Creative Q+A: Haley Stark / Nylon Magazine

Q+A: Haley Stark / art director for Nylon Magazine

Describe your design style. I think most of my work looks like a teenager’s bedroom wall. Crazy, collaged, kind of overwhelming, but ties together and pares down in one way or another. A lot of my coworkers/friends have been the exact opposite (minimalist, gridded, meditative), so I sometimes find myself incorporating those ideals too. Organized chaos, maybe? Haha.

How did you come about working for Nylon Magazine? I started here as an intern in college, and I never wanted to leave. It’s such a cool place. There’s a lot of room to play with design, a lot of great attitude, energy, youthfulness. Plus everybody is super open minded, so nobody bats an eye if I come to work with bright blue hair.

Haley Stark / work

What does your typical day consist of?I design a huge chunk of the magazine, but I also art direct a lot of photo shoots and illustrations (and even write a few things here and there). I get really excited about the well packages, especially our annual It Girl package— it’s so great to concept a story and spread it out across 18 to 24 pages. It’s like a big puzzle, and wrangling all of the pieces and fitting them together is really gratifying.

Talk about one of your most treasured projects. Probably the first big design project I ever did— I interned at a production company that was working on an event for Target. I was a freshman in college and had no idea what I was doing, but I tried to look like I totally did. I helped design all of these pieces for the event: invites, sign posts, uniforms, signage, a photo booth, this huge neon light sculpture… seeing it come to life at the event was insane! I still look back at that party and wonder how I pulled any of it off, especially since I didn’t really know how to use Illustrator yet.

Haley Stark / work Haley Stark / work Haley Stark / work

Is there an artist/designer/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? All of the designers at Popeye and NYLON Japan. The way that they art stories is so creative, it’s never a straightforward solution but instead something wild that I could never have dreamed up. Think crazy multi-page collages, huge bubbly handwriting, and 20 items somehow fitting effortlessly on one page. Japanese magazines have a certain cool factor, and I try to bring that kind of excited creativity into my own projects.

What inspires you? I get inspired by some weird stuff. I’m super into Babugeri suits, these ornate and other-wordly costumes worn at Bulgarian pagan festivals. I also love reflective things like tin foil, mylar, and plexiglass. I’m really into textures like ripped paper, melting plastic, and fur. I’ve even used a bitmapped texture of my cat’s fur in the magazine.

Haley Stark / work

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?Eventually, I want to do creative direction. I love conceptualizing photo shoots, look books, ad campaigns, merchandising— things that expand the visual aesthetic onto multiple platforms. Working at a magazine really teaches you how to focus on one thing, to push it in different directions but maintain the core attitude. I’d like to take that to a fashion brand someday.

Lastly, any life advice? Focus on what inspires you, and develop your own unique aesthetic using those things. I love when you can recognize a designer’s work by his or her hallmarks, but they bend and shape them so that each piece is still surprising and fresh. But honestly, I look to Beyoncé for most of my life advice… so listen to her, not me!

Creative Q+A: Caitlin May

Q+A: Caitlin May / fashion photographer

Talk about your photography style. My style is simple and emotive. I focus a lot on color!

Describe a typical day. I don’t really have a typical day. The beauty (and sometimes struggle) of being a photographer is that every day is different. Some days I will be working all day, moving between shoots or photographing a wedding. Other days, like today, will be quiet. Today I spent my day shopping for some props for a shoot I have tomorrow, replying to emails and drinking a lot of tea.

Caitlin Morey / photography Caitlin Morey / photography

Tell us about some of your achievements and challenges as a photographer + creative. There are a lot of struggles that creatives go through. I am friends with a number of wonderful photographers and they all express that same issues and concerns. Some days you just feel very unmotivated about your work and you wonder if it is all worth it! You have weeks with no pay, or you don’t feel as if you are making any headway with your skills. It’s all a roller coaster – but the ‘up’ times, when you are photographing things you love, and have the passion bubbling in your chest – the struggle becomes worth it and you can’t imagine doing anything else.

Talk about one of your favorite shoots to date. Oh there are so many. I suppose one of my favorites was in the woods with a brilliant team. I was photographing Jasmine from Vivien’s with Janice Wu on makeup and Anthony Nasr on hair. It was such a fun day of creativity. The woods were beautiful, and everything was quiet. We had some Dutch ladies come up to us and tell us about the mushrooms they were picking from around the forest. It was magical!

