I Felt Like Quitting

Being a design/art student is a tough major, you have to accept that you will get injured on this journey. While physical injury is VERY common, you also run the risk of being injured emotionally.

Every new project is a new opportunity to someone to make you feel that you are not good enough to be in your class or your major. We all know that person who just seems to good at everything they do and the teacher loves whatever they produce. In every one of my classes “that guy” has been there and not being as good as they are has bothered me, but never to this extent.

I went into my interactive class confident and excited thinking I knew what I was doing and that I would be “that guy”. Boy was I wrong! For those who do now know, Interactive is a class where you learn how to design and code web pages. Being that I had minor experience in the past (and I am talking 6-8 years ago) I thought I would rock it and be one of the best.

Plot twist, I was not. In fact, my first webpage was the worst in the whole class as far as design went. Needless to say I was devastated, became extremely emotional and started to doubt my choice of major. For the next couple of weeks I was caught up in a spiraling vortex of doubt and kept thinking that I was not meant to be a designer. There were many days when I was thought, “What other major would I be good at?” or “Should I just drop Graphic Design and only work on my Advertising degree?”

However, in the last few days I have come to realize that I love design too much to quit and  if I want to stay, I need to work harder and just be a better artist and designer. No one is going to be there to hand everything to me and thinking this way won’t help me to get a job.


A Few Words of Advice

ONE-Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

It is so easy to get caught up on one tiny comment and let it deflate your ego entirely. In doing this you are only setting yourself up for failure. Critiques of your work are on what you should have done or,  everyone’s favorite, “Well, I would have done it like this.” Take comments as constructive criticism and NOT as attacks.

TWO-Develop Think Skin

While you are probably thinking, “Isn’t this the same as number one?”; it is, but a little different. Developing thick skin takes practice and you will still have moments that make you feel inadequate, however, you need to learn from these moments. Realize that everyone is going to judge every piece of work your produce and someone is always going to hate your work. As I said before, stop thinking of every comment as an attack; take all of those comments and decide which benefit you and which do not.

Work hard to get what you wantTHREE-Don’t Be Afraid of Change

The more you are out of your comfort zone the better! Always try something new and experiment with a new style or a tool you have never used before. These experiments can lead to amazing results or happy accidents. Take baby steps if you need to, not everything has to be a huge change. Trying new things will help you grow and make you a better designer.

FOUR-Always Remember:
Work hard to get what you want

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Struggles to Strengths

I am greatful for each and every struggle I have had to fight through in my life because it has made me the person that I am today. That is not to say that I am perfect, in fact, I am far from it (as most of us are). We all have our struggles and things that seem to hold us back.

However, even though outside sources that slow you down and make you feel like you are incapable of doing or completing a task, just remember:
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I stumbled across this picture the other day on Pinterest and was absolutely inspired by the message and wanted to share it with all of my readers. There is no denying the truth in that short piece of text and if you don’t find it to be true then you are lying to yourself. A harsh statement, I know, but that is my opinion.

Just because you are told there is a limit, that you can’t do something, or if you are physically stopped…the only reason you aren’t getting back up and saying you can is because you are stopping yourself. No one and nothing has that type of control over you.


Before I came to Texas State University, I was in and out of community college with a wide range of grades from A to F and a lot of W’s. My reasons varied from blaming those around me, to technology and other legitimate problems. However, in short, my record did not show that I was a good student. After years of dropping out, I was finally pushed back into school by my sister. Upon returning I became an A/B student working and paying school out of pocket; which earned me my associates degree.

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In 2013, I applied for and was accepted at TXST. I was so afraid I was not going to make it in because of my records as well as not having faith in myself. However, against all odds, I was given a chance.

My first run in with a counselor in the Communication Design program did not go well. We had a one on one meeting and in the first 5 minutes he told me, “You aren’t going to make it into this program.” It was heart breaking and a part of me wanted to give up.

Plot twist! I didn’t! After a year of taking courses and raising my GPA to a 2.75 (the min requirement for my program), I made a made a portfolio and was accepted into the program.

Currently, I have been on Dean’s list for the past 3 semesters and working towards a dual degree in Communication Design and Advertising.

