in design! I work as part of a team - I typically report to a higher graphic designer, art director, or the creative director. I enjoy the process, because you get to have more eyes and opinions on a project, and the constructive criticism is welcome in order to reach your potential!
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
My work largely affects social media marketing, and the way that people view brands. This is super important! Overall, advertising matters in that it strongly helps keep businesses running. If an up-and-coming company doesn't advertise, how will they make it? I help visually and verbally represent companies via social media -- one of the most popular means of communication these days. Everyone likes to see something visually engaging. That's what I do! It helps attract attention, increase business, and produce results. When it comes to making a logo for a brand new small business, it's incredibly rewarding seeing their vision and passion come to life in a visual that you created.
What motivates you in your career?
I am motivated by the opportunity to be creative every single day. There are zero limits to creativity. Producing something beautiful and seeing it out in the real world is very satisfying. I am also incredibly motivated by the women in advertising that I work alongside. The most interesting part of my career, I think, would be giving a business an identity from scratch -- colours, patterns, a voice, a logo, etc. Also seeing the work of other designers, seeing the wheels turn in their head to produce so many variations of things is also very interesting. The part I enjoy most is making a client happy. When I hear that my work was a success, I can't help but feel accomplished! It's a huge motivation boost. Design, copywriting, and advertising as a whole is right for me because 1. it's in my blood (both parents), and 2. the endless creativity of writing, changing your voice, creating incredible visuals, and communicating beautifully is something that feeds my soul!
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I never had any intention of getting into advertising! In high school, I spent as many hours as I could in the art room, painting and drawing. However, I told myself I NEVER wanted to touch advertising and graphic design. Why? I saw how crazy my father worked, and it scared me. I ended up in hairstyling, dropped out, and on a whim, applied to graphics. Something led me to do it! I've had formal training in art since childhood, through high school, and attended St. Clair College for Advanced Graphic Design over 3 years. I did a 6 week internship (turned 12 weeks!) an ad agency in Birmingham, Michigan. The same agency my father began his career at. It was a huge learning opportunity; no matter how small you may feel.
During and after college, I worked at a funeral home for three years as a graphic designer. From there, I ended up working at a gym, doing freelance, being unemployed, etc. It was a struggle to feel like I had made the right decision. But I found my place in Southfield, Michigan! My parents never pressured me to take anything art related after high school, but I was drawn to it whether I intended to or not. Advertising and big ad agency life scared me, but I started small with graphic design, and worked my confidence up to be able to dive into advertising! My parents encouraged my artistic side, but never forced graphics or advertising on me. My father, however, has been my mentor this whole journey. I am starting exactly where he did. I have failed before and nearly gave up. I quit the funeral home job in favour of full-time at a local marketing group. I wound up getting laid off, thinking it was my skills that had failed. I was depressed and hopeless, crying that I had let my father down. After a few months of finding a small part time job, I finally found Moncur! I was crushed initially, but didn't let a layoff kill my creative spirit and potential. Keep going! This is only the beginning!
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
When I'm not at work or doing freelance, I enjoy a good workout, listening to new music, visiting friends, or just watching Netflix with a pint of ice cream. Ha!
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Do what feeds your soul. Not outside expectations or your wallet. Your soul! Success will follow!