Welcome to my web journal!

Here, I will explore creative processes through interactive design and lots of crafty projects. Stay tuned for more!

My Journal

What is Spring Break

I'm just getting my printed portfolio prepared to send to blurb.com. Although I'm an interactive (not on the print track) student, it's not really required that I get a printed portfolio, but I've always wanted one, and I thought it would be a good back-up in case the internet goes down. I definitely underestimated how much time would need to go into designing the actual book. I already picked out the size, paper, and the printer, but that's it! The contents are up to me.

It appears as thought Spring Break will actually be a very busy week for me.

All Work, No Play

I've just started working on my final student/professional portfolio and I realized that I will have no time for much of anything else until I graduate!

I got an internship mostly doing graphic design and web layout. Web development is not involved, but I'll see if I can still get some experience in web development outside of school at a second internship perhaps.

At my current internship, I've learned so much in such a short span of time. Even though I started about three or four weeks ago, I still get really nervous about going. However, nerves can be a good thing. You're only nervous about things you care about.

Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges in 80 Blogs!

I just received this book in the mail! Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin hailed nothing but great reviews on Amazon. As the title implies, it features 80 different exercises that are meant to challenge the reader's creativity and maybe even help the reader to learn something new.

In an effort to get the creative juices flowing, I'm going to complete an exercise every few weeks (pretty much whenever I can spare a day) and document my experience here with lots and lots of photos. As I plan on working on improving and adding portfolio pieces, I think this will really help to get things going.


My first blog entry!

I think I used to be a pretty good writer in high school and in my first two years of community college in creative writing classes. Unsure about what career to pursue at a four-year university, I thought that journalism fell in line with my strengths and beliefs.

Journalism also stripped me of my creativity. I had to dumb down my writing, make things simpler and get to the point so that readers could focus on the flour and eggs of the story. They said I could be creative in other ways, like finding a newsworthy angle to report, or a clever way to word a lead.

This was really difficult. I loved the research aspect of journalism, talking to people about their passions and hearing about their journeys. I graduated in the top of my class, but I was so lost. What I did understand were pictures, graphs, charts, photography, and all of the visual elements to tell the story. Those were better ways of telling the story than this new (annoying) way I had learned to write.

When I was in my last semester, I was told that everything was moving online and our craft was threatened by citizen journalists. Anyone could publish anything online. While that did not make that person a credible source, it still made them competition.

I don’t think my journalism program really knew how to teach us to adapt to this since it was all moving so fast. Only one online journalism class was offered, which I happily took. The program continued to focus on traditional principles of journalism, which I believe in, but I also believe that the world changed and the program did not adapt quick enough for us to stay competitive.

So I graduated with my bachelor’s degrees, spent a depressing summer at home with my parents in a dying economy and with no sense of hope or direction. So I returned to the only thing I knew I was good at: school.

This time, for web design. I took a basic entry-level graphic design class to make sure that I liked it and that it was what I wanted to do, and everything just fell into place and made sense. Love at first gif. It was tedious and challenged me creatively. It was new and constantly evolving. Getting back into a creative field felt so empowering, not defeated as I did in journalistic writing. Now, all I want to do is code and design.

The most difficult part of going back to school has been working full-time and part-time jobs, and taking classes on the side. It only took me five years to complete two bachelor’s degrees, but yet here I am, five years since I started this program, and I still haven’t earned my two-year degree.

Three months ago, I told myself I’m too old for this shit. I quit my full-time, state job with amazing benefits and decided to primarily focus on finishing school with a strong portfolio and improve all of my marketing skills, and finally land the job of my dreams in the career that I love.

And here I am!

So I started this blog to help me get my writing skills back up and document my creative processes as I put my portfolio together. I want to easily reflect on what works and what doesn’t, maintain a list of useful resources, and share this adventure with anyone who wants to read it. Life is a learning experience and it really only seems worth it when we have someone with which to share it.

Feel free to email me at smdesousa@gmail.com and say hello! Let's connect on social media, too:

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