OCTOBER 29, 2020
A Creative Community Newsletter for Information and Inspiration
Each month we will send news you need to know about the COVID-19 crisis that will help put us on the road to recovery. We will also give you a glimpse of how our creative colleagues from across the state are using their talent to bring us all closer together.

Being a woman in the creative industries has its inherent challenges and graphic design is no exception. That’s why in this issue we feature three success stories of women who work in the industry: Amber Jacobs, Kacey Morrow, and the Maker + Made team Millie Schnebly and Brittany Stodgell. Read on to find out about how they got to where they are, and what they’ve learned about starting their own business, working in multiple fields, and doing what they love on their own terms.
In case you missed it, check out the video from Washington Filmworks' Safety On Set Conversation: COVID-19 Supervisors. We chatted with Transportation Captain Herman Esau, Location Manager Mark Freid and DGA Assistant Director Kat Ogden about their work as COVID-19 Supervisors. The talk covered a myriad of topics including designing set safety plans, sanitation practices and how to monitor the health of workers. Watch the video here.

The statewide moratorium on evictions Proclamation 20-19.3 has been extended through December 31. Tenants are responsible for rent and past-due rent, but late fees may not be assessed. The requirements are detailed on page four of the full text.

For your graphic design needs during the pandemic, have a look at what the Graphic Artists Guild's Coronavirus Information and Resources page has for you.
Designing the Future

It is all about flexibility! How Freelancers and Creative Businesses are Adapting to Coronavirus from the Remote Design career coaching program from Design Dept. Have a look at their mini-workshop series schedule while you're there.

Join MURAL or FIGMA for free and collaborate remotely with other designers to get your creative juices flowing!

Reach Absolute, a graphic design company out of Bellingham, offers free resources on their site! Take a look here.

Designing Women
Jaws Cutaway by graphic designer, Kacey Morrow
Meet 4 amazing Washington State women who have found success
in their graphic design careers! Read on to find out how they started their own businesses and support women in the industry.
Amber Jacobs
Owner, Amber Design in Marysville, WA
Amber Jacobs has more than 10 years of experience as a design and graphics professional. She worked for years in Fortune 500 companies as their in-house designer before starting her own business, Amber Design. She specializes in logos, branding, print such as brochures, packaging, magazine ads, and trade show material. Photo Credit: Jessie Bloss with Flannel Media
What do you wish you would have known
before you started a business for yourself? 
I wish I had a little more business chops around contracts, proposals and taxes. I know my craft but learned the rest on the fly. There was a lot of “trial by error.” I got burnt a few times by not having iron-clad clarity within my contacts around scope of work, processes and deliverables. Another area was understanding target demographics, marketing and sales funnels. I had done it for others but really had to understand it for myself.
Legendary Foods design by Amber Jacobs
What was your experience like taking the leap
from corporate to full time freelancer?

Both have their pros and cons. I’m not going to say it was easy but I’m glad I did it slowly over a few years. Working for an enterprise you know what you’re going to get paid each pay period, with taxes taken out with benefits and PTO but you are commonly a desk jockey being told what to do and how to do it. 

In many ways, graphic design is a service and is treated as such, even though we are smart and like learning more about the problem we are trying to solve visually. Working for yourself every month has a different income but as long as it is “peanut butter,” meaning spread out to a certain mean per month, it’s all good. I love working my own hours and calling the shots. I don’t have a commute and I’m closer to my son's daycare.

What advice would you give for someone who wants to leave their corporate job & start their own creative business?

I would tell them you can’t have success without risk and you have to do a risk assessment on ROI from a financial and physiological standpoint. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It takes a lot of grit and flexibility but with hard work and resourcefulness you can succeed.
Associate Professor at Western Washington University,
Department of Design in Bellingham, WA
Kacey Morrow is an Associate Professor at Western Washington University, teaching in the Department of Design with a focus on motion graphics, digital video, web and interaction design. Her award-winning experimental videos have appeared in numerous film festivals and exhibitions nation-wide including the highly-acclaimed Seattle International Film Festival. Photo credit: Andy Lai
You have such a wide variety of projects under your belt—graphic design, videos, putting together film festivals and textbooks—what’s the biggest challenge of taking on so many types of creative work,
and how do you balance it all?
It makes it easier to take on different types of work when you can find connections between them. That is why graphic design is infused in all the work I do, but so is my love of film. For example, I co-founded a film festival while designing the brand; co-authored a textbook about producing television while designing the cover; illustrated a book about acting by Kathleen Turner-and designed client work for the local Bellingham non-profit, Pickford Film Center. All of these projects keep my interests closely intertwined.

