What do you do and where do you do it?
I am the Art Director and designer for the UConn Magazine, the University of Connecticut’s Alumni magazine. I was hired in March of 2015 to completely redesign the magazine with a new look. I work in University Communications, so my main job is the magazine, but I also work on the Science Salon series and any other project that may come through our office.
I am also the Vice President of the Connecticut Art Directors Club where I seek to continue to help bring amazing Connecticut creatives together for events big and small.
What inspired you to choose this profession, and what makes you stay in it?
I didn’t realize graphic design was a true profession until probably high school, but I knew from a young age that I was attracted to art, and then later specifically to magazines and advertisements. I plastered my walls with clever and beautiful magazine ads – my favorites were the witty Absolut Vodka ads, ha. And when I learned I could do something along those lines as my job I knew it was what I wanted to do. I don’t even think I thought about another profession. And I stay because it truly is the job for me. It is challenging, rewarding and makes me so damn happy. As stressed out as I can get, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
What do you want to accomplish before you retire?
– Work on a project for a big ski or snowboard company (my dream since I was like, 12)
– Find a way to work in another country
– To finally find the balanced between being bored and completely overwhelmed with taking on freelance projects
Who/What are your biggest influences?
I seek inspiration from lots of places, but travel is probably my number one. I am lucky enough to have traveled a fair amount while growing up and into my adult life, and my curiosity never ends. As far as my online influences, I follow a lot of Instagram accounts. Probably too many! Anytime I’m inspired by something I see on instagram, I actually screenshot it and love scrolling through the screenshot folder on my phone later, remembering why I felt inspired by the particular photo. These accounts scan a wide range of fields – textiles, woodworkers, painters, food photographers, travelers, adventurers, designers, illustrators, bloggers of all kinds. To be honest, I feel inspired pretty much every time I open Instagram!
What is your idea of happiness?
Working for a company I love, having that work-life balance everyone strives for, feeling inspired and pushed creatively without feeling burnt out, and being surrounded by loving, supporting friends and family. That’s the dream right there.
What is the key to good design/good communication?
I think the key to good design/good communication is that it should be thoughtful, thought provoking, beautiful (in whatever way that might be) and meaningful. Ultimately, in my opinion, graphic design functions as visual communication, so there needs to be substance as well as beauty. And the lines of that can be blurred in certain situations, but I find that the best design I see or do hits on some or all of those points.
Connecticut is fantastic! It has been my home most of my life, I went to college here and I continue to meet and work with hard working, inspiring people. There are no shortage of pop-up events and people pushing to bring more art, design, fashion, food and people to Connecticut. It doesn’t hurt that it’s beautiful here as well! I know a lot of people dislike the cold, but we have all 4 glorious seasons, and we New Englanders are tough because of it.
It truly is the job for me. It is challenging, rewarding and makes me so damn happy. As stressed out as I can get, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Who are the best creatives you’ve worked with?
The most talented letterpress printer around, Kait Lennon. The bad-ass ladies at Hoodzpah Design Co. in Cali. The ethereal photographer Victoria Glora, and most recently, the super creative and inspiring illustrator Daniel Fishel.
What creatives would you like to work with?
My list is endless! As I mentioned before, I follow far too many people on Instagram, and that also translates into dribbble, tumblr, and blogs of all sorts. And as much as I would love to collaborate with amazing illustrators, designers and photographers from all over the country, I want to collaborate with more Connecticut creatives! I admire the photography of Manny Vargas, Lindsay Stanford, and Ashley Caroline, and the design work coming out of The Bananaland. I have met so many talented and inspiring creatives in Connecticut that I would love to collaborate with. If anyone is up for a collab, hit me up!
What are your loves/passions outside of this field?
I find that most of my passions are attached to the creative world in some way, even if they’re not specifically design – like photography and blogging — but I love traveling, food, traveling for good food, thrifting, and playing games. I also play soccer once a week on a co-ed team that I have been playing with for about 4 years, and I love to ski in the winter.