A Day in the Life: Graphic Designer Sarah Sharif
Sarah Sharif, Creative Digital Media Executive at Bidaya Corporate Communications in Jordan.
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At just 24, Sarah Sharif is a photographer, a film maker, a graphic and digital media designer, a pianist, and one of the most active people on the social media scene in Jordan. Born in Amman and raised in Libya, Sarah has one older sister (Lama) and one older brother (Hazem). She spent 14 years living and traveling between Amman and Benghazi. She holds a BA in Graphic Design and her passions are split between playing the piano, tennis, horseback riding, football, photography and film making.
Working from the tender age of 16, Sarah has always been a very active person. She was the President of Student Council at her school in Benghazi, and worked during her summer vacations as a children entertainer at the mall, and in sports sales in the first Reebok store in Jordan.
Currently a Creative Digital Media Executive at Bidaya Corporate Communications, Sarah has worked at other renowned Jordanian companies, such as Art Medium, Prodigi Corp, MODE Marketing & PR, and JO Bedu. During university, Sarah taught piano for kids for two years; she was an assistant piano teacher at a private school in Amman and tutored students at her home.
- 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
I usually set my alarm at 7:20 and it takes me about 20 minutes to wake up with the snooze button hit every 5 minutes. I start getting ready for work and prepare my breakfast.
- 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
I usually arrive to work between 8:45 am and 9:00 am. I open my computer and prepare my coffee. While having my coffee I check my emails, and most of the days I look through stumbleupon.com for morning inspirations. I like to look through random pictures and designs in the morning; it is the time when my mind is the most focused and clear. As a graphic designer, I like to check online designs and photographs from people around the world as it helps me to develop my mind and keep an open eye and get more inspiration for my own designs. At around 9:30, I start making my to-do list for the day. I make sure to prioritize my tasks and set times for each task. If I get something urgent, I work faster and push myself to finish all other priority tasks before moving to the new one. If your boss or the client asks you for a deadline, estimate the amount of time you will need as you are the one who knows the work you have to do and how long it will need to get done. Don’t overpromise or give unrealistic deadlines!
- 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10:00 am is usually the time when I get serious and get to work! I normally start with the most important tasks – those which take time and need a lot of work and effort and creativity. Designing for digital media isn’t easy. I have to think “simplicity”. Designing simple and delivering the message in a squared design with a few words is a challenge. I also try to stay as focused as possible. At work, you will find me 100% focused; I try to not get distracted by Facebook or Twitter (I have even created a different Facebook account that I use for work with no friends on it so I don’t get distracted while working!).
- 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
This is when I take a break and call my mother to check on her. I like to go out and have lunch with my colleagues. One thing you should know about me is that I am always “on the move”. I tend not to stay seated the whole time. I like to move around and stretch my legs and talk to people at the office, otherwise I become numb and tired. I also give my mind and eyes a break. As a designer, I believe the mind needs to take a break from the computer screen in order to refresh. I work fast when it comes to designs, and sometimes that drains my energy, so a break is what I need to recharge!
- 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
I make sure I finish every task on my to-do list for the day. It feels good to get things done at work and not leave anything behind for the next day! This is why I try to make my to-do lists as realistic as possible.
- 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
I finish work at 5 pm and arrive home at around 5:30 pm, depending on traffic. I have dinner with my parents or alone, watch TV or have a chat with my mother and tell her how my day went, and vice versa. I tend to spend quality time with the people I enjoy spending time with. I always give the important people in my life priority because eventually those are the people who want to see me happy. I value everything and everyone that makes me happy.
- 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
I’m usually out by that time. I like spending time with my friends over a cup of coffee. I make sure to not use my phone when I’m out. I like spending quality time with my friends so I stay away from Facebook and Twitter while I’m out, unless I’m at a tweetup and need to live tweet.
My advice to young professionals who want to be designers would be to always keep an open mind to feedback. It’s okay to give your opinion, but always listen to the client or your boss. Also, always keep a sketch book with you, jot any idea you get or even sketch it. You won’t remember that brilliant idea later if you don’t write it down. Lastly, try to incorporate your own identity into your work; it will feel great when people start recognizing your style later on!
This article originally appeared in bayt.com.
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