Thursday, March 31, 2011

When I Grow Up

Well here we are with yet another couple of weeks gone by without a blog post. I honestly have no idea where the time goes. I think it goes the same place missing socks go.

Today's post will be yet another rambling sort of "this is where I am right now" kind of thing that one famous blogger once said no one cares about and no one reads. I never did agree with him on that, because I read those posts. Hmm... maybe that means I'm a no one? Possibly. In any case...

Do you remember in grade school when you'd have a classroom assignment to draw a picture and write a little bit about what you wanted to be when you grew up? I HATED those assignments. I mean, I was 7 or 8 or 9 years old, how in the world was I supposed to know what I wanted to be in 20 years? A ballerina? Yeah right. An astronaut? No thanks. A police woman? Uh... no.  Angie Dickenson already had that job and she seemed kinda cheesy to me so I didn't want to be a cheesy cop lady. All the popular choices were already taken and frankly seemed pretty unrealistic to me anyway, so I was left with things I couldn't even draw pictures of, like being Marlin Perkins assistant on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Now that would be a cool thing to be, but it never translated well in my drawings. Or I could be a famous writer and write books like Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden that would capture the imaginations of adventuresome little girls and help them solve mysteries. I wasn't too sure how to draw that either though. The other option was to become a world reknowned artist who could sketch a portrait of famous (or not so famous) people with a regular dime store pencil and do it in such a way that it actually looked like a photograph of the person. When I sketched my Jackie Onassis portrait at about 12 years old, I was pretty sure that's what my career was going to be. It didn't quite pan out though.  The thing is, I was never able to answer the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question with any amount of certainty.

Over the years circumstances arise where I've had to make decisions and wear different hats (homeschooler, photography/sales associate, landscaper, etc.) but none of those things were anything I'd dreamed about or really wanted to do since I was a child.  Some of them I enjoyed doing for sure, but they weren't things I was exceptionally gifted at.  I'm definitely not one of those people that can pretty much do anything and do it well.  I think we all know a person or two like that and we sometimes wonder why they got all the talent and the next 30 people didn't get any.

The other night I was having a conversation with one of my older daughters about what I do in designing.  I had showed her some of my newest event invitations that I'd done and she asked me a question that led to a really fun conversation.  She asked "you must really love doing this, is it fun to create these things?"  The thing is, I really do love doing it and it's way more fun than I should be allowed to have and still be legal.  I know that might sound strange to most people but when you've created something such as an invitation for a party that folks all over the country have bought (and often come back and buy again, and then send out to thousands of people) it's a pretty incredible feeling knowing that that many people have seen (and like) your work.   One sale alone recently was nearly 2,000 invitations for a huge event in Texas.  Clearly, they really DO do things big in Texas and I was pretty humbled to be a part of it, in some way.

So all that to say, I think I have finally found the thing I want to do when I grow up.  I want to be a designer and create wonderful, memorable, family friendly, upbeat, lighthearted, cute, fun things for people to wear, to gift, to send out on cards or invitations or to hang on their walls.  And, that's exactly what I do.  Granted, I am a self-taught designer and there are some formally trained designers that would turn their noses up at what I do or how I do it, but that's okay with me. There are also formally taught, highly talented designers that encourage me and give me tips and ideas to help me grow in my field and I'm super-duper thankful to them. Truthfully, I'm more artist than I am designer and it does take a lot of skill and hard work to be good at either but I am learning and loving every minute of it.  You can see my latest creations any time by clicking HERE since that's where my newest work goes these days.

I'm really glad I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. It only took 46 years but who's counting?

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe