The short answer to the article title? I’m Jacqui Cary and I’m not qualified to write about technology. I’m an average user with a tech savvy side and an interest in efficiency, and a bigger interest in color. I am a noticer. I see trends and observe things that can be improved. I’m also a wife, mother, and a cat and homeowner. I’m an artist.
In short, I’m probably less tech savvy than Laura, which isn’t a slam, because she’s so very tech literate. However, like Laura, I also like pretty things. To be more specific, I enjoy the aesthetic of something that’s been beautifully laid out, worded, coded, or designed. I am a designer.
It took me a while to get to this point, however. I spent many years in high school in drawing and painting classes, yet never once considered computer classes to be beautiful or a place where beautiful things could happen. In college I majored in art, when I was hoping to be a middle school art teacher. I spent many years working with my local school district chasing kids around and leading teams of staff. After I had been doing that for a few years, I took a huge leap and quit to spend time with my infant daughter and gain some direction. Nothing like a little person with half of their genetic material belonging to you to make you realize you need a fulfilling career or you’re dying a slow, useless death.
I spent most of my 20’s dabbling in photography, sculpture, interior design, painting, and random one-off projects. Although I’d still flip my lid if someone offered me an interior design job, (seriously, I’ll do it for the cost of materials…), I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily about the “what” I’m creating, as much as I feel creative with it. I LOVE color. I LOVE design. I will talk your ear off about color theory and decades worth of color palettes. I bought my daughter a Pantone book, and I probably look at it more than she does. My cousin and I regularly text about design finds and furniture. Where some people have a little twinkle in their eyes about cars, technology, or gadgets, I have this about the world of design.
It could be that I majored in the wrong thing. Perhaps I would have been better off in the graphic design track. Maybe. Originally I wanted an interior design degree, yet couldn’t commit to it because I didn’t want to work for the wealthy. Without this sounding like a therapy session (a-thank-you), I’ll just say that working with OpInc sort of fell into my lap. Ilse and V were working on a logo mock-up for a client, and I happened to come into the world headquarters to wash a bunch of towels (oh, we’re not working out of our basement at all). I made a suggestion to them about the logo and both of them basically indicated that the direction I was taking the logo was something they had not considered. Within two weeks, the logo I designed on a whim was in use by the organization. I had never anticipated that my creativity would be appreciated by someone except my mom or V. This feeling of being “published” was intriguing.
Finally! A productive outlet for my love of color. Finally! An outlet to put my love of guides to use. Finally! Design! You can only convince your spouse to let you paint a wall so many times before you are insane. (Yes, we have a color in our house we affectionately named “Impulse Blue.”)
As you might have noticed, I’m thorough, which is a nicer way of saying I’m wordy as hell. I’ll try to put my “not a techie” tech tips to good use. Even if most of them do have a design, creative, or efficiency twist to them. In short, I’m not faking it till I make it. That’s what I did before I found a passion that landed in my lap with a big fat “Pantone Through the Twentieth Century” book. (V, if you’ve gotten this far, I want that book, ok?)