today’s question: what is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?

the first thing that comes to mind was working on novelty product while designing at kate spade. i went to school for graphic design and never thought that i could take my degree past packaging (now i know the possibilities are endless). the best part about working in fashion (for me) is walking down the street and seeing a girl carrying one of my designs. knowing that she saw what i created and had this connection to it that made her have to have it. those moments make me scream like a little girl. i once passed a woman on the street carrying a handbag i designed. she was in her 60/70s in the dead of summer wearing a flowy white dress, florescent nail polish and my bag! i did a fast turn around, walked really fast to pass her, and then turned around to walk back again and get her picture. she totally caught me, but i couldn’t resist.

my second favorite project was one that took me out of my comfort zone. i was working with an ad agency who had a menswear client that wanted their products illustrated. they really liked my style and wanted to work with me but asked me if i was open to letting go of my coloring-book style illustrations. they wanted the project to feel more elevated and have some depth. i was totally down to work around them (and get a new client!) so i said yes. it was fun and refreshing to try a different style. those illustrations are to this day are one of my favorite projects.

my favorite project, i did for free. with my friends. i was able to be creative, feel comfortable, no pressure, they trusted me, and we had the same vision. it was a nice break from the back and forth with (sometimes) picky clients. of course, you should put your everything into any project you do…and money is nice and all…but the occasional just for FUN projects are the ones that keep me going. you know how sometimes you can become insecure if you are working with a client that you aren’t vibing with? and how it’s so refreshing to send someone your work and they love it immediately? we all need projects like that every now and then. they keep us happy.

i always stress the importance of surrounding yourself with creative people. people who just want to create good looking things in this world. people who are passionate and interested. people who aren’t hung up on money and just love art. look at me, going all hippy on ya!

so this ban.do lookbook was one of my favorites. quick, entertaining and the creative jolt that i needed at the time.

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)


Add your own

    Haha love how Katie tried to make that picture unseen and failed. I always love to read your Advice column. It’s fun to get a look inside the “designers” world!


    Tori says:

    I lOVED that Ban-do look book. We’ve had more favourite clients than projects. I think the web world has been moving so quickly for the past 7 years it’s hard to love something for long. But a client who believes in you and allows you to push yourself creatively for them are the best!

    Danielle says:

    I actually have a question I would love to see in the next advice column.
    What do you both do about medical insurance and 401K as independent business owners? Here in New York we have the freelancers union, but Its SOOO expensive.

    Calee says:

    My favorite project that I’ve ever worked on is the logo / identity for Nutty Butter. My friend makes these really yummy nut butters and she does 2 different flavors each month. So the patterns change based on what the flavors are, but they still work within the brand as a whole. I create 2 new labels monthly. My favorite part about this project is that I got 100% creative control, which never happens, and happened by accident. My friend needed a logo and said “I trust you”, so I showed her a bunch of different things, but ultimately she went with what I wanted her to go with, and she keeps picking the best options. Best client ever = best project ever. And delicious nut butter.

    Caitlin says:

    Katie – you should’ve said something to that fashionable lady, I’m sure it would make her love her bag even more – that’s so cool to see your own designs out in the “real world”!

    alicia says:

    Such a refreshing post! I love all of your guys favourite projects!!

    If I had to pick out just one project that is my favourite it would also be a personal project. My mom had written a kids story and I needed a something for senior project class so I took it and illustrated the whole thing by cutting and pasting different coloured and textured pieces of paper, gluing them together and scanning them in. It was so much work and there was a lot of trail and error never having done anything like it before.


    Whenever I go to interviews it stands out to people and I do love it so much and would happily do it again!

    Hilary says:

    Sometimes, during a long work life we can get a little jaded in our thinking so it was totally refreshing to read Katy’s description of the thrill of seeing your work out in the world and the photo of the woman with the handbag is grand. Thanks for reminding me! Lovely post.

    shazzy says:

    Have you guys ever done one of these around how you present your work at an interview? like do you bring printed books (portfolio), ipad, your comp? ive been lucky enough to not having to interview for a while moving around through word of mouth, but im thinking it may be time to move in a different direction and im curious what people do now. I have always brought a printed book, but that junk gets expense to print…

    Dahahaha, Katie! I love that you took a fast shot of the lady carrying your design! You totally should have just asked her for a photo and told her you designed the bag! I’m sure she would have loved that.

    And Bri, that ban.do lookbook is one of my favorites of yours. Had no idea you did it for the fun and the love of it all. Go you!!

    Wow Katie–designing a hand bag for Kate Spade! Dream job much? I know what my career goal is now 😉

    jen says:

    ummm, if i remember correctly you were paid in fresh white bean hummus and bottomless cocktails. good times.

    Chick Tyler says:

    I just want to say that both of you are so inspiring! Love what you two do and love that you love to do it too!

    shana says:

    how exciting that must be katie. just love your illustrations – they are a joy to look at. and bri, creating purely for the sake of it really is nirvana, right? the results show – simply beautiful, dreamy and unique.

    best from shāna

    mel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and your great pictures with us 🙂
    Love Mel

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