Amanda Skapnit

Amanda Skapnit

Junior Graphic Designer


Always be friendly. Always be open. Don't wrinkle your nose at anyone.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Passing my GED. I had been homeschooled, so this was literally the first test I'd ever taken. I was so nervous. I passed it on the first try, but I'd been studying for a month.
Enrolling in community college. I couldn't get into the University that I wanted to study Psychology, so I decided to do my best at community college and see where it took me.
Getting my job at Taco Bell. I was 18, I'd sent out 72 applications in the course of a month. In-person and online. 3 employers called back. Taco Bell happened to be the one who hired me.
Getting my driver's license at 19. My dad made sure I couldn't drive because I was the kid who had to take care of him and his house. I saw my younger siblings start driving before I was allowed.
Moving out of my dad's house: it wasn't exactly a choice, but in hindsight, having to leave was the best thing that ever happened to me.
My first art class. I'd always drawn, but it didn't impress anyone until I took my first drawing class at community college and shocked the teacher with my talent.
Everyone told me I wasn't going to get accepted into the design program at Western Michigan University. I ignored all of them. I think my mom and my boss at the time were the only ones who backed me.
Moving to Washington, DC, from Michigan: I moved to DC for my first job after college making political mailers at The Pivot Group. I'd always lived in the country before that, the city was crazy!
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

ged
GED
undergrad
Bachelor
Graphic Design
Western Michigan University
Career

Career

Junior Graphic Designer

I design campaign materials for political movements all across the United States.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Politics
Politics
Design
Design
Being Creative
Being Creative

Day to Day

Right now I'm self-employed, so I'm working freelance. I check my email, see what work I have, send work to clients, send out client briefs to new customers, and occasionally work on personal projects. I tend to hang out at my local library with my Macbook to do this. While I had a contract I'd show up to work 10 minutes early, make a coffee, sit down and plug in my headphones. I'd check my email - and start working on whatever projects I was sent. So it's basically the same deal.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

A designer is always learning. I have to keep myself open to new media, new techniques, and new programs. I do a lot of my learning through YouTube, although I have met some mentors along the way who are always there to help me out. Always be friendly. Always be open. Don't wrinkle your nose at anyone.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Learn to draw and let people know that you know how to draw. Designers who can draw are so powerful. Also: don't be a snob, work hard, and help the underclassmen. Upperclassmen have gotten me jobs, underclassmen have given me clients. Just be a member of the community at large. You're still learning when you teach.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Graphic Design
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"People go to college to prove that they're smarter than everyone else, that's the only reason they go. You aren't smart enough to get in. You probably won't get into the design program at WMU, it's very competitive. "