Learning to Value My Talents

As a designer, there is a huge amount of pressure out there to work for free. I did this a lot starting out, some of it was helpful and some of it wasn't. I'm going to try to show you what was and wasn't helpful to me as far as free work goes. The Bad:

You may remember back from a previous post that I took a design job with no contract and a pretty low rate. I thought it was a great opportunity to get my feet wet and it was for about 2 months. Soon after that, the work that I thought I had agreed to for such a low rate was changing and I was never offered a lot of value for the creativity I was bringing to the table. This was due to the fact that I didn't bring a contract to the table defining our agreement. It was all verbal and it was all up in the air because there was no paper involved. Sidenote:  Y'all hear me out when I say this: contract EVERYTHING. Small job? Contract. Job for family? Contract. Huge job? Contract. Things can and will change in whatever you are doing and it's just human nature to squeeze you for as few pennies as they can put into you. Ok, back on track. Here's why this job ended up being bad for me professionally. When the nature of the work started changing to what I wanted to do professionally and was no longer administrative stuff, it took a huge chunk of confidence out of me. My work isn't good enough to be valued monetarily. People don't want to pay for what I'm doing so I might as well take this measly chunk of change. Design isn't important enough to be paid for. I'm just an art monkey putting other people's ideas on paper. All of this was swirling through my mind every day. Even though I was getting paid for this job, it was really detrimental to me and my business!

How did I manage to dig out of that hole?

Lot's of God ordained stuff folks. Remember DigitalWorx Printing? Well the two owners took time to really get to know me, see my work and what I could do and then they clearly stated what I would be doing for them and they started paying me well. What? They put some serious value into what I could bring to their company and let me tell you something, they never let me forget it. Working for these two really skyrocketed my value even though I was doing really boring stuff at first (barcodes, ick).

After regaining my confidence in myself and in the value of design, I went back to the original company I was working with and asked to renegotiate my pay. They flipped out and told me it was probably better that we part ways. It was horrifying. I cried on the playground outside of our apartment complex for like half an hour. And then. I prayed. Peace, reassurance, and worth covered me. God's got this. He's calling you higher.

That opened up the opportunity for me to really get involved in a volunteer project at Severn Run. Here I am a year and a half into the best job I've ever had and it's all been worth it.

I'm reevaluating again. I'm taking another leap of faith. I'm reassessing my worth again in a different industry, on my own, a big plunge. As you can see I've rebranded and redirected myself. Churches & Ministry consultation and design is going to be my focus and that's terrifying, but I'm excited for the journey. Pray for my journey. It's happening now.

So, where have you been?

So when I said I wasn't going to promise any post frequency, I was serious. Life has been pleasantly busy, full of change and keeping me on my toes. Here are a few fun things I have been working on, or that have happened in my life recently!

Working at The Church at Severn Run is such a fun thing for me. One of my most favorite things I've come up with was the branding for this Student series that happened this spring. What a random image, but it was really powerful.

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My new friend Alane is a really cool chick who is launching a huge website this summer. Her goal is to help writers with a strong message of hope to not only get published, but to sell out! She is launching this site really soon and its going to be jam packed with resources for writers. It was so fun to work with her on this logo, more soon about this logo in a post soon, but the strong motif of this branding is punctuation. Can't wait to share how she is adapting her brand for her company!

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One of the most ridiculous things I've ever done is have a full out professional shoot with Lego people. This was a message series for Severn Run, and though it's probably not cutting edge design, I was pretty proud of the fact that myself and my team built this whole set and then shot it ourselves. I also had the privilege of having a super small part in 4 stop motion videos using these lego people. It's fun working with talented people and Legos.

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We had a really fun bunch of people that helped turn our Worship Center stage into Lego world too. What a fun Saturday this was!

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Now on a more personal note! My husband and I moved! Our rent was getting a little out of control at our tiny apartment and it was time for a change. We were so lucky to find this cute little townhouse with a fenced in yard and lots of extra space for less than the price we were paying for our 2nd floor apartment. It was a quick decision and a quick move, so that really kept us busy this spring.

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As soon as we moved into our new house, my wonderful cousins came up to Maryland for a visit. It was so fun to have them in town. We did lots of fun things like Hershey Park, a Nationals Game, and the typical DC touring. While I was sick for a day, they even conquered a 6 pound milkshake in Annapolis without me.

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So while we were in the rush of packing up our house and preparing for visitors among the regular work and life stuff, I received a Facebook message from my sister Robyn's boyfriend letting us know that he was popping THE question in about a month. It was followed with a picture text with the picture below. I carried this photo around and showed it to everyone I could for that month, I was so excited! Then something upsetting happened, my grandma was admitted to the hospital back in Texas after she stopped breathing not once, but twice. It was rough news to hear and lots and lots of prayers have been sent up for her healing (I'm glad to say now that she is off of her ventilator and healing well now!). We decided that with these two huge things happening, we needed to take a trip to Texas. I'm so glad we did that because, as you can see in the pictures below, we got to surprise Robyn on her big day and we got to visit Grandma in the hospital. It was a great, but exhausting weekend and we would not have traded it for anything.

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Yay Robyn and Andrew!

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Below is my favorite picture from the proposal party. It's myself and my sisters & our men showing off our rings or lack of rings, and then of course a crazy photo bomb by the little brother. Sums everything up about right.

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Well now you know a little bit of why I've been neglecting my website and this blog. I'm hoping to get back into it again during the summer. Our next big rush will come in September, so that gives me some time (hopefully) to develop a little more content here and add some exciting pieces to my page here. Maybe I'll even update my Facebook page...hmm. I'm going to start talking about the processes for some past projects, highlighting some of my clients, and maybe even dropping in some in-process wedding invites if the bride lets me! I'll also continue talking about my journey in starting a freelance business too. Thanks to each person who has been praying for my grandmother during this time. You're prayers are appreciated and felt more than you know. Please continue to do that!