Tell us about yourself!
I am an accomplished graphic designer with over 9 years of experience in the industry. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications/Graphic Design from the University of South Carolina. I have provided my design expertise to various small businesses, brands, and organizations, helping them achieve their creative goals and establish a sound brand strategy. My experience as an in-house production artist for Warner Media/HBO has further honed my skills in campaign email marketing and the key art development process.
As the owner of my freelance business, Macon Designs, I work on a variety of projects, ranging from client branding to creating pre-made graphics and templates through my Etsy store. My personal tagline, "Unleashing Imagination Through Design," reflects my passion for expressing myself through functional and creative design work that helps others grow their own brands.
What are some of your favorite tools or applications you use? Or can't do without?
Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom. I also enjoy using Canva to upload custom designs and templates that I sell in my shop.
What type of work do you enjoy most?
I take pleasure in designing various layout works like flyers, brochures, and conference program booklets. It's fulfilling for me to create custom backgrounds and designs that perfectly fit social media graphics. Also, I love to design custom SVG graphics that crafters can use to make their own print products. My designs are usually Silhouette and Cricut machine-friendly, which makes them highly compatible with these machines.
Which project left the biggest impact on you as a designer/creative?
As a designer, the project that has left the most significant impact on me is the annual Souvenir Journal for the Beautillion Program of Beta Nu Lambda Chap. of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. I have been working on this scholarship program since 2017, thanks to a referral from my cousin who is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Every year, the program culminates in a Gala, where the Souvenir Journal is showcased to celebrate the graduating high school seniors. It is an honor to create something that is cherished by the families of these students as a lasting memory of their academic achievements.
"It is an honor to create something that is cherished by the families of these students as a lasting memory of their academic achievements."
What advice do you have for younger or less experienced Black/AA designers?
Some advice that I would give less experienced Black graphic designers would be to focus on building a strong portfolio that showcases your design skills and problem-solving abilities. Over the years, I have gained new clients simply because people are aware of my work for large and small organizations. Posting your work online and keeping an updated portfolio is essential to growth as a designer. Also, take time to seek mentorship or take online courses which will also help to develop your design skills and learn from experienced designers. Networking with other designers and industry professionals, attending design events and conferences, and joining design communities can also help to expand your knowledge and connect with potential clients. Lastly, continuously improving your skills and staying up-to-date with industry trends and best practices is essential to remain competitive and stand out in the ever-evolving design industry.
What would you say is the best way to take advantage of the AAGD network?
Getting involved and being active in the AAGD network is the best way to take advantage of it. Simply lurking won't help you grow. Share your work, ask for feedback, apply improvements, and network. You never know who knows who, but if people aren't aware of your skills, they can't refer you for opportunities.
How do you deal with creative block?
One way I deal with creative block is by taking a break and stepping away from the project. Sometimes a change of scenery or a mental break can help me come back with fresh ideas. Another way I deal with creative block is by looking at other designers’ work for inspiration. I try to find inspiration from various sources such as Pinterest, Behance or Dribbble. Finally, I sometimes collaborate with other creatives to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of each other. This helps me gain a different perspective and allows me to come up with new ideas.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in what you do?
If you're interested in pursuing a career in graphic design as an African American, there are a few steps you can take to get started. First, it's essential to have a strong foundation in design principles and software skills, so taking courses or self-study is a great place to start. Second, building your portfolio is crucial, so try taking on freelance work or internships to gain experience and showcase your abilities. Third, networking is key in the design industry, so attend events and join professional organizations to connect with others in the field. Finally, don't be afraid to be yourself and bring your unique perspective to your work. The design industry thrives on diversity and creativity, so let your voice be heard.
If you had a motivational message on your wrist, what would it be?
No one can deny you. Choose to Live In Your Purpose.