Getting to Know Me, Part 1: How Did I Become A Designer?

Freshman Year of College, 2001.I’ve been blogging for almost a year now and have steered clear of getting too up close and personal. I cringe at the prospect of what I aspire to become a useful (and entertaining) freelance design and internet nerd resource falling into an online journal cliché. However I’ve discovered that revealing a little bit, (where it pertains to my freelance design and internet nerdiness) actually works with what I set to accomplish with the CMD+Shift Design Blog.

So my first installment on the “Getting to know Me ” series…. How did I get into design?

I originally started college as a Fine Art major. I painted with acrylics and did assemblages with all sorts of ordinary (and not so ordinary) items. I had this pre-concieved notion of graphic design at the time, and wanted no part of it. I imagined greasy guys with suits and gold jewelry laughing maniacally as they thought about how to sell slave labor made items for premium prices by using lens flares and motion blurs. It wasn’t until I jumped into my freshman year foundation courses (where all visual arts majors were required to take a Beginning Design class.) that I realized design didn’t have to be evil – and that it was something I had been doing for a long time without even thinking about it.

As a kid I used to make my own board games. Sculpt the game pieces, draw and paint the game board, write and layout an instruction manual. In my pre-teen years I spent hours in the library on the Xerox machine with my Exacto blade and glue stick making zines about music and art. And within weeks of first seeing the internet on my families computer, I set out to learn HTML and made my first website. (hosted by Angelfire.) I didn’t know it when I first stepped into that Design class my freshman year, but I was already a Designer.

During that year I discovered that I really loved design and a year later when I declared my major I was told by my adviser that if i didn’t double Fine Art & Design I would be doing myself a grave injustice. I’m so glad I listened to her!

So — how did you become a designer? Was it something you had always been interested in?

9 Responses to Getting to Know Me, Part 1: How Did I Become A Designer?

  1. wow–making your own board games? that sounds really interesting. do you still have them? what were they like?

  2. Cool article… I think it is cool to know a bit of info about the person who writes… sometimes it helps you relate a bit more.

    When you talked about zines… man did that bring back some memories.

    Aaron I

  3. Brian Hoff says:

    Great article Liz! It’s refreshing to see the personality behind the blog.

    I, much like you, grew up painting and drawing. What I remember most is trying to recreate what I saw on Ren & Stimpy LOL! My passion for art and addiction for technology intertwined nicely to transform me into a designer. :) Can’t wait to read more!

  4. Paddy says:

    Good post Liz, yeah I think people trust the content more if they know a bit about the blogger. Loving the blog :)

    @Brian, I did the same! Could never quite get it though. I always loved the close up, usually disgusting images in Ren & Stimpy.

  5. Niki Brown says:

    Great post! Love the pics :) Always good to know more about my fellow bloggers and designers

  6. Andrew says:

    Awesome post, Liz, I always love reading about other designers :)

    keep ‘em coming!

  7. shelley says:

    Very interesting! I had a bad preconception about graphic designers as well. My art teacher in high school was always pushing me in that direction but I was convinced I was going to be a biologist. Then I got an art scholarship which, to my dismay at the time, required me to be an art major. But it all worked out for the best!

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