I Made a Valentine’s Day Card Every Day up to Feb. 14

And how it made me rethink my post-college career…

Whew! 14 days of Valentine’s Day cards completed. Did I think I’d be able to get to the end? Only about 75%.

This was the first time I had ever challenged myself to do daily graphic design work, which might not seem that big of a deal to someone who does it full-time, but it was kind of a lot for me. I think putting a theme to the challenge was good though. It gave me the opportunity to have a starting point for each idea so I wasn’t going in blind.

All of the cards were posted to my Instagram, and you can check them out there! Keep reading to see them throughout the post as well!

So let’s recap the last two weeks.

I started off with a pretty rough idea for each of the cards. It was just a list of 14 love-y phrases, and by the end, I think I made about 10 of the 14 original ideas. And then it was onto Illustrator.


Each design was inspired by random ideas I had, posts I saw on Pinterest, or input from my sister. Because I didn’t stick to one style and stuck with just a cohesive color scheme instead, I was always wracking my brain for new ideas and concepts to try out. I tried out some new shapes and effects in Illustrator as well, and it was really fun to learn something new.

My two favorites were day three and 12.

Both of them were some of my first ideas with which I followed through, so it made them the most interesting to me. I would also add day 11 to the list for the same reason, but I considered it like a part two of day three in my head.

The last 14 days actively challenged my creativity but also brought out the side of me that loves graphic design even more.

Because of this, I have been feeling slightly conflicted about my career path, with a slight touch of reconsideration. At this moment, I am confident that what I want to do is write for a news publication and finish my journalism degree. However, I don’t want to leave doing graphic design projects and pursuing work in that field behind. If I knew how, I’d love to start doing freelance work or larger projects, but I don’t want that to overtake my reporting work (at least I don’t right now).

While what I know about design is and was not formally taught and I have very little gauge if it’s actually good by any means, it’s still something I enjoy doing and want to keep improving upon.

One happy medium I think about sometimes is going into layout design for magazines or newspapers because that seems like the in between of graphic design and journalism. I would be surrounded by news but doing graphic design work, really. It would lose the writing aspect unless I was producing the entire piece myself (which is similar to what I did at my high school newspaper but less viable for a full-time career).


Like almost all college students, I’m still not sure about my career prospects.

I do wonder if I only liked doing graphic design work as much as I did the past two weeks because it wasn’t my job. When my current job is reporting every weekday night, does it make my hobbies more valuable since they’re done just for fun? Say in another universe, I switched to a graphic design major and job and did reporting mostly as a club (such as only contributing to the school newspaper and not taking journalism classes), would that make me think journalism was the better path?

It’s an interesting contradiction that reminds me of how I liked reading a lot more before I was required to read novels I didn’t always like in high school and fell off reading for pleasure until maybe less than a year ago.

Besides the balance of potentially finding a career that meshes both of my “passions” (I write in quotes because I’ve always felt iffy about that identification), doing this challenge made me think about the balance of pursuing a career and a side hustle at the same time. While the whole graphic design thing is not a side hustle for me right now, I wouldn’t mind if it became something eventually, so it would be a matter of figuring out the time management of doing both at the same time.

Regardless, it was a fun designing cards for 14 days straight, even if it made me question my career choices. While I might not do that many pieces at once again, I will keep practicing and improving on this skill. So, onto the next project.