We had the good fortune of connecting with Bobbi Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bobbi, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I never knew the importance of work life balance (and rest) until I had my daughter. Before, I would work, work, work and say yes to almost every function & event. It was an unhealthy cycle of overworking, forcing myself to accept social engagements I didn’t feel like I had time for and finally becoming so mentally and physically exhausted that I had no choice but to force myself to rest. That cycle happened over and over again. My thought was “if I just get A, B and C done, then I can rest and enjoy myself.” But of course, that never happens, so I never really rested. The beginning of the pandemic coincided with the beginning of my third trimester and I was basically forced to stay home, forced to rest. With social events out of the equation for me, I only had work and rest. Now I was finding I had more time to rest and do things for myself. After having my daughter was born in June of 2020, time became so precious. I treasured moments with her and also made the most of naps or any other time she was sleeping. Time became more intentional, more about what would make me and my family happy. That mindset reflected in my work too. Not only was my “free” time becoming more intentional but so was my work. I now had to make the most of my time, I needed to enjoy it, and I really needed it to be efficient. Since then I’ve gotten a lot better at saying “no.” No to outings & events and no to work that wasn’t going to make me happy. Saying no to things became easier and allowed me more time to rest too. This has been so key. I like to say “I need to rest to be my best.” At first I only applied this to my daughter but it rings true for my family and my clients too. Of course its not all sunshine and rainbows every day, everything takes practice but I’m finding the more intentional I am with my time the better version of myself I can be for everyone.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved drawing. I’m very thankful that passion has lead me to the creative path of designing brands and illustrations for people. My illustrations now have a purpose. I hand-draw every single element in my designs and most of the time that includes the typography as well. That hand-crafted approach to my work brings a deeper and richer cohesiveness to the brand. Every part of the brand has meaning, depth, and a better connection to the client. Recently, the work I’ve done within the past year while I was pregnant and after having my daughter is the work I’m most proud of. Especially the brand work. There are so many moving parts to brands and to hear how happy the client is every step of the way is… That positive feedback is what makes me so excited for my future work and collaborations. My degree in Elementary Education did not make this path easier for me. I minored in Digital Media Design and I left college feeling a bit disadvantaged. I basically only had a year and a half of design education compared to others with 4 years of art and design under their belts. After graduating I threw myself 100% into any graphic design jobs I could get as well as freelance work. The jobs were extremely stressful and weren’t high-paying, but gave me so so much experience with helping clients on the business end and the creative process of projects. I did a lot of continuing education on my own time after work and on the weekends too. I made sure I sketched every single day, and still do to this day. I make sure to give myself drawing assignments that are out of my comfort zone to better my craft. The thought of feeling behind because my degree wasn’t in the arts has constantly kept me striving for more. I think I can safely say now that I’ve “caught up” to those art students but that drive to be better is still there. I’ve learned there will always be people who are better and worse than you and in our field, it’s so important to expand your education and challenge yourself. There is so much that can be gained from learning more about your craft. It keeps your mind sharp and allows your work to improve and grow in so many ways.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Jupiter is an awesome beach town with a tight-knit community feel. Almost everything I enjoy about it centers around the beach or being out on the water. Obviously, the beaches here are incredible any time of the day. You can catch the sunrise in the morning, paddleboard along the Intracoastal, and walk the beach in the evening. Between the months of May and October, you may be lucky enough to bump into a sea turtle laying eggs at night. I’ve seen it firsthand a few times and it’s an incredible experience. For eating and drinking, there are so many options! If you want to soak in all the amazing views of the lighthouse and water then Guanabanas and Square Grouper are it. Both are situated on the water, have amazing drinks, and provide the best tropical atmosphere. You can also catch live music almost any night of the week. I also love most of the restaurants and bars in the Abacoa town center. Civil Society Brewery and Das Beer Garden are my go-to spots. Both have amazing local beer selections and Das Beer Garden has the most delicious bar food I’ve ever had – the cheese curds are to die for!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As cliche as it sounds, my husband was 100% the reason I am in my creative career. I met him my junior year of college when I applied to be his replacement at the student newspaper. He was an art major and I was an Education major who was interested in graphic design. As I’ve said, I liked art but I didn’t know what the possibilities could be for me besides being an art teacher. When I told him about my interest for graphic design he told me about the University’s new design minor, introduced me to the professors, and help me get my foot into the door. From then on he has been my biggest source of encouragement. He was my go-to! I shared all of my work with him, he gave me honest feedback and pushed me to challenge myself with my work. Because of him, I could see art and design becoming a real career for myself. After college, we worked together at the same job multiple times and have been working from home together since 2018. Our differences make us a great team and the mentorship that was there from the beginning continues to this day and only gets better as our work improves. Whether or not his plan was just to make me his girlfriend, it worked. It was definitely a win-win situation from the start.

Website: https://bobbikarina.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bobbikarina/

Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bobbi_karina

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