I’m originally from Phoenix, Arizona, but relocated to the beautiful Portland, Oregon a year ago. Lots of people warned me that moving from one of the sunniest places in the US to one of the rainiest would be a hard transition, but I can’t get enough. I love all of the lush greenery, the clouds, the old houses, and even the rain! I feel so lucky to be able to walk to a park or visit an incredible piece of nature whenever I want.
I’ve been a freelance illustrator for the last several years, and although I love it, the instability within the field has really taken a toll on me. I knew I wanted to shift into a field that was still creative, but that could offer me more stability and predictability. After considering UX on and off for about a year, I finally took the plunge. A friend of mine that’s currently a senior UX designer (and had previously been in the graphic design field, similar to me) told me that she loved UX because it didn’t have the element of subjectivity that graphic design did. She didn’t have to guess whether or not something was good- she could test it! This union between creativity and objectivity was highly appealing to me after years of subjective design leading the way.
Although I’ve worked in the design field for a few years, illustration and graphic design are pretty different from UX design (not to mention that I’m self taught in both illustration and graphic design). Because I have a lot to learn, the UX/UI Bootcamp felt like the perfect fit for me. I’m here to learn everything from the fundamentals of design to the more nuanced design techniques within UX/UI.
My day always begins with a long walk with my dog, Danger. After that, it’s coffee ASAP (and all day 😅) followed by breakfast. I’m typically playing podcasts at every moment possible, so my whole morning routine is usually accompanied by some good ol’ true crime.
The bootcamp class I’m enrolled in starts at 7am Portland time, so my day will begin with learning! After class I’ll work on some homework and study and then shift into my freelance illustration work. In the afternoon I’ll take a break to make some more coffee, eat a little lunch, and work on my current knitting project. Then it’s time to finish up my day’s work and take Danger on another walk. I’ll end the day by making dinner with my fiancé and settling in to watch whatever show we’re working on (currently The Sopranos) and knit until bedtime.
My current workspace is at my kitchen table (small apartment problems), so lots of the things I use are dual purpose. I’m rocking a MacBook pro + iPad pro combo (the iPad is great for rapid sketches!) but I also love to have a good ol’ paper notebook within reach for jotting down ideas that come my way. Also important: must have coffee nearby at all times, and I love having a blue light filter in my prescription glasses to try and get ahead of screen headaches.
I’ve been using the Fellow Stagg Kettle to make my morning pourovers lately, and it’s a joy to use. Although it only has a singular knob/button, it is incredibly intuitive and satisfying to use. It’s a reliable, clean, and functional product. My favorite part, though, is that the designers worked in a secret game: you can play Snake using only the knob and small screen on the heating pad! I absolutely love when designers work some fun/humor into their products.
My two go-to’s for designing: the album “Mia Gargaret” by Gia Margaret has become almost synonymous to concentration for me. It’s the perfect ambient, soothing album with just enough vocals to keep you engaged (it was even my #1 most played album last year!). My forever favorite is anything James Blake- you can’t go wrong with any of his music.