Moral is the story? Don’t let others decide the paths you take. If you really want something, you better fight tooth and nail to get it, because no one else will fight for you.

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Artist Block

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Being creative all the time is a struggle and sometimes you end up hitting a wall. Personally, I hate these moments! They have happened several times and cause nothing but stress. I will be given 3 weeks to conceptualize, design and create a design and I will spend 2 and a half weeks lost, frustrated and about to pull my hair out.

Needless to say, artist block has cost me a lot of sleep in the past few years and has caused me to have a love affair with coffee and clothing that I can sleep in and will pass as a decent outfit for those 8am critiques in class; because I have taken a 2 hour nap and just rolled out of bed for class.

I do wish there was a fix-all cure for being blocked, but we all know there isn’t. There are some steps that I like to take, however, that help me to kick start my creative side.


STEP ONE: Research

I know! This word is NOT something that anyone likes to hear, it just sounds like work and a hassle and all together no fun at all. BUT! There are some great ways that you can feel like you are slacking off, while at the same time looking up some inspiration photos or articles for a piece.

1. Pinterest

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As I have said before, I love Pinterest. I use it to look up and save everything, if you check out my Pinterest page, you will see the ridiculous amount of pins and boards that I keep. Some are for fun like my tattoo, Sailor Moon, or Crafty boards; but I also have some for class which would be my typography and design.

I would recommend looking at the art section or just scroll through everything until an idea sparks. Or you can even type in only key word and see what comes up.

2. StumbleUpon
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This one is a little more out there and can be all over the place, but you can also choose categories and some amazing sites can pop up. You can down vote sites you don’t like to improve a stumble as well. For this option you are in for a LOT more distractions. However, I have come across sites between playing random games and reading articles that have proven to inspire me in a direction.

I would also recommend using this when you just need a break from working and want to have a little bit of fun. Breaks never hurt anyone, which brings me to my next step!

STEP TWO: Take a Break

Sitting and staring at your paper, screen, or banging your head against the desk are not going to help you gain ideas. I won’t say that I am not guilty of doing these same things at some point during a project. However, you need to take a step back sometimes.

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Trying to stay focused on a single idea and forcing yourself to be creative can cause more road blocks than it clears. So take an hour or two to relax and recharge.

You need to leave your work area and anything about the project behind when you do this, only carry what your mind will hold. I like to go jogging when I am have trouble thinking of ideas, it clears my mind, relaxes me and most of the time I come back ready to work and with fresh ideas. You can also go have a meal, see a friend or hang out with your pets (THEY NEED ATTENTION TOO!).

STEP THREE: Talk to other Creatives

I have found that a simple conversation can take me from being lost to knowing exactly where I am going with a project.

An example of this happened about 2 years ago. I was coming out of a fundamental design course (first design course I had ever taken) and was panicking because I had no ideas on what to do. The assignment was to design a book about an obsession.

For over a week I had made sketches, word lists, mind maps; you name it, I tried it and nothing worked. However, after a stressful class of going nowhere (for 3 hours) I was walking with a friend from my class and we were discussing the project and the possibilities. We went from things I was obsessed with to what others were and suddenly she brought the idea of an obsession that could be harmful or dangerous.

This spiraled into drugs, stalking and many more; when we came across Pyromania.

From there I was on fire! (Pun sort or intended) I had waves of ideas on how to make the book, what photos to take, how I was going to bind it, how to tell the story. Everything just fell into place in a short 10 minute conversation.


I hope that this helps anyone who is going through this struggle! Good luck with any projects you are working on and thanks for reading!

Deviating from the Theme

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Above is my planner just for this week! I am sure I not the only one out there that is feeling the college life struggle. Unfortunately, the schedule that I have has not left me a lot of time to blog. There are several drafts waiting to be completely, so hopefully I can work on them and post something in the coming weeks for anyone that is still following me. =)

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However, for now I am engrossed in several books about Advertising and Design, doing a lot of work on my laptop with adobe software and have developed a loving relationship with coffee.
I am not usually a coffee drinker, but in the last few days I have come to understand why college students are always drinking it! Having that extra little boost of energy has been nice to get through readings and sketches, so 10 p.m. coffee is starting to become a regular practice.

