In a book I've been reading entitled "Popular Lies About Graphic Design" by Craig Ward, one of the lies the book attempts to debunk is that "You Gotta Get to New York" to make it as a successful Graphic Designer.
Throughout my university years, I've constantly been told the best Graphic Design internships and job opportunities are found in the Big Apple. It didn't help that all the women Graphic Designers I looked up to and sought out for inspiration were all based in New York as well; Lotta Nieminen, Roanne Adams, Jessica Walsh and Verena Michelitschi to name a few.
After graduating, I tried so hard to obtain a big name job in the Graphic Design industry. Not only did I apply to jobs in New York, but I applied to jobs in metropolises around the world like London, Los Angeles and Toronto. Although I was so ready to pack up shop and move to a big city, I started to understand that landing a successful design studio / agency job takes lots of experience. I also started to realize that many of my university peers were applying for the same jobs as me, and at the same time. So in the end, I traded the big city for a little island in the Atlantic ocean.
I now live in Bermuda; a 21 square mile island with a population of a little over 65,000. Majority, if not all of my freelance design projects come in from all over the world via email, social media or over the phone. I could technically design and work wherever I like. Yes, Bermuda is small; there aren't many design studios or agencies to work for if you're looking to make a name for yourself here. And although the bigger agencies tend to set up in larger cities, that doesn't mean they produce the best work.
I think what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter where you are in the world, you can still make a name for yourself if you let your work do the talking. I've received so many design opportunities with popular brands, businesses and influencers from all over the globe just by connecting with them online. Sure, the big cities bring larger art galleries and more people to network with, but you can find inspiration right outside your door. "What you take from your surroundings and put back into your work differs from everyone."