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The Incredibly Talented Black Creative We're Celebrating this Month is:

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Alexandria Eddings

Tell us about you?

I’m a graphic designer, UX designer, and artist from Memphis, TN. I have a B.F.A in graphic design from the University of Memphis. I’m currently based in Nashville, TN. I freelance under the brand Art life Connections, which I established in 2017, helping individuals and small business with branding and marketing needs or just making the occasional cool t-shirt. I’ve always done that in conjunction with full time roles that I’ve held as an in-house designer at a variety of places, including nonprofits, small businesses, and agencies, both large and small.

Currently, I work as a product designer for a company that focuses on tech care and support. Outside of work, I do a lot of reading, painting in (digital and real life), biking, and I’m always learning something new.

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Gallery. Click to explore detail.

What are some of your favorite tools or applications you use, or can do without?

Technology is always changing, but right now, I really like Notion, for general note-taking and planning. It’s been a game changer. ChatGPT has been useful for brainstorming and helping me write emails and copy. I use Figma a lot for work and prototyping. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are mainstays.

What type of of work do you most enjoy?

I thrive on the concept and brainstorming side of design. My mind is a vortex of random thoughts and ideas, sparked by observing things around me. So it’s really fun to weave seemingly unrelated ideas into something creative whether it's coming up with catchy names for things or crafting slogans or themes. I tend to like work that is thought provoking, or things that hold a lot of personal meaning.

Which project left the biggest impact on you as a designer/creative?

I have quite a few.

I do a lot of portraits of people, mostly friends and family. It’s usually not by request, and I’m always surprised at their reactions of how surprised they are to see themselves as art.

I once worked on a campaign that involved getting people to use different modes of transportation that didn’t involve driving alone, and after participating, I ended up with a new favorite hobby—biking. Before then, I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid. Now, I’ve been biking ever since.

When I was in high school, I drew our yearbook cover….by hand. My first professional project—It was not a paid gig, lol. They needed a design and I didn’t know how to use Photoshop yet. So it was literally done with color pencils and printer paper, and we scanned it in and voila–something I made by hand was forever enshrined in history.

I was involved in the rebrand process for an organization that focused on facilitating the process of organ donation. I was always skeptical and somewhat unsure of about organ donation before that. Learning more about what this organization did, and meeting people whose lives had been saved due to the type of work that they do convinced me to sign up to be an organ donor.

What advice do you have for younger or less experienced AA/BLK designers?

It really depends on what they are trying to do specifically, but I will say that it’s never too soon to start getting “real world” experience. You don’t have to wait until you start going to college or until you graduate to start practicing as a designer and freelancing. Know that you will get better as you do more work, and put an emphasis on building relationships. Get as much exposure as you can to the people who are already doing what you want to do, and talk to them. Instead of asking someone to be your mentor, see if there’s a way that you can contribute to something they’re doing and become a resource, and by de facto you will have a mentor.

What would you say is the best way to take advantage of the AAGD Network?

I would say that posting your work regularly is a good way for people to know you and a good starting base to get to know others. I would also say asking good questions because people LOVE to give feedback.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in what you do?

Learn how to position yourself by learning what the people you are talking to care about the most. Learn how to talk to people about your work in a way that they can understand. Learn how to be practical, useful.

If you had a special message written on your wrist, what would it be?

Be water, my friend.

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Alexandria Eddings,
where can we find you?

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