WHAT DO YOU DO?
I work with companies in all stages of life, whether they are a startup that needs help with all design assets for their business, or a well established brand looking for us to add value for a specific project. Or as my 8 year old son says "You get to draw for a living".
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I actually have a background in Jazz and Contemporary Music and Landscape Architecture. When I was little, I told my parents I wanted to be a rockstar. Being the supportive types, they told me to go get it so I went to college for jazz music. I had a background in classical so the transition was very challenging to go from a more strict form of music to a free-flowing style. Looking back at this background, I realize how this helped shape how I handle projects currently at our firm. After studying music and realizing maybe I wasn't cut out to be a rockstar, I switched to Horticulture Design which is what eventually led me to graphic design. I loved creating sustainable landscapes, the hours spent designing were my happiest but what I didn't love was all the plants, all those latin names, ugh!
How do you stand out in your field?
Sara and I grew up in an artistic home. Our dad is an architect and our mom was a textile designer. We have been very fortunate to be surrounded by design from the early days of our childhood. Growing up in Maine, we have always had a rugged mentality for handling whatever is thrown at us and being able to turn those challenges into something positive, something that we can be proud of. Like Maine winters when it is -25 below zero and we just got 4 feet of snow, we would make some pretty killer snowman and snow forts when we were home from school. We work with each client this way, no middle man here, we take any challenge throw our way and create something we are very proud of. We often hear that is was fun working with us, now that is a true compliment. To be able to not only be a designer but to have fun at it? We are living the dream life!
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I am working on growing the business right now. We are at a point where we have grown by word-of-mouth and have been very fortunate to attract incredible clients. Being a creative, I am always hungry for more, to hustle and grow. Right now, we are working on new changes internally in our business and partnering up with new talent. We are also working on a new website for Studio Linear that will be showcasing some of our newest work which I am so excited about, I have goosebumps right now writing about it.
We also have some community based projects we are working on. One is called the Street Piano Project. This is the 3rd year we have launched this project. We take in old pianos, renovate them, paint them, show them love and then we place them out in the public for anyone to play and enjoy. We are launching this 3rd piano this fall and can't wait to hear the city streets being filled with the beautiful sound of music.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I think my style is modern but unrefined if that makes sense? I am aware of what is trending in design but try to not fall into that trap of looking like everyone else. I try to push the boundaries as much as the clients let us. I think my husband's coffee company is a great example of this. He gave me free range to create any branding, packaging, web design, photography etc and didn't say a word. It could have been that he was scared to say anything but I think it really was a sense of trust in knowing he was in good hands.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I am really hoping to get more involved in spatial and interior design. I feel like it is the next step for the work we do, to be able to take a brand and then apply that look to an environment would be amazing.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
It's funny, you know that saying how a carpenter never has time to work on their own projects at home like building a bookshelf? Well, it is the same for us, we have limited time to design our own internal marketing pieces such as our new website which I think we are on month 9 now? We focus so much of our energy on our clients that our own personal work takes a back seat.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would hire someone to be my sidekick for the day. Someone who could help me funnel through all the morning emails, quotes and contracts and then someone who could bat away that bag of chips I will inevitably go for around 10:30 am because I am stressed. I would have this person help me stay focused as well. I have ADHD as most creatives do, so one minute I could be designing packaging in Photoshop but the next I am listening to a new song on Spotify and sitting down at the piano to learn it...I like to call it multi-tasking.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I am terrible at spelling. I am sure there are MANY typos in these responses. I wish I could go back in time to a branding project I did many months ago and tell myself to use spell check on the word "Anniversary" before they had signage printed, brochures, business cards etc. I would then realize that I had spelled it "Annivesary" and would have saved myself a lot of humiliation afterwards. It all turned out okay though, the client was amazing and we have since fixed those misspelled items.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would want to talk about the next steps in business growth. My business has reached this great spot where we are ready to take that next leap, that plunge into something bigger and deeper and it looks pretty scary from the diving board I am standing on having little experience in business management.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I love branding and package design. My sister loves web design. Finding those new clients who need all of the above is such a wonderful opportunity. I also enjoy public speaking, my sister loathes it. I love getting up in front of an audience and talking about what I love to do for a living, design.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I am looking for both start-ups and established businesses. I like the challenges that each bring to the table and I love the outcome that we can create for them. I also love working with other creatives. I really enjoy collaborating and sharing ideas, it gets my creative juices going.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Before I give a project quote, I first send off a questionnaire to see if the perspective client is a good fit for us. I then take that info and have a kick off call to learn more about the project. Once I have all that info, I create a quote that has a range since most all projects tend to become more complicated once you start in. Our firm requires a 25% retainer and we often offer a discount to clients when they purchase a bundled package of our services such as Brand, Print + Package and Web combined.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Usually clients email me first, then I send off a questionnaire to see if we will all work well together. If they are not a good fit for us, we often recommend other firms in the area we have great working relationships with. We then chat about pricing and I try to be as transparent as possible and not bs a client. If they want something we can't do, I am not a "yes sir" kind of gal, I will let them know if I can complete what they want and if we can't, I love referring other talented designers their way.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
I have many, many, many tattoos.
This member profile was originally published in September 2018.