Sum yourself up into one sentence. My name is Ciera and I’m a graphic designer, blogger and photographer who loves traveling, the color green, typography, New Orleans, festivals and keyboard shortcuts.
What do you currently do for a living? Is it what you’ve always dreamed of doing? If not, what would you like to be doing? I work full time as a freelance graphic designer.
My parents started a sign shop together before I was born, in what turned out to be my first bedroom. Being raised in a creative family is the reason I started to take art classes in 2nd grade and eventually pursue a career in a creative field.
In high school, I was excepted into the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I went to my normal high school for half of each day and NOCCA for the other half to study visual arts. During my time at NOCCA I realized that I could not see myself as a fine artist but I also found that I was very organized and systematic while working on projects. We had a few computer/design sessions and although I was not exactly sure what it was, I knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer! When I went to college, I switched back and forth between design and photography and finally decided to focus on design.
I got a job right out of college at a great advertising agency and gained a lot of experience in my four years there. A time came when I was not learning anything else from being there and rather than look for a position at another company, I decided to give freelance a go!
The Ciera Design Studio was officially launched in 2010, offering full-service graphic design and branding. I have been working for myself full time for almost three years and love it! I LOVE what I do and feel extremely lucky everyday.
If you could accomplish one BIG thing in your lifetime, what would it be? Well personally I’d like to have a family and all that jazz. Professionally I’d really like to create an extension of my business for selling invitations and stationery. I have a few items in my Etsy shop, but I want to take it to the next level!
What is something you struggled with and had to overcome in your life? I have always been a shy person. I grew out of it slowly but doing what I love for a living has really helped. It’s great to be able to talk about something I’m passionate about. I was always nervous about having my own clients and giving presentations, but when you are an expert in your field, it really helps with confidence. I still hate public speaking but I don’t mind the one on one interactions as much as I used too.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Always do what you makes you happy. I’m not sure that anyone has ever said the exact words to me, but everyone in my family owns their own business, so I have definitely learned from example. I’m also a huge fan of the motto “work hard, play hard” :) I feel like that is the way of life in New Orleans.
What inspires and/or motivates you to do more, or to do better? I like to set goals, both personal and profession, to keep me inspired in all aspects of my life. This year, I created a 30 before 30 list and it was the first time I actually shared my list with anyone. I have been posting my progress to my blog and that has kept me even more motivated to get my goals accomplished!
How are you currently chasing your dreams? After living in Boston for a year and a half I am moving back home to New Orleans. It is the city I love and it keeps me creative! I’m constantly working hard to grow my blog and to create interesting and unique content. Next on the list is to focus on the invitation and stationery extension of my business!
Anything Else? I’d love it if y’all stopped by my blog to say hi! Thanks so much for having me on After Nine to Five today Ashley!
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