Design, art direction, brand strategy
I studied painting and illustration at Otis/Parsons College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, and completed my degrees (art history and anthropology) at the University of Texas at Austin. As a student and professional, I have won many awards for my design and illustration work, and I use my skills as an illustrator to provide clients with a wider range of truly original creative options as opposed to trendy computer-driven design that quickly becomes dated.
I've put my skills to use in many venues, from in-house design and marketing to advertising agencies and freelancing, and I love the variety that comes from working with different clients.
In 2006 and 2007, I further developed my ability to concept, write, and design powerful, original advertising campaigns at Extra Bold Portfolio School in Madison. They liked my work so much that they hired me to be the Associate Creative Director for their Ad Shop, the agency side of the business.
My teachers and fellow students at Extra Bold Portfolio school gave me the nickname “Creative Maven” because I was able to not only concept ideas, but also produce them in the real world for real clients. “Creative Maven” eventually morphed into “Creative Vixen,” and the nickname stuck. I like "Vixen" because, while I take my client work seriously, I try not take myself too seriously.
I'm a synesthete, which means I associate sounds and numbers with colors. I might "see" your voice as maroon with a hot pink accent or think of the number 44 as yellow-orange. This little brain quirk often inspires and guides my visual creations.
I've been married to writer Eric Shipley since 1998. We have two cats, Hazel and India, who generously allow us to share their home.
I’ve been blessed (cursed?) with many interests. I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and I've also studied engineering, history, archaeology, astronomy, biology, architecture, creative writing, and music. And, in order to combine my talents for a career, I took classes in Technical Communication.
My first professional writing experience was as an undergraduate—I was Editor of my college's newspaper. I also did editing, copywriting and ad design at a campus office before I got my degree. Then once I graduated (despite shrieks of horror), I started my career as a technical writer and have since done a wide variety of technical communications such as software and hardware user guides, service manuals, training, online help, manufacturing specifications, and technical editing. Some of the fields I've worked in are scientific instrumentation, manufacturing, government, the financial sector, software, and higher education. As a freelancer, I’ve done online script development and production, blogging, creative writing, and public relations.
I’m a musician. I play the sax and flute, and I’m learning guitar. (I'm pretty good at whistling too.) My musical talents give me a good sense of the rhythm that’s essential to good writing. Add to that my freakishly good memory for details and trivia, as well as a compulsion for accuracy and clarity, and you get a uniquely qualified writing resource.