Today we’d like to introduce you to Trina Parkin.
Trina, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My career began in high school with a very influential photography teacher. I decided early on this was going to be my path. However, it wasn’t too long after I began college that I decided I was better suited for graphic design, from yet another influential teacher, Professor Lana Grover.
Throughout the duration of my college experience studying graphic design I made it a priority to do as many internships as I could. I would brainstorm creative ways to send out my portfolio to potential agencies I really wanted to intern at. One of my highlights was sending out this portfolio: https://dribbble.com/shots/1364040-Printed-Portfolio (note: this was at the time of the funny “ship my pants” K-mart commercials). I decided to ship this portfolio along with a tweet to the creative director that read, “Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know I’ve shipped my portfolio (not my pants) to your agency,” https://twitter.com/TrinaParkin/status/344646110264033280. They loved it. I used similar methods to reach out to other agencies which were all very well received, I was invited in for interviews from most and offered multiple internship opportunities.
Before I finished college I had completed 4 successful (paid) internships, all of which prepared me for the practical experience I needed.
My first big girl job was offered to me 2 weeks after graduation at a prominent advertising agency in Irvine called, Gigasavvy.
After a year and a half at Gigasavvy I decided to pursue a new direction in my career. I am now running my own business at Trina Parkin Graphic Design Co, TrinaParkin.com.
Has it been a smooth road?
I have had a variety challenges and obstacles that have been influential developing my career. Learning to work with different types of people and personalities has, at times, been a challenge. A lesson that I have learned very well is that everyone has something good to bring to the table, no matter their background, personality or experience.
Another lesson I learned was back in college competing in a student-AAF competition. We were up until 3 trying to get the presentation prepared that we were printing and shipping the next day. While cutting one of the books with an Exacto knife I chopped off a chunk of my thumb. Lesson learned, if your cutting, take your time.
When you look back, what are you most proud of?
One of Gigasavvy’s clients is Jim Carrey. He runs a non-profit organization called, The Better U Foundation. While at work one day I was informed of a logo contest Jim was hosting to rebrand his company. It was very short notice for the deadline and also a lot of applicants, over 300 I think. I was up until 2 a.m. working on the logo, it was one of those projects where everything fell into place. Well, a short while later I received a phone call at work from Jim himself telling me that I was the winner of the logo contest. Easily one of the top 5 moments ever! Here is a picture of the logo: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153514614464276&set=pcb.10153514615269276&type=3&theater
Were there moments when you had to struggle?
Yes! I am horrible at spelling. It’s my lifelong punishment for not paying attention in English classes. On multiple occasions, I have misspelled something so basic that was seen by the client. One of the worst feelings is having an important client say, “you know, ‘freedom’ isn’t supposed to have an “e” at the end of it, right?…” YIKES! Talk about no excuses at all. And even better than that is looking over at my creative director with a look of embarrassment almost as bad as mine.
Since then I have installed the app, “Grammarly” and my life has been much better. This remains on of my uphill battles that I continue to work on.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes! Orange County has so many opportunities to network. There are tons of creative professionals out here that are totally willing to meet and have coffee with. You can find networking events for your field just about anywhere. I have really enjoyed building my network here.