1. What is your role at Cricket Design Works?
I'm a junior designer at Cricket. I often support the other designers, assisting on a variety of projects for the clients they work with, but I've had the opportunity to take ownership on a few projects as well. For example, I'm currently working with a client on a brand and identity redesign that extends to a new website and environmental signage, and I've had a hand in the process from the ground up. I’m also organizing the agency’s font library, which is a huge project. And I’m in charge of keeping plants and people alive by watering the former and making coffee for the latter.
2. What is your favorite part of what you do?
It's tough to pinpoint a favorite, because there are so many things I love about being a graphic designer and working at Cricket Design Works. For one, I get to collaborate with and learn from a group of awesome, very talented people. Each day brings new challenges and learning opportunities, and I really enjoy the variety of work I get to do. And of course, having the freedom to be creative and to do what I love every day.
3. What unique background experience do you bring to Cricket Design Works?
I earned a degree in Industrial & Operations Engineering and worked briefly in finance, and then for a software company. Surprisingly, my technical background isn't that uncommon here—there are a handful of former math-and-science types at Cricket. But I think having studied industrial engineering in particular has given me a unique creative voice. I like for things to be orderly and efficient, and my working processes and design sensibilities definitely reflect that (though you might think otherwise if you were to observe the state of my desk).
4. How long have you lived in Madison or the Madison area?
I grew up in New York, attended college in Michigan, and I initially moved to Madison to work for the aforementioned software company—and because prior to that I had visited my brother at UW, and I was so charmed by Madison that I never wanted to leave. That was about four years ago.
5. In your spare time, what's something you love to do in Madison?
A Madison event I never miss is the east side farmers' market; because unlike the market on the square, it has a resident accordion player.
6. Do you have sites bookmarked and if so, what are they?
Tons. Anytime I discover a designer I like, I'll bookmark their website so I can revisit their work when I'm looking for inspiration. Most recently it was Brad Vetter at http://bradvetterdesign.com (an awesome letterpress printer) and Lauren Dickens at http://www.laurendickens.cool (she makes ridiculously creative gig posters, among other things). I try to keep up with the AIGA Eye on Design blog (https://eyeondesign.aiga.org)—they share some really interesting and inspiring work. Of things that are not design-related, I like to read Autostraddle at http://www.autostraddle.com (a queer/feminist online publication) and spend time I can never get back watching dumb Buzzfeed videos.
7. What's your most memorable journey so far in life? And what about it sticks with you?
A few years ago, I quit my job to spend 3 months traveling and WWOOFing (that's World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Italy and Switzerland, without the slightest idea what I'd do next. I basically turned away from everything I'd been led to believe about what it means to grow up and become an adult, and in doing so, I took a huge risk. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. I grew so much from that experience, and it set in motion a course of events that led me to where I am and who I've become today.