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Art & Life with Stacey Uy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacey Uy.

Stacey, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I never fully appreciated the power of design until I studied Cuban political posters in college. I learned how artists could use simple visual communication to bring people together and rally them around a message. From there I had to learn how to make that my everyday job. I worked at nonprofits while saving up for design school, and I was lucky enough to land an internship at Classy, a nonprofit fundraising software company in San Diego. I learned everything I could by figuring out how to design for marketing, events, and microsites at what was once a small startup.

Currently I’m a design manager at Classy and we’re nearing a staff of 300. I’ve been freelancing for nearly 6 years, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for the next chapter. I’ve been working with small businesses, nonprofits, and communities like the South Park Business Group to continue to use design to bring people together.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I love using illustration and typography to help people feel a connection to a story, to an event, or to an organization. Some of my favorite things to do are brand identities for nonprofit organizations, print designs for local events, and wedding invitations for every kind of couple. The ability to take someone’s mission or story and turn it into a visual experience is something I’m so grateful to do in my everyday work.

I also illustrate pieces that shed light on important moments that remind us of the shared human experience. I love history and am forever a student of all the voices that were not valued enough to be included in our textbooks as kids. Designing almost feels like a superpower, and I feel obligated to use my powers for good to elevate the stories and experiences of marginalized people who have not been historically celebrated as they should be. I hope that people can look at my work and learn something new or find a connection to a cause or person they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING! I’ve been following James L. Lewis’s #OurTimeHasValue campaign and it’s been so helpful to feel like we can stand up for each other as a community. If creating artwork helps you come to life, then you owe it to yourself to figure out a way to make time for it — weekends, nights, early mornings before work.

Spend that time making work that you would want to create and inevitably, you’ll attract people that want to hire you to do that work. And for those that have already started: Your voice and your artwork has value. Don’t ever let someone devalue your skills by paying you less than what you deserve. I struggled a ton in the beginning, and even now sometimes, to realize that if I don’t respect my time and my worth, then no one else will.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Most of my work can be found on my website and on Instagram. I often design merchandise to donate the proceeds to a different nonprofit, so keep an eye out on my shop:

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