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

Hi Jasmine, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
I started my professional career in healthcare as a registered nurse, but something not as many people knew about me was that I always loved being creative as well. I’m someone who likes to learn as much as possible, so when I stumbled into graphic design I immediately fell in love with it and made it my regular hobby. As I progressed, that hobby ended up turning into a freelance career where I got the chance to work with many notable clients while still juggling my full-time job as an RN.

I never considered switching careers especially since I worked so hard to obtain my nursing license and loved being able to provide care for patients, but working through the COVID pandemic left me burnt out and looking for a change. I learned about a job opportunity designing for the Atlanta Hawks and thought “Why Not? What is there to lose from applying?” I didn’t think it would end up going anywhere, but three interviews later I was presented with the opportunity to accept a job offer there as a senior graphic designer. Up to this point in my life I consider this the toughest decision I’ve had to make, because I invested so much into getting where I was as an RN. I had plans for my career in healthcare, but now I had to make the decision to continue on that path or start working full-time as a graphic designer.

What helped me make a decision was the thought that certain doors always open at the right time, and sometimes taking a big risk is worth it. I love being creative and expressing myself in different ways, so I ended up taking the leap and haven’t looked back since. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this new environment. Switching careers is something I never imagined myself doing, but now that I have I’m so grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to this new path in my life.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career in graphic design all started from a hobby. I’ve always enjoyed being creative and started out with traditional drawing and painting when I was younger. I am also a gaming enthusiast, and ended up trying out Adobe Photoshop to help make gaming related thumbnails for someone’s YouTube channel. It snowballed from there and I began to learn more and more about designing, making it a regular hobby of mine.

I continued making design work in the gaming scene for various content creators and streamers, and eventually went into esports related work with Call of Duty League, NBA 2K League, and more. I ended up joining iBall Empire, a NBA 2K content organization, in 2018 and their creative team really helped me to grow as a designer and learn even more about my craft. I transitioned into working in traditional sports as well and was able to do freelance work for various clients including Duke Women’s Basketball.

As I already had a full-time job as an RN, I only applied to a few design jobs here and there just to see where it went, but the intersect between esports and traditional sports is what really drew me to apply for my current position with the Atlanta Hawks. I would be able to work not only with basketball content (College Park Skyhawks), but also their NBA 2K League team (Hawks Talon Gaming Club). I’m glad I took a chance on it because I was finally able to make that transition into becoming a full-time graphic designer. Working for an NBA organization has been an amazing experience so far, and I hope to continue to do what I love.

Transitioning from a hospital to corporate NBA organization was definitely a big change for me, but my team has made it a place I feel really comfortable in and can continue to learn and thrive. My motto is to always put yourself out there, and be open to change. For other creatives out there, I would say it’s important to always follow your own path and don’t be afraid to be different. I feel like my portfolio really helped me get to where I am because I’ve spent a lot of time developing a unique style for myself. I try to never be complacent and always strive to learn more and try new things. Currently my goals are to gain more experience with photography and motion design, so I can continue to grow my skillset.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta is so diverse and has a lot of things to offer regardless of the occasion. I’m a big foodie, and one of my new favorite spots lately has been Park 27 Korean BBQ & Bar. I like being outdoors, so the BeltLine would be good in the right weather, and you can walk between various locations like Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park for even more activities and shoping. There’s also a ton of outdoor events in these area regularly so there’s never a dull moment. I’m also into sports of course since I work for the Hawks, so checking out a game at State Farm arena or Gateway Center arena would definitely be on on the list as well.

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?
I’d like to shoutout Shirley Zhang and the entire Hawks Studios team for taking a chance on me and making the Atlanta Hawks organization such an awesome and supportive place to work at.

Website: https://www.behance.net/JFordCreations

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

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasmine-ford-109452196

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JFordCreations

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