WHAT DO YOU DO?
By day, I help clients create visually compelling and conceptual graphics to solve for their business needs. By night, I use design and illustration as a form of art and self expression through many ongoing personal passion projects.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I have never stayed at a company for more than a year. I know, I know – that has negative connotations on paper, but hear me out! I have always been a super quick learner and tend to get bored with routine. I love changing things up and keeping things constantly new and fresh.
I studied traditional graphic design in school and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication at the University of Oklahoma. From there, I landed an internship in Chicago at a branding and marketing agency which eventually turned into a full-time job. At this agency, I was solely committed to IBM as a client, creating various B2B graphics including iconography, social graphics, presentations, etc. Although I learned so much after about a year of this, the work got a little monotonous and so–you guessed it!–I left my first job and took a pay cut for a small boutique agency working on a variety of projects including restaurant branding, packaging and editorial work. It was my dream job at the time!
Unfortunately, good things must come to an end and some personal stuff happened that forced me to leave the life I had built for myself in Chicago, so I transferred to LA. Here I worked as a motion designer at a social advertising and media company. After 10 months of that, I found myself in a small advertising startup, creating presentations for a countless amount of pitches. At 25, my short 3-4 years of work experience have really accelerated myself to realize that maybe I am not meant for the typical 9 to 5 office job, and that’s fine! I finally quit my full-time job in July of 2018 to pursue a freelance life and I have never been happier.
How do you stand out in your field?
I feel like there are a ton of designers out there with “specialties” or who focus on a specific field of design. One could argue that I specialize in illustration and motion graphics, but I truly believe that I can learn and adapt to any project you throw at me because everything goes back to the foundations and principles of design. Studying design has developed my eye and as long as I have that skill, I can adapt and always learn, which is truly why I consider myself a multidisciplinary designer.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
After leaving my full time job, I landed a two month contract doing presentation design for a big tech company in San Francisco. During the day, I am working onsite for them, but at night I am either working on a personal project (right now a series of illustrations inspired by the beauty of LA) or another freelance gig I landed (creating a series of animated and illustrated social posts for another tech company).
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Adobe Illustrator is my first true love so my work tends to have a strong vector and bold style. I love bright colors in a limited or monochromatic palette. My recent personal project Area Code represents this.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Traditional hand animation. It takes so much more time, but you can make some really beautiful things you can’t do with keyframes, and it allows you to really pay more attention to the principles of animation.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I am brutally hard on myself and it’s sometimes truly difficult to make progress on my personal projects. I am my own worst critic and some days I feel frozen when working on something without a client or deadline to adhere to. My work never seems to be ‘good enough’ for me to share and promote online which only limits myself. I need to be better at setting personal goals, deadlines and milestones.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Haha! Truthfully, I would hire someone to pick up food for me OR force me to eat. Sometimes I get too into what I am doing/working that I forget to eat, which is ridiculous because I LOVE food. Or even better–maybe hire someone to have a meal with me. Sometimes it’s easier to make time to eat when someone else is waiting on me or I have dinner plans.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Don’t undersell and undervalue yourself. You don’t deserve to be treated lesser, and shouldn’t waste time with those who bring you down. Surround yourself with positivity and support.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Film & Directing. I would love to hear more about their processes/thinking to help inform framing and storyboarding in my animation work.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am open to any short to long term freelance opportunities, or small gigs here and there! Anything really. I am a fresh freelancer and am low key freaking out about finding work once my current ongoings end. Any project that clients think I would be good fit for, whether its illustration, branding, motion work, or presentation design–I am open and flexible!
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
One of my dream projects is to create a short 2-3 minute animated film! I would love to connect with sound designers, illustrators, directors, writers, or anyone who would be down to collaborate.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Ehhh, it honestly depends on the type of project! If I were to just throw out a number I’d say $75-$100/hr. Usually, I look at a brief and give a rough estimate on how long it would take me for each step (Ideation, Moodboarding, Research, Sketching, Initial Drafts, Revisions, Finalization, Production, etc.) and give a rate based on that, but like I said I am flexible and it’s a case by case answer.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Shoot me an email and let’s make plans to grab a drink or coffee and chat. I value making connections with the person more than the actual work itself!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Minimize zero days. Always make progression.
This member profile was originally published in August 2018.