Here I Am, Updated

My name is Anne Starke. I am a freelance graphic designer in Eugene, Oregon; my business is Starke Design Studio. This interesting time (coronavirus pandemic) has slowed my business considerably, so I decided to take the opportunity to expand my skill set and add tools to my business toolbox.

I enrolled as a Multimedia Design major so I could learn how to work with video, audio and photography. I am toying with the idea of learning animation as well. I don’t know if I will ever complete the degree – a lot depends on what happens to my workload when the pandemic has run its course.

I guess returning to school when I don’t like my other life options has been a pattern for me. The first time I went to college was in 1988. I went to California Lutheran University, mostly because that’s where my stepmom thought I should go — I didn’t have a clue. I ended up graduating in 1992 with a BA in music, with the idea that I wanted to be an opera singer. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the life of an opera singer is not for me: you pretty much have to live in New York City and participate in competitions and auditions as much as you can stand. And then when you get a job you usually have to travel all over the country, living in hotels or the houses of strangers. I can barely stand doing a recital, so competitions and auditions are like pulling out my teeth with pliers. Agony.

After realizing I didn’t want to live the life of an opera singer, I moved to Eugene (because my sister lived here) and joined the opera chorus here in Eugene just for fun. I met my husband while singing in Die Fledermaus. After a couple of years working at various jobs I ended up in a clerk job at the Register Guard. There I got a glimpse of what graphic designers do; it looked like a good career option for me, so I enrolled at LCC to learn. I graduated from the GD program in 2003.

After graduating I had a couple of graphic design jobs that I didn’t like very much and I was too scared to try freelancing, so I went back to school again: in 2007 I got a second BA from the U of O in art while doing the Waldorf teacher training program at WTEE at the same time.

After teaching and doing graphics for a number of years at a Waldorf school in Boulder, Colorado, I got burnt out and decided to start freelancing. My husband and I decided to move back to Eugene in 2015, where, for the most part, my business has flourished. At least it has paid the bills!

4 thoughts on “Here I Am, Updated

  1. Victoria Carrasco

    Wow seems like you’ve had a very wild ride in all kinds of media forms so perhaps Multi Media was a good choice. Opera is a unique genre I don’t really expect music students to pursue. The difficulty and range is amazing and I think it is really cool that you are apart of the Eugene choir. I hope that work starts to pick up for you in near time.

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  2. Baillie

    That’s so awesome you have pursued so many different career paths . To continue learning new things and working towards new goals even after you may or may not feel content with a career is really admirable and inspirational. Juicing as much experience out of life possible and experiences you hope to manifest (if that is the right word). wishing you the best of luck this term! also congrats going freelance!
    also also-
    your doggos are cute<3

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