Whenever I meet someone new and they ask me “what do you do for a living?”, I don’t even really know where to begin. I usually just stick with the “I’m a graphic designer” and leave it at that but really, I could talk for hours about my job. I used to think that was very self-centered of me and that no one really cared about what I did. However, I have started to think that’s not really always the case. I have a job that seems fun on the outside but really is a lot of work.
A lot of my visitors have seen my career grow since I had started blogging in 2002 when I was a junior in college, so they have seen me change jobs, industries, etc. However, with the new friends I have now, I thought I would post about my career. Granted you could just look around my site and get an idea of what I do (I mean Magic + Main serves also as a portfolio for my design and photo work too) but that doesn’t really explain anything. And I am doubtful anyone wants to read my resume to find out more. Ha!
As you can tell the above image is my cubicle in all its glory. I am always looking for something fun to put on there and I have quite the collection of Lego Minifigs! Thanks to both Michael and Shawn because they keep giving them to me. Some are there just because they’re fun and others are more special.
The flowers up on the top were made by Shawn and given to me for my desk. I also have a couple handmade gifts that he’s made for me too. My bouquet of flowers and a clay cat and dog that sit on the other side. I don’t need to use the shelves for work, so they serve a purpose of housing fun things. (and all my holiday decorations in the closed areas!)
So now that you have seen where I do my job…. this is what I actually do there.
The short of it is that I am a Graphic Designer. I spend my days working in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator but I do so much more than that. I currently work for two completely different companies: Poolsupplies.com and Scientifics Direct. Both are catalog/ecommerce businesses and I am the sole Graphic Designer and Email Developer for them. Meaning I create all the website graphics, email marketing campaigns, print advertisements, packaging designs (for our private label items), product manuals, stickers, labels, etc.
Most of my design work comes from the Scientifics Direct side of the business just due to the nature of the business. We sell science kits and items for kids and adults and it’s the “fun stuff”. While pool are fun, there is nothing fun about pool filters and solar covers. (In the past I worked for a truck parts manufacturer in the marketing department. The owner came to me one day and said “I need you to make these parts look sexy and fun!” I was new to the company and didn’t know much about the industry and I think I just stared at him. lol)
One of the main parts of my job is Email Development. You know… all the email promos that you sign up for, that you either just delete upon arriving in your inbox or you open, scroll for a second and then delete? Yeah… I design those. I design and send out 5 of those on a weekly basis and come the holiday season (for Scientifics anyway) I send out 3 of them a day for nearly 60 days straight. I am a creative mess come the end of the Christmas season. It takes me 2-3 weeks to recover!
I have mentioned this in a previous blog post that I have always wanted to be a animator but since that dream never happened, I am left to animate small things in my work and I absolutely LOVE it. hehe Whenever I am able to incorporate some sort of animation into a design, I am a happy camper.
Sometimes the animation is very subtle but it can add a big impact to the overall design of the item. I also design the banners for the sign outside the office and warehouse buildings and I will animate that with all sorts of fun things. The holiday designs are always my favorites!
I technically have worked for this company for 8 1/2 years but it’s been split up between two different times. I started my design career with this company in 2005 (we were only selling pool supplies at the time but also had 10 different websites!). I worked there for 6 years and then I moved on to another job. I was gone for 8 years and then came back and have been here again for 2 1/2 years. It was nice to come back because 1. there were still people here that I knew and 2. so much had changed that it was nice to see what was going on there again. I had loved working for the company and I only left for career development. It felt like “home” when I returned.
So what did I do in between for those 8 years you might be asking?
For most of it (for 6 of those 8 years) I was a graphic designer and website developer. Meaning that I designed websites and also wrote all the HTML/CSS by hand. I designed websites for florist shops all over the country and Canada.
There was a lot more that I did at that job than just design and code websites but the other stuff wasn’t nearly as interesting. I provided website training and phone support but I also designed company marketing materials, plus, logos, social media graphics, and more. I also was an Email Developer for the florists as well.
As I mentioned briefly above, I worked for a truck parts manufacturer for the remaining 2 years (of my 8 years in between). This was an interesting job because I knew absolutely nothing about the industry and couldn’t relate to it at all. The design style, colors, audience, etc. was totally foreign to me. When I left Poolsupplies.com to come work here, I was out of my element but I found my way around pretty well.
In the 2 years that I worked for them, I redesigned and developed a brand new website, completed multiple flyers, packages, labels and more.
I may not have stayed there long but I learned a lot about myself as a designer and designing different styled items. It really was a good career move for me and served me well.
I really could go on and on about the other aspects of my job but it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as seeing the items that I design. I really do love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else really. It’s not easy work and takes a lot out of me mentally most days but I think I have really chosen the right field for me.
I will leave you with the board that hangs on my wall that’s out of the frame of the above picture. I change it frequently and it makes my coworkers laugh. They never know what’s going to be up there next.