Visual Designer/Founder of Lemonwood Imprints
Los Angeles, California
What do you do?
I’m an illustrator, a dog-lover, a stationary purveyor, and a generally nice person after 10am. I have two jobs, really. I’m a freelance visual designer specializing in infographic design, web design, and brand consultation. I’ve bounced between New York, Dublin, Beijing, San Francisco + LA, and worked with a huge variety of companies everywhere in between.
While I heart creative consulting, I wanted to start focusing on more of my own creative work. So I founded Lemonwood Imprints, a stationery, design, and paper goods business that is steadily taking over my life and my creative work.
Give us a specific example of how you do your job like a BOSS. Or, tell us why you are really good at your job. We know you’re humble, but we want to hear it. :)
I’m never afraid to fake it until I make it. Being confident enough in yourself to take a leap into a project, despite not having any idea what you’re doing, makes anyone a boss. When I started Lemonwood Imprints, I had no knowledge of how to run a business, manage inventory, direct marketing campaigns, or really do anything besides illustrate and take photos. But I just jumped in and rolled with it. It is getting easier with time, and I’m continuing to learn new skills everyday. Just trynna be the best girlboss that I can.
For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?
I learned early on to follow Oscar Wilde’s advice, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”.
Any project is an opportunity to push a boundary and make a unique statement. Unfortunately, I see a lot of talented creatives sacrificing their original vision for the guaranteed safety of basing a project on established successful models or design trends.
It’s a shame because I believe everyone with creative inclinations has something unique to offer. Without the bravery to follow intuition though, projects will end up turning into another version of someone else’s work, and there are enough carbon copies floating around in this business.
What are you working on right now?
Well my 2015 New Year’s Resolution was to be more punctual…
I have so many ideas for this year! I’m extremely excited about future of the company. Also I f$%*ing love holidays, so I’m working on expanding Lemonwood Imprints’ collection to include more gifts and seasonal offerings. I’ve had a ball this last year doing shows like Renegade Craft Fair and Unique USA showing my first season of designs. But over the last couple months I’ve developed and refined my new collection for 2015 and I’m really excited about sharing it on a larger scale, whether it’s through collaborations, creative partnerships, or shows.
If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
Running my stationery business while continuing to manage my freelance design work requires me to play a lot of roles. For Lemonwood, I’m involved in packaging, shipping, printing, marketing, managing inventory..you name it.. but what I love to do is the creative part- designing, drawing, planning, concepting. Running Lemonwood Imprints is so rewarding that it’s worth having to spend my time with non-creative tasks, but I do wish I could focus more of my time on the fun part.
What is frustrating you right now?
There are a lot of avenues through which creative work is distributed and creative people can go to connect. While this is great in one sense, it also can lead to segmentation and disorganization. I wish there some more central events, spaces, or websites where creatives with similar goals could share work, hang out, discuss projects or just rap about the future of design. There are some places like this already growing, I’m a big fan of Unique USA and what they’re doing to bring creatives together. I’m sure there are some others, but it can be tricky to rise above the noise.
What task keeps landing at the bottom of the To Do list?
I have so many unread emails. 3212 according to gmail. Though we can assume like half of them are from Virgin America and Nasty Gal. I’ve also been wanting to take cuban-style salsa dance, and have been putting off signing up. I should do that today.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
Read those emails, I guess. Probably most of the tedious stuff that takes time away from time spent on the higher-level thinking. Things like mailing orders, sending out newsletters, maintaining inventory, etc.
Do you have any mentors or peers? What do you chat about? How do they help you?
My power forward and center are Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but the other members of the starting squad include:
-My nespresso machine
-My burgundy New Balances, to ensure I look as much like Larry David as much as possible while I’m on my morning run
-Instagram and Pinterest
-NYT Crossword Puzzle app is a great when I’ve hit a wall or need a break.
-Canon 5D. I’ve had it since college but it has yet to fail me.
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
I think Sonja Rasula is totally rad and inspiring, I was part of UniqueLA last summer and was blown away by her energy and ambition. I’d love to ask her about how she pursues and maintains connections with other creatives, and the challenges she’s faced developing her personal brand.
Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. is also one of the best examples of an artist whose work is so consistently characteristic, you never have any doubt as to whether it’s hers. I would love to ask her about the process of growing her business into such an major international brand.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?
I’m always looking to meet inspired and ambitious designers to work with me on projects. I think creative works benefit most from being the product of talented minds working together, so I am always down to seek out creative collaborations.
Over Christmas I partnered with Brooklyn-based water charity, The Water Collective, to design some products to help them fundraise over the holidays. We had fun, raised some money, and really built off each other’s energy.
What is your ideal client?
Someone who trusts me. A lot of clients forget that there is a reason they hired a designer, and a client who is excited to work with you and comes in with an open and trusting mind is wonderful to work with.
Describe a client/job/partner you would rather not have. What are your deal breakers?
The worst clients I’ve run into in the past are either bad listeners (so they’re not really working with you, more working at you) or are disrespectful of your time.
What is your rate?
Every project is different, and I am always open to negotiation!
How should someone approach you about working together?
Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org Including photos of dogs in costumes is also highly encouraged.
This member profile was originally published in October 2015.