The Power of "PITBULL" Persistence

in life •  2 years ago 

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School was NEVER my thing! I simply did not fit in! – In a way, that is sad, because my parents sacrificed a lot in order for me to attend one of the top High Schools in the country and in all honesty, I wasted the opportunity.

But... that was not to be my path!

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And although completely oblivious of it at the time, my higher self knew EXACTLY what it was doing and it did everything in its power to pull me away from what was making me unhappy...


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I disliked high school so much so, that in the middle of Grade 10, I decided to do whatever I could to get the hell out! Haha… no, really! I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, all I knew was that I needed to get out of school before the end of year exams came around - as my failure was imminent. Lol!

I am a problem solver by nature… so I started exploring potential “career choices”.


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Tadaa! It was decided (without much deliberation either hehe), I was going to become a graphic designer! Truth be told – I had NO CLUE what a graphic designer even did or what the career itself involved! But, I was determined, and if there is one thing you will get to know about me as we travel this @Steemit journey together, is that when I want something really badly, I usually get it! – Not because I am a demanding brat that juices people for everything they are worth – but rather because I have a “pitbull” like focus and will give my absolute EVERYTHING into making my dreams / goals / desires materialize.


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So, I found a college and I approached my mom and dad to pop the big question of leaving school. This was probably one of the most nerve wrecking things I have ever had to do. “So mom, dad… I have decided that I want to be a graphic designer and soooooo…. I would like to leave school and start immediately!”

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Not surprisingly, I was met with a resounding NO! hehehe (not sure what other kind of reaction I was expecting…lol). However, the “forget about it” response that I got from my parents did not deter me from believing that “college life as a designer” was soon to be my reality.


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I approached the college and they too turned me down, telling me I was not old enough to attend and that I also needed to have passed grade 10. This was NOT good news, but like I said… “pitbull”… and so, I requested the application forms “just to browse” and off I went…

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There was a visual portfolio that needed to be compiled as your application – and so compile it I did. Once completed, I put it together with all the other jargon that was required and I went back to the college. I cannot recall the length of time that it took for them to get back to me, but it was not very long.

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The principal of the college had decided to make an exception regarding their policies and based on my portfolio… I was accepted.

Wooohooo…..!!! It was a happy moment indeed!

See... "pit bull" persistence pays off!!! Told you so! hehe :)


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My mom was by my side on all of this and the next challenge we had to face was convincing my dad! DOOM DOOM DOOM
Well… I am a graphic designer, so YES… we won that battle. ;) And I have never looked back. In fact, what I have always found interesting is that out of a class of 15 – 20 students over a 2 year period, I am the ONLY one who actually pursued the career of graphic design after graduating….

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I worked here and there, doing this and that, and in 2000 I quit my job and started working for myself. 17 years later and here I am. I have faced MANY challenges and struggles. Some I won others I lost. My first business failed, but I got back on the horse and opened another one.


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We are in our 11th year of trading now. This too, has been a tough journey because the economic state of South Africa is well laughable…. But through it all, I am still here… alive and kicking… and yes, still designing.

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I been designing for so long now that I could literally do it with my eyes closed. In many respects I hardly even have to think about what I do now… I could basically say that I have a library of templates in my own head! Hahaha! – It is a wonderfully useful tool in a very fast paced trade. lol


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I have never really been interested in special effects, animation or other stuff like that… layout has always been where my passion rested. Desktop Publishing, corporate branding and so forth. Being a completely OCD individual has been a real bonus in my preferred sphere of design too, as I have an exceptionally keen eye for detail and balance (I think being a Gemini also has something to do with the balance side of it…haha)

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When I look back at work I have done over the years it is really eye opening to see how much I have grown in my skill. At the age of 37, I would now confidently stand here and say that I “know exactly what I am doing”… and I believe I am very good at it too.

I am not trying to blow my own horn… I continue to learn EVERY, SINGLE, DAY - I am just acknowledging (to myself) that I have been through some enormous tests in my life as a designer (and as an individual) and I am actually proud of where I stand today.

