As a graphic design major, I’m constantly in the Visual Arts Center and in the labs working on projects for class. This semester I’ve been taking Computer Graphics II and Visual Concepts, and they’ve definitely been challenging my knowledge and skills to the max. When I’m not working on my projects for class, you can still find me in the lab but instead working on personal projects just for fun.
Working on personal projects really took off during the week I had my sophomore portfolio review. I had a space in the binding of my portfolio for a slip of paper so I took that as an opportunity to create a unique design for it. During my free time I sketched out my name, copied it into the computer, and voilà! I worked my magic and created a cool pattern out of it. I added a watercolor background and it made the binding complete. I couldn’t just stop there, so I ended up fitting the pattern into the shape of the state of Maryland and making a sweet design out of that as well for my portfolio.
I also got inspired by a past project, from my Computer Graphics I class from the fall of my freshman year. I just happened to be going through my flash drive when I came across a self portrait project we did. I had to turn a selfie of mine into a cartoon, and it was probably my favorite project of the entire school year.
I enjoyed it so much that it sparked an idea to make cartoon versions of my cats. I thought it could be a perfect gift for my mom, who’s obsessed with my cats at home. I started it in the hopes I’d work on it bit by bit to have it complete for her birthday in June, but I ended up getting so into the project that I was constantly working on it with whatever free time I had. I finished up my project in no time, and my mom absolutely loved it. A bunch of my friends and family loved it too, so now I’m in the process of making some cartoons for them too! I just finished up another cat, and I’m currently making one of my dog.
Friends keep telling me I could turn this into a business and it’s really cool to think how I discovered something I’m good at that at first I was just doing as a fun activity in my free time. I plan to keep working on personal projects of mine as much as I can, and I’m even thinking about creating a RedBubble page. Who would’ve thought these little personal projects of mine would help me discover something new about myself as a graphic designer?