It started with the MySpace. Yep, you heard me right, MySpace.
MySpace gave you the freedom to edit your page from simple background color changes to overlaying a table on top of the entire page and coding it from scratch. I used to change my layout almost every week when I got the chance. At this point, I was merely changing the colors and fonts and had no idea the full potential it had.
Then one day, I stumbled upon someone's MySpace page and she had these really cool stars and swirls with different colored gradients. I was completely taken away by how cool it looked and really, REALLY wanted to know how she did it. So I messaged her...
Me: "Hi! Really love your background, can you tell me where you got it from?"
Her: "I made it."
Me: "Oh cool! How did you make it?"
Her: "A program."
Me: "Nice! What program?"
- Silence -
No joke, she wouldn't tell me. I was slightly frustrated but more curious...and maybe a little desperate.
So then I created a new account with some faux name "Kris Chi" (I know, SO CREATIVE)
I asked her again and the conversation pretty much went the same way. So okay, I'm not going to find out from this person where she made it from. Fine.
So I started Googling "How To Make MySpace Backgrounds" and alas, I found that some created it with Corel Paintshop Pro.
"YES, I FOUND OUT!"
But how is a 13-year-old supposed to get said program!? (Insert Hero Music) My dad somehow knew someone that also had it and burned a copy for me (soooo 2001). He came home with a CD-R labeled with a green Sharpie "Coreal Pntshp Prp". I started playing with the program and found a downloadable brush that had THE SAME EXACT STARS. I was THE HAPPIEST PERSON ON THE PLANET.
A couple months later, I discovered through Googling "MySpace Layouts" I kept seeing the word "Adobe Photoshop Brushes".
"What the heck is Adobe Photoshop?"
So, my little curious brain went into researching and OH MY GOODNESS I NEEDED TO GET MY HANDS ON IT!
Again, the same family friend made me a copy of her program at home.
"YES I HAVE ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 7.0!!!!!"
And that's pretty much where my journey began, making layouts for myself, friends, families, and strangers. Yes, I took requests from strangers.
How it actually became my career is a completely different story.
It was my Junior Year in high school, back when I made very poor decisions in my wardrobe. I was given a sheet of paper that said: "Please Select An Elective". I saw "Graphic Design" and was like "That sounds fun! Sure."
It was my first day of class and I entered the classroom and was basically a child in a candy store. MACS AND BEAUTIFUL POSTERS EVERYWHERE! I instantly fell in love with the class. Mr. Dahms was the wonderful, funny teacher that taught the class and I pretty much fell in love with him too. He's the one who taught me that I could create a career out of what we're doing in class every day. "NO WAY, I CAN GET PAID FOR DOING THIS?!"
Curious and eager to learn more about this career, I decided to take Graphic Design II in my Senior year.
One day, a representative from FIDM came and gave us a presentation about the program and the campus. I immediately went home, told my mom about it and got on the phone with an admissions officer.
And that's how I got here!
Mr. Dahms | 2009 (High School) - 2013 (Post College Grad)