What motivates you to mentor creatives?
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
Prior to becoming a UX designer, my background is a blend of fine art, business, entrepreneurship, marketing, sales and design. If you name it, I have probably dabbled in it in one form or another.
Overall I have about 15+ years of experience as a fine artist, 7+ years as a graphic designer, and now starting my journey as a UX designer.
As a kid, I would dream of creating paintings that were larger than single-story buildings. In high school, I joined an intensive magnet art program and continued to hone in my skills as a fine artist.
Once I graduated from high school, I immediately built a client base to gain real-world experience and to help clients bring their visions to life through portraits, and murals.
After years of creating fine art, I wanted to challenge myself and integrate into the digital world because I saw an opportunity and a need for graphic design services for the local businesses that I served. This is what ultimately lead me on a path as a graphic designer.
After graduating college with a Bachelor’s of Science in Art and Design, I found a position with a Real Estate Brokerage and learned how to work collaboratively with like-minded designers.
While working at Northrop Realty, I realized that graphic design was a great way to bring brand awareness, create consistency and to convey a message, but not necessarily change behaviors.
I became more and more curious about how I could use design as a way to help users achieve their goals which finally led me to taking my UX certification with Kickass UX and it was one of the best decisions I have made.
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
I have a diverse portfolio, and because of this, I wanted to share a couple of murals and a couple of logos.
The two murals were created for two different Indian cuisine restaurants in Maryland. Both murals are embossed with imitation gold leaf and done in Acrylic paint.
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
I have a simple creative space. My creative space is also my office space. One side of the desk always has my sketchbook and watercolors just in case an idea hits me at any moment, while the other side of my desk is where my laptop resides. This way I can transfer my designs, sketches, ideas and iterations from my sketchbook to my laptop easily and efficiently.
Where do you go to get inspired?
Regarding UX design, I get most of my inspiration from reading and from other UX designers along with testing competitor’s products and speaking with actual users.
For art, in general, I get inspired by anything. I believe all ideas are worth exploring even if they are just that, an exploration. When I am on vacation, hiking, camping, or visiting a new place, I find that I get inspired by things like architecture, nature, lighting, colors, and landscapes.
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
When I have an idea, even if I do not feel like doing it, I just do it. I try to set time aside to learn, time to explore and time to relax.