With the graduation season upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about college, how special it was to have the support of a tight-knit community at such a formative age. There are approximately 50,000 students at the University of Florida, but in my graphic design major, there were just 18 of us. We basically lived out of our shared studio space. We shared ideas, creeped over each other’s shoulders, and jammed to LMFAO’s “Yes” when it was 3am and we were dying inside.
I started Badass Lady Creatives to celebrate talented women in the creative communities. My job would be unfinished if I didn’t honor the ladies I shared a classroom with. As with the dudes in our program, each one of the following women had a direct influence on who I am as a designer. I could not be more grateful for, or proud of them. It’s been so cool to see my former classmates move all over the United States and pursue their own interests, whether that’s fashion, branding, photography, sports, tech, etc.
So there you have the oddly-personal rambling. Here are the awesome ladies of UFGD C/O 2011:
Alicia lives in San Francisco, CA, where she works as a mobile interaction designer for Yahoo, Inc. She’s worked, cross-platform, on Mail for three years. I’ll let her describe her work at Yahoo in her own words, because it’s pretty lovely:
I work with some of the nicest, most frighteningly intelligent people on the planet and am still constantly learning more about how to design great experiences, whether they be for desktop, handset or tablet. There are definitely challenges specific to working for large companies. You have to be willing to accept that you can seldom control all the variables within a given project. But there’s a lot of opportunity to contribute to big things you would have never been able to do on your own that reach millions of users, and that’s really rewarding.
Alicia’s lush, intricate drawings have always wowed me, and I’m glad she’s still drawing and painting in traditional media (shown above). Right now, Alicia’s personal work is for her own happiness and sense of balance, but she’d like to show her work in a small exhibition someday. Though Yahoo takes up much of Alicia’s time, she is available for short-term illustration and design projects. You can contact her at hello[at]aliciakorn.com. (Website)
One of the things I love about Cat: she says what she’s going to do, and she does it—with confidence. Back in school, Cat wanted to work with fashion brands, and that’s exactly what she did. Cat was a web designer for Club Monaco, where she did design, illustration, art direction, and styling for photo shoots. She’s now the Digital Art Director for West Elm—fun for me, as I’m typing this post from a West Elm chair. As Digital AD for this hugely influential brand, Cat directs all digital feature photography and co-leads UX/UI projects. (Website)
I’ve always admired that Catalina can float into two different styles: chic and sophisticated, and bright and earthy. Since graduation, she’s done identity, print, web, and environmental design, as well as art direction and photography. Catalina is newly freelancing in New York: she lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan. Alongside her client work, Catalina is working on a line of bags. Keep an eye peeled for a possible Kickstarter campaign!
Catalina is available for freelance or full-time gigs. (Website)
Carolina is a graphic designer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, an NHL ice hockey team. There’s something I kind of love about that—ice hockey can be pretty brutal, and Carolina is one of the sweetest people on the planet. In her work for the professional sports team, Carolina has produced a vast variety of materials, from brochures to environmental graphics to hockey pucks. Carolina loves what she does, and if you’re wondering—yes, she does work where the Lightning play (Tampa Bay Times Forum).
Carolina is available for freelance work. (Website)
Cecey now lives in Palm Beach, Florida where she works as a Production Manager for The Corcoran Group, a real estate company. That translates into a wide array of things-she-does: design, scheduling, communicating with advertising partners and in-house team members, compiling materials, managing online advertising and marketing…Back at UF, Cecey was known for always doing one of two things: working on sprawling, intricate penned doodles, or taking really beautiful photos with her Canon camera. I still love Cecey’s photography—her travel photography makes me want to see everything. And the photos she takes back at home make me sorely miss Florida. (Website)
Leslie was known in our class for being super efficient, so it doesn’t surprise me that she’s doing several neat things with her time. By day, Leslie is the Digital and Social Media Manager at Petunia, whose brands include Petunia Pickle Bottom, Petunia Handbags, and Sons of Trade. Leslie balances the growth and media presence of all three brands. That includes curating and styling social media photos; collaborating on Pinterest boards, promotions, and giveaways; writing posts for all three blogs; and designing artwork for digital campaigns.
On the side, Leslie runs a small Etsy shop, where she sells stationery, stamps, and wedding invitation suites/décor. The shop is in its fledgling state right now, but Leslie is looking forward to adding new products very soon. Leslie’s personal blog is also really great—I had no idea she was writing all these lovely lifestyle posts and shooting beautiful photography around town in Ventura, California. (Website)
Melissa is one of the bravest people I know. It had been her goal for awhile to work for TOMS shoes, so soon after graduation, she just up and moved across the country to Santa Monica, California. Melissa interned with TOMS, cut her teeth freelancing some other great brands, and returned to TOMS awhile ago as a print designer. She’s worked on a variety of print materials for the shoe brand and its various lines: postcards for *celebs*, way-finding materials, and seasonal look books for the main line and collaborations with labels like The Row. Living. The. Dream. (Website)
When it comes to hiring, people say that it’s not just about talent—it’s also about, “who do you want to see in the office every day?” Rachel is one of those people. Her personality is warm, bubbly, and infectious (she’s the leader of aforementioned LMFAO jam sessions), and she’s also incredibly professional. Rachel’s passion is in branding: back in the day she ran the show, design-wise, at the iconic Swamp Restaurant, and interned at The Jones Group in Atlanta. After UF, Rachel moved to Boston, where she’s continued to design in client-based agencies—first at Breakaway Marketing, and now at Isobar U.S. (Website)
Whether it’s a love of Publix subs, the Florida Gators, or her friends and family, Susanna is the most wonderfully loyal person you can have in your corner. She brings the same kind of enthusiasm to her design job at Delucchi+, a full-service branding agency in Washington, D.C. Susanna, who is known around the office for her love of code, can’t help but gush on Instagram about new projects and goings-on at the studio.You can read Susanna’s blog posts on the Delucchi+ blog, and if you’re a member of the D.C. chapter of the AIGA, you might see her around! (Website)
One of the coolest things about being in the design industry is stumbling upon the work of people you know. When Wendy first started working with Kate Spade, she designed window graphics and displays for nationwide stores; walking by the local Kate Spade was like a tiny, long-distance hello from Wendy. She now is a designer in the “novelty prints and graphics” department, which means her work is on every accessory you can think of. She also just started handling Kate Spade’s collection for Paperless Post.
Always looking to challenge herself, Wendy has also maintained a healthy freelance practice on the side. She’s done illustrations (for an entire cookbook!), invitations, infographics, branding, and print stuff in between. Wendy, who lives in New York, is still available for freelance. (Website)
Though this blog specifically features professional women, the men of 2011 are just as rad. Shout out to Danny Aguilar, JT Fridsma, Mykl Gormley, Narayan Ghiotti, Rodolfo Rodriguez, Ryan Keightley, and Tanner Glaves.