This post is part of Flywheel’s “Designer Spotlight” series, which features an interview with a designer/coder/mover/shaker we think is really awesome.
Introducing… Breanna Rose
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Breanna Rose ( but you can call me Bre ) and I am a graphic designer, art director, and blogger from Minneapolis. I began forging my own path directly out of design school and have since worked with talented + creative clients all over the world. I enjoy simple design and a good night on the couch relaxing with pizza in hand. That’s the simple truth.
What do you do?
As the sole person in my business, I wear a lot of hats. Most days, I do a little bit of everything, which includes answering emails, hopping on client calls, balancing the books, working on design projects, and marketing my work. On the side, I also run a personal blog where I love sharing freelance advice, free goodies, and some personal things here and there. I feel fortunate that I’m able to dip my toes into various activities and keep things fresh!
Where are you located?
I grew up and currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is such a great creative hub. The thing that I love most about this place is how beautiful the city is. It boasts large lakes + green space, which is pretty rare to find in other metropolis settings. I feel honored to call it home and am endlessly inspired by what it has to offer.
What’s your workspace like? What’s your ideal workspace environment?
My current workspace is actually pretty embarrassing. We moved into a new home this past September, and unfortunately, my office has been the last room to get put together. As I’m typing this, I’m surrounded by beige walls and no decoration. While it’s pretty stark now, I plan on painting everything white and making one entire wall a place for inspirational images. I love being surrounded by bright light and pretty things while I work, so that should do it. Keeps me feeling fresh.
Something awesome that you’re working on right now?
I’m actually working on a few personal projects that I’m pretty pumped about. In the next month or so, I will be soft launching my new design studio, which has been completely renamed and branded. It was the right “next step” for me and I’m excited to see how it all plays out and allows for growth. But beyond that, I’m also working hard on developing an online workshop geared towards creative freelancers, which should hopefully be revealed this summer or fall. After countless client related projects, it’s always fun to do something for yourself!
Is there something that sparked your interest in design?
I’ve always been a creative individual. When I was younger, it was through story telling, piano playing, doodling, and collaging. And as I grew up, I honestly didn’t think I could make any of those things into a career. For whatever reason, I feared that my passions would become boring or less meaningful if I made it my job. But after a major epiphany, realizing that I wouldn’t let that happen, everything seemed to fall into place. With a copy of photoshop and interest in “playing around with images,” I packed up my stuff and began my college degree in graphic design. I had a lot to learn, but am so glad I shook off all those initial fears. Being a full-time creative is lit-rully ( Parks & Rec reference ) the best choice I’ve ever made.
Where do you find inspiration when you design?
Like most, I find inspiration through visual platforms like Pinterest and Dribbble on the daily, but am most inspired when I get away from it all. Traveling, even if just a few hours north, is the best way for me to reset my mind and start fresh when I get back home.
What are three things you to do get the creative juices flowing when you’ve hit a roadblock?
01. Get off the computer and make myself a nice lunch ( or snack, depending on the time ). I’ll often sit down, enjoy what I’m eating, and watch a little trashy daytime television to get my mind off of work. 02. Run errands or go for a walk. Weather depending, I like to take a few hours in the afternoon to actually leave the house and do something else for a change. It’s amazing how much this can help. Sometimes I think it’s all about taking appropriate breaks when your mind is telling you to. 03. Simply ending my day if all else fails. When it’s not working, it’s not working … and I don’t like to force creativety if I don’t have to. So if there is ever a day that is filled with roadblocks and I can afford to take the afternoon completely off, I will. When that happens, I like to cook a big meal, shower early, and relax the rest of the evening. Rejuvenation is key on these days!
What are some bands/artists you listen to while you’re designing?
I typically open up my Spotify account, which is filled with bands/artists that I like, and just stream throughout the day. I don’t have any particular music that I have to listen to because every day is different. When I really need to focus, slower sounds help. When I’m really pumped up, I absolutely love faster paced music that pushes me through + keeps me excited. I have a column on my blog that shares mixtapes, which is a good representation of what I listen to.
What’s the best part of your day as a designer?
Honestly, I really enjoy connecting with my clients the most. Catching up on the status of projects and creating genuine relationships. It’s nice to not always be super professional and instead just chat about life in general. Sure, we have our working relationship – but a lot of these people become the friendly faces that fill my days in such a positive way! I love that.
What’s the hardest part about being a designer?
I feel weird saying this because it’s my job, but it’s difficult having to be creative each and every day. It’s our job to come up with ideas out of thin air, which can get pretty tiring when you’re constantly having to do that. I love that I get to be creative and share stories in such a visual way, but staying fresh is key.
If you couldn’t design, what would you do?
I would probably consider going into photography. I took a handful of course in college and have always loved that medium. In a way, it’s a different form of story telling, which is probably why I find it so intriguing.
Have a favorite design-related website?
I probably check out Dribbble the most when it comes to design and needing inspiration. That place is literally filled with AMAZING talent, so it’s easy to get lost and take in all the beautiful work for hours at a time. Plus, it’s simply a great way to market yourself as a designer. Potential clients are starting head there for information on who to hire more and more.