Women make up over half the graphic design industry—61%—yet are paid less, and often represented in small numbers in senior positions. How can women advocate for themselves and support each? 
I teach my students to always negotiate when entering into a new position. I also teach them to value themselves and what they do. It is tough enough being a female in any industry, but many times young designers are taken advantage of and design can be undervalued. We arm our students with the knowledge of industry practices, how to write a contract and invoice properly to protect themselves and justify their work. This helps build their confidence, directs them to stand up for themselves and work with the right people.  
The other key way for women to support each other is to give each other opportunities, and build each other up. This newsletter interview is a perfect example of that. This is giving women in design a platform and voice. Almost all of my design and creative opportunities have been from working with other women. These have coincidentally been my most rewarding experiences. 
Recommendations come from word-of-mouth, people sharing work on social media, or just putting yourself out there and continuing to create. We also need to continue to support women of color and those in the LGBTQIA+ community. According to the 2019 AIGA Census, 71% of US designers are White and 76% don’t identify as LGBTQIA+. This is a problem that needs to be shifted within the design industry and design education.
What is the most important bit of advice you would share with aspiring graphic designers as they work toward being professionals?
To do what makes you happy and keep that in check throughout your career. Try new things, challenge yourself, and get out of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with smart people and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Maintain confidence and value yourself. Become a mentor and give back to your community. Travel, read, watch, observe, discuss, participate.  

Millie Schnebly & Brittany Stodgell
Co-Owners & Designers at Maker + Made in Spokane, WA
Maker + Made is a graphic design firm working out of downtown Spokane, specializing in brand identities, websites, and print collateral. From left: Co-owners and designers, Brittany Stodgell
and Millie Schnebly (interviewed below) Photo Credit: Clarin Joy
What inspired you to work as a team instead of solo—
which is more traditional for graphic designers? 
The two of us were already working side-by-side on little projects here and there. In the evenings, we'd get together and work in tandem while gabbing over our 3rd iced latte of the day for fun (plot-twist, we're also best friends). Brittany, at the time, was a partner at a local design firm and I was running my own freelancing business. We would spend the evenings together collaborating and asking each other for feedback on what we were working on. Over time we realized we should be making an impact on our city together instead of apart.
As time went on working side-by-side, we found ourselves questioning our less-than-traditional perspective on what a design firm "should be" and wondering if we could thrive doing what we loved in a way we truly enjoyed. So when the opportunity arose to start a micro-firm together, we owed it to ourselves to give it a shot. Cue all the excitement and nervous "what if it doesn't work?!" feelings, right?! We just kept our heads up, celebrating every little detail as a win, and thought audibly, "but what if it does?!"
What do you look for in a graphic designer when
you want to add to your team? 
We think it's really important for small business owners (especially solopreneurs who are looking to make their first hire) to not focus on cloning themselves, but instead looking forward and beyond their own genius point to add someone to their team that will bring additional value (and revenue) to their business. That's what we've done and so far it's working out beautifully!
Maker + Made specializes in assisting small businesses
with their marketing plans, is there any general advice you
would give to a creative entrepreneur who is just getting started
when it comes to marketing their new business? 
We always suggest "giving it away for free". Not your services specifically, but your expertise. Build trust with your target audience and your peers by sharing what you've learned; everyone comes out better for it. By sharing your ideas, you may find your peers and your audience trying to "do it on their own", and that's a totally valid fear, but remember what they don't have is your secret sauce; you. In time, the right client will come to you after trial and error because you're the one they trust.
Buying Local Helps Artists Thrive
Check out VintagePrintNW’s Etsy store and pick up some cool graphic posters for yourself while supporting Spokane’s Chris Bovey.

SIMBA’s local business directory, LiveLocalINW.com is now live with over 400 businesses registered. More businesses are listing additional products every day, so keep on hitting that refresh button to see what's new.
Design on the Mind
At Whipsmart, we are unapologetic advocates for creative people and businesses. We give creative professionals the tools they need to succeed, by meeting them where they’re at—offering intentionally curated mentorships, job opportunities, and business resources scaled to every stage of their career.