I've always kind of been a writer myself (in a very loose sense of the title). I have binders and binders of "novels," short stories, and poems—all from my high school years. And in college, I actually thought about majoring in English. Some of my favorite classes were my writing classes (shhh, don't tell my art professors) and I always passed with flying colors. But graphic design and the arts just stuck a little closer than writing did, and I ended up pursuing that in the end.
My design career
One of my first internships in college was for a publishing company. While I was only a part of the marketing department and designed many layout pieces, after graduating I received a temporary position in the publishing department. I would design book covers (or anyways provide additional cover options for the design lead) and design the inside of the books so that the typesetter had a set style to base the entire book from. Honestly? I loved it. But it was only temporary, so I had to find something more stable.
That's when I took my first, full-time, in-house job at another Christian publishing company. I designed book covers, Bible covers, catalogs—and set styles for the typesetting. I loved it. And I was gaining some mad experience in the publishing world.
Then a year and half later, I LEFT. But thankfully it was for greener grass. I became the main graphic designer for a non-profit child sponsorship organization. It was an awesome change of pace, and I literally did it all, from mailed retention pieces to in-house collateral, redesigning brand collateral, web and social media graphics, etc. But I was still close to writing... or anyways, a writer.
At the publishing companies I previously worked at, I had little to no contact with the copywriter. The copywriter was someone who sat in an office on a separate floor, turning the directors' madness into coherent sentences. After many rounds of proofing, it'd then end up on my desk with a job description attached. That's all I ever really knew working with a copywriter was like.
At my new company, I worked closely with the copywriter (quite literally), and to be honest—learned SO much from her. Even though she's left the company now (don't worry, we're still close friends), I'll have my moments where I'll correct someone's writing, or proof the copywriter's content, and pat myself on the back for thinking like she would. But apart from my in-house experience, writers have found me through this business, Finicky Designs.
Writers and Finicky Designs
One of my first REAL clients I did a complete brand design for was the author Patti Davis, and designed for her every piece of her brand, from logo to book cover. Then I moved onto working with several bloggers, a teaching pair, and then on to one of my most recent clients who is an amazing writer and teaches workshops on writing. All of these experiences have lead up to a decision I made a month or so ago—when I decided I wanted to design for writers full time.
That's where all that change I talked about the other day comes in. I want to make my website a useful resource for writers who need help with design. While my services are always available to writers, I also want to be able to provide for them helpful advice so that right now, no matter their budget or their audience size, they can make positive changes to their graphics that will enhance their writing and help them find that visual match to their words.
I don't need to tell my writing community how to write, or what to write about (they've already got that part covered); I want to use my design talents to help their words get heard. This endeavor excites me beyond belief, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for my design business and the amazing storytellers I get to serve through it.
Storytellers and people who create are my passion. I feel honored to communicate their message with exceptional, unique design.
What am I up to right now?
Right now I'm finishing up a website for a community of storytellers who are sharing their hurt and healing with the world. I'm also working with a Croatian food and travel blogger, developing her brand and social media presence to communicate who she is and what she writes about. And I just started working with a young, upbeat, exciting blogger who has an awesome community and established blog—she's just looking for that brand that totally captures the vibe going on with it.
I love these writers, and I look forward to what the future has in store.