When I started at Jajo, I was visited with that somewhat uncomfortable feeling of newness. The newness of starting a job is exhilarating, terrifying and fueling. In my limited experience, an agency demands some different qualities than what I was taught in school. A large part of what drew me to a visual arts degree, initially, was the potential to create something great on a daily basis. Not just create, but dream, explore and work through a multitude of ideas. I was always trying to put a creative spin on projects in middle and high school. But college was where I really learned it’s OK to make crazy things and experiment. It helped me realize that having a background in studio arts and graphic design meant that I could use my fresh perspective and creative energy to reenergize clients’ projects.

After the initial impact of being dazzled by the creativity of an agency, I learned how to be disciplined. I am grateful for those first few years of school, where I really struggled with fatigue, difficult projects and that unseasoned feeling. Those struggles eventually found solutions, and I learned how to persevere even when it was hard to find passion. The key was taking all of that energy and translating it into deadlines, budgets and clients’ visions.

In my first few months at Jajo, I learned so much. I quickly realized there are so many things you can’t teach in a classroom. I think the biggest thing is how to be more efficient with the programs and time management. So far, it really feels like I’m finding much better and faster ways to complete my projects. One thing that I love is when I go to ask someone on the team a question, it just takes the click of a few buttons and my problem is gone. I am excited to learn from such knowledgeable and talented designers. I also think that it’ll be cool to eventually speak this language fluently myself. What’s even more amazing is just how much there is to learn, especially with all of these state-of-the-art tools for creatives that come out constantly.

Being new has its advantages. I’m not aware of many of the established rules or norms, so I can pretty much suggest anything about a project because I’m not influenced by what’s been done before. I feel like a large part of a career as a graphic designer is about looking for opportunities to be passionate, even on small projects, established brands and simple revisions. I think that newness allows for a different way of looking at this world.

It’s terrifying to be completely green to an agency’s process, clients and projects, but it is so exhilarating to learn and work within a brand’s established look. I also really like that every year, my job can potentially look a little different. I love that I get to be part of the action and create things for amazing clients. That, to me, is one of the coolest parts of agency design work. You can drive down the highway and see a billboard that you created or walk into a restaurant and watch people interact with something you made. It’s amazing to know that something I make at a desk can impact so many people every day. I am new, excited to learn and eager for the future.