Back to my roots

by | February 1, 2018 | Design

So here I go. I’m relaunching my website after a five-year absence. To say that the last five years have been tough would be an understatement.

After finishing college, there was quite a bit of turmoil in my personal and professional life. My husband was in a devastating auto accident from which he took several years to recover. My parents were both in the hospital at the same time, unable to support each other, and moved in with me during their recovery (they are back home now). My father-in-law and his friends were killed by a drunk driver. No sooner did I catch my breath and try to regroup, something else happened in my family.

At work, my team had many changeovers leaving me, yet again, as a one-person department doing the work of at least three people. After petitioning for a change at work, I was granted the ability to work from home in early 2016 and transitioned to a more global role later that year. With the help of my very persuasive mentor, I was able to renegotiate my job responsibilities based on my skills and value to the company. This set of responsibilities keeps shifting, but it’s much more fulfilling than it used to be.

This took an immense amount of energy and personal strength to be at the center of this storm – to support my family in any and every way possible while still performing my job on a daily basis. All of this was happening either at the same time or back-to-back. Looking back on it all now, I honestly do not know how I did it.

It was time to get back to my roots: To find what drives me as a designer, figure out what I want to say, and just put it out there. It was time to start over with a clean slate.

I recently went through the process of defining my personal brand, summarized in this blog post, “I am my own worst client.” This was a good exercise for me, as it really helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses as a designer. There are things I can do quite easily and some things that take me ages, like writing. I now have a loose plan on areas of development for myself. As you can see, I’ve reverted back to the original name I selected decades ago of Schteff. It is, after all, me. And really, that’s all I can control. Me.

What do I hope to accomplish by relaunching my website, and why now? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that I needed some sort of outlet for my thoughts on design and to display the work that keeps my mind from sinking to a dark place. I plan on sharing my work and interesting design content here and on social media. I will keep busy, either through freelance projects, my day job, or through a new joint venture I’m developing with my friend, Ann. I will keep going, pushing myself, and growing as a designer.

So I hope you can take a few minutes to browse around my website, check out some projects, and read my blog. I tend to ramble, so apologies in advance for long blog posts :).

  Header photo: Samuel Zeller and Brandi Redd

Stephanie Tortomasi

Graphic Designer
Libra/Scorpio cusp. INTJ. Ravenclaw.

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Portfolio and blog of Stephanie Tortomasi,
Graphic Designer in Metro Detroit, Michigan

Portfolio and blog of Stephanie Tortomasi, Graphic Designer in Metro Detroit, Michigan

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