More recently, I went to Sydney to photograph some lovely girls and meet up with some photographers. I met up with Julia Trotti on one of the afternoons and we photographed this amazing model from Hamburg, Annika. It was very relaxed and fun. I hadn’t worked with a model who moved and created so many shapes with her body! It was mesmerizing to watch.

Caitlin Morey / photography Caitlin Morey / photography

What types of projects do you enjoy the most? I enjoy all the photography I do, really! But I suppose when I have had an idea sitting in my mind for a while, and have spent a long time organizing it, putting together a team and making everything work – when that day comes and I’m doing what I love, and I see everything come to life – it’s a wonderful feeling! I just feel so elated and excited. Plus slightly terrified that I’m somehow going to ruin it all! Haha.

Wandering around with just a model and yourself creating pretty photos is a lot of fun too. It has that stress taken away and you can really experiment and have fun with just the two of you.

Where do you find your inspiration? Anywhere and everywhere. Songs, art, life. Ideas usually pop into my head at random, and Ill write them down and save them for another day.

Caitlin Morey / photography Caitlin Morey / photography

When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? I hope to be shooting weddings continuously over the wedding season – and shooting fashion campaigns, tests and personal work in between!

Just once I would like to have a conversation like this:
*ring ring* *ring ring*
“Hello, Caitlin speaking.”
“Hello, Caitlin, we were just hoping to use you for a fashion campaign being photographed in New York next month for (insert fabulous brand)”
Haha, one day. One day.

Lastly, any life advice? Keep going and take everything a day at a time. I have had to deal very personally with loss in my life the past year. My mum (and best friend) passed away, and I essentially had to restart my life! Jumping from house to house, not knowing where I fit. But I’ve learned that you really just have to take every thing a day at a time. Everything is overwhelming when you think about it in the grand scheme of things. It becomes unmanageable. But it’s not possible to fix or change what has happened – or control what will happen in the years to come. All you have is today.

Creative Q+A: Maia McDonald / Rue Magazine

Q+A: Maia McDonald / art director for Rue Magazine

Describe your design style. I would say my design style for the most part is simple, modern and fresh.

How did you come about working for Rue Magazine + what are some of your main responsibilities?  I had just quit my job as a designer at Williams-Sonoma to work for myself and a friend of mine put me in touch with Crystal at Rue, because she knew they were looking for a new Art Director. Crystal and I met and immediately hit it off, and the rest is history :)

Because it’s a small team I Art Direct and design pretty much everything. Luckily last year I got some help when our amazing new design intern joined the team more permanently. So together we do it all, when it’s a small team like this you end up doing everything from laying out a large editorial to designing invites for an event.

Maia McDonald / work

What does your typical day consist of? I don’t feel like I have a typical day, especially since I just had a baby, every day is a little different. But for the most part after I wake up I try to answer emails and check social media. If we have an issue coming out I spend a bigger portion of my day designing and laying that out and communicating with the team about what stories we are doing. Since Rue is only one of my clients I may be working on projects for other clients as well. Some days I spend most of my time in my home office designing and other days I might be away from home at meetings in the city or shooting something for a blog post. Now days I also break up my day so I can spend time with my daughter. That’s what I love about working for myself from home, the flexibility.

Talk about one of your most treasured projects. That’s so hard to say, I don’t know that I have a specific project that I treasure, but I do really treasure the team I work with at Rue, which makes every project we do together special. Especially this last year when I was pregnant and having a hard time working because I was so sick, they were so supportive and understanding, it really made me appreciate them even more than I already did.

Maia McDonald / work Maia McDonald / work

Is there an artist/designer/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? Oh there are so many! I really look up to Joy of Oh Joy! and Erin of Design for Mankind because not only do they have great taste but they also seem to be really kicking ass at being a working moms, which really inspires me.

What inspires you? My daughter, I am obsessed with her :)

Maia McDonald / office Maia McDonald / quote

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Professionally I see myself doing what I’m doing now, just maybe a little more organized ;) I’d also love to grow my design business and have a small team in the next 5-10 years. On the personal side of my life, I’d love to have a little house with a large garden in that time.

Lastly, any life advice? Not really, just always try your best at what you’re doing and don’t be too down on yourself if things don’t always go as expected.

