Making Leaps and Preserving Creative Freedom
Wednesday October 3, 2018
Hyeyoon, Senior Graphic Designer
There’s a common idea among creatives that you sell your soul when you become a graphic designer, that you’re not truly an independent artist and simply answer to your director. In some ways, I understand this sentiment. When I was fresh out of college, I was fortunate to be hired at a large corporate company, but my dreams as a graphic designer were quickly distorted when I realized that working in a corporate setting felt no different from working at any other office job; each project would go through multiple rounds of review and revisions, after which my work would end up totally unrecognizable from where it began. Feeling discouraged and creatively stifled, I started searching for a job in my biggest passion, stationery, and eventually landed at my current role as Senior Graphic Designer at Our Heiday.
Before I started working at Our Heiday, I remember reading the blog posts during my breaks at work - I loved reading about Pat and Donna’s celebrations and struggles and admired their bravery in both making huge career shifts to build this company. It’s amazing to see how life has brought me full circle and a couple years later, I’m contributing to that very blog I used to read in my downtime. For so many reasons, making the jump to work for a startup has been the right decision for me. For any readers considering graphic design or switching jobs within the field, here are some of the reasons I love working for a small creative company:
- Creative Freedom
There is so much joy when your boss tells you, "just go with it." Pat trusts my creative vision in the work I produce, from catalogs and print material to styling and photoshoots, which allows me to take ownership of projects from the get go. While I receive guidance and we collaborate as a team, I’m able to execute my vision for layout, styling, and photography. Knowing that my boss trusts my ability and creative discretion allows me to feel confident in my role.
- Knowing Your Work Is Making A Difference
Throughout my year at Our Heiday, I’ve been able to enhance our brand aesthetic and help create a cohesive “feel” on all of our visual platforms. The fact that my creative input, photography, and editing are constantly contributing to Our Heiday’s brand essence is so rewarding because I know that my work is making a difference and impacting the company in a positive way.
- Wearing Multiple Hats
Our Creative Team is constantly shifting from one medium to another: on any given day, we’re styling, shooting, and using photoshop to create beautiful visual content. I love that I’m constantly learning and growing because as a small team, we must be resourceful in making things happen and finding creative ways to grow.
- Small Team With Big Hearts
My absolute favorite part of being part of a startup is the sense of family we have created. Of course, this can be cultivated in any workplace, big or small, but I've found that it's rare to work in a company where you feel so loved by your coworkers. While we all work hard each day, you can also find us raving about foods, swapping tattoo ideas, and making silly jokes nobody else might find funny. We laugh together, cry together, and carry one another’s burdens through the joys and pains in life. I am so very thankful for these lovely ladies.
For any graphic designers searching for a job or considering a shift in your career, I hope you find yourself in an environment where you can continuously grow, feel valued and trusted by your team, and are genuinely passionate about the brand aesthetic and vision. And if there are any bosses or business owners reading along, I encourage you to trust your employees! Working for a company that cultivates trust and creative freedom allows every member of our team to work effectively and feel valued on a daily basis.