Chelsea Fullerton, graphic designer and photographer, Austin
can you please catch me up to speed on what, exactly, you do?
I am a designer, photographer and quickly realizing, an art director.
When I’m designing, you’ll typically find me working on the pieces that make up someone’s brand. Their logo, website and any other small digital or printable item that they use for their business.
When photographing, I’m usually shooting people, spaces or food.
If my photography style works with a brand I’m developing, I can offer both services to a client. A good example of that is Loot Vintage Rentals. I designed their website and also photographed Anna and Rhoda, the owners, for the bio page.
please describe your working setup.
My studio space is a 400 sq. foot room at Flatbed Gallery on East MLK [in Austin, TX]. I call it my “cave” because the space has no windows.
I usually plug into music and zone out as I work and am fueled by at least one coffee or tea a day.
how many projects, on average, do you have going on at the same time?
On average, four.
what are you best at in your job? also, worst at?
Best / Coming up with good ideas that are unique to the person I’m working with. I dig deep at the beginning of the project with a long questionnaire, so I understand the client’s desires, wants, needs.
Worst / I’m late. If I say I’m going to deliver something on Monday, it’s usually Tuesday. Lunch at 1? Get there at 1:10. I’m actively working on this problem, though.
what is your least favorite thing to design?
Forms with lots of information. Those are tricky and take a lot of time.
people in the design world seem to be very aware of how they fit into the scene, especially when everyone’s work is out there on the internet to share. How do you see your role in this design scene to be?
This is a good question. Because designers choose to lay it all out these days, the effect is lots of pressure. Pressure to do good-looking and thoughtful work and pressure to be original. This pressure can sometimes be a big downer on the design process but it’s also a driving force for me to do the best I can and create projects I’m proud to present online.
are you good at identifying typeface?
I’m alright. Typefaces like Helvetica, Courier and Bickham are easy to ID but there are lots that look similar to one another.
what is your favorite and least favorite typeface?
Favorite / Caslon (classic) and Brandon Grotesque (new). Both are versatile.
Least favorite / Papyrus or Comic Sans. Ironically, Comic Sans was my go-to for all school papers from age 12 to 17.
teach me something about design.
Click here to see my DESIGN GUIDE series with Emma Robertson on her blog.
do you work on a daily schedule? If so, what is it?
Weekdays, 9 to 6/7 with errands in between. Weekends, a few hours here and there. I do have freedom to come and go as I please but regardless, I’m physically or mentally at work A LOT.
what do you eat for lunch?
Usually leftovers or an Amy’s frozen meal at home. And lots of El Chilito.
what music, if any, do you listen to while working?
Today (in order) I listened to NBC Nightly News, Ray Charles, Balmorhea and finished my day with Radiohead.
name some design trends—current or past—that you find appealing/appalling.
Appalling / Flourishes like this. Glowing type. This typeface. The graphics found on most campers and tissue boxes today.
appealing / Painted edges on business cards. Neon colors. The simple and colorful graphics used in the 1960′s, like this one from Tom Eckersley.
how do you think the internet has affected design? (Interpret ‘design’ as broadly as you wish).
One theory I was discussing with friends recently… So many people are being exposed to excellent design work through sites like Pinterest. And I think folks that may have not cared much about branding or a cool invite, suddenly want it and want to show it to the world. And in turn this is creating more work (and clients with higher expectations) for designers.
what have you made recently that was just for fun?
This invitation for our recent Ruby event for Alyson Fox. To use her illustrations in my design was just rad.
I’m also bleaching a ball cap and sweatshirt today. I’m psyched about that little project.
what are five of your favorite things?
1. Dexter night with Cameron
2. Dancing to Soul
3. The first sign of spring after winter (= visions of Barton Springs)
4. The feeling you have when you think of a great idea
5. The feeling you have as you’re driving off on a road trip
how do you balance work/personal projects/social life/etc.?
I try to have balance but I’m afraid for me, being a business owner just means more than 40 hours a week. I’m looking for the perfect “phone bowl” at the moment, though, which will be for Cameron and I’s phones when we’re at home. I must learn to UNPLUG.
what are you looking for?
A consistent workout routine that I love and don’t quit after one week.
Images by Ann Lowe.