Paulette Rich Long [prlart]
What is your specialty?
I specialize in children's illustration and graphic design. I also work in other areas of graphic design such as logos, textile design, and product design.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
I started drawing as a kid with my twin sister. It kept us busy and quiet! We didn't have a lot as kids so I made things and imagined things I wanted.
I look at things around me and rearrange, redesign, or simply take them in as a visual memory. That's just the way my brain works! I'm a strong right brained (creative) and left brained (analytical) person. That makes graphic design a good fit for me.
What has been your professional career path?
It's been a journey! It has taken me to unexpected places. I started out at 19 as an apparel design graduate from FIT. I'm now an illustrator/graphic designer. I started out as an artist who worked in traditional media. Most of my work is now created on the computer. I found being open to opportunties, willing to learn and do new things has been the best help on my journey. It's good to have a goal and vision but you have to be flexible.
What is your motivation? What makes you get up in the mornings?
Love, responsibility gets me up in the morning. I love my family, my friends, my work. I am responsible for taking care of them all. There are days that I feel like pulling the covers over my head but I know I have to keep going for them.
How would you define your design style?
Whimsical. Especially with the kids stuff. I can shift gears and deisgn in a clean graphic way when I design for logos or corporate clients.
How do you promote and move your work?
I have a website, I belong to a networking group of artists and writers, I link up with free websites that list or show my work. I build relationships with all my clients. I genuinely care about them. Good relationships is the best way to promote yourself.
Network, network, network!
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
I'd like to do more children's book illustrations.
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
I start with the concept. First I work with my client and try to get into their head. When you are designing for a company you have to understand the purpose for what you're doing.
What is your favourite type of customer?
My favorite customer is someone with vision themselves. Especially someone I can jam with. Like a collaboration of musicians. I like the sharing of ideas, the give and take.
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
I beleive the newer generations can bring a different prospective to the table. That can be refreshing and good. They can learn from us, we can learn from them.
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
Someone who treats talent like we're a dime a dozen. I am always willing to negotiate price but some potential clients devalue you.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
Not easy to do. You have to know your market. Every market has a different budget. I try to guesstimate my time. I keep time sheets on everything I do.
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
I use mostly Adobe Illustrator. I was a Freehand Freak but that was ophaned by Adobe recently. I also work in Photoshop. I love to learn new graphics programs and one day hope to work in InDesign.
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
When I illustrate a book it's like acting. You have to create unique personalities that fit the characters. When I do graphic design I have to create a design that fits the client's needs. I bring my talents and knowledge but often the ego gets checked at the door. There are times when the project and me are in synch. That's when I get to reflect my personna in my work.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
I'd be a psychologist. Some of my colleagues call me the fashion psychologist! I have helped a few of my colleagues through unhappy working situations especially those that work in the apparel industry.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
In this economy something that pays well and consistently, thats fun to do, and with creative people to work with. However, if I was really dreaming I'd love to illustrate a wonderful fun top selling children's book!
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
I hope so! I hope I'm still doing creative work and growing and learning.
Paulette Rich Long