Creative Q+A: Michelle Paulsen

Q+A: Michelle Paulsen / photographer

Talk about your photography style. First off, my book consists mostly of fashion work. I didn’t set out to be a fashion photographer, I actually began as a still photographer on movies but once I found fashion/portrait work I was hooked! I love romantic themes in my photography. Whether that means achieving it with soft light, the use of flowers as props, location, or wardrobe. I like my photos to not only be about the look of the model but also an overall mood to the image. There are definitely photography styles I prefer to shoot, but I’m really open to lots of different photography styles as long as they make the viewer “feel” something.

Michelle Paulsen / photography

Describe a typical day. Most days are pretty must spend on the computer…I usually start each morning scrolling through instagram while having my morning coffee. Then its usually answering emails, editing, retouching, planning shoots, booking models, social media, etc. I’d say 60% percent of my job involves the internet…otherwise I’m editing or shooting. Shoot days are most hectic obviously, but I try to stay super organized, so I always make sure to go over mood boards and pack all my equipment the night before the shoot. Shoot days are always long so I find it best to take care of as much as you can the days leading up to the shoot.

Tell us about some of your achievements and challenges as a photographer + creative. Being a creative is never an easy road. Beginning with college it was hard to convince my parents to let me go into a creative field, but I followed my passion and moved forward. The hardest part for a lot of people is knowing whether or not your any good! It’s hard to put a value on something you would do for free. But its been a long road of realization for me….you have to treat this as a business. If you wanted to pursue a creative field and earn a living you have to value yourself, your work, and your time. The moment you believe your not worth it, is the moment you move into a career that is “safe” and uninspiring. I realized at a young age the life was meant to be enjoyed and I wanted to have a job that I loved going to everyday. Would it have been easier for me to become something else, yes! My journey has brought me from rural Iowa, to Chicago for college, then out to LA to begin my career. It has been a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs but I have learned so much about myself and my work along the way.

Michelle Paulsen / photography

Talk about one of your favorite shoots to date. My first favorite shoot to date was the day I got to shoot actress Brittany Murphy for a movie she was working on. Right after college I moved home to “find” myself after college which a lot of us do. I was so lucky to find an ad in the paper for a still photographer for a movie that was coming to town. Luckily I got on the film and was more than ecstatic. Once I found out that I would have the chance to do a one on one shoot with her, I was beyond nervous…..I was only 21, just graduated college and she was my first celebrity. I pulled it together, did my research and did the shoot. She was such a pleasure! After that shoot I had a little more confidence than I had before that experience. For that I will forever be grateful.

Secondly was first published editorial for Disfunkshion Magazine… I came across the boho inspired publication on instagram on day and decided to contact the editor. I explained my idea/mood for the shoot and the editor said go for it! There was no guarantee I would be published, so I wanted to make it the best I could. I went out of my way…contacting models who I thought would fit the vibe, getting the best makeup/hair and stylist. I was very hands on through the entire process, I even contacted designers on my own that I thought would work well for the shoot. That included me doing some of my own pulls and meeting designers myself. A bit of a side note is to network as much as you can and be hands on, because you never know if that person might hire you for a job in the future. It’s always best to meet people face to face. In a world full of social media and online relationships, a personal face to face meeting is priceless. Okay back to the shoot…I even spent my own money to book a location that I thought would be perfect. This included getting liability insurance, getting a permit, and having all the proper forms filled out. It was a ton of work but worth every second. The shoot day was a dream…I really let my creativity run wild that day. After the shoot wrapped I sent all the photos to the editor for approval. I got a personal phone call the next day from the editor herself telling me how beautiful the images were and that I was going to get a huge feature in the next issue. Lets just say that was a memorable shoot!

What types of projects do you enjoy the most? I love any project that involves working with other creatives. My favorite shoots are ones with a concept…it’s so fun to plan every detail of a shoot. From the location, wardrobe, makeup and hair looks, props, lighting, etc. For me its all about creating a fully conceptual story!

Michelle Paulsen / photography Michelle Paulsen / photography

Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere! Mostly through other artists via online searching. I love pinterest! I have multiple mood boards I’ve created with images that inspire me for whatever reason. I find it super helpful to create archives of images you can reference when you need new inspiration or are feeling uninspired. Any chance I get to save an image I do. Once you do this enough you begin to see a pattern and start to get insight into what style you are drawn to.

When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Right now I’m no where near where I hope to be…call it the curse of the creative or curse of the Virgo, lol. We are always our worst critic…with that said, right now I hope to continue building my book and honing my style. I would eventually love to find an artist representative in the future so that I can spend more time shooting and less time looking, haha. I just love working with new clients and talent….creating imagery that can help brands and business connect with their customers. Although, I would love to eventually do more creative portraiture work and eventually work on some gallery shows, but right now I’m happy. I feel extremely blessed to do what I love….what more could a girl want?

Michelle Paulsen / photography

Lastly, any life advice? Stop comparing yourself to others…this isn’t that same as admiring others. It’s great to have other artists that inspire you to be better, but the moment you think in your mind that your not good enough or that your work will never be as good as so and so you stop being authentic. You’ve let your fear and insecurity stop you from creating and allowing good things to come into your life. I’ve struggled with this most of my life…..once you stop worrying you’d be amazed at the things that will happen. Another thing i’ve learned is don’t be afraid to tell people what you do! At the beginning of my career I used to think I was bragging if I told people that I was a photographer, I was insecure with myself and my work. It got to the point where I realized the more I opened my mouth and told people who I was and that I was proud of my work, the more jobs I got. I’m not sure what your goal is as an artist, but don’t ever let your fears get in the way of your creativity.


Creative Q+A: Kimberly Genevieve

Q+A: Kimberly Genevieve / Lifestyle & Editorial Photographer

Talk about your photography style. Clean, bright, and colorful! I’m a photographer obsessed with color, the California sunshine, and tall palm trees. Playful images make me so happy, and a moving subject keeps me inspired. I always try to incorporate these elements into my photographs.

Describe a typical day. A typical day for me always starts with emails. Business would be so slow if I didn’t take the time to reply to emails on a daily basis. Besides emails, each day is completely unique. Sometimes my days are filled with meetings, studio shoots, 10 + hour days of just editing & retouching, or several on location shoots. I like to stay busy because it keeps me motivated, and makes me feel like a have a certain routine in my life. Freelance isn’t easy, and you have to constantly be hustling, but to be completely honest, I love every minute of it!

donuts / kimberly genevieve girl

Tell us about some of your achievements and challenges as a photographer + creative. I have so many personal goals that I want to achieve in the next few years, but this year specifically, I have so many achievements that I am so thrilled to have made a reality. I started a photography workshop with a fellow photographer; I’ve been working consistently with print magazines and modeling agencies. I’ve also been working with this incredible editorial team that I feel so proud to have put together for fashion and commercial inspired shoots. So far, it’s been a really great year! Some of my challenges as a photographer have included saying NO to jobs that I don’t feel passionate about regardless of the money. It’s always hard to say no to money, but if it’s just something I don’t feel right pursuing then I won’t. It’s a bit challenging to say no, but I know bigger and brighter opportunities are right around the corner, so I always try to follow my heart.

Talk about one of your favorite shoots to date. It’s so hard to pick just one shoot, but one of my most memorable shoots was with Chef Curtis Stone. He was just about to open his new restaurant “Maude” in Beverly Hills, and I was commissioned to photograph a few portraits of him. He was so down-to-earth and funny that it made the entire experience very memorable.

chef / kimberly genevieve

What types of projects do you enjoy the most? Personal projects are my favorite because I get to create anything I want! It gets my blood flowing and my head spinning with creative ideas.

Where do you find your inspiration? I find inspiration EVERYWHERE! Los Angeles is such a playground for me. The sunset strip, the palm trees, the beach, everything about this city inspires me.

brooklyn / kimberly genevieve jourdan miller / kimberly genevieve

When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? I have a million goals and lists all over the place of what I’d like to accomplish in the next few years. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of the next 10 years, but I’m sure that’ll come at some point. For now, I see myself all over the world. I see myself traveling with Andre (my BF) and shooting commercial work all over the world. I see myself booking large campaigns and meeting all sorts of creative people. I’m so excited for what’s to come soon!!!

Lastly, any life advice? Dream really really BIG! Also, always make sure to write down all of your goals and place them where you can see them on a daily basis then turn those goals into a reality!

website / blog

Creative Q+A: The Bauers / Mister Missus

mister-missusQ+A: The Bauers / MisterMissus

Talk about your photography style. Our style is clean, crisp and minimal for the most part.

Describe a typical day. Things we do in a typical week include: emailing models or agencies, brainstorming new shoots, picking out and ordering clothes, scouting locations for the next shoot, editing the photos from the last shoot, developing and scanning film, setting up studios in our dining room and playing a lot of online games.

MisterMissus photograpy

Tell us about some of your achievements and challenges as a photographer + creative. Oh man, a lot has happened in the last few years. We went from knowing nothing about photography to shooting 15 weddings in our first year and a half, and have since transitioned from wedding work to editorial and fashion gigs. It’s really gratifying to see how our hard work and hustle has paid off. A challenge that we face every day (along with most budding creatives) is finding our place in the creative industry. There are so many photogs who do such incredible work and it’s really easy to fall into the comparison trap and become discouraged, distracted, and disillusioned.

Talk about one of your favorite shoots to date. Our favorite shoot is almost always our most recent (we are so excited about all our shoots!). The last one we did was with Lucy from Modelogic Midwest. We gave her some red lips and round sunglasses, and then took her around downtown Racine and shot her in the midday sun. She’s a fantastic model (and an all-around cool girl) so we all had a blast and the photos turned out great.

MisterMissus photograpy MisterMissus photograpy

What types of projects do you enjoy the most? At this point in our career we’re really only doing projects that we love, which is awesome. We’re shooting a lot of editorial and fashion stuff, with a side of portraiture and lifestyle work. It’s all a blast.

Where do you find your inspiration? Like most creatives would probably say, we find inspiration everywhere. Fashion magazines, design magazines, pinterest, instagram, books, movies, clothing, buildings, and forests. I think that’s one of the (many) things that photography has taught us: it’s really important to learn to see the value in all things, otherwise your inspiration will quickly run dry.

MisterMissus photograpy

When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? No idea, and we’re totally OK with that. We’re going to keep exploring, keep trying new things, and keep on doing what we love; any opportunities that are laid out before us as a result we’ll take one at a time. We like to hold our cards loosely.

Lastly, any life advice? This is something we strive for continually: Be fully yourself. You’ll never make anything truly great by copying what’s already been done.

portfolio / blog

Creative Q+A: The Ladies of Treasures & Travels

Q+A: The Ladies of Treasures & Travels

What is Treasures + Travels? Treasures & Travels is a lifestyle blog by three girls Tegan, Bethany and Lindsay. We fill it with things that we love including recipes, fashion, DIY, and anything that inspires us! We love working with local businesses and other like-minded artists in the community.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Treasures & Travels girl. On days that we work, we are in our studio which happens to be in the small town of White Rock. It is a little cozy cabin that we turned into our studio and we just love spending time in there. Our working days are filled with editing, emails and photo shoots. On days that we have off, Bethany spends her days caring for her darling baby, Poppy. Tegan and I work part time jobs at a coffee shop and live in apartments in the city. We all share a love for good music, laying in the sun, an afternoon drive to our favorite donut shop, and spending quality time with our friends and family.

Talk about one of your favorite DIY projects to date. We recently did an IKEA hack, where we bought a chair from Ikea and covered it in a sheepskin cloth. It was such an easy project and completely changed the look of the chair!

treasures & travels / studio

Is there an artist/designer/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? We absolutely love Bleubird, Design Love Fest, and Taza. Those are just a few of our favorite bloggers that we constantly follow. They are all inspiring in their own unique ways, and don’t try to be anyone but themselves. They are fun, inspiring, and colorful people.

What inspires you? Seeing people genuinely doing what they love. When you see someone who is passionate about what they do and it comes from the heart, it is very evident and also infectious. It inspires me to constantly do what I love, and search for new things that bring happiness! If you are happy, it shows, and chances are it will pour onto those around you.

the ladies of treasures & travels

When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? We definitely see ourselves blogging full time! Right now we have half the week set aside for blogging, but we would love for it to be our full time job. Dream big!

Name 5 things in your closet you cannot live without. Jean dress overalls, high wasted black jeans, classic white tee, leather jacket, & colorful socks (they make me happy!)

