How Skillshare Changed my Life

 
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I know a lot of people don’t typically believe it until they experience it for themselves, but I am a geek through and through.  If you Google the term you will immediately find three different definitions for the word all which could be applied to me, but I think the second one really describes me best.

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When I hear the term Geek, I immediately think of the verb definition “to be or become extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject, typically one of specialist or minority interest.”  It is an all encompassing thing to be a geek, and I firmly believe it isn't limited to the standard examples that come to mind.  When you hear geek, some automatically think comics or anime.  Some imagine a mothers basement dedicated and created to be a shrine to video games.  Sure, these things fall into the broad and vague “geek” category, but it doesn’t stop there.   To me being a geek means having a passion that never stops growing. Being a geek these days is considered cool because passion is cool.  We live in an age where we don’t have to go work in a factory to support our families (for the most part) or become a stay at home wife to make sure her husband has dinner right when he gets home.  We have options and the freedom to pursue what we are passionate about, and that blinding obsession with our passions is what directs us to the geek vicinity.  

I am a geek for cats.  I am a geek for indoor gardening.  I am a geek for skincare and mobile video games and Disney and art.  Most importantly, art.  Back when I was trying just to make ends meet, and wasn’t, I was miserable and in a job that demanded 95% of my attention and whatever time I had to spare went to school and my education.  I was living an artless and thus, passionless life.  It was the antithetical of my life today, and I was miserable.  My family saw it, my job saw it, and my professors saw it.  It was the closest to being a zombie I hope I'll ever become and it burned out.  At 21 I was completely and utterly exhausted to the point of severe depression and being lost.  The pressure of being in school and having to pay for it was all too real, so I did what any miserable person would do.  

Quit my job and moved back home.

I went and lived with my mom for two years and thank god I have parents who are loving and supporting and saw how miserable I was.  My first week being back with my mom I slept.  All I did was sleep.  I like to think I was sleeping off the depression.  I had anxiety about my sleeping which I expressed to my mom whose rational response was to “keep sleeping.”  But I finally woke up and thankfully I was given some time, which really was the best gift ever given to me (thanks, mom, and dad).  Throughout this time I have no idea what I would have done without my parents because I was so deep and lost in this artless life that I had no idea how long I had been drowning for.  But I had ideas.  I started doodling more and talking to my cousin who was a tattooist.  Is that what I wanted to be?  I started drawing my ideas down and turning them into temporary tattoos and sold them on Etsy.  Not just selling, but successfully selling them.  They helped me pay my bills for a year.  But did I want to be a full-time tattooist?  Did I need to find a mentor?  The fire wasn't there for that medium.  Playing around on Facebook one day I had an ad come up for a new site I had never heard of called “Skillshare.”  I toyed around with it and was floored by how many amazing artists and classes were on it.  So I took some classes, nothing big or crazy just a few of their free ones since this was still in the day you had to pay-per-class (anyone else remembers those days?)

With Skillshare I dabbled in some mediums without the responsibility and obligation to a set mentor.  I had had a lot of fun digitally drawing my temporary tattoos in photoshop, and I still needed to make some money so in between my temporary tattoos and Skillshare classes I would browse for jobs.

One day I found one that struck me. "Personal Assistant to Graphic Designer.  Must have background in Adobe."

Well, I knew Photoshop, that would have been enough...right?  After my initial phone interview and scheduled an in person interview I realized it was not.  I rushed back to Skillshare and took every design oriented class that I could find and afford, and even shoved out some bucks for an Adobe Illustrator class.  

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That was it.  That was the moment I decided to take the path that I am still on.  And I wouldn’t have ever gotten here without Skillshare.  Because of that class, I was hired by Red Star Productions, or Mike, who I will always consider the most amazing and greatest mentor and teacher I could have asked for.  It was short lived because I was 22 and flighty, but I took what he taught me and ran with it.  I kept learning, and a few months later I had landed a fantastic job with a local Synagogue in San Diego as their in house graphic designer.  A position I lovingly held for some years before moving off to Seattle to continue working as a graphic designer, something I do to this day.  

None of this would have happened without Skillshare.  I really can’t think of another reason why Mike would have hired me in the first place.  Maybe he saw how hungry I was; I should ask him one of these days when I tire of trying to be impressive to him.

When I experience people who seem lost and want to be creative, I always say to go to Skillshare.  It takes time and endurance but if you give it your focus and your all you might find that one thing that really helps you tick and set down a path that will not only set you up for success but a life filled with happiness.