Archives for category: Experiences

It finally happened. I am officially a Zilles again (long, long story). And with my new name comes a new website!

Check out for the further adventures of yours truly.

Why the switch from WordPress to Tumblr? Basically it boils down to this: sometimes I just don’t have much to say. I’ve always felt like WordPress took up loads of my time. Just trying to write a decent entry about anything took all night. I’m sorry, but blogging is not a full-time gig for me. I’ve got a million other things to do. Like watching bad horror movies and plotting my next evil scheme to take over Canada.

With Tumblr, I can show you all the cool things I find, which happens a lot more than the occasional article on letterpress. And I can blog when I have something to say. And it’s a lot easier to post videos. And photos. And links.

Anyway, I appreciate all the support with this blog. I don’t plan on deleting it, and perhaps I’ll one day return. For now, while my life is hectic, I’ve switched to something a little bit more simple…

One of the hardest parts about graduating is that after four years of having these amazing, expensive programs at your fingertips…you’re thrown out into the real world empty-handed. Some of us find the money for everything we need, and others find more creative solutions. Either way, most of us can’t have every single program we’ve ever wanted.

One program I used in college and miss a lot is Adobe Flash. It was nothing like what I had worked with before. I was used to creating flat, static art. Our biggest assignment for the program was to create a greeting card. I was thoroughly impressed with my own genius of combining a national holiday with my love of pirates.

The animation has been lost until now. We’ve purchased Flash here at work and finally, after three years, I am able to share this wonderful, albeit amateur, attempt at an electronic greeting card.

(You may have to watch it a few times to catch everything. And the fonts weren’t able to load in Flash when we exported it. But you get the idea.)

Music: Two Hornpipes (Tortuga) Hans Zimmer; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest soundtrack

It’s been 14 days since I started my daily365 project, and I’ve got to say that I am pretty darned proud of myself. A hidden goal within my resolutions this year was to finish everything I start. I’m tired of having great ideas and never following through on them. Having this goal of one picture + one sketch a day has formed a routine for me. It’s like clockwork now when I get home. Feed the dog, walk him, eat, take a picture of what I’ve sketched, edit the photos, post them, read, sleep. If you’re not following along, you should be (at least with Briggs).

Year of the Dinosaur

Sketch Fest 2010


Part of Scott Kellum's beautiful portfolio.

Second in my series is all about the portfolio. This is definitely an area that I am still learning about and I can only give you basic advice on what to do and not do. A few things to think about before you even start to put yours together:

01] How do you want to sell yourself? You may have had classes in just about every area of art, but what are your strengths and what kind of job are you going after? A potential art director may or may not care about your printmaking experience. 

02] Are you planning on showing your personality through your work? This is an interesting aspect of the portfolio that I haven’t ever addressed myself. Your personality can be shown through your actual pieces and also how the pieces are presented. My current art director spent countless hours on a beautiful style guide for his portfolio, which included custom boards that sit in their own tin. You can spend $50 on a black, zippered case like me and plop work in (because you don’t have time, money, ideas, etc.), and you can also make your portfolio unique. If you go the second route, make sure you are able to justify why you did what you did. Read the rest of this entry »

Copyright SOCIALisBETTER from flickr.


Last week I had the privilege of being a part of an interview team here at work. I got to sit in while a recent graduate showed her work and answered our questions. I was so pumped from the experience that I’ve decided to write a three-part series about what I’ve learned just from my short time as an interviewer. Granted, my insights are purely mine and may not reflect the other talented individuals in my field. Feel free to edit/add to this advice as you see fit.

Part I in the series is The Resume. This is what gets you in the door. I’ve written a bit on this subject before, but I wanted to get a little more detailed and list the DOs and DON’Ts of creating a resume. Keep in mind this list is for mostly for recent graduates, but experienced professionals need to remember a few of these bits as well. Read the rest of this entry »


 I’ve been sniffing out Tumblr for the past few months, trying to decide whether or not to start my own account. Or in other words, trying to decide whether or not I need ANOTHER home on the web.

My decision is evident here. And this is why: Read the rest of this entry »

I’d like to tell you all a little story. Here is the summary:

Girl starts blog. Girls loses job. Girls blogs about losing job. Employers read blog. Girl gets new job.

It’s basically a success story. And now I’ll elaborate. Read the rest of this entry »

I have returned from my epic road trip to the Ohio Valley. I would’ve updated last night, but I was exhausted when I got home and there was a marathon of Ghost Hunters on SciFi–something I simply couldn’t miss. So here I am, in my pajamas, regaling you, the reader, with this tale.

