We had the good fortune of connecting with Paula Tran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paula, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I always try to maintain a healthy work life balance. In the past few years I’ve been able to tackle small and big projects the same way because of experience. My experience has allowed me to maintain that work life balance because I know what to expect and I plan accordingly. Overall, it hasn’t changed much, but I did just give birth to my first child so that’s changed my priorities a little. My current focus right now is making sure I can balance work, give my full attention to my son and everything else in-between. Working as a creative and being a mother can be mentally challenging so that balance is super important to have. It keeps me from getting burnt out.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Where do I even begin? My very first graphic design job was with a small, family-owned wholesale company. It was also my very first job so it was overwhelming. This job was more about production design than actual graphic design so I was only there for 6 months. Fast forward 9 years and I can finally say I’m at a place where I feel my career is headed in the right direction. Getting to where I am today wasn’t easy. There were a lot of ups and downs in every job. I went from a production designer to a t-shirt designer to a marketing designer and every one of these positions had a learning curve. For example, as a t-shirt designer I had to learn about screenprinting. As a marketing designer, I had to understand the world of digital and social media design. To overcome challenges, I had to continue educate myself and refine my skills. One of the lessons I’ve learned is that you have to be adaptable. The creative field is changing constantly and you have to keep up. Another lesson is that not everyone you work with is a designer and so you have to find a way to communicate your visions and ideas. With that I’ve learned to be the expert in my field. Many people will have opinions, but at the end of the day you have to trust your knowledge and expertise. Even though all these past jobs weren’t my “dream” job, they each challenged me and shaped me into a better designer. Because of my past experiences, I’m more confident in my skills and my work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would probably take them to every local food place. I’m a big foodie so I’m always down for trying new places. We would most likely start in Dallas. Maybe Bishop Arts, Trinity Groves, Deep Ellum or Lower Greenville. I know there are a lot of local spots in these areas so definitely brunch or dinner would be here, or even dessert. Then maybe hang-out at Klyde Warren Park or visit the museums that are around that area. Of course we can’t forget shopping at North Park Mall. I love the artwork that’s spread throughout the mall while you shop. I work in Fort Worth so visiting is a must. There’s a lot of local restaurants off Magnolia and Main Street. A couple of my favorites is a bakery called Stir Crazy and a local eatery called Fixture. Downtown Fort Worth is a great place to walk around, especially Sundance Square. What I love about DFW is you can always find new places to hang out or eat!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m very fortunate to have a handful of supporters, but I need to dedicate this shoutout to my husband. He’s more analytical while I”m more creative, but he always supports me and tries to understand the field I’m in. He challenges and helps me finds ways to break out of the box and think differently.