Lala Watkins

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Lala Watkins

Graphic Design Extraordinaire / Illustrator / Connoisseur of Good Vibes

Castle Heights, Los Angeles, CA

www.acaseoflala.com
instagram @frenchfriesngoodvibes
linkedin
tumblr
pinterest
 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a graphic designer and illustrator for a Home, Gift, and Stationery company by day and by night…I’m still an illustrator and designer, more so for personal work, with lots of snacks, a killer solo dance party and an almost-ok-don’t-need-to-be-in-the-shower-for-this-one singing voice. 


Still don’t get what that means? Let me break it down. During the day, (when I actually make it out of bed) I go to work at a 9-5 where I get paid to come up with designs, copy, and fun illustrations, for greeting cards, gift bags, storage boxes and anything else my grandma can brag about to her friends. Usually something along the lines of “Look at my talented granddaughter, she made this. She’s in LA, you know, celebrities use this.” And because she’s loyal, I’m committed to doing a good job on my part. #doitforabuela

Then after hours is where I get the afterparty started, creating work for myself or doing freelance work for clients. It could be digital illustrations, ads, graphic designs, marketing posts, email blasts, etc. It’s a fun time, plus gives me more goodies to put in my portfolio.
 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

When I applied to Ringling College of Art and Design, I wanted to be an animator. I got into the school but didn’t get into the Computer Animation major but was allowed to pick another major so I decided on, you guessed it; motion design. Since it was similar to animation I thought this is it. Plot twist, it wasn’t it for me. While I enjoyed learning about motion design my heart just wasn’t in it. I always found myself lettering, making cute greeting cards for friends, little positive pick me up booklets, and cute illustrations in my spare time. So one day my friends were like why don’t you try switching to Graphic Design. That was the “Aha” moment for me. It all came together in my mind like Guy Pearce in Momento. Honestly, I don't know why I didn’t think of that in the first place but that’s what friends are for, amiright? After pleading my case to the head of the Graphic Design Department at that time I made the switch from motion design to graphic design and have been making my heart do the smiley emote ever since. Also it really helped that I was proactive outside of my school projects, doing graphic design competitions, learning new skills on Skillshare, just making things for myself I enjoyed that I put in my portfolio that lead me to get an internship at Cartoon Network, freelance projects from greeting card companies and more. So I really recommend doing that. 
 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

I think you should really work on building those technical skills. Get to know everything you can about Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Those are some major programs lots of companies use for Graphic Design projects. You can always find free tutorials about the basics of those programs online. Also don’t stress friend, it’s gonna be alright. Some best advice I’ve been told is “Never stress just do your best.” Also never be afraid to ask questions. You gotta learn and team work makes the dream work so if you prosper so do we.
 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Besides working on my own personal glow up? 

Well, right now, I’m just doing some fun Christmas pre-production work at my current job. Can you believe it?  Working on Christmas designs from January to July and you wonder why I’m always like “What year is it…?”
 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

My style is like a summer pool party with a gang of girlfriends, wearing bright pops of colors. Cue the Pool Party, Don’t be Tardy playlist on Spotify. Insert an impromptu dance party. Add in lots of fun pool floats, like flamingos, unicorns and pizza. Some of the girls have quirky, funny phrases on their swimsuits. Some girls are eating donuts, popsicles or fries. Sprinkle a bit of good vibes, a dash of laughter and viola you have my style. Or you can just look at this “Lady Brunch A Lot.” print I made.

I just love bringing people together. So anytime that I can spread the joy, encouraging others to live life and celebrate it with positive affirmations of their awesomeness, a sprinkle of yay and a dash of tiny little reminders of the greatness that is within then I’m happy. 

You can listen to the playlist here!
 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

Writing. I love writing, whatever it may be and wish I could do it more often. 
 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Would you believe me if I told you writing. Haha, I would love to put more time into my “The Bee’s Knees” artist blog posts on my French Fries And Good Vibes site. It’s really nice connecting with other artists and showcasing their greatness.
 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Right now, someone who could help me write the blog posts on French Fries And Good Vibes and help me turn it into a lifestyle blogging site. Or hire a chef, make me yummy foods for the day. #chefyumyum
 

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LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I would tell 19 year old Lala not to compare herself to others career journeys and to keep being the charming person you are---cuz gurl you’re gonna be flourishing.
 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Besides Oprah for how she’s still stuntin on them, haha, I would probably just practice more self-love, experiencing more, enjoying working out instead of forcing it like stuffing a pinata with liquor bottles, and just being me unapologetically.
 

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WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I would love to work on graphic design, graphic social media design, illustration, lettering - all of it. I’m so open to new things and expanding my handy dandy skill set because as they say in the adulting world I’m a professional.  But if I had to pick a few, I would love to work on more illustration, graphic design, and lettering projects, all three if possible. :)
 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

I love working with open-minded companies and individuals who have good vibes and enjoy laughing. Who give me projects that make me think and improve my skills. Who value teamwork, growth, and learning. That have a great mission/vision that relates to my own values. I’ve been fortunate to work for companies with a fun loving family like culture, so anything that feels like it could be home is great. If they have a perk for continuous learning or training stipend that’s a plus.
 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

My salary range is $48,000-$60,000.
My hourly rate is $28/hour.
 

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HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

I would give you my number but I’ve been watching Black Mirror so for now email me at hello@frenchfriesandgoodvibes.com - deets about the project or job description is great. Jokes are always welcomed and flattery...well who doesn’t love a compliment every now and then.  
 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Having emergency dance parties, listening to podcasts, gifs, and just livin life, eatin ice cream. 


This member profile was originally published in March 2018.