Helping you gain the skill-set and confidence to reach your creative goals.
I’m Simona Pfreundner, a German born graphic designer, illustrator and educator with big dreams and colorful ideas and I make the courses and write the blog for MONAWERKS. I’m a little obsessed with birds and think cats are way cooler than dogs, although the latter is often challenged, and it’s my voice you’re hearing in the video courses.
The path to helping others:
Graphic design, online courses, the solopreneur life!
So how does a girl from Germany end up in Canada recording courses for the online world? Well, while visiting Canada on vacation in the late 90s I was instantly charmed by it. After multiple visits I fell in love with it and decided to make this beautiful country my permanent home. It wasn’t easy, I had to literally start from scratch but it was worth it. It took me a while to find my groove but when I began a computer graphics program everything changed. I studied, then started working for businesses and went from stage to junior graphic designer, working my way up to senior and even tried the agency life only to realize that the cubicle, 9 to 5 (8 to 6) stuck in traffic lifestyle wasn’t fulfilling me.
“There is nothing more rewarding for me than hearing people say that I made it seem so easy.”
Freedom & Freelance Life
I wanted the freedom to work on my own schedule, at my own pace and in my own space. So I took the plunge into freelance, searching constantly for clients and contract work.
This was better but once again change was on its way. I came across an opportunity to create online educational courses focusing on Adobe Illustrator and graphic design, two of my greatest interests. It was new, exciting and a little intimidating at first. Making videos was brand new to me but that’s when I found my true passion. It was the opportunity to design fun and creative projects and then use them to help others by sharing the knowledge that I had gathered over the years. I did this for a few companies and then the solopreneur bug bit.
And along came MONAWERKS.
At MONAWERKS we’re always striving to find new and interesting ways to work with design software and looking for ways to ease the frustrations and improve the workflow of apps like Adobe Illustrator. There are always multiple ways to do things and we’re always looking for the easiest and most efficient ways to do them.
At the Moment
I’m most likely sipping a strong coffee surrounded by yellow stickies, sketch books, pens and tons of open browser tabs while thinking of new creative ways to help people solve their design challenges.
I might also be working on a new brand identity project for a client or developing a new packaging design or taking a little break with a daydream or a quick sketch of some cats or birds.
“In the end I just want to help people grow their skills so that they can express their creative passions.”
Things I hear all the time
and my thoughts on them
Working from home is not real work.
When people think working from home is not really working, I tell them that my work day never stops. I might wake up in the middle of the night to write down an idea or start working before my morning coffee even brews. The computer is always there and it’s always on and there’s always something waiting to be done.
It’s just a hobby, not really work.
Doing what you love doesn’t make it a hobby. Creating, designing and illustrating is my passion, sharing the knowledge with others my calling. It’s not just something I do when I’m not working. I’m blessed to be able to call my passions work. ?
It can’t be done!
Don’t even whisper that to me, it’s like throwing a bone to a dog. I can’t let it go until I prove you wrong 🙂 Even if it means researching the whole internet, spending night after night trying different solutions. I will find a way! ?
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
It’s never to late to change, learn or start over, I’ve done it and I wasn’t the young girl I used to be when I did it! So don’t let anybody, not even yourself stop you from pursuing something new! ?
I have no creativity!
To that I say phooey. We all have creativity that we express in our own unique ways. Some are creative with numbers, others are creative cooks and I’ve seen closets that have left me in awe. Don’t get stuck on labels and degrees. When you have a dream, you’ll get creative and find ways to make it happen. ?
If you’re Simona then what is Monawerks?
MONAWERKS is me and MONAWERKS is my journey. It’s the combination of MONA and WERKS which is the German word for works. Mona is what my closest and oldest friends call me, some of them for so long that they’ve probably forgotten that my full name is Simona. But to my family in Germany, my colleagues and the internet at large I am Simona and I’ll answer to both unless you’re a telemarketer 🙂 ??
So how am I able to help you?
Over the years I have written numerous tutorials, recorded hours and hours of video tutorials and created instructional video courses and even done some classroom teaching. This has enabled me to develop an approachable and intuitive style of instructing that helps people learn graphic design software in a fun and easy way, without complicated and unnecessary steps. I’m constantly looking for new and interesting ways to illustrate solutions to common problems encountered while using the software.