We had the good fortune of connecting with Demetrius Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Demetrius, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
It has become more work than life at times and I have to remind myself to give days where I just relax and do the things I want to. Positive Mental Health is key and is needed to continue the grind. Although I enjoy what I do it’s not all that I want to do. It can become a challenge juggling family, friends and relationships but the beauty of it all is that the quality spent with them refreshes the mind and allows me to work without guilt. Always take time for yourself. I imagine the work life balance as a pendulum that constantly swings either way. It can feel as if one side swings slower than the other but it’s up to you to retain that middle ground.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an Architect and Graphic Designer. My journey started in 2010 going to Architecture School at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in Spring 2015 and started working professionally in Chattanooga (my hometown). I’d say about 2 years through school is when I first started using programs in the Adobe Suite that exposed me to the Graphic Design. After working for 2 years, I moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. Fall 2018 I graduated with a Masters in Building Construction and Facility Management (Program Management). I continued working professionally and on MD Graphics during this time, expanding my skillset, critical thinking and services. The architecture profession subjects you to various building typologies, design opportunities and responsibilities during the design process so I tried to grow in every way.
I say all this to say it hasn’t been easy at all haha. Throughout my journey I’ve experienced tremendous growth and continued to get pushed creatively and critically. The key has been finding shortcuts and patterns where applicable so that the process of creation becomes more efficient. I want the world to know that design is dope and can be created by anyone that puts the works in. Especially for the ones who look like me. Being one of the only black kids in a classroom was normalcy during my journey . Adversity builds character!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To be honest a week long trip you can do just about anything. Times are different with the pandemic and I try to be responsible in that regard but I always love to hit Cumberland when I get the time as well as Lenox Square. Some of my favorite places to eat at night are on Edgewood for the cultural vibes and in Midtown for the aesthetic. I actually have a few images saved of about 40 places to eat in different areas of Atlanta that I found on twitter. It’s helped alot when I have no idea what to do or what I’m in the mood for. You have various parks you can people watch, throw some ball and vibe at like Piedmont or Centennial. Then there’s Atlantic Station for movies, entertainment, shopping and more. There’s several museums to go see depending on the content you want to see. Basically it’s limitless what we can do for fun so whatever the itinerary is it’ll be eclectic and crazy! All the lowkey dope places are usually my favorite!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been several people to assist in feedback throughout my journey. A large part of design is taking constructive criticism, being able to see alternatives, having an open mind and collaboration with the client. Although everything in MD Graphics has been created by me I always ask how something looks before sending it off to a client. Mostly my sisters, close friends and girlfriend give feedback or insight. Usually I’m on deadlines so it’s brief yet impactful commentary.
Facebook: Demetrius Smith (personal) and M.D. Graphics (business)