Can you tell me a little bit about your path to becoming a designer and how you got where you are now?I have been drawing on things ever since I can remember. As a kid there was nothing more exciting then a blank piece of paper and a sharpened pencil. As I got older I had a few people really encourage me to look into graphic design as a career since I loved to draw so much. I started teaching myself design when I was fourteen and did freelance design work on and off for several years. I started pursuing graphic design more seriously about four years ago, initially with freelance work, and then working in-house at a software company for a couple years.
I currently work in-house for Woods Coffee, a coffee chain in the Pacific Northwest. I have always loved clothing design and life-style brands and have recently started launching my own lifestyle brand Slow & Steady Co. This collab with Humbly Made Brand has been an awesome soft launch for the brand and I am really excited to share more soon.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Was there ever a big mistake you made early in your career and were able to take something valuable from it?
Did I ever make a mistake at the beginning of my career..? Haha, where do I start?! I think one of the biggest mistakes I made early on was thinking that I needed to make it as a full-time freelancer right out of the gate. I think freelancing has it’s place and I may go full-time freelance again at some point in the future, but taking a job in-house working along-side other designers and art directors more talented than myself, was invaluable for growing my skill-sets, especially since I didn’t go to school for design.
If you could give one piece of advice to another designer or entrepreneur starting out, what would you say?
Try everything. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and put in some long hours. Your success has a lot more to do with the amount of sweat you put in the bucket, then it does with any raw talent you may have. Online tutorials and Skillshare classes are a great place to start. Honestly, once you start honing your craft and getting clients, it’s harder and harder to find time to push your skill-set further and try new things.
Can you remember one of the first things you designed or created that you were proud of?
This is a hard one since I’m such a perfectionist… The work I was proud of early on, I would probably consider to be crap now. I remember being extra proud of a freelance logo project I did several years ago... I was having an extra hard time finding a good solution for the client and really felt like I was just spinning my wheels. After more than a little prayer and sheer determination I kept hacking away at concepts and finally came up with a solution I was really proud of. I think to this day the design only has two likes on dribble, but I am proud of the design to this day and the whole project taught me a valuable lesson that if you set your mind to something, chances are you will find a good solution if you give it enough time and stick with it.
“Try everything. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and put in some long hours. Your success has a lot more to do with the amount of sweat you put in the bucket, then it does with any raw talent you may have."
The quote on the shirt “Celebrate Everyday Adventures” is a tagline I coined for Slow & Steady Company, and it really encompasses the essence of what the brand stands for. We live in a society that celebrates the extreme, the mind-blowing, and the people that do things we could only dream of doing… In this celebration though, I feel like we lose sight of what life is really about: The everyday moments and snapshots that make up our lives… The idea behind Slow & Steady Co and behind this design, is that life is not so much a “race to the top”, as it is celebrating the adventures we have every day. My hope is that people will be reminded to proactively seek out those everyday adventures and learn to live in the moment, celebrating everyday of their individually unique life.
Why did you choose to make this design for The Designer Series and what does it mean to you?
Can you talk a little bit about the process that you used to make this piece?
I typically start with pencil and paper for most of my designs, this one is no exception. I started out sketching the illustration and typography and then snapped a photo of them with my phone to transfer them to the computer. Once I had them traced out in illustrator, I cleaned up the artwork and moved things around until I was happy with the layout. Once I had the illustration nailed down, I took it into Photoshop to add some texture and then took it back into illustrator to polish up the final piece. Boom, magic.
Are you working on any new projects right now?
Outside my work at Woods Coffee, I have a few freelance projects I am working on, as well as building products for Slow & Steady Co.
Design bucket list time: is there one creative experience or project you'd love to work on in the next couple years that you have never had the chance to?
I love apparel design, specifically graphic tees. A bucket list item for me would be to design a t-shirt for a high profile Lifestyle/Outdoor/Surf-Skate company such as Element, Hurley, Patagonia, etc..