When moving to another part of the country, it can be terrifying and full of doubt. Life becomes a constant line of struggles and questions. Moving from Milwaukee, WI to Portland, Oregon was a huge risk. Without a solid plan, I was risking my tiny career and lifeline. While I was not able to successfully land a position in the design industry, I learned so much about the city and it's regional culture.
Portland is a city of the laid-back and experimental, a huge ever-moving and never roaming neighborhood. The people are eclectic and the friends you make there are truly one-of-a-kind. The culture shock of leaving the hark-working, honest, grit of the Midwest to the hippie-chic, time surfing, lull of Portland, OR was a shock. the people seem kind but there is a feeling of every person living in there own little bubble as you walk by. Each person passes you and you nearly feel the fight of the repulsion of each individual's tiny orbiting galaxy.
With little to my name as a professional designer, applying for design work and design internships was top priority. Nearly 150 applications in, I was interviewed twice and with no luck. I know my weaknesses and strengths as a person. Being from the Midwest, whether professional or personal, I am honest. In better perspective, I am blunt honest. I know how to use tack but sugar-coating and stroking egos isn't how valued business should be earned.
When handling matters of business; honesty, truth, intelligence and value are the parts that truly matter. A paycheck is great, but, I want my work to matter. Advertising for huge companies like Target or Microsoft would be a great start for someone at my stage in a career but, my true passions lie in creating designs that enhance a product's meaning, aiding in teaching about important topics or illustrating the next book of stories for the newest dreamer.
Portland was a huge risk, it didn't end the way I had planned but, it did provide experience and the reassurance in myself and my character.