Canada Learning Code (formerly Ladies Learning Code) reached out and asked me to share a big challenge in my life and how I overcame it. So, I talked about the confidence I had to gain in going from print design to web design.
When I graduated from design school back in 2007, I primarily designed printed materials: package design, direct mail, brochures and more.
Print design taught me a lot about branding and how to keep the visuals of a brand consistent. While a career in print taught me a lot, I wanted to get into web design so that I could continue “protecting” the brands that I was freelancing for.
The decision to go from print to web took me on a decade-long transformational journey from “freelancer of hire” to an award-winning branding and web consultant.
Here’s what I said in Canada Learning Code:
A few years ago I was a print designer struggling to learn web design. I felt it was essential for me to learn it because it would be a way for me to further protect the brand aesthetics that I created for business owners.
In the beginning, I didn’t know how to code one line of html or write css. I didn’t know anything about content management systems or best web design/development practices in general. I started subscribing to web design blogs and examining the code on every website I visited. I paid for one-one tutoring. But nothing was clicking for me.
When I look back, I realize that major mental blocks and self doubt prevented me from absorbing new information. I didn’t have a learning problem. I had a confidence problem!
I knew that I needed to take on a real-world project to put everything I was reading to good use. The first website I ever built was a one-page portfolio site for myself. Then, I designed a website for a photographer. I kept going and I got better. Then I started getting recognized for my work.
In a 5 year span, I went from being a print designer to being a brand and web strategist who’s built over 40 websites. I’ve built online directories, eCommerce sites, blogs, you name it. I’ve partnered with a best-selling WordPress theme to provide customizations to their customers, given WordPress Tutorials, been interviewed on web design blogs & podcasts, and had work featured in website showcases. I never dreamed these things would happen to me!
I encourage women to see themselves at the finish line before they get there. It doesn’t matter how many books you read or how many classes you take if you don’t see yourself as a person worthy of success.
If you’ve been buying into the stereotypes that we face as women, you may have some unlearning to do before you re-learn.