Sponsor Spotlight: Ciera Holzenthal
- Name: Ciera Holzenthal
- Age: 29
- 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.