Q and A with Camille, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
“Just do what you love; it’ll take you somewhere far.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about anything that requires creativity. I am currently a brand and marketing designer, and I also enjoy calligraphy and DIYing crafts as a hobby. Some say I inhale and exhale the art of designing. I’ve been designing for almost half of my life because of our family’s printing business. My eye for design has been my bloodline since I became an entrepreneur. I found joy in creating for other people. I formally started doing this for a living in 2018. Before I worked with actual brands, I tried offering my design services for free to support my friends who are just starting out, and that became the foundation on how I was able to have a good portfolio to attract my first paying clients. I chose my career path as a designer for other companies because I know they deserve nothing less when it comes to building a credible visual language. My creative solutions are the ones I wished all entrepreneurs had easy access to when starting out.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I grew up in the province where children from my era spent playtime at rice fields. My parents were blessed with four daughters, me being the third child. Creativity runs in our family. My dad and my eldest sister love photography A LOT. My dad is an engineer and used to be a well-known photographer in our locality, while my sister pursued professional fashion photography while juggling it with her corporate work. My second sister loves modeling and is also an online beauty influencer, our youngest is an architect in the making while my mom is the greatest cheerleader and support system in the family.
It was funny that as love for art is present in the family, I was the only one who never learned how to draw. During our younger years, my sisters enjoyed creating handmade paper dolls, coloring books, and sketching gowns…and I find it so boring! I enjoyed lettering my classmates’ names instead. I spent most of my childhood in our little printing shop sitting on the computer desk, exploring MS Paint, Print Artist (it’s like Canva during 90’s), or watching my uncle photoshop ID pictures of our customers. [She laughs.]
I may say that I was exposed to the digital world of art, especially graphic design, as early as six years old. And it is still clear for me as if it just happened yesterday how I really loved creating my own play-money, greeting cards, and fair tickets from scratch then print them in our dot matrix printer and manually cut them with scissors.
During my elementary age, I developed my love for graphic design even more. I was the youngest staff in our shop to be able to attend to our customers’ requests like photoshopping blurred documents, enhancing photos for reprinting, and creating cover arts for school projects while kids my age only played video games.
When I entered high school, I became our official newspaper’s layout artist. I’ve designed numerous shirts and uniforms for different events, and that continued till college where I sometimes received monetary rewards for my work.
At first, I never knew that graphic design could be a decent profession. So, what I chose to take on during college was a bachelor’s degree in political science and shifted to mass communication. Although I was not able to finish my degree and contrary to what others think of me, I am finally earning a multiple 6-figure as a graphic design specialist.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: I could not stress this enough, but this is the value I want to share with others: *Just do what you love, it’ll take you somewhere far.* My story has been a roller-coaster ride. I became a parent at the early age of 19. Since then I never stopped exploring options on how I can make a living. My life partner and I paused from studying to become full-time parents and providers and we thought that if we didn’t finish college our career is bound to nowhere. My parenthood journey turned my world upside-down that it made me forget myself and my interests. My child became my everything and subconsciously forget what I loved doing – designing. It took me years of exploring what’s missing and why I still feel empty even we both earn enough. Until my partner and I decided to quit our corporate job and build a small digital printing company from scratch, our capital was from loans and credit card, our knowledge in equipment operations are all self-taught. I started designing again for our own business and I felt so alive. Everything went well from there. Until the pandemic came, back-to-back lockdowns affected our operations. To escape bankruptcy, I made a shift and use my design skills to offer it to a bigger market, and that’s when I became a freelance brand designer and it allowed me to earn 5x of our business’s profit. Without having to worry about the pandemic and lockdowns. I was able to reach greater heights for my family. Truly, doing what you love won’t fail you. It’ll take you farther than what you have imagined. Some have judged me that I could do more and earn more only if I followed the career path my degree will take me. But I chose clarity over certainty. My passion gave me clarity more than anything else and I know for sure that as long as I use this skill to help others, I am on the right path.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: For me, feminism is standing up that you are more than “just a woman”. It’s equal rights = equal access to opportunities. I believe that feminism leans more towards equality, not female superiority. And that equality is what all genders deserve, not just us women.
MORE FROM CAMILLE: I am 25, a corporate escapee, and now the creative mastermind behind Miles Creative Co. (a brand and marketing design company I started a year ago). I live in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines. I have a 6-year-old daughter and am expecting our second baby girl in July. I love having multiple businesses. I have an online boutique, and I also help my partner manage our small restaurant business.
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