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Life and Work with Emily Sloan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Sloan.

Emily, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Passionate about design and innovation from a young age, I refined my illustration and fine art skills in high school in small-town New York. At the age of 18, I picked up and moved across the country to further hone my skills in San Diego State University’s Graphic Design program. During this time as an Aztec, I found a love for typography, brand development, print/visual design, and social media marketing. I realized about 4 months before graduating that I didn’t want a mundane in-house design job. I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle designing work that other people would like, I want to create work that I love and am proud to share.

Because of this, I am pursuing a career as a freelance illustrator and designer. My dream is to be able to support myself solely on illustration and design work. Currently, I am doing some branding for Pacific Beach small businesses and challenge myself to work on an illustration every day, and am seeing growth in my style and following.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In this social media driven world, I found that sometimes I use social media as a substitution for sitting down and creating something myself. There’s so much beautiful and inspiring content out there, it’s hard to find a unique style that is my own. I still feel self-doubt when it comes to design and illustration. Comparative thinking is dangerous; especially in today’s society. It’s taken me 10+ years to become comfortable and confident in my artistic and personal style.

It’s important for young women who are just starting out to remember that in this screen-driven world, you should want to improve yourself and your style because you want to, not because you feel like you have to be like today’s top influencers. Build your style from the ground up, dig deep, and don’t settle until your happy with what you’ve produced/become.

Please tell us about your business.
I am trained in graphic design and illustration. I am currently working towards sharing my illustrations in an online store. My work is colorful, refined, and always has a underlining (sometimes unintentional) nostalgic aesthetic. I am mostly inspired by interior decoration and design, editorial design, and mid-century pattern and color.

When I think of myself as a designer, my knowledge and use of color theory, design thinking, and familiar subject matter are some skills that I know shine through in all of my designs and illustrations.

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
Be authentically you. If you are trying to fit yourself in a mold or catering to a particular style, work might become a chore and it will be harder to find passion in what you’re doing. But, if you develop a personal style or way of working that you’re comfortable and happy with, clients will take notice and work will become easier. Originality builds personality!

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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