Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Monahan.
Heather, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was raised in Laguna Beach and loved living in a thriving art community. My grandparents were both artists and teachers as well, so from a very young age, I enjoyed creating. I went to UCLA for Fine Arts, and while I was there, I studied under very inspiring active artists. I studied painting with Lari Pittman, sculpture with Charles Ray, photography with James Welling, ceramics with Adrian Saxe, there was no shortage of great artists teaching in the program. After graduating with a bachelor’s in Fine Arts, I went on to study graphic design through UCLA’s design certification program. It was there that I discovered the ability to blend my love of fine arts with a career in digital arts. I love blending both backgrounds to this day. I believe it’s important to have a style that is in trend with the current design, but I also think it’s important to find your unique brand to put on your design work. It’s a career I’ve worked hard at, and I find myself always challenged within it in a great way. You can’t stay stagnant in this field. You always have to be studying your contemporaries and what is in fashion and then hone it to your own aesthetic and that of your client’s.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a full time freelance graphic designer and art director. I have a wide range of clients within varied industries like food and restaurant, film, technology, business, education, and paper goods. I design websites, logos and branding, marketing materials, posters, stationery, art prints, and more. My work is on my site, www.cheekydesign.com.
I am always looking at what’s around me, on the web, Instagram, Dribble, Behance, there are so many creative and inspiring forums to pool resources from. I still love visiting galleries and museums as well to carry in some fine arts references. Because my clients come from differing areas, I find my design work has to shift client by client, project by project. I always start with a really in-depth, getting to know you and the project conversation. I have to have a good understanding of who I’m working with and what their ultimate goal and design needs are before ever starting. I also think it’s so important they know me, so there’s mutual respect going into the project. You want me as your designer because you like my work and know I’m going to design what you want with the skills and aesthetic I’ve developed over time. My fine art background, I think, really helps with creating bold and standout designs. I have an understanding beyond digital, I’ve been a trained illustrator and painter, there’s precision in my craft and also a unique style that stands out. I always want my clients, or anyone looking at my work, to walk away satisfied and surprised at where we took their vision.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I think art will always be a necessary part of the tapestry of our life and culture in America, Artists have always been such an important voice for shared experience, whatever your viewpoints are, I think art can really transcend a talking point and get to the humanity of issues. I’ve seen so many great design pieces on Instagram on the Women’s March and movements. It’s so present and active and exciting and can be told in so many different ways. As well, there have been extremely moving art about the immigration crisis we are all experiencing right now. I think everyone feels it, and I know there are different sides, but at the end of the day, it’s about treating our fellow human beings with respect. Everyone deserves happiness. Everyone deserves to be with their families in a safe environment.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen on my website, Cheeky Design at www.cheekydesign.com. I break the site down into three themes since my work covers a wide range of clients. I have my design page that showcases websites, print, marketing, logo, and branding designs. I have my posters page that showcases the work I’ve done with a main client of mine Secret Movie Club. I have designed branding for them and design posters for the 35mm screenings they do of classic films at the historic Vista Theater in Silverlake. Then I have my stationary and prints section where I show the custom stationary I’ve created for clients and art prints.
I am always open to new design opportunities so anyone seeing my work and liking it should definitely reach out and email me even to just say hi. It’s great to be part of a community.
- Website: www.cheekydesign.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cheekydesign/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cheeky-Design-514216041960870/
All images are from Cheeky Design