Since I’ve just launched this blog, it seems fitting to tell you how I got here! I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, because no one has time for my full life story, right?! Well, here we go – here’s how I got started on this wild journey.
I was in 10th grade and was somehow elected to create the t-shirt for a club I was in. I had never once taken an art class or opened up a design program. But, I was up for the challenge. I went to the tech lab and opened up Photoshop and I quickly fell in love with the program. I began teaching myself through online tutorials. A teacher at the school witnessed this and wanted to foster this skill in me. She worked together with the school counselor to create a class that would help me further my design knowledge. I was the only student. She introduced me to Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.
The next year I ended up building the website for my school. Let me tell you, it was REAL bad. Like, tiger print background kind of bad. But, I can honestly say I would not be here without that teacher believing in me and choosing to invest in me.
Fast forward a bit, and I decided I wanted to go to college for design. I applied to a couple schools, but had my heart set on Liberty University. Um, thank goodness my parents wouldn’t let me go there because I don’t even like skirts. I was accepted to Georgia State University in Atlanta, so in the Fall of 2011 little 18 year old me moved to the big city. I began my art classes and in the Spring of 2013 applied to the design program. This played a huge role in how I got started. It was a competitive program that only accepted 20 students a year and I was incredibly fortunate to be one of those 20. The next two years were filled with absolutely no sleep, lots of coffee, and some of the best friends I could imagine.
Throughout college I worked in retail, at the school recreation center, at a corporate real estate firm, and then as an intern at a small design studio. By January of 2015, I had planned to step into a full time role at that studio after graduating. But, plans changed. I decided to go on the World Race (no, not ‘that TV show’). It was such a hard decision for me to put off my career and choose another path. I remember the first day of class my last semester of college, I had a breakdown about it (yes, in front of the whole class). My professor told me, ‘If it makes you a better person, it makes you a better designer’. That was the permission I needed, and September of 2015 I left to go on the World Race.
LONG story short, I returned to the United States after a year abroad a completely different person. I began freelancing as soon as I returned and then in April of 2017 I launched Rhema Design Co. It’s been about a year and a half now and I’ve grown more than I could ever have imagined, worked with some incredible clients, and honed my craft more than I could have anticipated. I love what I do so much, and where I am now is so much bigger than I could have dreamed of 10 years ago.
Whew. That wasn’t quite short and sweet, but it seemed fitting to begin at the beginning. This is just an outline of the past 10 years of my life and doesn’t account for all the people cheering me on or the joy, heartbreak, tears, and celebration along the way. Each of these people has a role in my story and how I got started.