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Maverick has been very supportive on these busy days, well, grumpy and impatient would probably be an accurate description. I have bribed him with a slew of new toys, some yummy treats and a lot of belly rubs; hopefully that will be enough to keep him happy. He usually naps around my feet or impatiently waits for me to go to bed.

I apologize for this being more of an online journal style post, but I wanted to just fill in any followers on the lack of posts and show a little glimpse into my life.

Hope to post again soon!!!! Comment and follow me on social media and leave me messages!

Don’t Be Afraid

Society is a push and pull of ideas and beliefs; being “different” than the norm can hinder your progression through life in many ways. However, it can also help you to stand out among your peers and give you a step up in the job market. Playing it safe is what many people choose as they go through life and this is with a variety of decision.

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Personally, I enjoy taking the road less traveled. Taking risks keeps things interesting and challenging yourself with new tasks or ideas can keep you on your toes and force you to think critically. The unknown is always scary, but can be exceptionally rewarding in the long run. When you go with what is safe and what is in the norm you are essentially letting others make your decisions for you.

There are times to blend in and there are even more times when you should stand up and shine. Do not be afraid to be different and to have people look at you weird for trying something they have no confidence to do.

I always ask myself, “Am I doing this for me or for those around me?”

When I brainstorm an idea or even when I choose how to dress or what to say. I always ask myself, “Am I doing this for me or for those around me?” Being unique or standing out makes me feel like I can hold my own. Maybe my standing out will get me where I want to go or maybe I will miss opportunities because of how I present myself. But I hope that what I choose to do will challenge and change social norms so that I can make a more accepting environment for everyone.

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I am different because I want to see change. I challenge ideas and concepts around me and push boundaries just to see how far I can stretch them. Nothing is set in stone, work towards goals that will create change that will help those around you. Seek positive change and don’t belittle those whose beliefs differ from your own.

You were born to make a difference and the more you stand out and challenge issues around you, the higher the chance you will have to help change the world. I used to think that one person could not change the world. But now I see that it can take just one person to challenge an issue and millions have the capability to bring it into fruition.

That Blog Life Though

When I first read the blog assignment from my FDOM (Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media) course I was a little stressed out and only saw this blog as work. Even after my first couple of posts I was feeling the strain of how much effort it takes to think of an interesting topic and then write a story of sorts based around it. I was afraid I would be boring and no one would care about what I had to say. But when I got my first comment I was ecstatic!

Most of my followers are from my class, but I have a few that are not from class and I have friends that follow my Facebook page and send me messages about posts. Feeling the support of others has inspired me to keep writing and sharing different aspects of the world of art.

Another reason I feared writing a blog is because I do not think I am a good writer. I always tell other majors, “Being an art major means never having to write.” Which, for the most part, is true. The most that I have had to do for design or art courses is writing a short paragraph explaining the meaning or purpose of a piece. I am only scratching the surface of my courses however, I assume that writing will be needed as I get closer to graduating.

I do plan to keep blogging. There is so much freedom in the content that I can post and it feels as though I have a voice that matters when I am writing a post. The struggle of getting started has been worth it and every time I complete a post I feel accomplished.

Blogging is an amazing outlet!

Twitter Inspirations

Art is unique, powerful and has unlimited, untapped potential.

Art revolves around inspiration, it is taking a thought, idea or feeling and making it tangible so that you can share it with others. How you choose to record your inspirations is completely of your own choice.

Making any form or art should be a reflection of yourself, your beliefs and your feelings. Letting others choose what kind of art you should or should not make goes against the core of what art is about. If you let someone dictate the details of your creation then you are not truly embracing your potential. Your goal as an artist is not to please those around you, it is to please yourself.

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Andy Warhol

In every piece of art that you seek out, remember that you are seeing or hearing a part of another person. It is a reflection of something deep inside that wants to be shared with the world. Appreciate every piece of work that you come across, even if it is not in a form or an idea that you would choose to express.

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Adam Martinakis Blog
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