Sometimes you just need to put yourself out there...
It was sometime in 2011.
An acquaintance of mine said something funny on his Facebook page - he said that he had designed a website for his jazz band, The Standard Clams, and it "looked like a kindergartener had worked on it."
So, I put myself out there, and wrote a simple response to him... "I can help you with that."
You see, I had graduated with my Professional Writing degree and my Graphic Design minor, and I was tired of taking courses and just playing around with my software. I wanted to start designing REAL graphics and REAL media kits for REAL businesses and REAL people, but I didn't feel fully confident yet in my abilities.
I started as many new shy designers do... I offered my services for free to my friend, in an effort to practice and expand my portfolio.
How things turned out in the end:
The band was incredibly thankful for the offer to help. They were overwhelmed and busy and trying to get themselves off the ground while working in full-time jobs and actively playing with other bands.
I decided, as I usually do, to go above and beyond (perhaps some would even say it was a bit overboard) - not just a website revamp - I designed a mascot style graphic for the band and a basic media kit, as well.
We met to discuss the band website, and I brought my graphic ideas with me... nervous that they wouldn't like the images at all, but they ended up loving the mascot and the groovy pin-stripe theme I proposed
I learned that it is OK to put yourself out there, and you may be surprised with the end results when you just "see what will happen".
Some time later, I revamped the original media kit into a slick booklet style with a CD pocket in the back cover. (You can see it, if you'd like, on the documents page.)
I always smile when I see "Frank" though, my first graphic design for commercial use.
*Frank is named after Old Blue Eyes himself, of course...