I think being strategic in that way has really helped those types of clients find me — because I was very intentional in the way I defined my audience. I didn’t post all of my corporate work, because I thought if I did, it would only attract more of the same kind of work. Instead, I would literally only post bright and colorful things in my portfolio, even if I was working on other things in my 9-to-5 job. Now, a lot of people come to me and say things like “Oh, we really like that you have a definitive style and a unique voice.” It’s helped me get clients that align with my point of view and specifically want to work with me because of it.
Even if I weren’t a graphic designer, I could never just have a 9-to-5 where I’m not able to be myself. Yeshi is my middle name, and I’ve always used it as a play on words. My website and studio is called Yeshi Designs, as in “Yes, she designs.” It inspires and empowers me, as a woman of color, to say yes, we do have a presence in the design world and we exist: We’re here.
This year has been full of highs and lows. I’ve been getting a lot more work and visibility. I’ve always freelanced, but this is my first year doing it completely full-time. It's been amazing, because I see so much growth in myself and in my work. At the same time, I'm learning the importance of self-care, because I am my business. If I haven't slept well, or if I'm not eating well, it's going to reflect in my work. I’ve realized it's important to put yourself first when you’re your own boss — and sometimes that means saying no to things, so that you can say yes to yourself.
Trust in your own voice, and try not to get too caught up in comparing yourself to other people. You’re going to see so many talented people out there, but that doesn't mean that your voice isn't important. Just know that what you have to say matters, as well. Because ultimately, if you don't believe in yourself — and if you don't put your work out there — it makes it that much harder for someone else to believe in you.