Me? A Graphic Designer? No Way.
This is me, telling my story to those who want to listen.
Well, my name is Tina Floersch and I am currently working as a graphic designer at an engineering company in Minneapolis, Minnesota area (www.ens-co.com) — you probably have seen our products from time to time whenever you are out shopping! We design and manufacture a variety of products, but our most popular item is our payment terminal stands. Whenever you go into a store and swipe your credit card in the machine — we make the stand that machine sits on. Pretty cool huh?
Anyways, my love for design was actually pretty nonexistent for most of my life. Sure, I doodled here and there but I never took any art courses in high school. I was more involved in choir and dance than art at the time. Then, I had this project in one of my math classes my sophomore year that pretty much changed my life. We did this project where we had to draw buildings and scenery all in perspective. I think this was a geometry class or something, I do not quite remember. Anyways, that was such an amazing project for me and I loved every waking moment of it and was sad when it was over. When I was signing up for classes my senior year of high school, I saw this AutoCAD course that was being offered and after talking with my parents, I knew that I wanted to try it out! I ended up loving it, I loved making things move and appear on my screen just the way I wanted them too. But, I really didn’t think anything of it for a career, I was just going to go to a community college and than maybe go onto a massage therapy career.
“…I had this project in one of my math classes my sophomore year that pretty much changed my life.”
After getting all set up at a community college and ready to start in the fall, my mother pulled me aside one day in the June before my first college semester and wanted to bring me to the University of Wisconsin — Stout to check out their campus and more importantly, their graphic design program. It was never anything that I had considered before, ever, in my lifetime. But, I went along with it and we went to check out the campus. I ended up falling in love with the campus and the overall atmosphere of the place. I signed up that day, not for the graphic design program because that required a portfolio submission, which I did not have. Instead, I signed up for a degree that would get me as close to the art courses without being an art student; game design and development. It was considered an applied science degree and was also a newer program that had just started that year, so there were plenty of slots still open. I was enrolled and ready to go, all within a few months before the semester started.
That was it, the start of my journey was all on a leap of faith. No art or design background whatsoever, various doodling and some photography when I was younger, but it was never something I considered doing as a career/ passion in life. I just, jumped. Head first. I struggled, my first years of school were so difficult and I was struggling to keep up with my peers. All of whom had previous art backgrounds and skills that I was just now learning.
“That was it, the start of my journey was all on a leap of faith. “
Fast forward a few years: after multiple failed assignments and frustrating attempts to keep up with my classmates, I was finally getting the hang of it and was loving it and finding out that I was actually really good at it! I put together a portfolio and applied for the graphic design program. I was accepted that following semester! My last two years of school were extremely better than my first two, I was happy; I had found my love in life. I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Interactive Media back in December of 2013. I have been working full time at this engineering company ever since. But, I also have been getting into photography and various other art mediums. I am fairly new to this world of creativity but I am trying to be patient with myself as I am still and will continue to be growing as a creative.
Lately, I have been involved in a variety of non-profit groups that all involve me giving back using my creative skills. I am going to Haiti in a couple of weeks in order to take pictures of 400 children who need pictures and bios in order for them to receive sponsorships. I am also going to be taking various photographs of the places that my group will be volunteering at, such as hospitals and orphanages, for marketing materials and “action shots” of the doctor, nurses, and volunteers.
I am also involved in a group called www.onemonthtogive.org — which uses photographers and designers to give back to Feed My Starving Children and Wishes & More.
Giving back has always been important to me, finding ways that I can be creative and give back have been some of the best experiences. I have learned a lot and met quite an amazing group of people thus far.
Anyways, that is my story and how it all started for me. I hope that my story can inspire others and show that you can start doing something without any previous knowledge or experience. Just go for it! Do what you want to do and do not worry about what stage you are at. You just never know what could happen or how it could turn out.
To bigger & better things!