When people ask me, "So, what do you do?" my answer is very simple: I run a graphic and web design studio out of my home in San Francisco. But the truth is, the path that led me to such a straightforward response was anything but simple. How does a gal from Texas with a business degree and a culinary degree end up running a creative services studio? Short answer: by following her instincts. MY BACKGROUND Hi, I'm Victoria. I grew up in Austin, TX, and attended the University of Southern California, intent on my eventual career reflecting something out of a rom com -- perhaps an advertising job, corner office, always on the go, glued to my Blackberry (ha, remember those?). When I got my first internship in market research as a junior in college, my dreams came crashing down, as I realized agency life was probably (ok, definitely) not for me. So began a few years of exploring what WAS for me. Maybe that sounds familiar to you. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I think if you pursue the things that sound interesting and fun, you'll eventually end up where you're supposed to be, because you're following your own instincts. It's when you've arrived at that place and look back that your path -- however winding -- starts to make sense. At the start of my path, I graduated from college and enrolled in culinary school. This led to an internship at the San Francisco Chronicle's food section, where I stayed on and worked as a freelancer after the official end of the internship program. Working in food media prompted me to start my own food blog. Which introduced me to the world of blogging as it was beginning to blow up, in the late aughts. My site evolved into a daily lifestyle blog, where I was managing content creation, as well as constantly producing visuals for the site. This led to me exploring web and graphic design. And this in turn brought me to something I truly love -- designing for other people, solving their business problems through visual communication, and yes, ok, playing with fonts and making things look really good on the Internet. Though I'm a self-taught designer, when I look back, I realize design has always been a part of my life. Whether it was laying out a family newspaper as an 8 year old, constantly creating new collages for the walls of my room, devoting myself to the middle school yearbook, or designing books of poetry in high school, I was always laying things out in my mind, always wanting to create and make something look visually pleasing. For one reason or another, it never even occurred to me to pursue formal study of design, but this is what I mean -- if you're following your own intuition, you really do end up where you're supposed to be. ABOUT THE STUDIO Since 2012, I've run a graphic and web design studio whose clientele is currently comprised of about 50% style and lifestyle publishers, and 50% small businesses focused in the lifestyle services or consumer goods/retail spaces. What started as a small side business meant to help fellow bloggers prettify their sites is now a full service studio assisting clients with all aspects of identity design, web and mobile buildout, as well as all any marketing collateral needs. WHAT I CAN HELP YOU WITH AS A MENTOR: + I love talking to women about non-traditional career paths, and exploring what it is they truly love and want to pursue. This includes finding a path that fits while you're simultaneously grinding it out in a traditional 9 to 5 job -- trust me, I've been there. + If you find yourself wanting to explore digital entrepreneurship, or perhaps a career path that you have no formal education in, I'd love to be your sounding board, as I'm proof positive that you can absolutely build anything you put your mind to. + And of course, I'd love to chat with those who are interested in pursuing careers in design, no matter if you're formally trained or teaching yourself. We can talk about the lessons I've learned from managing clients, how to learn creative programs on your own at home (Photoshop, anyone?), building a design process that works for you and the project, and figuring out what it takes to launch a successful product.
Always have faith in yourself and in your future.
Get to Know Me
- Current Position
- Graphic & Web Designer, Founder, Victoria McGinley Studio
- Previous Positions
- Blogger, vmac+cheese July 2008 - August 2014
- Co-Founder, The B Bar April 2013 - November 2015
- B.S., Business Administration - University of Southern California
- A.O.S., Culinary Arts - California Culinary Academy