Spotlight on 3 Graphic Designer Moms

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With Mother’s Day just a week away on May 11, 2014 I decided to explore the depths of the World Wide Web to find those awesome female graphic designers who blow away the rest of us not only by their great designs but their parenting styles as well.

Jackie McFee

Jackie McFee

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Jackie McFee described her mornings as a ‘breakfast scramble’in Working Mom and I thought, ‘that’s a creative way to describe disaster and mayhem’. Wondering how that mayhem would be captured in her design I then visited her website and was wowed by her whacky sense of color and graphics. She has managed to not only create ‘organized anarchy’ in her life but she has beautifully reflected that same dynamic in her portfolio. Her designs are now featured on notebooks (featured in Glee) and fabrics capturing the feminine sense of style every young woman strives for in adolescence and beyond. In today’s mumbo jumbo the kids would say, “Jackie’s designs are just sick!”

Being featured on various magazines like Runners World, Girls Magazine, Working Mother and Little Ones to name a few is just icing on the cake…it’s all in a day’s work for a graphic designer mom. Happy Mother’s Day Jackie!

Courtney Kirkland

Courtney Kirkland

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Courtney Kirkland autobiographical note says: “I’m Courtney. Child of God. Military Wife. Boy Mama x 2. Storyteller. Photographer. Graphic Designer. Over-achiever. Sleep Deprived. Coffee Drinker. Assistant at Restored 316 Designs.”

What makes a graphic designer successful is their versatility and that is captured quite effectively here with her self-proclaimed talents with a camera, computer and words. Not only can she create designs at her workplace, she can capture the moments in life through her lens and portray their essence in her graphics. Anybody who visits Courtney’s blog can see her love for her children mirrored in her pictures and work. Her choice of graphics and the soft colors she chooses also serves to reveal her innate Zen with her life.

Going through her blog, I was struck anew by her ingenuity as I read the words she had written. Not every graphic designer is a creative writer as well. In a way Courtney reveals her vision through her words and images creating a design of intellectual wisdom.

A recent article she featured was entitled, “Getting Rid of the Clutter: From Materialism to Simplicity.”

Her article was referring to the clutter of toys but any graphic designer reading the title cannot be blamed for thinking that the article refers to the design trends of 2014. Simplicity and modern sleekness is in, clutter out. So take the advice of supermom Courtney and adopt the principle of removing the toys from your house to cleaning up your design. The keywords are ‘used to’ and ‘maybe’. Clean up your design by stepping away from the thought, ‘…but client’s used to love that element of design’ and if you think ‘maybe’, might as well start from scratch.

Thank you Courtney for that piece of wisdom and a Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Gabrielle Blair

Gabrielle Blair

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For this mum I bow down in complete and utter respect-no irony intended. Not only is she a successful graphic designer she is a mother of six. Gabrielle runs the website Design Mom which gained recognition after a mention in Time Magazine. The website/blog gained commendation after being featured as a top parenting blog in features like Wall Street Journal and Parents Magazine.

She has an aesthetic sense easily preserved in the works she displays through the decoration of her home, painting of Easter eggs and murals on her son’s walls. Her thoughts on design and parenting are best offered in the words:

A well-designed and carefully-edited space is the fresh piece of paper on which big dreams can be drawn. I think of uninspired kids’ spaces as crowded bookshelves, with first editions shoved haphazardly beside paperbacks, and collectibles of all kinds crowding each other out for dusty space. I say: clean, curate, banish clutter. Because if you don’t know what you have, you can’t treasure it. ( source: ElizabethStreet Blog )

She is the epitome of motherhood clearly showcasing her love of design as it intersects with her love of being a mother. Every mother is versatile and stylish and that is what Gabrielle effectively showcases in her blog. She has embraced herself, her children, her career and her life and proved to all that a woman can be both a successful working woman, and a loving mom. Happy Mother’s Day to you Gabrielle, you are an inspiration to all!

Becoming a graphic designer mother means needing to create an unsustainable design practice. Yes, I meant unsustainable-not sustainable. The corporate world focuses on sustainable because it is possible. It is a tangible goal they can schedule. However, in contrast, it is the graphic designer mom’s like Gabrielle, Courtney and Jackie who have created an unsustainable design practice by setting unrealistic goals and unattainable standards to prove to the world that their ambition is not dead, their desire to succeed still alive and their flair of making the impossible-possible…a realistic approach to a crazy life.

So a Happy Mother’s Day to all you Awesome Graphic Designer Moms!

I am a digital marketing consultant with a focus on small and mid-sized enterprises. I believe the focus of every business should be on creating a consistent brand identity online and offline.

One thought on “Spotlight on 3 Graphic Designer Moms

  1. Being a mom is a wonderful thing. You can express your love to your family by showing how much you care for them. However, being a mom plus you are a graphic designer is another thing. Aside from you can show your love to your family by being a mom, you can show your passion as a graphic designer to your audience. Very thankful for all the mommies.

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