I sort of naturally fell into it. I attended Maine College of Art for Graphic Design and a handful of our assignments were heavily brand focused. I also naturally gravitate towards typography and systems thinking, so merging all three feels like icing on a cake. I love getting lost in each world that a brand can live in. For me it requires two muscles: the detailed eye to really hone in on the chosen visual direction and still being able to see the big picture of how the brand will function. Being a part of that conception and helping a brand stand on its legs and is what keeps me in it.
My particular style in branding grew overtime. It really wasn't until I was a solo entity that I took the time to explore it more deeply. I really discovered my style through personal projects and absorbing like a sponge. So much of the process that goes unseen is what you do in your off time when you're not up against a deadline. What are you absorbing? What are you trying? What are you practicing? All these habits pointed me where my style has landed now.
I typically take most clients through the same initial process to fully immerse myself in their company and mission. I'll kickoff each project with a light strategy session. I like to think of each brand as a person, so I'll ask questions through the lens: How would they make people feel? How would they talk? Etc. Not only does it cultivate a more open conversation, but you can tell when a person has to sit and think before giving you a thoughtful answer. Those moments are the most telling. I try to listen and take in as much information as possible before executing on anything. This is key. From there, every design decision is aligned with the core purpose.
I've spent a lot of time aligning on this recently. For me, an ideal client is open and has the ability to remain curious about the unknown, are understanding of the value of design and why it's important, are clear communicators, are passionate about what they do and want to add value to people's lives, and are patient.
It took some time, but everything has begun to align for me now that I have full autonomy over my work. Career wins for me are work/life balance, healthy boundaries, and the opportunity to create work that not only fulfills me, but betters the lives of others as well.
Getting out of my daily routine. Working remote and solo has its perks, but no matter what you do it can become monotonous. I find that even a simple walk on a route I wouldn't normally take can do wonders. Trying a new food, diversify my workout routine, reaching out to someone new all play a huge role in making sure I allow room for a little element for surprise in my life and in my work.
Believe all of the cliché quotes...But most of all, don't wait. It will not come floating down and land in your lap, whatever 'it' is. Do something everyday that brings you just one inch closer to your goal.
I can't quite spill the beans just yet, but I'm in the very early stages of evolving my solo business into a larger entity.