Just like last year, we asked our readers for your proudest moments of 2015: favorite projects, most significant learning experiences, or tiny personal victories that actually feel quite big to you. It was such an honor to read through all your stories, and share your positive energy and well-deserved pride.

To those who may not have felt they had particular mountain-top experiences to share, we salute you as well: wherever you are in your path, your hard work, introspection, and values are part of what make you awesome and deserving of personal pride.

May the new year bring good things for all of you! And now, here’s what you were most proud of:

Projects

Mabuhay cover illustrated by Raxenne Maniquiz

Raxenne Maniquiz designed her first magazine cover, an anniversary issue for Philippine Airline’s in-flight magazine, Mabuhay.

Robyn Kanner co-founded and designed MyTransHealth, a site that connects transgender folks with “qualified, culturally competent” doctors. Robyn says, “access to quality healthcare is a human right that trans people deserve and designing solutions that empower all of us to get it is truly exciting.”

Wendie Ing worked with friends on a new identity for their ice cream shop, Cauldron Ice Cream. Their first year in business has seen lines out the door, to which Wendy says, “knowing that my work has benefited their success fills me with joy.”

 

On My Radar app screenshot, built by Omayeli Arenyeka

Omayeli Arenyeka made a conceptual project a prototypical reality with On My Radar, a visualization of your weekly schedule. The project is special to Omayeli, as it’s her first personal coding she truly felt jazzed about. Check out the project on GitHub.

Chris Jones took on a new role designing at Rover, a site which connects pet owners with dog sitters. A month into her first tech company job, Chris redesigned the Sitter Sign Up process, a key part of the business. Despite the attendant nervousness of undergoing such a big task, the result was well received and let to many more signups!

Speaking of services for pups, Jieting Tina Chen and co finished the BarkBox site redesign, along with apps for iOS and Android. She was also proud to have “survived the cold winter in New York City, [she] never expected how bad it could be compare to mild London winter.”

 

emily-haasch

Emily Haasch “designed, co-curated, packaged, and produced an expansion pack for Cards Against Humanity that featured submissions from emerging and established graphic designers throughout the world”. The card pack has raised $320,000+ for charity, and tasked design greats with illustrating a curse from George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words skit.

Meg Robichaud illustrated a series of landscapes for Busbud’s promotional videos. For Meg, this project represents “a turning point in [her] illustration style” and increased confidence in trying out new styles.

 

Installation by Jenna Blazevich made of 27,000 .22 caliber bullet casings, spelling out "Greetings from Chicago, the city beautiful"

Jenna Blazevich proposed and fabricated a 3ft x 6ft installation for Typeforce Chicago (hosted by Firebelly), comprised of 27,000 .22 caliber bullet casings. The piece explores the tension between urban revitalizations that some say provide only surface-level beautification, rather than provide meaningful solutions for more challenging issues. Read more about the piece’s concept.

Along with a group of women who “grew up learning how to code on Myspace and Neopets”, Allyson Wakeman created She Hacks Tumblr, “an HTML/CSS playground on Tumblr with a step by step tutorial on how to build and customize your own Tumblr from scratch”. The (work-in-progress) project is meant to make code less intimidating to today’s budding developers.

Helen Tseng designed the 99% Invisible challenge coin, which led to pledges toward 13,000 challenge coins in a month-long Radiotopia Forever campaign. The coin was recently featured in our post on Helen.

 

Books and Publications

Cover of bbblue, a photobook by Pam Lau. Shows a portrait of a young woman.

Pam Lau published bbblue, her first photo book. The portrait series of 24 girls, shot 24 rolls of film, is a personal project which Pam calls “my most important and fulfilling work to date”.

Marina Csomor and journalist friend Maria LaMagna created Cropped, an online publication. The co-founders found themselves struggling to adjust to life as young professionals, and craved a realness not often shared in carefully-packaged social media posts. The website they launched gives 20-somethings a platform to share vulnerable moments (oh, and they’re taking submissions). The publication name comes from a Portlandia sketch in which Carrie tells Fred, “I guess people are just cropping out all the sadness.”

Soofiya made a collaborative zine (with intersectional-feminism aims) on people’s experiences with menstruation, titled “Bloody Hell”.

Caroline Moore wrote a book titled Punk Rock Entrepreneur, which will be published by Microcosm in Fall 2016. The book is centered on business advice Caroline learned from the DIY punk scene, and is a further exploration of a talk she gave at WMC Fest a few years ago.

