Doing a Volume of Work

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

For me, the hardest part of figuring out what I wanted to do later than the majority of my peers is feeling like I’m at the tail end of the career rat race. Of course it’s irritating to see less qualified peers land amazing jobs and move up in the world. But that doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

I’ve found that the most frustrating part of being new in the creative industry is the disappointment I feel with my work when it’s complete. I set very high standards for my projects and want to be proud of them. It’s discouraging to see the work of designers I respect and want so badly to reflect their caliber of design.

When I start to get overwhelmed by the thought of this, I force myself to watch a video I found on Vimeo (which, admittedly, is about every 2–3 weeks). There are a few things that bother me about the presentation but kudos to the guy who created this because kinetic type + After Effects = extremely difficult.

The video is reassuring for a couple of reasons:
1. Knowing Ira Glass (whom I respect greatly) struggled with this feeling speaks volumes to my confidence level.

2. The only way to move forward is to immerse myself in design — everyday — and keep pushing myself in my work.

Looking back at my projects from even January, I can see an enormous amount of progress. This is because between freelance, working at Stephens and working for Engineering, I’m designing or developing around 16 hours a day. If I’m not working, then I’m reading articles, blogs, books, watching videos, etc… that are design-related.

If you’re feeling stuck, or need a little inspiration, I recommend watching it, too.

– Em


Realish World: Day Two

After graduating this past weekend, I’ve faced the “what are you doing with your life?” question enough to drive me insane. Now, I can direct people to this blog to better explain what my plans are for the future.

Learning + Volume of work + Reflection:

I’ve decided that the best route for acquiring skills to become an interactive designer is to spend a few months intensively working at my part-time job at Mizzou Engineering. My awesome boss, Charlie, is allowing me to work on specific projects to help me fine tune these skills. I’m extremely excited at this opportunity, as it seems the work schedule is more like an apprenticeship. One of the requirements he has implemented is to record my thoughts as I go through this process. So, here goes.

First Reflection:

After sketching up some mock-ups of the first web design project I’m doing, I realized some of my inadequacies and some strengths.


I found it hard to sketch freely and quickly. I moved at a slower pace than I would have liked, but hope to get faster. At first, I definitely wasn’t confident in my designs and found them to look sloppy. I constantly questioned whether or not something was “convention in design” or if it was bad design. I need to work harder on selling the design, but I’m sure that will come with confidence. I also found that it was surprisingly helpful to let my mind wander as it naturally does instead of fighting to stay focused.


My enthusiasm for the project forced me to keep mocking up designs when I felt I was stuck. I also believe I do well when bouncing ideas around with other people.

Other lessons:

– thinking through some of the mechanics while creating wireframes  (how to implement it)

– importance of sketching a ton of mockups; a lot of designs won’t work

– setting a personal deadline to keep me accountable and on track





Hi, there!

I’m Emily and I have a slight (alright, life-consuming) obsession with all things multimedia. Currently, I’m a 22-year-old student at the Missouri School of Journalism. In December I’ll graduate with a BJ in Convergence (Multimedia) Journalism and BA in Spanish.

My ideal job is to take huge amounts of information and present it in a visually appealing and effective way. Call me an aspiring visual storyteller, multimedia journalist, web designer- whatever suits you best. For instance, here’s an infographic I made for the Mizzou College of Engineering. This might sound tedious, but I see the challenge as an exciting and rewarding problem-solving opportunity.

In order to further develop these skills, it’s important to learn from others’ successes and failures in the field. Building on this practice, as an assignment for my Magazines Across Platforms class, we each chose a magazine to critique for the semester. I chose to analyze NYLON Magazine and will be using this blog as a medium for doing just that. The end goal is to gain even more perspective about producing content across various platforms (iPad, web, mobile, print). I’ll blog about what the publication did well and what it could’ve done better.

Take a look around and if you have any feedback I’d love for you to shoot me an e-mail: