I’m so excited to have Katie Hart of Odd Daughter Paper Co on the blog today. Katie is an amazing illustrator/hand letterer and such a sweet kind-hearted lady. You can find a lot of her work around shops here in San Diego and I get so excited whenever I see her items around town, it’s like knowing someone famous. 😉 Learn more about her below:
Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a California native, who lived in Seattle for 5 years, and I now live in San Diego. I love exploring San Diego and finding my favorite parts of the various neighborhoods. I own a stationery business called Odd Daughter Paper Co, which allows me to express my love for illustration & hand lettering.
Describe your path to becoming a designer:
I didn’t discover my love for illustration and design until I graduated with my degree in Interior Design. Oh the irony! With that said, I’m pretty much self-taught… aside from an amazing internship I had with Megan of MaeMae Paperie. I started painting, illustrating and hand lettering cards… and then figured out a way to get them printed. It’s definitely been a process though. My style has evolved greatly!! I now have a line of illustrated/hand lettered cards and I freelance on the side (mostly wedding invitations).
What’s a typical workday like for you?
I currently work a full-time job, so a typical workday for me is busy. I head to my 9-5, sometimes do a little design work at lunch, and then get off around 5ish. I try to fit in a little exercise (long walks are currently my workout of choice) and make dinner. Then, it’s back to design work. If I’m working on wedding designs, I’ll dive right into that. If I have shop orders or wholesale orders to package, I’ll work on those. Creating new designs for my cards typically happens on weekends when I have extra time.
What was your first paid design job? and were you nervous?
Hmm. I think my first paid job was a wedding suite for a friend. I was definitely a little nervous, but I already had some experience with printing, so I wasn’t as worried about that aspect as I would have been otherwise.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I really love designing cards or stationery that people connect with. I want them to see something I’ve created and be able to think of the person they just have to give it to.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge of being a designer?
I think that finding a balance between expressing your style and making your clients happy can be tricky. Unless you have an incredibly large base of work (and a very distinct style), you’ll likely attract clients who want something that isn’t exactly your style. The challenge, specifically, lies in client feedback. I always want to put my best foot forward — which means a design that I love — but sometimes what a client loves won’t be your first choice.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to be a designer?
If you’re freelancing and working full-time, try to somehow find life balance. That’s something I’m struggling with at the moment, and it can get really difficult sometimes. Obviously it’s easier said than done, but eating well, exercising, & spending time with friends/family are important!! Don’t let freelance work take away from that completely.
Who is inspiring you at the moment?
I love Julia Kostreva’s work. Her style is very different than mine (way more clean) — and it’s amazing. I also love the Fresh Exchange Blog, which I find super inspiring in many ways!!