Lastly, any life advice? Do what YOU love, and what makes you happy. Don’t compare yourself to other people – comparison is the thief of joy. Find the things that bring you joy and strive to make those things an everyday part of your life.

blog / youtube / instagram

Creative Q+A: Kevin Russ

Q+A: Kevin Russ / documentary + lifestyle photographer

Talk about your photography style. My photography style right now is part documentary and part nature/landscape. I’ve been less purposeful lately in making good pictures and more focused on doing things that interest me and shooting whatever that is or whatever/whomever happens to be around me. I became tired of having too much control over what I was shooting and needed more random to happen.

kevin russ / photo

Describe a typical day. There hasn’t really been a typical day this year. I joined a group of homeless travelers this year and there were things that happened each day like looking for water and food, asking for money, drinking etc. Even though I have a job I was trying to live by their rules and not spend any of my own money. It would feel like the easy way out if I did. When I’m not traveling my typical day is really boring normal and just answering emails and uploading photos to websites and stuff.

Tell us about some of your achievements and challenges as a photographer + creative. I feel like my biggest achievement was my biggest challenge and that was getting out of my house and making things happen. Leaving my stuff behind and living out of my car and learning to live with less has completely changed me. Just discovering life doesn’t have to be the way most people live it or the way you were taught or saw growing up. An actual achievement recently was winning photographer of the year from Stocksy. They have about 400 photographers from all over the world so it was a real honor. I’ll always be challenged creatively to not get stuck in a box. I think it’s easy for any creative person to stick with what works but over time that thing seems to get less and less creative, whatever it is you’re making.

landscape / kevin russ

Do you prefer using your DSLR or iPhone for capturing photos? I have preferred using my iPhone for the last 2.5 years. I used it so much I stopped traveling with a DSLR for the last year. Just two weeks ago I started shooting some film. I’m not sure if I’ll continue but it’s fun right now.

Talk about one of your favorite shoots to date. One of my favorite places I have shot was Glacier National Park in Montana. The way those mountains are and all the wildlife makes it so photogenic.

horses / kevin russ

What types of projects do you enjoy the most? I really don’t do many projects or even have a project in mind when I’m shooting my own stuff. I’m just not that organized or don’t try and make my work fit together in any particular way. I very rarely work for people but I did last year and one time I was given freedom to shoot the Oregon coast however I saw fit. That would be my favorite project ever maybe.

Where do you find your inspiration? I’m inspired most by being out in nature and old photographs and nostalgia. Also movies and books and people.

buffalo / kevin russ

I see you have traveled to many wonderful places, can you name a few of your favorites? Glacier National Park, just any desert right now, Cape Flattery, Zion National Park

When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Still just trying to do my own thing and not be put in any creative box. That’s what I hope anyway. Lately my mind hasn’t been letting me do things that are easy or comfortable and if that continues I’m excited to see what I’ll be doing.

kevin russ / photo

Lastly, any life advice? If your life is hard and a struggle, keep at it. I believe you’re doing something for the good. If it’s not, find ways to make it. Life is too short to just sit and be comfortable all day.

flickr / instagram

Creative Q+A: Cassie Pyle / Veda House

Q+A: Cassie Pyle / The Veda House

Describe your design style. Over the past couple years, my design style has really started to take shape, but it’s always evolving. I think my style is almost always rooted in the idea of simplicity and less is more. I also try to infuse a bit of the natural with organic patterns, textures and props.

What does your typical day consist of? One of my favorite aspects of freelance life is that each day is different from the next. The constant change of scenery is what keeps me inspired and motivated. On a typical day, I spend my mornings tending to the “business”. This could mean responding to emails, putting together proposals, book keeping, and getting inspired by reading blogs. I usually break my day into two halves by working out and eating lunch. The later part of my day is either taking photos/editing photos, or glued to computer designing. I put a high priority on ending my day at 5:00.

cassie pyle / studio

Talk about one of your most treasured projects. This is a tough question because I really love my clients. I only work with individuals who are passionate about what they do and want to bring me along for the ride. I love the projects where I can build a brand from the ground up. I think my favorite project to date is actually one of my current clients. Without giving away to many details, this current project has allowed me to connect with the business owners in such a personal way, essentially becoming one of their team members during the process. We’ve developed the entire home goods brand look & feel, logo, branded elements, website and blog, as well as a few photo shoots. It’s going to be a really fun project to share this summer!

