How Personal Branding lead me into deep self-reflection

A little background story

I did some research and came across "Personal Branding" in one of Roberto Blake's videos (one of my favourite YouTube resources about Graphic Design atm) and he talks about why we should use personal branding (You can find his video"The Power of Personal Branding" here). It's healthy and helpful for an upcoming designer in this world to have your own brand and I thought I'd give it a try.

Core Values - what does really matter to me?

So, what happened? I started by trying to brainstorm for a possible logo and for that I wanted to know what really matters to me. What do I want people to think/feel when they hear my name, hear about my future company? After hours of scribbling and brain racking, I felt a little bit lost. How can it be so difficult to find clarity about such basic things? I used to feel very clear about what I want and why, who I am, where I want to go and how to get there. Why did it change?

The Trap of Success

Maybe I haven't been so honest with myself the past few months and maybe I started to copy what I thought was successful. I always wanted this blog, e.g. to become a place where I can deeply share with people who actually care about what design means and does to people. I wanted it to be personal and fun but also serious and honest. Looking back I feel I haven't really been authentic to these values I had and was more concerned about page views, visitors and potential earning possibilities. Don't get me wrong, I do want to make a living with design. But does it have to sacrifice my values and my personality? (Makes me think about a book I still want to get and read "How to be a Graphic Designer without loosing your soul")

Sometimes we need a Mirror

I realised that Personal Branding requires you to go deeper than you would expect. I couldn't really define myself and found it so hard to find any idea for a logo. After some hours of scribbling and typographic endeavours I thought I found something quite smart. Just my future initials, after I will change my name for my husbands family name. RJ. I felt a bit strange about how it looked and later showed my sketchbook to my husband. What he said really hit me (in a positive way): It didn't feel like me. It felt like something that I'm not. And I knew he was right. I tried to pretend to be some sleek, stylish designer that I'm not (and actually don't want to be). I have wonderful qualities but they don't show at all in my drafts. I felt down. I didn't really share what has been going on inside of me the past days and it just came out that I was, frankly speaking, quite frustrated. We had a talk and it made me realise that I have a very clear goal and clear values and I want to really find people I can share with.

New Ways

Brainstorming with my husband really helped to see myself from a different viewpoint. I think sometimes we just need someone to see ourselves truly. Like a mirror. I realised as well, that I do believe in Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in Design and that I want them to be reflected in my words, actions and in my personal brand. I want to become successful with design and make a living with my own company in the future. I want to be able to be flexible to spend time with my family while at the same time pouring all my passion into designated hours of creating beautiful, meaningful, truthful things.

So I wonder how many of you also had a hard time to define themselves professionally, and who of you tried personal branding. Maybe some of you found it really easy, because you already had this clarity in yourself. I just didn't expect a personal logo to become such a journey of self-discovery.

In future posts I want to practice these values and I hope they'll be more authentic and valuable.

Have a wonderful day,

Romica :)

Video Of the Week: Career Advice For Young Graphic Designers

Today I have discovered a new Youtube Channel with a lot of Graphic Design content.In this video senior designer Roberto Blake gives valuable advice for young graphic designers like starting freelancing as early as you can or to develop a personal brand. You'll also find a book list with good reads for young designers. Check it out!