Color & Design: a new world of work and valuable life lessons

After months of heartfelt trial and error effort to do otherwise, I didn't so much realize as much as receive confirmation for what I already knew, that in order to thrive professionally, you need to do what you love and what you're good at. For me, that would be design, a natural progression, or minimally a very comfortable lateral move, from journalism. 

I never fully realized until now how much of a dream it was, but I just couldn't see the title "designer" after my name, mainly because I felt that "writer" was the only title I could ever fully embrace and live up to. 

God had other plans for me. 

Life has taken me on quite a journey this year, one very far from home. It's been hard, but the upside is that the journey is that it led me to pursue a certificate in graphic design. When the opportunity to go to school presented itself and I saw very clearly that the Lord had made a way, I had a choice to make: do the "practical" thing and pursue non-creative career programs that fit neatly into outside narratives about what was best or, pursue what I love. 

I chose the latter. 

If I was going to put forth so much time and effort into achieving  a goal it had to be something I was passionate about and believed in, even if made no sense to anyone else. I started my course in August and hope to finish no more than a year from now. It's been fun and even refreshing to step away from actively thinking only in terms of writing, and exploring equally meaningful new areas of creativity and professional growth. 

Learning more about color is one of those areas in and of itself but also in the context of design. Even though I had a basic working knowledge of html colors, in my coursework so far, HTML/CSS specifically, I've gained a better understanding of the art and science of color, including working with hex color codes and how to calculate and use them. It's mindbogglingly fascinating to me and I could spend hours doing it. (Same could be said for coding.)

A few days ago I also discovered this incredible app by Pantone, the world leader in color art and science. It allows you to create color palettes from your own photo library. So far, I've created several palettes from some of my favorite personal photos. I particularly love the pinks and skin tones. And because the photos mean something to me, the palettes and colors also take on a whole new meaning. 

Color is truly something magical, meaningful and endless in its possibilities. Because of it, color serves a very useful and practical business purpose and is not something that can be glossed over or treated indifferently. There is a psychology to it.  I look forward to learning as much about it as I can.

I'm just at the beginning of my course and the palette creation fun has been for personal enjoyment, not as part of the course, but it's been beneficial in terms of helping me feel creative again and laying a foundation for the work that's coming ahead, such as color matching. And as it relates to graphic design, it's been showing me truly where my heart is as well as giving me a sense of "I can do this", which I hadn't felt for a long time.

As I reflect on the trial and error in trying to mold myself to "other" careers and be like "everyone else", and subtly caving into pressures to give up creativity altogether for more "practical" things, I'm so thankful I never gave up. To be able to do something I absolutely LOVE and get so excited about and to earn a living from it would be an absolute dream. And it's finally sinking in that it can really happen. 

I'm loving exploring new areas of growth beyond writing but in a way that makes sense to me, that I'm passionate about and... that eventually I will combine with writing, PR and photography to create one compelling communications brand. I guess sometimes dreams come true in phases, not all at once. 

I look forward to sharing the unfolding of those dreams here. 

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For more palettes visit my personal color palette board on Pinterest or go here.

Download the Pantone Color Studio app here

Copyright 2016 / Cynthia Mendoza