The #1 question people ask me about designing for ministries and churches is “Where did you learn to do that?”
That’s a great question and the answer is quite simple. I taught myself everything I know. Being a project designer was something I fell into after a total of 10.5 years as a church secretary at two different churches and serving other local ministries. I started out pretty simply, doing small flyers for church activities as was needed. My first church secretary job was full of learning. To do the basics of the job I was blessed to work under a wonderful admin who had been a church secretary for over 20 years. She was full of wisdom about how to handle people, answering phones/emails, how to protect the pastoral staff. But when it came to design, she was still using the old styles of copying and pasting clip art, using a copier and tape for most of her design work. I knew there had to be a better and more excellent way. Fresh out of school and newly married, I was also very fresh to the many uses of the computer. I had learned a lot in college about word processing, but that was about the extent of my experiences. I have a naturally artistic eye, but had never been trained in art or even in graphic design. But thankfully, I discovered Microsoft Publisher early in my career. Not only did it give me experience with boxes and design layouts, it guided me in my first attempts at creating my own designs, using it’s features. I soon realized it couldn’t do everything for me, however and I was allowed to purchase a graphics program to help me. I chose the cheapest one I could find, which happened to be Xara. I loved it from the start. It was a very user friendly, but also featured great design tools that gave me a lot of creative freedom. I have used it ever since, getting the updates and new versions as they are available, and have mixed it with Word, Publisher, PicMonkey.com, Excel and other online programs to create the designs I want. From practical spreadsheets, to sign ups to flyers to web design, I have taught myself through avid “help” use, free online training programs and my own natural abilities to create projects for ministry. It has taken patience, a desire to educate oneself, and lots of try and try again, but I am thankful for the abilities and opportunities God has given me to minister to others as a result.