What motivates you to mentor creatives?
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
As a kid, I loved storytelling. I’d let my imagination absorb me into a make-believe world of witches hiding in my closet and my stuffed animals coming alive. In my teenage years, photography became my medium for capturing the world around me, seeking out the details others missed and encapsulating singular moments in time.
As an adult, I’ve been re-connecting with my inner creative, exploring mediums such as home-video making, stick-figure drawing, and writing.
In early 2020, I co-founded a company called LAAF Travels. We intended to offer international trips to women focused on outdoor adventure and unique food experiences.
Unfortunately, the pandemic struck a few months later. We pivoted and instead launched a series of backpacking basics courses in the North Cascades National Park.
But with the world in crisis, we ultimately made the tough decision to pull the plug on the business. This just wasn’t the right time.
I spent time reflecting on all that we had accomplished with LAAF Travels, contemplating what to do next. I learned how to design our website, develop our brand identity, and pinpoint our target client.
Shortly after that, I enrolled in an online bootcamp for visual design. I freelanced as a web designer as I completed the program. But I struggled to find a full-time role.
That’s when I discovered UX.
What’s exciting about my current role as a Product Designer is being at the intersection of creativity, problem-solving, and helping others.
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
In order to get our business off the ground, my business partner and I had to be scrappy! We were working with limited resources and neither of us had ever started a company before.
I’m super proud of the work that we did!! For me, my big creative accomplishments were designing the website, creating fun and informative Instagram posts, and writing blog articles.
Check out these links for samples of that work:
Sample Instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNK-oN1n_Vl/
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
You likely won’t find me in the same spot all day. It’s like finding “Where’s Waldo?” but instead, “Where’s Katie?”
I like to move around my apartment throughout the day to get a change of scenery, however slight it is. This keeps my creative juices flowing and keeps my active body happy.
When I’m perched at the kitchen counter, my eyes often rest on a colorful assortment of cookbooks as I ponder my work. If I sit on the couch, I gaze occasionally beyond the sliding glass doors, watching the hummingbirds flit back and forth from the tree. I most frequently settle down at the table to work, sometimes glancing up to appreciate my eclectic collection of books and artwork.
Where do you go to get inspired?
As I write this, I’m sitting in a coffee shop. I often go to cafes to find inspiration. I like the bustle of activity and being surrounded by other people who are working or chatting with friends, as I sip my americano (no cream), plug in my music, and get to work. Anytime I need a break, I love being a fly on the wall to people’s lives.
When I need a heartier dose of inspiration, I seek out other people’s art. I love going to art museums, galleries, or admiring street art. I’m moved by artwork and artists’ stories!
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
Generally, I’m in my most creative state of mind first thing in the morning. As soon as I wake up, I’m raring to go. As the day wears on, my creativity often diminishes. Until this golden hour in the evening in which inspiration sometimes strikes again.
But when I actually feel most creative is either when I’m out on a run, or, when I give myself time to daydream. I try to be intentional each day about creating unstructured space for my mind to wander. That’s often when the magic happens. My brain starts linking together seemingly unrelated thoughts and ideas until, voilà, creative genius strikes. :)
What’s an album that changed your life?
“Spice” by Spice Girls. I was in the 5th grade and it was my first CD. Girl power, must I say more? These ladies were living their passion and empowering little girls like me to kick ass in the world.