By Kellie Julius

ArtVersion Interactive, located on the third floor on Skokie Hwy doesn’t look like much on the outside but stepping inside one will notice there is a lot to be learned and a lot to take in. Starting here in May as an intern I wasn’t sure if I would be taking phone calls or running to fetch the daily mail. I quickly found out that making coffee and picking up lunch was only asked of me on few days. Other than that I was thrown in to action. My first project, a website, having little to no experience in web, my face was most likely flush and my palms sweating but I sat down was given direction and began. A week later I completed something. I was proud that in a weeks time I designed my first website however, what I came to realize was that a week time was not nearly fast enough. As the site began to be coded and my knowledge of web design increased I saw the many errors I had created. The text too small the images too big and the drop shadows too dark. Seeing these mistakes, I realized how silly they were. Thankfully, I am no longer taking a week to design a webpage and have learned what looks good and what doesn’t.

Coming a long way from my first week I learned that designing doesn’t necessarily have rules, our coder would most likely disagree,  but thinking outside the box and breaking away from basic designs you see everywhere is where good design starts. Keeping in mind what the client wants and giving them options to what the website could be is where ArtVersion has helped me tremendously. I never knew that there would be so many ways to make a drop shadow and after looking at a design for hours and not knowing what to do with it, help and direction was always near. With a few clicks here and magic wave of the mouse my design was pulled out of a stand still mode and back in action. Realizing that the team was there to help and not just there to critique made me realize that I was a part of a team and that no design was better than another because at the end of the day it had the company’s name on it not an individual’s name.

Along with learning the structure and the right and wrongs of web design, photography was another challenge in it’s self that I did not see coming. The mission was to update the ArtVersion Portfolio site and create the a portfolio for the iPad. Photography is one thing when you have your own camera and you are working with elements you are used to. The elements I was used to was being outdoors and capturing images on my small Cannon point and shoot camera. Here I was fully equipped with a Nikon D700, 2 lenses, a light that seemed to have a umbrella attached to it and a white backdrop, but how hard could it be? Well I learned quickly that it was no walk in the park. After endless shots of print images I found two good ones out of the fifty I had taken, a change was in order. I was then told to compare my work and have a standard to what it should look like, with those words in mind I continued on and finally began to feel comfortable in the unfamiliar setting. Taking images is still a stressful experience at times but being patient and adjusting your angle or your lighting may just be the key before you completely give up; but with anything its not about giving up and not being satisfied with just okay.

I found that as I continued with my weeks of work I was becoming more comfortable in the ArtVersion enviornment, as well . I was adapting and becoming familiar with the settings around me allowing my design instincts to take over. However, moments still struck where I would need a simple opinion, help on how to do something and direction on where to lead my design.

I see that I am still growing as a designer and becoming more confident and comfortable with my knowledge in this field. As I continue to grow I would like to become more comfortable with clients and deliver them revisions, new ideas, concepts and everything in between with confidence. To not be afraid of the questions I can’t answer and simply dive in head first and deliver to them what I can, to the best of my knowledge.

My education and curiosity has brought me far but this internship has brought me farther along than I have in the semesters spent at school. Being wrapped in the design world for 8.5 hours a day 5 days a week, one would see how improvement is not only a must but expected. Leaving here I find myself more equipped with web design knowledge, an eye for a up to date design and more creativity all thanks to the team at ArtVersion Interactive Agency.