Alison Matheny


Alison Matheny

Creative Director / Founder of BEST

Brooklyn, NY / Los Angeles, CA
instagram @staybest
Instagram @amath
twitter @alisonmatheny


What do you do?

I am a creative director and graphic designer who works with brands on concept strategy, photo shoot production, design of brand and collateral materials both digital and print.

I started BEST as a side project to keep fresh artistically outside my 9-5 job. Since going out on my own, it has morphed into an editorial platform as well as a hub for my freelance content business. Connecting clients with creatives and doing work for them through that!


What steps did you take to get where you are now?

After working as a graphic designer at a number of boutique design firms in New York, I became an Art Director at Lucky Magazine where I developed and branded their social conferences and network. From there I started and lead the Content Studio as Creative Design Director at DETAILS Magazine. My team would produce content projects and events for advertisers and the brand on all platforms.

From there I went freelance to work with my own collective, BEST, on editorial projects and collaborate with brands in a freelance capacity. Freedom!


For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?

I am able to completely own a project from start to finish -- helping the brand organize assets and source other creatives (photographers, copy writers, etc) to produce cohesive content.

I then use that content to design their materials for them.

Acting as a one-person agency, the deliverables are tighter and it's a more enjoyable process for everyone.


What are you working on right now?

I just finished designing materials for Ariel Gordon Jewelry's newest collection (look book, line sheets, leave behinds), shooting Fashion to Figure's denim collection and designing in-store and mailing materials for them, and designing a brand book for athleisure brand, Bandier. BEST is also working on collaborations with NEGATIVE Underwear and lola.

We are all Slashies with multiple skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?

I love conceiving and producing photo shoots. From meeting with a brand on their objectives, making mood boards for the shoot, scouting locations and working with the stylist and photographer -- I love the process of creating visual assets. I would like to focus more on creating these things in addition to designing the deliverables we use them on.

What is frustrating you right now?

The sun setting at 4:30PM.

What task keeps landing at the bottom of the To Do list?


If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?

Networking! Writing and sending out emails pitching work, meeting up with people for informational coffees, researching new clients.

Let's bring out the time machine. What do you wish you could have told yourself, when, and why?

I wish I could have told myself to live an artist lifestyle when I first moved to New York. With age comes responsibilities and bills and it gets increasingly harder to stay involved in projects that are art for art's sake.

If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?

I would love to talk to a wellness therapist or yogi on how to manage anxiety associated with working largely on your own.

What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?

Content production! Working with a brand to shoot assets, and then design their brand collateral for them.

Working with a brand to shoot assets, and then design their brand collateral for them.

I'm open to different types of clients, but my expertise is in fashion and lifestyle.

What is your ideal client?

I would love to work with a brand to travel to a destination and shoot a story (or campaign) for them and then design a look book or promotional piece for them with those images, complete with a viral video!

Something similar I did was for Belstaff --- we shot two influencer videos (my favorite of stuntman Riley Harper). I also shot behind-the-scenes images and put those into a digital hub.

Do you allow yourself to say No?

I try to avoid projects where the brand does not have their information ready (using a lot of FPO images and copy). It waters down the concept and design process, and makes it harder to produce a good piece.

What is your rate? 

I like to price on a project basis once I know all of the components and what I would be responsible for.

I charge a minimum $500 day rate for in-house work, and $100/hr if working hourly. 

For shoots, my general rate is $1500 per day to produce (plus prep and wrap), but depends on my responsibilities. 

How should someone approach you about working together?

E-mail is fine! I'm also down with a phone call to go over objectives.

I usually ask for an outline of the deliverables expected and from that I make an estimate and timeline for the project. 

It also helps if the client has any inspiration photos or design examples that they like for look and feel.

This member profile was originally published in December 2015.