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  • Rachael Burnett

Becoming a Designer

Seven years ago I started my first day of college. I always knew I wanted to be a designer. But I didn’t always know what that entailed, so I felt lost. I started college with a goal to pursue graphic design. I loved art in high school. In fact it was one of my only drives to get me to school some days. I wasn’t a good student. I had struggles with anxiety, dyslexia and not much self confidence. But in art class I was safe. I felt I could make something beautiful, I had talents. My sister Cara, who always knows best, told

me I should look into graphic design and come to South Dakota State University, to be close to her as she finished her masters in mathematics. I did what she said obviously! I didn’t know what I wanted and it sounded great. I could get a studio art degree with it. I moved forward and did that. It felt right, everyone was going to college, I needed to go. The first few years were core studio and general classes. This is a picture of my first day of classes with my sister Cara, in 2014.


Skipping to a few years in. I finally learned what a designer did for a living. It seemed ok. I saw what it looked like to be in the corporate world. I wasn't sure I wanted to sit in a cubical from 8-5. I saw what it looked like to work for somewhere cool like google or apple, playing ping pong to spike creativity or having pods to take a nap. Looked great to sign me up. But that didn't seem realistic to me. And it wasn't really, not many places have that atmosphere. I'm a great designer, if i wanted to i could make it happen, but this was a few years ago. I didn't have the confidence or knowledge I have now. I didn't think I was good enough so I was scared for my future. I was scared to see what it was like to work in a cubicle, I was scared for judgement on what I designed, I was scared to fail. So I didn't try. I didn't become a graphic designer right away. I didn't draw, I didn't create for fun. I just took a job as a receptionist for a while at a home building company. Now this job did grow to being an interior designer for them but it didn't start that way. I hated it though, I hated living to work. Working to barely pay my bills and making work my life. I hated feeling under-appreciated and I was really sick of not being able to add creativity to designs. These homes had budgets, and other people buy them and don't always want to keep your design. It just got old. Mundane.


I don't do well with repetitive work. I want to learn and I want to change. I know this now. I started Sunshine Design because I wanted more. I designed coloring books, stationary, stickers and more. But it wasn't a full time job but did add a little creativity to my life. I still do this work on the side but I waited to find the right idea. I am growing and constantly learning. That's why I picked this profession. I can learn and be creative, I can be uniquely me and it’s not right or wrong it’s just art.

This was one of the most impactful realizations in my life. I realized I just had to do it. So I started Moon Media.




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