Talk about fearless. As a former professional gymnast, Jennifer Postorino is strong and determined. And as a largely self-taught designer, Jen has continually pushed herself to improve her craft, combining hand-drawn sketches with design technology. But perhaps the most fearless thing she’s done is to help herself overcome the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and resulting anxiety she didn’t realize she suffered from for years.
And talk about passionate. Jen’s on a mission to design with her whole heart, wide-eyed excitement, and clear purpose. “I have adopted the philosophy of laying things out on the table — the good, the bad, and the ugly,” she says. “If you put your whole heart into whatever you’re doing, regardless of the outcome, you will come away with a sense of accomplishment. You will be able to take something away from that experience and apply it to whatever lies ahead. I try to be grateful for my failures and my successes, because you can’t have one without the other.”
In this interview, the Ohio graphic designer and parent of two talks about about building her career as an artist, her incredible work ethic, and surviving the scariest day of her life that ultimately led to a new chapter.
MINTED: Did you go to school for graphic design or art?
JENNIFER POSTORINO: I went to school for graphic design at Ball State University, but had no clue what I wanted to do. I was a student-athlete, and after I received my degree, I had to make a decision. Either move home to Dayton, Ohio, where I had an offer to be a head gymnastics coach at a private club, or train with Cirque De Soleil with the hopes of maybe making it into one of their shows. My body was incredibly beat up from years of intense training — I’ve had 12 orthopedic surgeries due to gymnastics. Though the decision was hard, it made more sense to take time off to let my body heal and accept the coaching position. I figured it was a good way to be part of the sport I loved since age 4, and I could always find a “day job” doing something related to design.