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At the age of 15 I had no CLUE how that decision would shape the course of my life.… I just wanted to get out of school… but through that “desperation” I believe I found a true talent, passion and gift.

Yes, I still want to be a world famous singer, oh, and dancer… and a lawyer and let’s not forget psychologist…. But, for the time being, I am ever grateful for being blessed with the talent that I currently use every day. Hehehehe ;)

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Design, much like any other creative field, is intricately involved! There are so many levels to it and it almost angers me that these days, people can do a “3 month cram course” and then walk away calling themselves a designer. Most of them are not a designer’s backside! If you cannot even align text on a business card properly, then you are NOT a designer my friend. True Story! Haha!


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Good design is finding the perfect balance and flow of the various elements on the page as well as paying great attention to the details. In fact, in my opinion – it is attention to the details, like spacing and alignment that separates a great design from an average one.


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I have de-railed… haha!

My point is, did I make a mistake with my decision to leave school? Absolutely not! Actually, I don’t think there are mistakes – there are only choices, all of which (good and bad), teach us something and despite how unconventional my choices often are, they always lead me to precisely where I should be.

There is a lot to be said for perseverance… in fact more so than talent.

Combine both and you have a winning recipe for sure – no matter what you want to do.

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I wanted to share this story with you because so many people just give up on themselves. They give up on their dreams and they let go. The odds were completely against me when I started this journey, but – and it’s a BIG but… I believed it with everything in me. I trusted in the process and I had faith that everything would turn out as it should. And it did!

And it will for you too… if you BELIEVE it will!


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Oh, and I filled this post with random old designs I have done over the years, well… because a story of passion, persistence and my journey as a graphic designer would be incomplete without them…. And because I just like pretty pictures! Hehe ;)

Until next time wonderful Steemers!

Much love from Cape Town xxx


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" I filled this post with random old designs I have done over the years, well"

Thank you I was wondering about that through reading the post and appreciate you sharing! Nice work getting into college so early and at 37 the world is still full of opportunity for many more stories!

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Thanks @jerrybanfield - yes that is indeed true! And now a WHOLE new door of exploration has opened for me with Steemit. I Have alsways loved to write.... and now I have somewhere to do it, where it actually gets appreciated :)

Thanks again for all the support and advice! Have an AMAZING Friday and weekend ahead x

Once again, great post - you really keep my senses busy with your posts. beautiful pictures, great writing. I can just imagine how good you are at your job. So I want to say the following - when you become a whale.....and it will happen , you just stand out, remember me. Resteeming.

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Honey - you never cease to amaze me!!! Never met you in my life, yet loving knowing you... and I NEVER overlook those close to me!!! but... don't be so quick to sell YOUR-SELF so short! Your posts are equally as amazing in their OWN INDIVIDUALITY! I would love to hug you right now!

Thank you SO much for your always beautiful words!!!!!!!!!

You too shall be a whale angel, if that is what you wish xxx

So much love to you!!!!!

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Ahhh thank you - well here is to girlpower and hugs crossing the distance

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yeah baby!!! Whoohooo ;)

Jaynie, I love your passion and how you went for what you loved right from a young age. Good for you! It's a joy to see someone following their bliss. I also love that quotation, "Design is intelligence made visible." I've never seen it before, but I think it's very true!

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Thank you @judyroberts I appreciate that xxx

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hahahaha one of my favourites!! lol it plays in my shop almost daily. lol ;) xxx

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lol you never cease to amaze... lol still giggling!!!! :D

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Thought you might like that lol was a fitting song 🐼

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you thought right :)

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I must say that I really enjoyed this! Looking forward to more

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Thank you so much :)

NICE ARTICLE THANKS
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Thank you!!! Appreciated VERY much :)

This post received a 4.5% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @jaynie! For more information, click here!

@jaynie Your posts are just awesome i love them!! followed you

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What a wonderful thing to say @rushikesh23 - thank you SO much!!! That really means a lot to me xxx

That is a really impressive story, it just goes to show where persistence can take you even at a young age!

You are really good, your designs are well shaped! Thanks for sharing!

it's a bit much... you could back off a bit.