How long have you been working at iFocus?
I’ve been working at iFocus for a little over two years. I started in February of 2016.
Describe what you do.
I’m the creative mind behind all that is iFocus. I help develop graphics for our clients in any form needed – display ads, website graphics, social media graphics, videos… basically everything from small website buttons to full website design.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I start the day by prioritizing projects and figuring out what needs to be done by when. I organize projects by what takes the most amount of time and tackle those jobs first. Most of my day is spent deep in Adobe Creative Suite. Photoshop, InDesign, and AfterEffects is where I spend the bulk of my time. I hardcore nerd out on my computer while Halsey plays on my headphones. And of course, no day would be complete without spending some quality office time or taking a quick Target run with my #WorkWife – Sydney, our Director of Ops!
Do you have any nicknames in the office?
Hmmmm…. guess that depends on my mood for the day. Ha.
What would your co-workers say is your most distinguishing feature at work?
I think people really appreciate how quickly I work – and how I can typically work last-minute projects in. I also like to pretend people really appreciate how bluntly honest I am, too. This may or may not be true.
Briefly talk about one of your all-time favorite iFocus projects you’ve worked on.
There are so many! I designed our trade show banners awhile back. I didn’t think a whole lot of it, until the day the six-foot banners showed up at our office and I saw my design in huge print! It gave me a slight high. There’s just something rewarding about seeing your digital work turn tangible. I’ve also recently started really digging into creating videos, and that’s been a lot of fun.
Besides your own work, what iFocus product/service is your favorite? Why?
SEO. SEO is a huge part of web design. I work pretty closely with Zach, our SEO Manager, when it comes to page layout. He’s taught me a lot about how things need to work from an SEO perspective. It brings a new challenge to page design that I enjoy. Sometimes designers get so caught up in the design of a page, they forget to make it functional and practical. SEO is great – after all, what good is a well-designed page if no one can find it?
What do you like to do in your free time?
My husband and I stencil and dye all our disc golf discs to look like Pokémon. I like to scream, “Gotta catch ‘em all!” and hope for the best when I throw a driver. Our favorite courses are Sar-ko-par in Overland Park and Legacy in Lee’s Summit.
What’s your favorite local KC food joint?
My husband’s family owns an Italian restaurant in Independence called V’s. They have the best food. Sunday brunch is my favorite. It comes with all-you-can-drink mimosas. If you need more convincing than that to try it, I don’t know if we can be friends.
What movie or TV show character do you most identify with?
It might be a little cliché to say Jess from New Girl. It’s not just because we share a name. We have similar life experiences. Jess was caught off-guard and forced to make a major life change and just sort of figure things out. I moved to KC from a small town near St. Louis a few years ago. I didn’t know anyone when I moved here. I just sort of had to figure things out on my own. Eventually I made friends and got more comfortable here. Jess caught her apartment on fire once. I caught the carpet in my first apartment on fire a few times. We have a lot in common.
What’s one cool thing that has happened to you lately?
I just got MARRIED to the BEST MAN IN THE WORLD!
Describe your ideal weekend getaway.
I like a weekend with no plans. John (the previously mentioned Best Man in the World) and I like to take trips where all we really plan is the hotel. We don’t really decide what to do until we get there. I think it makes it more fun. Sometimes we ask servers at restaurants where their favorite places to go are and then check them out. We’ve found some pretty cool places that way that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
CATS! I have an adorable cat named Moxie. I left on my lunch break one day and decided I wanted a cat. I didn’t have time to go home – and I didn’t want to leave my newly adopted kitten all alone – so I snuck her into my office. She hung out with me for the day. She did not stay hidden. I want another kitten. Or six more would also be fine.
What celebrity would you most like to have drinks and a conversation with? Why?
Paul Rand. He basically founded graphic design as we know it today. I feel like I have a lot to thank him for.
What’s one weird quirk that you have?
Just one? I have so many. I hate the sound of people folding paper in half. The sound of a finger scraping across paper drives nuts. I don’t like french fries, or BBQ, or donuts. I eat my Nutty Bars one layer at a time. I hate things on my feet so I’m barefoot about 98% of the time.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
Describe one thing that’s a source of inspiration for you.
I keep up-to-date on design trends on Adobe blogs. I am constantly looking for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. I feel like I can find inspiration a little bit of everywhere.
What’s your favorite part about working at iFocus?
I love how flexible my job is! I work from home part-time which is great. I do the bulk of my research on days I’m at home so that I can power through projects and create quality work while I’m in the office. I love being able to travel home to STL and not have to worry about getting off work. I can work in the car on the way there and back while John drives. I love that my managers have recognized my work ethic and know that I will always get the job done whether I’m in the office, at my desk at home, or traveling.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from working at iFocus thus far?
There is always room for improvement. You can always be learning something new. I know how to do so much more now than I did when I started. And I’m constantly looking for new areas to improve in or to learn entirely. I love feeling like a confident designer, but still knowing that I have so much to learn and look forward to.