Sponsor Spotlight: Ciera Holzenthal

I’m excited to introduce you all to Ciera today! She is one of my May sponsors and is incredibly talented. I love her work, chatting with her on Twitter and her blog

  1. Name: Ciera Holzenthal
  2. Age: 29
  3. Location: Born and raised in New Orleans but have been living in Boston for the past year.

Q. When did you start designing?

A. In high school, I was excepted into the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I went to my normal high school for half of each day and NOCCA for the other half to study visual arts. During my time at NOCCA I realized that I could not see myself as a fine artist but I also found that I was very organized and systematic while working on projects. We had a few computer/design sessions and although I was not exactly sure what it was, I knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer! When I went to college, I switched back and forth between design and photography and finally decided to focus on design.

I got a job right out of college at a great advertising agency and gained a lot of experience in my four years there. A time came when I was not learning anything else from being there and rather than looking for a position at another company, I decided to give freelance a go! I have been working for myself full time for almost two years and love it!

Q. What type of work do you get most excited about?

A: I love branding small businesses. Some of my favorite projects are when I design a logo and then get to expand the identity from business cards and websites to posters and invitations. Applying my concept to multiple items in order to create a cohesive brand for a company is really rewarding.

Q. What are your essential tools? What do you love to create with? 

A: I always have a sketchbook for brainstorming ideas. I use In Design on my MacBook Pro for almost every design that I create. I am obsessed with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2. I use it to take photos of my work for my portfolio and all of the photographs on my blog. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing photos.

Q. Any advice for those looking to start a career in the design world?

A: I definitely recommend gaining in-house or agency experience. Being surrounded by a group of people that you can learn from is great and can really push your boundaries. I would not be where I am today if I would have gone straight to freelancing from college. I learned so much about organization, client relations, presentations, print production and multitasking at my first job!

Q. When did you start your blog (which I love by the way)! Any advice to those looking to start their own blog?

In 2009 I started blogging as basically a photo dump. I would post my iphone photos with a little caption and might expand a little here and there. I knew I wanted to create a portfolio and site that potential clients could check out, so in 2010 I decided to take my blog to the next level. I switched to a self hosted WordPress site and started posting on a regular basis with consistent content. It has been growing ever since into what you see today!

I think the most important advice I can offer for someone wanting to start a blog is to write about what you love and not what you think people want to hear. Blog because you love doing it.

Be sure to connect with Ciera by visiting her blog and following her on Twitter! If you’re interested in sponsoring Show + Tell in June, contact me and we can chat!

May 21, 2012