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Check Out Wendy Bouis’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Bouis.

Hi Wendy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am a freelance Art Director and Graphic Designer. Art was really the only thing I was exposed to growing up that I felt good at and liked. It was entertaining and kept me company. So I decided on art direction and advertising for school. A vigorous portfolio program and a few agencies later, here I am! All of the acquired knowledge and networking has allowed me to pivot to freelance life happily and successfully. I keep a cicada’s shed skin on my desk to remind myself of my resilience and transformation.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
My biggest struggle was identifying my “why” so late in life. Honestly, I was trying to achieve my way out of depression and anxiety, which is impossible. I started reading about the experiences of others and particularly enjoyed the book Walden. It perfectly illustrated the contentment of doing more with less. Thanks to this perspective, I left my agency creative director job with intention and on good terms to rebuild from the ground up like Thoreau did.

I hadn’t imagined how opening my mind and making space for new thoughts and experiences would radically change my life, though. My creative is better than ever, but so is my life. I could have both once I found my “why.” I found that the joy in my work came from solving problems for other people.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m proud that I am a freelancer by choice. Going freelance is the most intentional thing I’ve done with my career, so I’m proud of that. I also don’t intend to start an agency or have employees. My dog is employee of the month every month! However, I do work for agencies and in house creative departments.

My greatest strength is empathy. I put myself in each agency, brand and audience’s shoes to understand what makes them thrive and struggle. It makes the work better, but it also leaves the person feeling seen. A lot of bad advertising and design is due to this lack of nuance. A lot of the problems in the world are too.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
When I look my life, I’m blown away by how many people really cared. From teachers that spent so much meaningful time with me to creative directors that had my back to employers that invested in me, there is just so much good. All the jobs that I had were good jobs. And they all led me to great people.

However, I’m most thankful for the unlikely people that were in the right place at the right time. I met my friend Karen through a networking group. She gave me so much perspective and encouragement that took things to the next level. It became safe to be vulnerable and try new things.

The biggest contribution of all comes from my partner, Cody, who has helped me heal and grow from trauma that previously held me back. I would not be as confident in my career and content in my life as I am now without him. Finding someone that made me a better, healthier human ultimately drove my career further than I ever expected.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The little girl is a Creative Market image, but the work she is holding is my own.

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