How Born Wolf Designs Has Been There All Along

Something that I’ve always been confident in is my passion for creative works. No matter where life has taken me (Small town, IL ➡️ University of Iowa ➡️ Denver, CO) I have always been drawn to art and design.

My small hometown in IL is where my passion was born. My favorite subject was always art. If I wasn’t in the lofted art room, I was doodling in another class, wishing I had a paintbrush in hand. 

I had the same teacher throughout all of highschool, and I am grateful for our relationship. She encouraged me to push myself artistically and suggested I participate in “Paint the Town” and to also join her in a weekend workshop. So, I did both. Of course, I love all things artistic! This workshop taught me many artistic skills that still apply today. During my sophomore year of high school, my work from said workshop was published into a Scholastic Magazine (shouts to my friend, Cassidy for her fight and for the inspiration). 

I thought it was cool, but I thought that was it for me, artistically.

After highschool, I immediately attended The University of Iowa (UI). UI taught me a different level of art and design. However, I started out at college with the expectation that I couldn’t make money “doing art” in the real world, so I decided to major in communications. I took introductory courses like drawing 101, painting 101, photography 101,  to feed that creative side of me. Introductory courses lead to advanced classes. Advanced classes lead to a full schedule change. I changed my major early on at UI to major in Graphic Design and minor in Communications. Best decision I could have made now looking back. 

In 2015, I graduated from The University of Iowa proud of my major and accomplishments. After college, neither my now husband or I wanted to move to Chicago, so we set our sights west for a new city. We landed on Denver, packed our bags and moved 900 miles from the comfort of our hometowns to pursue a life in a new city and the mountains.

I fell into a great job managing a financial website with a handful of team members. I wanted to love it. I enjoyed the people, the location, but I couldn’t find my passion in the job itself. After two years of trying to love a job without art and design, I realized I needed to chase after what my heart had been longing for. 

While soul searching for what I needed to be doing professionally, I set a new years resolution to buy a sketchbook, and to draw what inspired me in 2018. I figured, I may as well take my passions into my own hands and enjoy art and design even if I couldn’t find exactly my exact passion in a full-time job. Through the doodles and drawings, I learned that I NEEDED art in my life 40+ hours a week. I wanted to do more.

Fast forward to May 2018, I started a job where I ONLY focused on art and design. While working my full time design job, freelancing design projects, and continuously doodling and drawing; my soul was on fire. I learned all over again that art and design are my passions and I shouldn’t settle for a job without it. But, I still wanted to do more. 

In April 2019, my husband (so supportive and sweet), loved one of my drawings so much that he insisted we put it onto a t-shirt. I was so proud to see him wear my artwork. And with that, was the beginning of Born Wolf Designs

Throughout my entire life I have been preparing for this side-hustle without even knowing. I reflect on my past and apply the skills I have learned from years ago or skills I learned just yesterday. From my hometown, to my college town, to my new home in the city, I have been picking up life experiences along the way and they have ALL applied to the process of Born Wolf Designs

I still want more. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Find your passion and set your soul on FIRE. You won’t regret it.

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1 comment

Hi “Mak”,
I went to school with your mom. So interesting how Shelli was such a tom boy in school but turned into this beautiful, glamorous woman that raised beautiful, talented children all while pursuing a career and building a life with her husband Randy (who I met when they started dating). I think the Wolf family is “picture perfect”. I think most families only dream of what your family has. Close knit family with a wonderful, happy, healthy lifestyle and so much talent and success for each one of you…albeit a lot of hard work along the way. I adore your mom and I stay in touch with her through FB. We worked on our 30th HS reunion together and she is a woman of class. Long story short, I want to support your career in your artistic adventure and be an owner of some of your creations. Do you make customized items? I’m looking for something that represents the “midwestern” girl. I was born in Minnesota, grew up in Illinois and have lived in Wisconsin the last 35 years. I would love to reflect that pride in a tee-shirt or sweatshirt. Could you design something like that? Also, can you create products that cater to the “plus-size” population? I’m not blessed to have the beautiful body your mom and sister and yourself have, but would love some clothing items that help us “hippy” women, accent the positive…i.e., ponchos, wraps, belts, etc. Thanks for your time. I wish I could have met you. I did see your mom at our 10 year HS reunion and she was pregnant at the time, but not sure with which child? In any case, I truly admire the “Wolf pack” and I love Shelli to pieces! Hope you are enjoying your life to the fullest!

Connie Whittaker

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