Read the rest of this entry »

I am very excited to say that I will be out of town the next two days for interviews. I’ll be traveling north to the wonderful city of Indianapolis first, then making my way over to Cincinnati on Wednesday. The southern Ohio opportunity sprung up early this evening. I was asked if I was going to be in the area any time soon and, well, I will be. So instead of making Tuesday a very long day, I’ve booked a hotel room and am ready for a road trip.

I’m excited for the chance to see where I could potentially be working. It is always a struggle when you are applying for out-of-town jobs. I’ve had two phone interviews and only one has invited me to come see their office. The other I haven’t heard anything from. I talked about this with a former co-worker of mine over half-priced appetizers tonight. ($4.92 for a chicken finger basket.  That’s right. Be jealous.) 

We discussed our frustrations with employers not following up with potential employees. Of course it is understandable if you never get a call or an email about a job in the first place, but it is discouraging when you have a phone or live interview–and even follow up with a thank you–and never hear back. I understand that employers are busy, but it just seems professional to at least let someone know that you’ve gone in a different direction. It is part of human nature to hope and wish and want. But it takes effort to purposely ignore and forget someone.

Don’t get me wrong. This little itty bitty tirade has nothing to do with any of my experiences so far. But it is something that I think should be addressed. I would love some feedback on this topic from interviewers and interviewees. If you have an opinion or you can explain why this happens, please share.

But tomorrow. Tomorrow I will put on my shoes and get in my car (ship) and contemplate sealing wax as I head toward a new beginning.

Day 5. For not having a job, this week has sure been busy. I’ve been glued to my gmail account all week and it’s become an obsession that I’m okay with. But on to updates:

That Tire/Battery Installer job: Turns out it was an awesome experience. I arrived early, entered the shop, and the guy at the counter asked “How can I help you, ma’am?” I told him I was there for an interview, and the man literally laughed in my face. But did I get discouraged? No sir. He said he would go back and tell the boss his 11 o’clock was here. So I wandered around the store, looking at batteries, wipers, fluids…all manner of thing of which I had no clue about.

As I’m walking around, I hear a group of men laughing in a back corner. A few of them say “Are you kidding me?” like they are really upset. I turn and they are all staring at me. I smile and ignore the laughs and snide remarks. I’m thinking, “say and think whatever you want, boys, but I am awesome.” Kind of a sticks-and-stones thing.

So finally, after 20 or so minutes, Gary calls me into his office. He shakes my hand like a girl. Or he was afraid to shake my hand because I’m a girl–I can’t tell which. Either way it’s a little creepy. But as it turns out, Gary is one of the most fun people I’ve ever met. He asked me a few questions and told me a little about the job, but this is the coolest part: When he saw I was a graphic designer, he asked me if I’ve heard of SCAD. (Really, who in my field hasn’t?) When I said yes, he told me his daughter graduated from there with a BFA in graphic design.

…FOR SERIAL!? What are the odds? It was absolutely insane. So I’m thinking, “Okay God, very funny. Where is this leading?” Gary tells me he is the Sauce King of Savannah and gives me his web address and his daughters’ company’s web address. I come out of this meeting completely charged up. I go home and two things happen:

01] I write an email to Gary’s daughter telling her this amazing story and letting her know that if she needs any help to give me a call. Then she writes back saying she always needs help and is extremely nice and will let me know when something comes up. Sweet, new contact. 

02] I get another email from a company in Arkansas that would like me to participate in a phone interview.

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Especially after learning my husband and I are going to get money back from our taxes later that evening. 

So Wednesday I call the wonderful people in Omaha that I had a phone interview with last week and they said they will let me know by today (Friday). I’m speaking with the Arkansas people today in about two hours and then I am driving to Indianapolis on Tuesday for a live interview with a great company up there.

Experiencing all of this I’ve decided that Craigslist is not the best resource for finding a design job. I’ve been applying to jobs listed on this site for months and have gotten just one email back so far. The others have come from creativehotlist. This site (as I think I’ve mentioned before) has amazing opportunities listed on it and the employers who post there are quick to respond (if they like you, of course). I feel amazingly lucky/blessed/whatever to have these opportunities ahead of me. We’ll see how things go in the next week.

NOTE: One day I will learn to either write in just past or just present tense. My apologies.