I returned to grad school at Penn to study the confluence of music and religion, but one Philosophy of Religion class in and I was forced to review my choice. While doing so I signed up for a digital design class, which was much more to my taste. As my work was being reviewed the professor said, “You’ve got an eye for this. Have you considered graphic design as a career?” I quickly changed direction and along side the art theory and social history took every design class I could fit in. I loved learning the new software, working out how to make it do what I wanted it to do, and wasn’t particularly concerned that my classmates were the same age as my daughter.
Sadly society wasn’t as interested in what I could bring to their table as an older adult. Despite the givens that I wasn’t about to become pregnant or follow a spouse to a new location just as I was settled in, I – unfortunately it seems – had a masters degree from an Ivy League school and wasn’t in my 20s, so was repeatedly denied jobs I was interviewed for – in favor of younger and cheaper designers. After my heady time absorbing all that new information I wasn’t about to give up, so learned new ways of designing websites that were easier for their owners to update. Word got out and I found a ready market of people who wanted my help – regardless of my age. Alongside this work I kept working small communications jobs until I decided it was time to give myself over fully to my design work.
What I hadn’t expected was that with more time available now my lengthy commutes were a thing of the past, was how many new ideas emerged that have all been waiting in the wings for their turn. I still consider myself to be primarily a designer, but as you will see from this site, it is not the only hat I wear.
You can visit my design site, Gillian Lancaster Design here.