My early years as a designer began in Columbus, Ohio after graduating from the Columbus College of Art & Design. I have a BFA in Graphic Design and Advertising.
After graduation, I was hired by the advertising agency that I was interning at. At the time it was called Ten United Worldwide. I worked with a variety of clients such as Boys & Girls Club of America, Huntington Bank, First Star, Perkins Restaurant and Dad's Dog food. While the clients and the atmosphere was glamorous, the work was not very creatively challenging.
I moved on to a small design firm in Grandview, Ohio primarily working with Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Ohio Health. I realized here that my brain craves for variety, so my stay there was short.
Questioning my career choice, I applied for a job as an account manager, and also a job as a graphic designer at the Dearfoams Company. I was offered both jobs at the same time—I had a real choice to make. I decided to give design just one more try. I became a senior designer at the Dearfoams Company. Here I concepted and designed the POP displays that were produced for Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Target and Sears. I designed all new packaging concepts for new products as well as the Holiday Packaging that changed yearly. I was in constant communication with China, and saw all packages through production. I was happy here, but again I wanted more variety on my plate.
My next adventure began at Interbrand Design Forum in Centerville, Ohio. Interbrand is an internationally recognized Retail Design Firm. This amazing opportunity presented me with the opportunity to design for nationally recognized consumer brands. Some of my most successful projects during my 5 years there were: Au Bon Pain, P&G, 24 Hr Fitness, Babies R Us, Amway, Nutrisystem and Ultra Diamonds. It was an amazing job and I worked with some of the most creative and inspiring people in the industry. That job solidified my career and my path in life. It inspired me to be great.
Life at an agency has its challenges. While the work can be amazing the hours are not. I love being a designer but I do not want to live my entire life at work. Family is important and so is havng a life beyond the walls of a cubicle! I made the leap to be a freelancer to do what I do best, but without 20 other executives between me and my clients.
This has been the best move that I have ever made for myself, and my career. I love doing what I do. You can't buy passion-it has to live within you. I have done art and design in some form my whole life; and I could not imagine doing anything else..
Jen Chapman is a freelance graphic designer, website designer, packaging designer and branding expert based in Phoenix Arizona. ©2017 Jen Chapman Creative