Natalie Cary

Membership Number: SAF03281

Contact Details

Web Address:www.thecreativelab.co.za
Secondary Web Address:
Province:Gauteng (South)
Missing

Profession Details

Media:Internet - Website and Blogging, Social Media
Speciality:General
Profession:Graphic Designer, Web Designer

Experience

After finishing high school in Johannesburg, I, like many others, had no idea what I wanted to do with the next 50 years of my life. It’s kind of a big decision for an 18 year old. So I played eenie meenie miney mo with the course catalogue at The University of Johannesburg (then RAU), and my finger landed on a Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communication. So that’s what I did.

I received my undergraduate degree in 2005 and was accepted into the Honours program. During my second year, I had started working part time at a media house based in Johannesburg in the PR and Marketing Department and was offered a permanent position on completing my degree, so I decided to concentrate on getting my career up and going.

After four invaluable years at the media house, I was offered the opportunity to start up and manage a new retail store in the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg. I grabbed it with both hands and jumped right in. They say variety is the spice of life, don’t they?

After a couple of years, I realised that retail, while enjoyable, wasn’t going to be my life’s passion, so I jumped to heading up the Sales and Marketing Department at an exhibition company – and still didn’t feel the “oh, this is definitely what I want to be doing with my life” bug bite.

I then made a big decision, sold everything I owned, bought a plane ticket and moved to Thailand on my own to teach English (I know, how original?). I figured I could take a year for myself – I was young enough and didn’t want to land up with three kids named “Coulda, Woulda and Shoulda”, if you know what I mean. And what a year it was!

On returning to SA, the only place that will ever truly be home, I was offered a job as a Key Account Manager at a marketing agency and thought, “Let’s give this marketing thing another shot”. And it still didn’t stick. After six months, I approached the owner of the agency with a proposition. I would take a few months off, self-study my behind off and come back as a junior (and I mean junior) graphic and web designer. To my astonishment and utter gratitude, she accepted. And there I was, all of a sudden, a fresh-faced (and wide-eyed) designer.

Working my way up the ranks at the agency, from junior, to not-so-junior, to senior graphic and web designer, and then all the way up to Creative Director, I loved every second of being in a creative environment, watching all of the pictures in my head come to fruition in good looking, functional designs that made my clients proud of their brands.

After four years of growing as a person and as a designer at the agency, I decided to take the plunge and go out and conquer the world of freelance graphic and web design. And that is where you find me now.

Having a background in marketing and communication allows me to give great insight into the “why?” of designing and ensures everything I produce for my clients is thought-through and not just designed for the sake of being designed – there is method to my madness, I promise!

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