How or when did you know you wanted to be a designer?
After finishing college with a traditional liberal arts degree I was working as a booking agent/receptionist at a modeling agency. That was my first exposure to graphic designers. I was first drawn to the creative aspect of the work. The fact that it seemed businesslike without being businesslike was also appealing.
What classes do you remember taking that were the most valuable?
Color theory. A good color choice is a powerful tool for communicating. Also art history provided me with a perspective on the tradition of communication. I took drawing in high school with an excellent artist/teacher. From that class I began to see visual thinking as a serious endeavor and something that I could develop!
What inspires you or how do you keep your creative juices flowing?
I’m always looking around. Magazines, design publications, TV, museums, and films are all useful fodder. Defining and prioritizing client’s needs creates a structure for the problem solving process. These parameters get me going in a direction. After working on something for a while I’ll walk away in order to clear my mind of design (usually by exercising) and then come back at my project with a fresh approach.
Compare your current job to others you've held in the field of design.
What are the pros and cons of each?
I’ve always worked on my own from my home, but on occasion I have done extended periods where I have worked as a freelancer in a larger design firm. I like being part of a collaborative effort and wish I had that in my current situation. But working on my own has many advantages. My working at home provides our family with a level of sanity and stability—my husband works very strange and irregular hours. I try to contain my work as much as possible to regular business hours. Most often I go to meetings rather than have them here because when someone comes here I feel like the entire house is on display.
What words of wisdom do you have for someone interested in graphic design?
Design isn’t only about making cool things. It requires creativity as well as the practical side of meeting deadlines, controlling budgets, and conveying a specific message.