 

New Perspectives

Asia Hoe says, “this year was an incredibly tough one emotionally and professionally. But by midyear, I managed to pull through, joining a cause and company that I am proud to be a part of.” That company is 2U, which brings “advanced degrees to people all over the world with online technology”. Happy to hear you found such a great fit, Asia!

Katie Ladd graduated from design school, took her first “decently paid” freelance job, and I completed an artist residency program called 72U (funded by 72andSunny) in Los Angeles. Katie learned quite a bit from the experience:

I learned design is not about making beautiful objects. Design is about functionality and appropriateness for a given situation. For instance, if you are making an interactive installation for kids, they will fail to notice the shellac is unevenly applied. They will also not care that you spent 6 hours debating the “Nordic-inspired” application of a color palette on bare wood grain. I guess you could say I learned about audience. I learned that working in a group is really, really hard. I’m proud that I was able to collaborate with 6 other people. Most of all, I am thankful. Maria Scileppi saw something in my half-decent portfolio of student work and decided to take a shot on me. And because of that, I am moving to LA and I think I gained the creative confidence to be a real artist.

Meg Lewis reflected on her freelance practice and how she wanted to specialize or not, and came to the conclusion that she only wants to work with what she calls “happy companies” (more on that here). Though she says the decision to be explicit about that does shut some doors, it has provided much more opportunity and good vibes for Meg and her clients. Brb, stealing this idea!

 

New Paths

Cut-paper illustrations by Melissa Mcfeeters: germs, cheese, LGBT rainbow cake, shell, anubis vase, swimming pool

Let the record show I had an impossible time picking favorites from this series.

 

Melissa McFeeters completed her 100 Days of Papercutz project, right on schedule. Sticking to her daily cut-paper project was transformative for Melissa in sharing and sticking to personal projects. “Best of all,” she says, “I was able to practice a new medium that has really opened doors for me and my illustration work”.

Mallory Haack applied DESIGNATION, a digital design bootcamp in Chicago, where she learned about user experience design, user interface design, and front-end development. Following the intensive bootcamp, Mallory was hired at Public Good. She’s working on a brand and website redesign for the startup, and says that at graduation a few months ago, she never would have imagined being such an integral part of a company’s design strategy.

Tara became her own boss as a graphic and web design freelancer.

 

Screenshot of the Rhyme and Reason studio website

Lauren Castro joined a woman-owned agency in Atlanta called Rhyme & Reason Design. The studio grew from 4 to 6 people, moved into a new office, started an online shop, and launched a new website, all within the year!

Jane Ryder is a fine artist who mostly “pays the bills” with her screen-printing work. This year, she did a great job of selling her paintings, even working with full creative control on a series of paintings for Bratney Company’s offices.

Kylie Leuthold, University of Florida c/o 2015, is working in the Empire State Building as a packaging designer. She says, “I am absorbing so much at lightning speed, and I love it.”

Devin Kelly had a big half of a year: “I moved to NYC by myself, interned with the amazing folks at Ghostly Ferns, freelanced at Nylon magazine (and was published in the mag) and landed a full time job at the super fun BarkBox as a graphic designer”.

 

…And more good stuff

This is the first time Badass Lady Creatives has received submissions from theater folks!

Megan Tarrant is proud to have gotten back into acting, and to have new projects lined up for 2016. She played President Rivers in The Hunger Games Fourth Quarter Quell short film (written, directed and produced by Laura Jay), as well as sang and acted in Phiuthrag’s a Phiuthar (a short film written, produced and directed by Alex Garside).

Laura Jury (Laura Jay), founder of South Devon Players, researched and directed her first feature film, Mordred. The 2 ½ hour feature film and theatre show marks their “biggest showcase for local actors and film makers, to date”.

Amber Gress was nominated as one of the top 3o weddings photographers in the world to watch by Rangefinder Magazine!

 

Screenshot of the ELA Conf website

Katy Decorah, Joni Trythall, and Dominique Clarke co-organized ELA Conf, an event to inspire women to be leaders in tech through speaking, writing, and teaching. The conference is a safe space and community builder for its 100% women founderes, speakers, organizers, and attendees. Katy says, “we all spent a better part of a year organizing the event, which ended up being a huge learning experience. Even though we were challenged and stretched thin, I was always so excited to join our Google Hangouts each week because I admire the other co-organizers so much.”

 

Thanks once again for sharing, and best wishes for 2016!