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  • Ilene Price

You can take the girl out of the design studio, but you can't take the design out of the girl...

I Sometimes Miss Graphic Design, My Peers and My Mentors, But I'm Happy With the Choices I've Made

I often think about my education in graphic design and my professors that have shaped me into the creative person that I am. I will be forever grateful to them for everything they taught me. The artwork and design I create and the way I look at things around me is a result of the foundation of design principals they instilled in me. I also think about and miss the group of designers and friends I graduated with at the University of the Arts. We were the infamous graphic design class of ‘85, the “rat-pack”; a crazy, close knit, extremely competitive and creative bunch who supported and pushed each other to be the best that each of us could be. We celebrated our 30th reunion at the UArts graphic design department’s 50th anniversary, a little over a year ago, and it was amazing to be together again. Today we are a combination of design directors, teachers, business owners, professionals, fine artists, and parents. I am so proud of all of them and their accomplishments. When we all saw each other that first day of the reunion it was like being in a time machine, we didn’t skip a beat. Distance and daily life may separate us, but the love and respect we had for each other has never changed and I don’t think ever will.  I was very lucky to work for some great small design firms after college, coming away from each one with an abundance of learning and growth as a designer. I sometimes look through my old portfolio of mostly corporate work that I did and think, damn that’s good, where did that girl go? Then I remember she’s here, just reinvented as I mentioned I often do, in my last blog post.  So why all this nostalgia you ask? I sometimes wonder if I should have stayed active in the field, but then I remember why I didn’t. I loved everything that had to do with the creative part of the job, from steps in creating a logo to laying out a brochure. What I couldn't handle, was the rest of it; the deadlines, the proofing, the midnight press runs and the clients who just couldn’t see your vision.  I have to also add that I am a little bit of a perfectionist, (ok, maybe I’m OCD with a touch of ADD), and the type of person who stresses over every little thing. It became clear one night after I called my husband at 2am crying on a press run when I was convinced there was a typo I missed, (when there was not), that it was just too much for me. As I was contemplating quitting my career, I realized I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t work. I started babysitting at 14 and worked all through high school and college and landed my first job very soon after graduation. In 1992 I was diagnosed with lymphoma and had to take a leave of absence for treatment. I had a great attitude and six months later after tests, surgery, hospitals and chemo, I went right back to work. I had never not worked, it was so foreign to me. So when I had my panic attack on that press run, the night I called my husband, I knew it was time to make a change. It was year after chemo and I had just found out that I was pregnant, which was a miracle in itself. I decided to it was time to quit, take a few months to myself and a become a stay at home mom.  Though I miss graphic design itself from time to time, I never miss the “job”. I have since found many other ways to stay creative and feed that bohemian artist that dwells in my soul. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Being a mom is the best, most important job I’ve ever had and even though my kids are adults, I am realizing that job never ends... and that’s ok with me. 


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About Ilene

My name is Ilene Price and I am an artist, designer and creative soul. I believe in being happy and doing what you love. Read more...

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