Shelby Sapusek [shelmke]
How and why did you begin to be creative?
I grew up in the journalism industry and graphic design became important in the late 90s. I started challenging myself to think visually ... to visually tell stories that maybe would have taken 900 words to explain.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into formula? How do you stay fresh?
If I see myself falling into a pattern, I take time out to clear my head. I take my dog for a walk or put on some music. I read blog posts for inspiration.
It is possible to fall in love with a bad idea simply because it is yours. How do you avoid this?
Yes, that's happened to me several times. However, creativity is subjective and has to speak to everyone. If someone doesn't get it, then it's not the best idea. Most of the time, it isn't a complete rework that's needed. I try to stay open to constructive criticism and try to see the work as a viewer instead of the creator.
Must someone be the leader or boss in order for a creative team to function well?
I think partnerships work better in creative teams but at the same time you need someone to pull the trigger and make sure projects meet deadlines.
What criteria do you use when selecting someone to be a part of your creative team?
I look for people who complement me but also challenge me. I don't want someone on my team who thinks exactly like I do. Not much creativity will come from that scenario.
Do you work well under pressure?
I'm used to deadline environments and do some of my best work in fewer hours. Sometimes overthinking a project can lead you down a bad road. So bring on the pressure!
What is your specialty?
Graphic design, website design, branding, marketing materials
What made you interested in design?
I wanted to be a reporter at a newspaper. In college I was majoring in journalism and minoring in art. My journalism adviser asked to see my art portfolio one day and convinced me to specialize in graphic design. It proved to be a great combination of interests for me.
What has been your professional career path?
I have 17 years of experience at 7 different newspapers in the U.S. In early 2011, I left the industry to ultimately co-found SheHeMedia.com, which specializes in social media engagement strategies to grow business. Under this umbrella, I design websites and even speak on social media topics.
Have you received any awards for your work in the field of design?
To name a few: Eagle Award from American City Business Journals for best overall redesign of a publication, first place award from the Milwaukee Press Club for best business news series, first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for best infographics, national award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for a special section on underage drinking
How would you define your design style?
Visual storytelling. I design with the content in mind.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
Mobile site design. And it looks like I'm going to be moving in that direction sooner rather than later.
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
Concept always comes first. The rest builds around the information you are trying to share.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
Design cliches. I like original ideas and not the same one over and over again.
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
Adobe Creative Suite
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I have no idea what I first read. I know I started reading very early. I think my writing began with my first journal when I was 12 or 13. But I don't think anyone started reading me until I was a reporter for my high school newspaper.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
Lately, I write about social media and strategies to use it for your business. You can view many examples at http://SheHeMedia.com.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I talk through ideas and an editorial calendar with my business partner. We currently do content creation on three different blogs so it's important to stay organized.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA