This time last year I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life–a graphic designer. I enrolled in the graduate graphic design program at a local university. I spent an unbelievable amount on art supplies, textbooks, and software. I was ready to go.
As a former production editor, I had some experience with desktop publishing and graphic design. The career switch made sense until I encountered a graphics class which nearly did me in. The class was 15 weeks of pure hell. Each week I had a new project to present, a revision to turn in, and a brainstorming project, as well as reading and writing assignments. I turned in all assignments, but was exhausted by the effort. This 6-credit class was a life-changing experience.
I logged in about 40 hours per week on the class over the course of the semester. The workload made be grateful that I don’t work, however, I have three children, a husband, and a house to run. With the stress of the class and all my time spent on projects for my class, I went in to survival mode. Children were fed, laundry was done, and the schoolwork was checked, but that was it.
As I left the final presentation for the class mid-May, I have never been so grateful for anything to end. I finished all my projects for the class, but the toll it took on my family was too great. Bottom line: a solo career in graphic design is not for me.