by emil tiedemann
You know when you get to that point in your life where you're like, 'Something needs to fucking give here,' and so you're on the verge of doing something drastic! Well, that was me in 2013.
|My personal website, emiltiedemann.ca.|
I hated the people I worked with at a job that lacked any real satisfaction. I felt like I could do something more than this, and that my creative juices were near draught levels. I had to do something and it had to be soon.
Luckily, I had come across an ad for some school downtown that trained students for careers in audio production, animation, and graphic design, for the most part. I did some research on what graphic design actually was, and it sounded interesting, maybe something I could possibly be half decent at. Afterall, I've always been into doodling on my notepads at school, and this was almost like a digital version of that, sort of. Not really, actually.
|The logo I designed for my blog, 'I Heart Edmonton.'|
I applied for student funding, applied for the next semester at Pixel Blue College, and gave my two weeks notice at work. It was exciting as hell, mostly because I wouldn't have to see most of my former co-workers ever again, unless I actually wanted to. But I was also excited about where this new training could lead to in my near future.
It was just a five-month course, because that's really all I could afford to manage without a full-time job under my belt. As it turns out, I loved it! And I was pretty good at it too!
We learned how to work with Adobe programs like PhotoShop and Illustrator, how to design logos and build websites, and even how to put together a whole magazine if we wanted to. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it just so happened to be perfect for me, because it really allowed me to explore all sorts of creative outlets and avenues.
|Thanks to Pixel Blue College, I learned how to design my own book!|
As part of our training, I designed my own personal logo, business card, portfolio, and even website (which is HERE if you would like to check it out). While still in school, I was able to design posters for several local non-profit groups, as well as a website for the now-defunct Creative Edmonton, and then for these local knitters called The Knitting Divas.
I also designed the website for the Edmonton Pride Festival, did some consultation work with Booster Juice, enhanced my photo editing abilities, and have used what I learned at Pixel Blue to work on all sorts of personal projects, such as Queer Edmonton, I Heart Edmonton, and even to put together a whole book, 101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton. In fact, not a single week goes by in which I do not somehow implement what I discovered I could do from Pixel Blue.
Although I don't work in design on a full-time basis (because I don't actually want to!), it has had a meaningful impact on all sorts of aspects in my life, allowing me to be creative on levels I could never have imagined before. It also goes to show that we all have untapped skills lying somewhere in hibernation, just waiting to be tapped. All we have to do is be open to the unknown.