WHAT DO YOU DO?
I work full-time as the Sr. Graphic Designer for luxury clothing brand Current/Elliott. I design the website, weekly newsletters, as well as the post-production on all images. I am the art director for many of our photo shoots and email campaigns. My responsibilities also include designing banner ads for affiliate sites and all our social media platforms.
I also enjoy working as a freelance designer where I get to collaborate on a variety of projects with my clients that range from hair stylists to pilates studios. I design wedding invitation suites, logos for companies, emails, manuals, t-shirt graphics, and overall branding. My freelance work is an opportunity for me to expand myself creatively and where I enjoy learn from my client's aesthetic.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I graduated from Otis College of Art and Design with a BFA in Communication Arts in 2002. After college I gathered experience working at Darkstar, a Los Angeles based skateboard company. Following Darkstar I had the opportunity to design movie posters where I accelerated my abilities to work in Photoshop and photo retouching. My vast knowledge of print-production was honed while working as an in-house designer at PPG, a large print house in Hawthorne, CA. While working as an in-house graphic designer for Meade Telescopes, I was contacted by Michael Stars to work with them on their clothing design team. That’s when I started working in fashion and have been doing so for over 10 years.
How do you stand out in your field?
I’m not only a designer but I am a skilled retoucher who is proficient in SEO and designing sites that are responsive across multiple platforms. I also have a ton of experience directing photo shoots and love collaborating with photographers and models.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I work full-time at Current/Elliot designing their marketing materials (i.e. newsletters, websites, social media ads). My latest freelance project was designing business cards and branding services for hair stylist extraordinaire Aileen Laos at Salon Barberet.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is always evolving. I often enjoy a classic, clean look with accents of bold colors. My speciality and first love will always be typography.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I love working as an art director. I would love to continue to expand into that avenue of work to direct more photo shoots, starting with concepting editorial shoots. My dream project is to do branding for a restaurant.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
My current frustration is with my desire to develop more work in certain areas (branding for a restaurant, dream job alert!) but not having either the time or the clear pathway to getting there. I’m hoping that being represented on I Love Creatives will help expand my freelance work as well.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would hire someone to help me run errands! I’d also love for them to help me do research on how to develop a healthy roster of freelance clients.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Christa, do not be afraid to go for it. Say yes more often. Keep an open mind to all possibilities. Also, spend less money on shoes and more on traveling.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
NI can be a bit shy, so I would love to talk to an expert about networking and how to comfortably promote myself.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am always open to any opportunity as a designer. My background is diverse, so I love being able to implement what I’ve learned in the past to my current projects. I love branding and I’ve found so much joy in creating wedding invitations. My dream project (have I mentioned this already?) is to design the entire identity and marketing collateral for a restaurant.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I love working with people who have a solid idea of what they want and trust my design aesthetic to create something even better than they imagined. I most often have this collaboration with my wedding clients. I love the process of meeting with the bride and sometimes the groom. Together we work out every detail of their wedding invitation suites. I always ask each couple a question that is personal to their love story (like how he/she proposed to their partner or a special place they like to visit). Then I try to include a design element that tells the story of these moments in their invitations.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My rate is based on the detail of the project. I like to meet with the client first, understand what they are looking for, and then I can create an estimate that is appropriate for the scale of the project. My starting hourly typically is $75/hour. I do like to understand my clients’ budget and how we can work together if my hourly or flat rate ends up being outside of their price range.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email me! I am a fast communicator, especially on email. If you know what you want, then put that description in your email and that will get us off to a great start. Again, I like to sit down with clients in-person to understand the scope of the project and what they’re looking for. If you’re not local to Los Angeles, then this process can be done over Skype or Zoom.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
I’m a member of LACMA and go to museums for inspiration as often as possible. I’m also a music lover and I go to see live music multiple times a month. For the daily creativity resets/inspirational boosts, I take walks along the beach (yes, I wrote walks along the beach) with my adorable poofball of a dog named Brody.
This member profile was originally published in November 2018.