In my last post, Evolution of Design - Part 1 I uncovered how my creativity is born and discussed the design to development process. In this article, Evolution of Design - Part 2 I am uncovering more intimate details regarding my process of learning design techniques for my leather and metalsmith craft. I take readers into my personal journey of the challenges, struggles and lack of confidence about learning my business.
"I am no stranger to failure and comfortable being uncomfortable."
The Process of Learning My Craft
I always loved art and fashion, however I lacked the confidence to enter that world. The thought of going back to college to pursue another field felt too challenging, overwhelming and honestly unobtainable. My discouragement for continuing education resulted from the learning challenges I experience as a kid. Traditional learning settings did not work with how my brain processes and organizes information. Therefore any situation involving classroom settings, being graded, timed tests, reading and writing assignments I tried avoiding. As a distracted child, school was constantly challenging provoking daily difficulties. My routine struggles included worrying about reading out loud, completing book reports, understanding writing assignments and the fear of unexpectedly being called upon by a teacher to answer classroom questions. Learning new subjects and skills took me twice as long as my peers. That was a hard fact to deal with both as a child and in adulthood. I never felt smart enough.
"Me in Elementary School"
I was fortunate to get through high school with the help of my best friend, Jen - who tutored and coached me through many assignments. Although my grades were not great, I luckily passed. After graduating high school I remarkably went on to college, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Sociology. After college, I pursued a wide range of careers over 30 years - Preschool Teacher, Adult & Child Program Director, Administrative Assistant for Tech Executives, Multimedia Sales Coordinator, Online Marketing Sales Director, E-commerce Operations Director, Marketing Consultant and now Entrepreneur and Designer at MONOLISA. One thing remained constant throughout my years, I still distain traditional schooling and fear classroom settings.
Although, I got through the discomfort of school becoming a designer did not happen overnight. It certainly was a process. Instead of going back to school learning my craft, I taught myself. In my forties I started exploring patterns and working with leather and metal materials. I dove into learning as much as I could – reading books, researching various patterns, sewing on industrial machines, listening to podcasts, watching production videos, typing notes on various subjects and continued creating with my hands. As I started learning independently, I concluded that I was capable of learning new topics. That sparked my self-esteem, built my confidence for learning new subjects and created the foundation for my entrepreneur path. As the years passed, I continued my learning process and creative journey. Slowly, I started to see the little planted seeds I made each day growing.
"My Digital Art"
The world of art has taught me many valuable lessons. For one, being different is ok and greatly appreciated in the art world. While immersing myself in designing over the years, I discovered some fascinating things about learning differences. Some people thrive in traditional classroom settings while others don't - that is ok. Since understanding how my mind works processing information it has created a huge sense of relief, reduced anxiety and made me more positive. Today, I understand that being a big picture thinker coordinates nicely with my solo business. I may forget names, become easily distracted, struggle with phonics, can't recite details without a document or write perfectly - that is ok, it is just me. I now focus on my strengths - working backwards, setting goals, achieving results with efficiency, tackling challenges, identifying patterns and creative problem solving.
"Featuring a MONOLISA Tote Bag"
Lastly, this journey has taught me the advantage of using technology for my learning gaps. I use technology to access information for managing parts of my life without having to remember. That has been a miracle. I use technology for storing unbelievable amounts of data with quick accessibility linking to documents and apps. When I started learning about tech in my twenties I was so excited. I immediately pictured the advantages of it helping me easily access detailed information which could be easily stored - something my brain has difficulty with. I knew instinctively that technology would be the part of my brain I didn’t have. That was exciting and incredibly hopeful for my future.
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