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  /  Art   /  Why This Millennial is Retiring As A Graphic Designer

Why This Millennial is Retiring As A Graphic Designer

This is something I have always wanted to open up about… so I did on Planet Fancy today.

As a Freelance Graphic Designer, I really struggled with finding clients that truly valued my vision and expertise. I know I can’t be the only one alone in this, but sometimes it felt like I was. It was a confusing and conflicting passion. I really love graphic design and still do, but not in the form of “branding” that’s been oh so popular lately. At one point in time I was really gonna go “all in” on the whole “Branding Consultant” thing, until I realized it felt like prison.

I’m just being honest. I had a hard time charging what I felt was appropriate. I would have HUGE visions for most of my clients, but would have to water it down just to make them “happy” with the end product. I found myself creating designs that I didn’t completely believe in to please clients simply because they were paying me to do so. This experience made me realize and discover that I was in the wrong position.

I was playing the role of a “Graphic Designer” when really my entire heart was craving to be an Artist.

I approached my branding style as an artist. I was making “art” and it was overlooked; I was elevating and implementing professional foundations I had learned in school, but most just didn’t “get it.” I had no desire to build a creative agency just for the extra help and had no desire to “sell anyone” on my BIG vision for their SMALL business. Flyers, logos, and digital banners got way too repetitive for me. I talked to some close friends about it and knew at the end of the day, I had to do what made me happy. Constant deadlines, contracts, and people-pleasing took the fun out of my passion, so I had to switch it up… no matter how hard it was. No matter how easy the money was… being behind that computer everyday doing the same thing was dampening my inner peace and creativity. My anxiety was at an all time high at one point and I came to point where I said enough is enough.

I’m an artist. That’s it. I’m an artist. But I want you to understand… this isn’t a good-bye type of thing. It’s more of a transformation. I’m no longer identifying with the title in order to reinvent myself, not because I hate the skill. No, in fact I’ve been diving into digital design even more… but this time, as an Artist. I’m exploring all the possibilities of what I can do digitally. I’m no longer in a box with guidelines. My entire screen is my canvas. Same medium, just a different approach… and I love it. I love the freedom and the art form. I’m no longer holding myself back.

I didn’t allow myself to feel guilty. Because I was growing. I was evolving into who I needed to be.

I love how my journey in self-discovery was designed to lead me to stand in my fullest potential and hopefully my transparency encourages others to do the same… in whatever form that may be.

Joslyn Pickens a.k.a (artistically known as) "FancyJ" is a recent graduate of Georgia State University, currently practicing art and entrepreneurship. Joslyn leads conversation in Art & Design, Business, Millennial Trends, Visual Branding, Self-Discovery & Inspiration, Holistic Health, & Feminism.

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