Happy Monday everyone! We are beyond thrilled to spotlight yet another amazing Nicole’s Classes student. Today, we’re sharing Dani DiPirro’s great journey from former writer to graphic design and illustrating superstar. Dani has been a repeat star of our Student Work posts (see her previous work here, here and here) and her work just continues to get better and better. Like we’ve said before, we are always delighted to see students really take off and fly with the foundation our classes give them, and Dani is doing just that. Let’s find out more about how she made the jump from non-designer to designer and how she’s putting her skills to use!
1. How did Nicole’s Classes help you get your business going?
When I started taking Nicole’s Classes, I was merely a writer who had recently left her full-time job in Marketing to focus on her website, PositivelyPresent.com. I knew I wanted to learn more about design (particularly illustrating) to improve my website, but I had no idea how much Nicole’s Classes would transform my business. I started by learning the basics, which really helped me to create more effective images for my website. I knew my site needed an update so I took the branding class and rebranded my entire business. I then dove into the Illustrator classes (taking all of them!) and found that I was really passionate about illustrating. I was able to cultivate my illustrating skills, which inspired me to create Positively Dani, a new portion of my business that focuses on positive, inspiring design. Positively Dani offers digital products on Etsy and a variety of tangible goods on Society 6. Though I’d always loved drawing and graphic design, I had absolutely no experience prior to discovering Nicole’s Classes and would never have been able to transform my site (and create online shops!) without the help of the classes.
2. Which classes were the most helpful to you on your personal journey?
While I’ve loved all of the classes I’ve taken (12 so far!), I’d have to say that Illustrator 101 and branding were the most influential classes for me, both personally and professionally. Illustrator 101 was my introduction to Illustrator and it introduced me to all of the amazing things that can be created in Illustrator. Since taking that class (and all of the other Illustrator classes!), I’ve opened my online shops, created personalized greeting cards for friends and family, designed my own Christmas card, and I even got my first job as a graphic designer creating the illustrations for a 2015 calendar! I learned how to create a cohesive identity for Positively Present which expands across my website, through various social media platforms, and into my Positively Dani products. The class taught me so much about how to create a design that worked well for my brand, an invaluable lesson that I know will serve me well for years to come.
3. What has been the most rewarding part of your business?
The most rewarding part of my business has been discovering new creative outlets. I’m not just a writer now. I’m also a designer. I would have never thought I could learn graphic design without going back to school, but Nicole’s Classes has taught me so much and made it possible not only for me to improve my current business but to expand it as well. It’s so rewarding to discover new creative abilities and to be able to do what I love for a living.
4. What would you tell students who are just starting out at Nicole’s Classes?
What I consider to be one of the best part of Nicole’s Classes is the assignments and the feedback from instructors and fellow students. To make the most of the classes, I’d highly recommend doing all of the homework (even the optional bits!) and checking back to view the instructor feedback. I’d also recommend checking out your fellow classmates’ work and offering feedback. It’s fun to see what others are doing and you’re more likely to get feedback from others if you offer your thoughts on their work. Also, I’d like to add that if anyone isn’t sure about whether or not to take a class, my advice is this: do it! The classes are so worth every single penny. You’ll learn so much and you’ll be surprised by what you can do if you keep learning!
Thank you for sharing Dani! Your story is so inspiring and might just be that nudge someone needs to finally take the plunge and enroll in a design class with Nicole’s Classes!