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Author: Tra Mi Do

A Letter To Me in 20-Years By Tra Mi

Dear Tra Mi,

At the moment, I am figuring out how to get into the creative agency while working part-time as a cashier at a thrift store. I just got accepted into another internship at SuperWorld as a digital illustrator after ending my term here at MarinaBcoding Inc. The goal at the moment is to gain as many connections and as much experience as I can in both graphic design and illustration industries. I used to hesitate to make connections, but now I don’t. The opportunity to connect with others would not have appeared to you if you were not ready to do so.

My portfolio is a bit different now than when I was in college. I realized later on that a simply designed website portfolio should show a good understanding of my skill sets that I want to utilize in the industry. I predict that as I grow and learn more, my skills will improve, and my understanding of website and app design will greatly change my website portfolio. Will I ever learn how to animate in After Effects and create a decent and unique landing/loading page? Will I utilize more of my UI/UX skills than I do now? Will I be consistent in posting and creating content to market my skill in design and illustration? Will there ever be a time where I can create something that will mix both of my illustrations and design equally? And will it show how strong both of the skill sets are? I don’t know, but I can’t wait for you to answer. Your skill level is growing and on a level that most strive to be. I’m very content and proud to know how much we have changed.

I just had my first staff meeting today at the thrift store I work at, and I learned a few things that really stayed with me: “If you are not intentionally preparing for growth, you are unintentionally preparing for decline.” It made me think that I should prepare life goals and evaluate how to meet them and many more. I do not have many needs, but a lot of wants. I am slowly building and discovering a new wardrobe style. I hope to continue my three hobbies: collecting cute things, journaling and scrapbooking, and flower pressing. These help me guide away and reset my creative mind into other active activities for the brain. I learned that I have specific focus blocks that my brain is most active that will allow me some time in the day to focus on things that I HAVE to do. Knowing this helped me out tremendously. How has my style of productivity changed? What do I have to do in order to improve it or have it suit my new lifestyle? Reminder to the future: your hobbies are not a waste of space, time, and money. How different are my hobbies now? Are they fun? Does it make me happy?

A speaker once told me that burnout only happens when you have to do something that you do not want to do. I was very shaken over such a simple explanation because it made me realize why I struggled so much in art school and with certain tasks in different internships. I love designing and illustrating; however, half of the time I get burned out easily because I do not know where to start. I was advised to start researching and asking those around me for inspiration. Start by noting things that match the briefings of the requirements and what they are. Make it interesting to you enough to want to continue the project.

I know I will have a lot more overwhelming questions to ask you about the future, about your relationship, friendships, and family, and I know you. So I will simply hope that you will update about them once at a time. Just know that right now I appreciate those that make quality time for me and gradually leave those that don’t. It reassures me that although time waits for no one, it makes me happy to know that they took the time to spend it with me and they chose to stay with me for who I am. Who are the people I surround myself with now? Do I know my people? Like how well do I know them? We are both amazing and on track to be successful people, and I hope you take the time to be nicer to yourself, but never lose yourself in the process.

I am adapting to a healthy diet, sleep, and a balanced lifestyle after graduating by not doing so in art school. Designing and illustrating while having eaten and good sleep helps you process and get them done faster. It is a crazy difference to me, and I should not have panicked in art school about deadlines, asked for extensions, and chosen my mind and health first. Reminder: always respect your boundaries on a healthy body and mind.

Sincerely, you from the past at 22,

Tra Mi Do

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