I studied Visual Communication Design at Virginia Tech. The program gave me a strong foundation in branding and print design that helped me land my first job out of school at a small design agency called circle S studio. I worked there for about a year on branding and web projects then decided to take a leap to Los Angeles where I’ve been for the past 3 years. Since I moved to LA, I’ve actually been working full time as a digital product designer. At night and on the weekends is when I’m able to work on graphic design projects and get more experimental with my work.
I thought I would love to work at an agency, and while I think I learned a ton at my first job about task management and productivity, I don’t think I would ever go back to the agency life. A lot of designers in school don’t think about working in-house or going full freelance, but I think both of those routes are viable- as well as rewarding in their own ways.
At one point I was interning at a political strategy agency making banner ads all day. There’s nothing glamorous about that at all, but there’s something important about paying your dues in the industry. It makes you value fulfilling projects even more.
Like I mentioned earlier, during the day I’m a product designer at a small startup called Betty Labs. So for most of the day, I’m doing user flows, UI design, and more recently, some animation. At night I switch it up and make party flyers, album covers, and get all the experimental stuff out of my system. I think it’s great being able to have this balance between more logical, simplistic product design and maximalist, experimental graphic design in my life. Keeps me on my toes ;)
LA has some amazing art book fairs featuring super talented local designers, independent publishers, and other artists. The LA Art Book Fair just happened a couple of months ago and it was insane. Could’ve easily spent two full days there. There are other smaller fairs throughout the year that are equally impressive such as ACID-FREE. Definitely worth grabbing a few prints and zines.
Keep working on fun projects for good people. Strengthen the relationships I have already formed and create new ones. I also want to push myself out of my comfort zone stylistically and work on personal projects with friends. Definitely, need to create some typographic zines and screen prints too.