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  • Writer's pictureM.A. Hayes

Year 1, so what the hell happened?

Soooooo a lot happened. Last year on February 14th 2020, I was let go from a marketing firm that went under due to a lot of behind the doors sneaky stuff and covid ,a week later. It was a blessing in disguise. At the time I didn't realize it, but boy did God really look out for me.

The same day that the business went out of business I recieved good new that I would be accepting the new role of Graphics Specialist at my new job. This job entailed creating graphics for Coke, Pepsi, and Keurig Dr. Pepper. I was scared out of my mind, and suffered majorly from imposter syndrome. I was a 22 year old African American female who had got a job designing and implementing graphics for major beverage companies after being let go from a new yet failing marketing firm. How?

Starting out in my role was easier to get into than I thought. I was scared, but there was no way I was going to show it. I was confident on the surface. 4 months into my job, my co-worker found a better opportunity for her. I was left, still in the training stage of my new job, handling most of the graphics for these conglomerates by myself. Thankfully I am a fast learner and fast worker. It wasn't that bad honestly, just a mild inconvenience. During that time I built the confidence like no other. I was happy. Truly. I was doing things that I never thought I could or would. Well fast forward 5 months later and more covid problems, and I was suddenly the only designer, the only artist, the only website manager, the only anything art related at my job. Can you say PRESSURE! It was then that I realized a couple of things. One, I definitely got hella experience now. Two, I needed to give myself more credit for holding things down, and STILL holding things by myself. Three, it gave me clarity with what I wanted to do in my career. This was truly an adult job which was something I struggled with at first. Coming from background of working several part time jobs for 4 years, it was a new experience of only needing 1 job to take care of everything. It was refreshing and also scary. I started looking into other opportunities because I would overthink my position and think the worse of every situation. That was me literally me overthinking. It happens to all of us. As always I got over it, and now I'm fine.

This experience of being the only artist gave me the skills I needed to build a killer portfolio for any future opportunities. It also pushed me to create art outside of work. Truth be told I did not create art for a solid 5 months straight. The first time I created was when I was commissioned for real estate company-that was fun and another story for another post. After doing that I realized the saying "Use it or Lose it" was a true saying. My art quality suffered severly from it. I made it a point to create 1 art piece a week. If I could find the time to do that I would feel accomplished. If you go though the site you'll probably notice a shift in my art style especially in the graphic and fine art portfolio.

Now we're up to date with work. Today is March 14th, 2021, and I'm 23, alive, covid free, still employed, and more confident in my art. My job enabled me to make better art that not only serves me but also others on a broader and bigger scale. My job has enabled me to get supplies and equipment that I know for a fact that I would not have been able to afford working the part time jobs that I worked. It enabled me to take on new skills and new responsibilities that I probably would not have gotten anywhere else. Of course there are times where I do feel like it's a job. And those of you who have jobs know exactly what I mean when I say that. When "it's a job", you basically feel gratefully that you have one, but besides that you're just there, exisiting, working, and at times feeling like a machine. Those days are rare. And when I do feel like I take a small break and work on my personal projects at work. Which I'm super grateful that I can do it. This job has allowed me to launch 2 other businesses, again I'll save that for another post, and improve upon this one.

It's a great job. It lifted me off my feet when I needed it the most, and taught me so many new skills. I give my first year review of my Job a 8.5 out of 10.

"No Pressure, Under Pressure"

MA Hayes

Digital Illustration

MAD Studio

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