My design story starts at age 7.

My mom recalls me calling out road signs and screaming out store names when I saw their bright colors and logos. It was baked in my blood to notice road signs and logotypes and to know where we were going, which was my unique perspective. Around 2006, we got a family desktop computer that I could use Microsoft Word to createsigns. I often used Word to create posters, worksheets, and everything in between to create graphic works. I didn’t know any theories or canon; I just made things because I felt empowered. I had that app; I had the knack and motivation; I just opened it up and got to it. Using Word was therapeutic for me. I was able to type, use the fun WordArt, and add a cool border around the edge of the page, and I was able to create something that, while not perhaps “a work of art,”blew my mind. I continued to think that I was able to do that. I was able to make that!

As technology continued to develop and during the mobile phone revolution in 2009 and 2010, I got a new Nintendo DSi with a camera app. On this camera app, there were filters, stickers, and a lot of fun features that enabled easy photo editing. I spent hours upon hours creating and manipulating photos on that app. It helped me to continue that love for design by using predetermined templates and features in easy-to-use software included at no cost on my DSi.

With this mindset and as I continued through grade school, I was allowed to create a newspaper in 2011 for my 5th-grade class.Using the tools I’ve self-taught myself in Word and Google Docs, I started a newspaper that combined text, images, and other media to create a comprehensive and functional document that others could digest and read at their own pace.