The Designer

Personal Design Statement

 My name is Tiffany, and I am NOT A GRAPHIC DESIGNER. Graphic Design is merely a result of who I am today, so I will not define myself by the term. It’s a piece of me, but not all. My path to the field of design began as a child. I come from a very musical family on both sides. My father played the drums, and I loved to lay in the base drum while he played. He would leave the front skin off and place a pillow in it (sound quality), but to me it was home. I was instantly connected to music and art. In my early childhood I expressed this love for the arts through my vocals and independently exploring the keyboard. I was not allowed to play with my Father’s set, so that was my alternative. I began training my vocals by participating in glee clubs and choirs. I also explored other performing arts, such as dance and acting. I challenged my skill levels through auditions and was successful in many of these endeavors. Percussion was always my favorite.


I practiced on my father’s old drum pads and learned to play by ear to his Queen albums. At 16 years old I was able to obtain my first job, save up to buy my own drum set, and pay for my own private lessons. I purchased a Pearl Forum Series and Vic Firth Drum Sticks for about $800. I auditioned and joined a band as a drummer as well as into choir and competitive cheerleading, while holding a job. I also found writing to be an artistic outlet for myself at school and in my personal life. My english teachers always praised me for my writing and expressed their disappointment with my lack of interest in pursuing that specific genre of concentration. I discovered that while I was good at all of these things, I was not passionate about doing them for a crowd or as a career. I value my privacy, and my passion for each craft was never meant to be disciplined. I did however, find much reward in hard work and maintaining a job. I held a high regard and interest to become involved in Corporate America and loved working. 


After high school, I took a couple of years away from my academics and perused job positions in marketing and sales. I really enjoyed the challenge and rewarding sensation of successfully executing the tasks involved with these entry-level positions in the field, but I never saw any of them as a long-term position. I knew I needed to solidify my career and enhance my skills by pursuing a higher education. Initially, I separated my pursuit in education from my love for the arts. However; one thing I knew, was that I wanted to be an active part of society in some way. I love people and all of their differences and complexities. So I began my academic career in pursuit of Sociology. During this time, I fell in love with college and the process of learning. I had discovered a new angle in art, the Humanities.


When it came time to select my elective, I went with Graphic Design. Illustration was an art I had never explored and I was disinterested in being educated in music and other arts, seeing as they weren’t new to me. I have however, always been good with technology and increasing my skills in that area seemed practical. Graphic Design was an appealing choice. During one of the classes at the community college, my Professor had us watch Art & Copy. After that film I discovered myself, and knew I needed a re-direct in career paths. In particular, I empathized with Mary Wells’ experiences and her perspective on the art of marketing. Everything I had previously pursued in art, my academics and work suddenly made sense. I never could figure out why I loved art, but couldn’t find the drive to make a career of any single one of the genres I had practiced. After that moment I knew that it was because I hadn’t recognized the common denominator in all of them. The heart of all of these things that I loved, and the reason I perused them all was MARKETING. To my mind, marketing is the embodiment of art in the working world. Graphic Design, is the voice. So no, I am not a Graphic Designer. I am now a Graphic Design and Marketing professional and it is everything I love to do

I entered this interdisciplinary field because I believe the two subjects; although very different in presentation, are symbiotic in the efficient execution of communication. As a designer, I treat visual elements as a language and do my best to deliver a clear message to my target. As a marketer, I take  backend details into account that have influence on the receiver’s response. In my portfolio, you will find some of my most successful pieces throughout my academic career, as well as some of the marketing material I have composed professionally during my internship. I have found that aside from being a skilled artist, drive and determination is essential in the success of a marketing designer’s career. This is because many projects will leave little time for the designer to meet the deadlines demanded by their clients, or employers. I have personally experienced these circumstances and can honestly say that I value the ability to demonstrate grit and the ability to deliver quality work. Through design I have been able to incorporate each art I have ever loved and I look forward to perpetually increasing my ability to interpret and deliver unique messages to a diverse audience, using both visual and verbal communication during my career. 

© 2018 by Tiffany Calles