From Office to Studio

Straight out of college, I worked as an in-house graphic designer for a multi-dealership company. The responsibility was enormous, and so was the stress. After more than a year of uncertainty, I *~quit~* my job, packed my bags, left home again, and flew back to Cebu. White Brick opened its tomato-red door for me.

Has it been easy shifting from being an in-house designer to working for a boutique creative design studio? Not at all. A lot of anxiety-inducing office “culture” had to be unlearned to welcome new, better, and fun practices.

I can wake up at six in the morning for work since I mostly took morning classes back in university. But how about doing that for six days a week? I almost wished my bed would hug me and stop me from leaving. During non-eventful days, I’d pack up and clean my desk a few minutes before 5 PM and leave the office once the bell rings (like most of my colleagues did). Everything I mentioned never happened in the studio which means I can rest and get enough sleep even until 10 AM — except on Mondays, of course!

Wearing an office uniform saves time from stressing out on how to dress up for the day — unless it meant running down hallways and climbing a flight of stairs in a pencil skirt and heels. I am still wearing a “uniform” in the studio but now it’s always activity-appropriate and, as always, comfortable.

Sundays were mostly just rest days; working six days a week was exhausting. Securing approval for a day off from work was difficult. Even on sad days, I had to show up (although this really helped build discipline). When I left, I felt more confident checking out plane seat sales knowing I could likely take at least a day off to refresh and reset.

I loved the studio pantry — it was small yet packed with the most vibrant stories and delicious food. There’s also coffee and booze! Board games and card games were always good ice breakers when ideas get stuck. Plus, it was playtime anytime.

Working in a corporate office challenged me to develop self-discipline and accountability. Leaving made me value physical and mental well-being, and myself as a designer. 

It’s been a memorable ride in the studio and it still is!

Whatever life may bring, always choose better. ✳︎

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