Is there an artist/designer/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? Oh boy! Another really tough question because I get inspired from a LOT of people. I think I’m most inspired by those individuals who are BRAVE. Those individuals who are constantly shaking the ground, being innovative and maintaining authenticity. I’ve recently been inspired by Hannah Henderson (General Store Shop Owner), Parker Fitzgerald (photographer), and Lisa Hackwith (Clothing Designer) just to name a few.

cassie pyle / studio

What inspires you? These days I have a new found appreciation for being able to live a creative life that I have crafted for myself. To be able to determine how my day is going to play out and what clients I will work with is really empowering. I wasn’t always self-employed and I found that working for someone else’s grand vision was really draining. It’s inspiring to know that if I want to be a prop stylist and work with do-good brands that it’s all up to me!

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Over the next couple of years, I see myself continuing to refine my style as well as my body of work. I hope to be more confident in my skills and work with really inspiring brands. Maybe 3-5 years from now, I’d like to start a family and give the whole “working mama” thing a try. I’m sure my business will drastically shift during those years. Ultimately, I want to continue to work for myself and my brand vision. Potentially hire a few people to come along on the journey, and potentially make millions ;)

cassie pyle / studio

Name five items in your closet that you cannot live without. High-waisted denim, clogs, leather jacket, flow-y boho tops & gray t-shirt.

Lastly, any life advice? Don’t mess with people’s hearts and don’t put up with people who mess with yours. (also applies to people’s dreams, kids, lifestyle choices, etc).

Blog / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter

Creative Q+A: Verena Michelitsch / Ro&Co Studio

Q+A: Verena Michelitsch / Ro&Co studio

Describe your design style. In general like it clean and minimal. I’m using illustration and icons a lot in my branding projects, I enjoy creating patters and creating a more illustrative world around a brand.

What is it like working for such an awesome company like RoAndCo? I love the fact that RAC is a smaller studio. I admire Ro’s taste and sensibility for design and art direction at it’s great to work with her closely. We’re a great team, there are so many different talents and strengths, it’s inspiring to exchange thoughts and constantly learn from each other.

How did you come about working there and what are your main responsibilities? I moved from Austria to NY about two years ago, and interned for Stefan Sagmeister & Jessica Walsh. I told Jessica that I really want to stay in NY and I was lucky to have her support and she introduced me to RoAndCo. At this time they weren’t looking for designers, but I found a job opening a few months later and it worked out. Now, I’m a graphic designer, creating visual identities for brands, web design, illustration, I also enjoy to work on art direction projects a lot and spending some time on set.

verena / work

What is one of the most enjoyable projects you have gotten a chance to work on? One of my favorite projects is a branding for a swimwear brand called Seilenna. It’s a big branding project, including everything from logo design, packaging, e-comm site design to art direction. It’s rewarding seeing a brand come to life from the very beginning. You should check out her beautiful swimwear, the site will launch soon!

Is there an artist/designer/photographer/blogger that you look up to and why? There’s a lot of people I look up to, I love the graphic art of Tauba Auerbach and currently the work of Jonathan Zawada. I enjoy the satirical art and photography by Maurizio Cattalan. In general I find it refreshing to not limit my graphic work to commercial/client work by doing more experimental side projects where I can fully live out my current interests and pleasures. Stefan Sagmeister was my first design hero, at the age of 12 I got myself a Rolling Stones pencil case that I thought was insanely cool, with a graphic on it made by him (without knowing who he was) and 14 years later I ended up working for him. I admire his ideas, his work, how he’s really thinking different and innovative.


As a designer, what inspires you? I’m inspired by everything around me. The people that I’m working with, my boyfriend who I’m doing quite a few side projects with. All the other classics, like fashion, photography, typography. I am a lover of typefaces will know about a new type foundry the day they launch. I think from type design itself one can learn true basics about design: Harmonies between the letters, their shape, scale, character and historic references etc. Of course living in NY pushes me a lot, getting to know many insanely creative and interesting people and living in a fast-paced ever-changing environment.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? I feel like I stopped planning and thinking too far ahead the day I moved to NY. Moving here from a different country/continent, where I already had my own established my own business for a few years, was very exciting and showed me that I can fulfill myself any dream if I really want it and work hard enough towards it. In general, like to focus on creating more products, not limiting myself to graphic design and client work.

Lastly, any life advice? Believe in yourself and listen to your gut. If you really want it, you’ll get it.

website / twitter