Graphic Design alumni chooses the life of a digital nomad

February 23, 2017

By the time four years had passed since his convocation, NBCCD Graphic Design alumni Michael Rurka had worked for four start-ups and lived in nine cities. Working as a remote graphic designer for companies allowed him the freedom to travel (and work) anywhere he wanted.

While Rurka was a student, he was featured in Applied Art Magazine and immediately after graduating Rurka was hired up by Ginger Design, a Fredericton-based digital marketing, web design, and graphic design company.

While designing full-time, Rurka has sojourned in six countries. Japan drew him first.

“Tokyo represented to me the highest level I could go. It was the place to be, it was so mysterious. I had this vision of Tokyo in which I was going to become design enlightened.”

Often working from tiny apartments and coworking spaces, he creates clever web design for Nurx, an online birth control prescription and delivery service. Though mainly involved with user interface, he is also responsible for creating hilarious ads for the company.

While Rurka loves a good excuse to design, he does not like being tied up permanently in a particular job. His freedom is important to him, so he chose to work in the flexible environment of start-ups.

“It’s a great deal of self-discipline to work for startups, and to work remotely. You have to get up; you have to do the work.”

To stay grounded while uprooting himself every month, Rurka tracks his life. Every day and every week he lists the things he learned, the things he experienced, and the things he accomplished. By tracking his experiences, Rurka has been able to identify trends and make changes. He considers this to be his single best tool for designing the life he wants.

Rurka attributes his success since graduating from NBCCD in 2013 to never wavering on his value as a designer.

“You’re selling confidence and you’re selling the solution.”