I had the best time at my internship today.
Actually, if you’d asked me at around 2:30, I would not have been as cheerful. Because the reason I am ecstatic right now is because I got some major work done, stuff that is actually being used for something. (You won’t see it anywhere, but people in a meeting will…) And the road there wasn’t easy by a long shot.
Yesterday, I was asked to do a project that would take two days, and asked if I could come in today to finish it up. I accepted; if I get a job soon I might have to stop going to the internship, so I want to get as much out of it as I can. Plus, I was feeling challenged by the project–and my first impulse was to duck out. My stubborn streak said No, Heather, you are not going to be a wuss about this. You are going to do this thing.
And so it was rather reluctantly that I got up this morning. I left early to run an errand in Evans and wound up arriving downtown at 7:30. I spent the half hour before the office opened wandering around Riverwalk, starting this time at the Marina. The morning light with its long shadows made for some beautiful scenes, and the weather was cool and not too muggy. I’m glad I was early.
I finally headed to the office, arriving exactly on time, and got to work scouring various resources for stock photography (again). This was what made yesterday so tiring, and I wasn’t looking forward to any more of it. Amazingly, I found a resource I hadn’t known existed yesterday, and was able to fill out my requirement of images easily. I finished with that just before lunch.
It was with a feeling of accomplishment and relief that I headed out to eat. I didn’t pack a lunch today, thinking that I would treat myself to a restaurant since I was doing extra work. When I started out, I went to the Cotton Patch, but when I went in it looked too intimate and too much like a bar for me to brave alone. I turned around and left.
Wandering down Reynolds, I pondered cutting over to Broad and going to The Bee’s Knees. It was then that I spotted Beamie’s. I’ve wanted to try that place ever since I first saw it, so I went in and took a seat in their outdoor section, adjacent to the parking lot.
Lunch took pretty much exactly my alotted hour, what with waiting for my food and then waiting for my check. The sandwich was, as I mentioned, delicious.
When I got back to the office, the president took a look at the pictures I’d found and picked the ones he liked, then had me print contact sheets so we could narrow them down further. Once the pictures were decided on, it was finally time for the fun stuff: putting all the content together.
I actually had a template for this, so it wasn’t difficult to put everything together. There were 23 pages in all, and things were going well until I got near the end–and suddenly there was way too much copy per page. I messed with the design to make it work, but it really wasn’t looking good…
…so I rewrote most of the copy.
That actually didn’t take very long. I didn’t put my new copy in the document, of course, but I did keep it in a separate Word doc.
I was fairly happy with how I’d laid out the project when the head art director mentioned to me that the font size absolutely had to be the size she’d set it in her template.
This freaked me out, because I had drastically reduced the font size due to the sheer amount of copy. I edited my guides in Master A so I could expand the text area (I was using InDesign), but even this didn’t make enough room for the text without seriously altering the layout on some pages. I did it begrudgingly, thinking that if my copy was used, such drastic measures wouldn’t have to be taken.
I printed out my Word document with the original copy and my revisions, and then printed a proof of the project with the original copy and the mangled images. The head art director took a look at the proofs and pointed out that I was forgetting that kerning is my friend (d’oh), and I could crop some images to make them look better. Then the president looked at the proofs and my copy edits.
He approved in general of the way the page layouts were coming, with my qualification that some font and image manipulation would occur. Then, “These are good,” he said of the edits. “I like what you’ve done here. A writer and a designer. That’s great!”
So after that, it was just a rush to get my copy in place, fix the kerning, and crop some images. And I got it done.
Because I rule.
I am seriously happy with the final product. I think it looked great. I’m glad I persevered through the changes. And I’m uberglad I did those copyedits, because they were sorely needed. I feel that I put out a final product I can be proud of.
And my abilities were recognized! That makes me happiest of all.
This was, really, the first “live” project that I worked on feeling like an equal. It was a collaboration rather than a “here, you do this, and then I’ll redo it later”. (I know they didn’t plan to redo this later because they had me print out the final color copies. ;>) I feel like I’ve finally learned enough to be useful, which is great.
Still plenty more to learn, of course. But this was a red letter day for me. I haven’t accomplished a big project in awhile. It made me remember how it used to be at 2go-Box. Despite my problems with that place, I truly did love the work.
I had been starting to wonder if I was on the wrong path, if I would never find something I liked to do. But today made me remember just how much fun it can be to put documents together.
I’m glad :)