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Things I do

How To Get Your Site Noticed

How To Get Your Site Noticed

When I started as a “professional” graphic & web designer in 2007, I perused galleries all over the place for inspiration, wondering what it took to make it onto these sites. I assumed these had to be well-known designers with an amazingly deep understanding of development, compliant coding, or were born with endless amounts of creative ideas. I’m not saying they aren’t those people, but it’s not all of them. I know this, because I’ve recently found myself surprisingly amongst them.

Yay for some lovin’ from OnePageLove.com!

Yay for some lovin’ from OnePageLove.com!

This morning I woke up, did my usual, wandered into the office to check my Google Analytics, and saw I already had 143 hits from around the world and it was only 10 am. I immediately thought my site got hacked.:p Once I delved into the traffic sources a bit more I realized a lot were referrals and from the site OnePageLove.com.

MySQL databases, php forms, & dynamic results, oh my!

MySQL databases, php forms, & dynamic results, oh my!

So when I first moved to Maryland I had several interviews going on in one week. One of the companies was looking for a web designer/developer so I thought I’d give it a try. For my interview they asked me to put together a page where someone can register/login, take a survey, and then produce live results once they hit submit. I suppose I should emphasize I’m more on the design than development side of things so this kind of frightened me (oh, and I had 1 day to put it together). After a few moments of wondering if I should cancel the interview I finally said to myself, why not take a stab at this, what’s the worst that could happen, you and they both realize it’s not the job for you and you’ve learned something new in the process.

Can’t-Miss Tutorials for Graphic Designers

Can’t-Miss Tutorials for Graphic Designers

I love when I can sit down and take the time to learn new tricks for my print designs, photography, or interactive stuff. Over the years I’ve created a bookmark haven of inspiring tutorials and now I want to share them with YOU! You may find some of the tips to be tedious or too extensive, but once you apply them to your designs, they can truly enrich your skills & take your work to the next level.

Yum! Here… have a bite of some CSS3 PIE!

Yum! Here… have a bite of some CSS3 PIE!

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a bit behind the average techy guru at picking up on new ideas and technology. I didn’t start REALLY getting into tweeting until this year, I just now hopped on board the “one-page jQuery scroll” train, & this summer was the first time I touched a WordPress theme. So some of you may say, CSS3 Pie, really? That’s been around for a while, where have you been?! Maybe it’s the midwesterner in me (we always have been a step behind), but either way, here I am now, excited to share a yummy surprise courtesy of Justin Hubbard on webdesign tuts+… Css3 PIE.

A long explanation on portfolio board preparation

A long explanation on portfolio board preparation

Oh man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Last week my sister came to town from Michigan, one of the best weeks I’ve had since moving to Maryland. We got to enjoy a few days of nice ‘weathas’ (one gorgeous day out in Frederick… adorable downtown!). Luckily for me, each day she was here I received emails/calls from people interested in potentially hiring me (I think she should probably move in, cuz apparently she’s my lucky charm). So after bidding my sister adieu, I busted a move to get my portfolio boards put together for the three interviews I had this week. And now, because I know you’re all sooo interested, I’m going to share a bit about that awesome process and minor tips that could make a big difference.

Shazam! Another Behance Project!!

Shazam! Another Behance Project!!

As I was putting together my portfolio, I realized I have a lot of work I’ve done over the last three years, and well, even before that with school work. My problem was that I didn’t really have a place to share it, I didn’t want to overload my personal site with miscellaneous projects. That’s where the Behance Network comes in. What I love about this site is it’s free, easy to share work (with other social media networks too), and it’s another place to find future employees/employers. Just the other day I had the luxury of someone contacting ME to see if I was interested in a potential full-time job (warning: ridiculous onomatopoeia ahead)…SHAZZZAMMMM!!!

Balancing Act: Job Application/Interview Etiquette

Balancing Act: Job Application/Interview Etiquette

For the last two weeks I’ve been putting together my new résumé & several cover letters so I can start applying for jobs. I remember back when I first graduated from MSU I looked to my parents or online posts for help as far as what’s the proper etiquette for writing cover letters, résumés, & giving answers in interviews. Three years later I’m discovering etiquette for graphic design positions is totally different than that for fields outside of the “creative” industry.

Out with the old…

Out with the old…

… & in with the new! I finally finished my site redesign, annamonroe.me, after almost a year of knowing it was going to need to be done & months of sketching, research, mock-ups, etc.  There are definitely some parts I love & some that I’ll probably keep changing for the next few weeks until I can claim satisfaction.