Bright, new talent is always fun to discover here at American Greetings which is why we want you to meet the artist: Laura Guardalabene. Laura is a multi-talented graphic artist who is known for her creative typography as well as her fresh, relevant perspective while working on this blog. Here’s what she has to say…
When did you first realize you are an artist?
Hm… Maybe when I was 5 or 6? Whenever I was bored my mom would hand me some markers and paper and I could sit and draw for hours. I think it was around that age that I started to identify myself as “artistic”. It wasn’t until high school when I began to play around with Photoshop and took a vocational D.E.C.A. Marketing Design course that I discovered what graphic design was and the true potential of my artistic abilities. From that point on I knew Graphic Design was what I wanted to do.
What is your position at American Greetings and what is your background as an artist?
I’m a Graphic Designer on the Content Marketing team. I graduated from Kent State University with my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design in December of 2011. I’ve interned at a couple different advertising agencies and worked as a designer at a screen printing company and for a creative boutique on campus all through college. I started working professionally as a designer 6 years ago and before that I constantly drew for fun.
Could you tell us some more about your work?
Here at American Greetings my day to day tasks include designing email communications that go out to our AmericanGreetings.com subscribers, designing for this blog and concepting/creating sharable and engaging posts for American Greetings’ facebook page! I’m always freelancing on the side too. My most recent big freelance project was for my alma mater, Cuyahoga Falls High School where I branded a prom trade show event called “One Stop Prom Shop” that was organized by the D.E.C.A. Marketing students there (the very program that got me interested in design in the first place!).
What is it that inspires you when creating a particular design or graphic piece?
That’s a tough question… Can I say everything? My inspiration varies based on what project I’m working on. Generally speaking I’m heavily inspired by nature (butterflies, flowers and insects have some of the best color pallets!), fashion, science, movies & TV shows, old run-down Americana landscapes (I love a good vintage diner sign), interior design, architecture and music.
What’s your favorite piece ever created and why?
My favorite piece of art created while at American Greetings would have to be an inspirational quote I illustrated for this blog! The quote is “Enjoy what you have while pursuing what you want.” By Jim Rohn. I’m kind of obsessed with hand-done typography and really enjoy any chance I get to create it. It’s difficult to pick a favorite piece I’ve created outside of American Greetings, but I do really like this sugar skull I illustrated for fun somewhat recently!
What famous artists or graphic designers have influenced you?
Saul Bass and Lester Beall are some of my favorite pioneer designers and for typography inspiration, I tend to look at type “super stars” like Jessica Hische, Eric Marinovich & Jeff Rogers. I’m a Pinterest & blog surfing addict and could fill this entire post with names of favorite designers but those are some of the heavy influencers for me.
What inspires you to create your designs and how do you stay motivated?
Making a difference and leaving my “mark” has always been a driving force in my design career.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself being happy doing something I love. Generic, I know, but it’s hard for me to get any more specific than that! I know I will be designing in some way, but beyond that I’m not sure. I’ve always had a very strong interest in advertising and fashion so who knows? Maybe those will play a larger role in my life by then.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Always do what you love, but don’t forget to figure out a career game plan.
What do you do for fun?
I’m pretty much up for anything outdoors on a nice sunny day… swimming, running, playing tennis, hiking etc. I like to paint, sew and make jewelry whenever I have free time too. I’m also bit of a self-confessed nail polish addict and find myself creating crazy-complex pieces of art on my nails during all hours of the night. Oh! And I’ll add “foodie” to this list too, I love cooking and experimenting with unique flavor combinations. There’s not enough time in the day to do everything I want to!