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My first ADDYs

If you told me 6 years ago that I would win an ADDY award I would have stared at you blankly and asked "What's an ADDY?"

If you are an advertiser or designer of any kind you are probably rolling your eyes by now. Well, in my defense, 6 years ago my 17 year-old self was finishing up her application to go to the University of Tennessee to get a Bachelor's degree in Math. Art was just a hobby and nothing I would ever expand beyond craft nights with friends. I had tunnel vision in the worst way.

It was only a few years ago that I heard of the American Advertising Awards. I had just taken a year off of school to figure out what I wanted to do with my life (I figured out shortly that Math wasn't the way to go for me) when my friend started the Graphic Communications program at Pellissippi. I saw his work and I was hooked. I was inspired to enter the program myself as well as the web program. 

My first year at Pellissippi, I heard all of the second year students talking about entering student work into the ADDYs. So off to Google I went and honestly was surprised that I this was not just a local event but also a national recognition of designers and advertisers.

It is the Oscars for creatives.

I never entered any student work and honestly did what all artists do at some point (ALL THE TIME)... I felt like my work didn't measure up to the quality and creativity of those around me and didn't want to be subject to a confirmation of that fear.

That's where my coworkers, friends, and boyfriend come in. After finishing up ChaseMizell.com, a real estate website for luxury homes in Atlanta, I felt so happy. I thought "This is the best thing I've ever made and I am proud of it." Everyone I knew kept telling me that the work was great and very professional.

This praise came right as the ADDY's call for submissions hit my mailbox. I debated and debated. The push to submit it was a combination of my coworker Rhonda and Phillip. They both gave the same advice: 

The worst thing that can happen is you don't win. 

And so what if I didn't win? That wouldn't stop me from making websites or logos. I would still have my job and work to be proud of. So I bit the bullet and made the submission. To my surprise I actually WON!

I received my bronze award of excellence from the American Advertising Foundation last Saturday evening and am overjoyed. For a 23 year-old freelancer, this is a big deal! Not just the award but also the fact that I put myself out there to be judged by professionals and was rewarded for my work. 

*Happy dances all around*

Phillip and I celebrated after the event with my favorite things: champagne, greek food, and warm cookies. 

And now for my thank you speech.... haha just kidding! But really I am incredibly grateful and humbled to have received this award and hope it will continue to spur me on to be a better designer and developer. 

Also a big win on the night = my dress. It was $14 plus shipping. Not even joking!! The lace was super itchy when I tried it on for the first time (very cheaply made), but got much better after I soaked it in a saltwater bath for three days which was something I saw on the internet for making vintage wash soft tees...totally worked for this.

In non-design related news, I AM GOING TO THE BAHAMAS TOMORROW! 

Phillip and I hadn't planned on going on vacation this year because we are in search of a house (and houses are expensive!) but a last minute work trip has worked out to be a mini vacation! He and I will be headed to sunny and warm beaches to fight this cold bitter Knoxville Winter. It's a quick trip from tomorrow until Monday, but I am soooo excited. We even got to use vouchers for our flights which saved a lot of money! 

Be sure to follow me on instagram @amorpaloma for vacation pics! And have a great weekend!

Love, Dove