Behind every group, or family I should say, is someone that’s the heart of it all! Isabelle is that and so much more! She’s our sounding board, our go-to for everything, our cheerleader, and above all, a great friend you always want on your side! And though she has a great talent for graphic design, she’s also amazing in the kitchen as well. In fact, anytime we know she’s bringing something to work, we salivate to taste the latest creation she’s made.
I could never say enough about Isabelle and if you know her, you’d agree. But incase you don’t know her like we do, well today’s your lucky day. We’re about to share a little bit about her with you.
How long have you been a designer?
I have been working as a production artist/designer for 10 years now, but I have only been what I considered to be a true designer in the past 3-5 years. The difference, to me, is the way I approach each design or project. I started considering myself an actual designer when I had enough experience and knowledge in my field to know what was necessary on the piece, and I could then begin looking at it from a creative and artistic perspective.
What made you want to become a designer?
I started in shipping and admin, actually, but my true passion and career at the time was acting. Once I realized that I had to focus my time on a more stable full-time career, I craved more creative challenge in my job, but lacked the training for graphic design, so I started as a production artist, mainly typesetting forms and business cards. I worked with some truly talented and inspirational designers who were a font (pun intended) of knowledge, creativity and patience, and encouraged me to exercise my design muscles. It took me years to be confident and comfortable in my design abilities but I have come to the point where I look forward to and love starting new projects. I enjoy creating something fresh and new and bringing my clients’ visions to life. Graphic design is, in its own unique way, a performance art, just like acting. You’re given the framework in abstract, and it is up to you to bring it to life and present it to your audience. You’re given direction and critique and praise and recognition, it’s really a very fulfilling art, at times.
What inspires you?
The greatest part of my job is that I get to work with the most creative and entertaining artists every day. The designers in my office alone, amaze me daily with their creations, not only the work they do for our clients, but the doodles they scribble on break time or the internal pieces that rarely see the outside of our office walls. Each one of them has a distinct and un-matched talent that I am so lucky to be able to share, and that we as a company are so fortunate to be part of. Also my husband and co-worker, Jared, is a constant source of inspiration to me. He has this amazing talent where he can take any project on head-first with no fear, take charge and create something beautiful, professional and amazing. He is a writer, producer, director, sound & stage designer, actor, artist extraordinaire. Whenever I am nervous about working on a project I know little about, I try to harness that brilliant confidence. It helps that he is always around to give me an extra hand, of course 😉
Outside of work, what are your hobbies or other sources of creative inspiration?
I feel like most of my time not at work is spent working at home; I only have 1 child, but she has pretty much been the center of my life ever since she was born 11 years ago, and so a lot of my energy is focused on being a mom. But in my free time, I love doing yoga, occasionally meditating (although I’m trying to make it more of a regular thing), cook, bake, dance (I cannot miss Zumba class, it is seriously cathartic), read (mostly comics and biographies of hilarious people, lately), and random DIY-ing (lately, I have been really into essential oils). I may also spend an un-healthy amount of time on Pinterest, but who’s keeping track?
These are such great releases, and so gratifying inside and out. I dream of one day becoming a Yoga instructor in my free time, but until then, I mainly practice at home. Any time I am on my mat, I transcend to my own world, the way I imagine real runners do (but that was never my thing), and turning off the outside world for a while can bring such clarity and energy and really just improve the way you feel inside and out.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
If I could do anything in life, all worldly responsibilities aside, I would most likely go back to pursuing my stage acting career. Nothing has even come close to the fulfillment I have gotten from performing on a live stage. Everything from creating every aspect of a character in my mind and becoming that character every night for a few months, is a magical experience that I miss dearly and hope to one day be able to do again. The other career I often dream of though, is being a pastry chef, or possibly even a full on gourmet chef. My love of food is so all-encompassing, and few things give me more joy than creating a meal for my friends and loved ones.
What part of designing do you wish you could focus your day around?
I really enjoy designing for student living properties, I find I usually get the most creative freedom with them and I’m not entirely sure why that is. Maybe it’s just a style I am comfortable with and can relate to, but they’re a lot of fun for me. I also enjoy creating ads, I know that sounds very general, but I love that it allows me to focus on who will be seeing it.
What’s your favorite font?
It’s so hard to name just one favorite of anything, for me really. But I do tend toward simple sans serifs, such as the classic Helvetica and Avant Garde, or the more modern Gotham and Futura. But I really just love the process of finding the right fonts to pair. I guess you could say my favorite fonts are fonts, in general. I like typography! But there are few fonts that I really dislike for whatever reason, that list is most likely shorter: Comic Sans (only has one place) and Papyrus, mainly just for their over-use, it’s not their fault.
What’s the biggest design misinterpretation you come across?
The hardest thing to convey to clients, or anyone not involved in the process, is just how much work, time and thought goes into every single design or layout that we work on. The creative process for a designer, or any other artist, cannot be rushed or the quality will suffer. It has to be well thought out, even if the final outcome seems simple and basic. Some of my most clean and simple designs have started out a crowded mess, and layers have been carefully carved from it, and re-organized before even the first proof is sent. It’s a several-step process, that includes research, brainstorming, conceptualizing, and trial and error. It’s a beautiful thing that not anyone can do, and JPT is so fortunate to have such amazing and varied talent in our small team of artists. I’m constantly floored by the new talents I discover about the artists here all the time, I feel like they all contribute to harboring this creative environment where great things can happen.
What type of design or general art are you drawn to?
From a general art standpoint, I have always been drawn to Eastern & Middle-Eastern artwork, especially Mendhi and anime, although they couldn’t be more different. I also really love art nouveau and deco, all those classic posters from Europe played a big part in my desire to get into graphic design, when I realized an ad could be a work of art.
In my work, I tend toward minimal designs, usually playing with colors and typography. I love designs that use the negative space. People find creative inspiration from some of the most obscure places.
What are some things that inspire you and get your creative juices flowing?
I am kind of a foodie. Food is a huge source of creative inspiration for me, I love to roam the farmers market and grocery store aisles and dream up exciting and exotic dishes. I am the type of girl that used to skip class to go to Central Market and walk around for hours, my own personal heaven. Fresh produce is so beautiful to me, it can please so many senses at once, sight, smell, texture and taste. I’m kind of obsessed with spices as well for the same reason.
Other artwork created by Isabelle!