Dribbble Interview: Designer Maya Ealey on getting inspired by other creatives

San Francisco-based designer and illustrator Maya Ealey believes the best way to get inspired is by talking to and building community with other creative people. Maya also shares when she feels most productive, how she gets her best work done, and what design means to her. More in our latest Timeout video.

Where do you find inspiration?

Hi, I’m Maya and I am a designer and illustrator here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m an all-around creative person and I find a lot of inspiration in different areas, whether that’s film, music, or dance. Of course, I follow a lot of illustrators and designers online. I think that’s a great way of getting a diverse and broad spectrum of different artists out there. But honestly, one of the best things I think is just talking to creatives. And whether you’re talking to them online, through Dribbble or through Slack or any kind of the various ways that we communicate with people. Just talking and chatting with them and who they’re inspired by, who they admire, and who they look to for inspiration gives me, again more diversity in all of the things I like.

When are you most productive?

As much as I hate to admit it I’m most productive in the mornings although I do work a lot at night, as well. All I need is some good food, good tunes, tea or coffee, and I’m pretty much good to go.

  1. Surfing Or Waterever fun relax character laptop wave surf friday work asana
  2. Creating a Design System shape design systems visual metaphor illustration conceptual system isometric design asana
  3. Asana on Medium product brand space teamwork character blog medium team design asana

How would you describe your work?

Throughout my career, I’ve worked in-house as a designer and that can mean a lot of different things. But to me, basically what that means is that working on telling a brand’s story and how that translates in communicating to that audience. I touch a lot of work that spans across marketing and that could be, you know—landing pages to a campaign to an event. All that pretty much boils down to is telling that brand’s story.

What is your typical day like?

Since I work at Asana, which is an amazing project management tool. I’m able to look at the different tasks that I have and projects. And it’s kind of just going through that list and seeing what I’m going to be working on and kind of structuring my day from there. It helps when I can see what’s on my list and pretty much figure out if I need to do some brainstorming or research or concepting, sketching, or just diving in on whatever project I’m trying to finish up.

Design to me, it is understanding seeing a problem and figuring out a solution to that problem, presenting it in the most clear, concise, and beautiful way.

What does design mean to you?

Design to me, it is understanding seeing a problem and figuring out a solution to that problem, presenting it in the most clear, concise, and beautiful way.

What impact has Dribbble had on you?

Dribbble has had a tremendous impact on my career by exposing me to so many amazingly talented designers. It’s given me a ton of role models and it’s funny enough and I feel lucky enough to say that they’re my peers now and even so my really good friends.

Follow Maya on Dribbble, Instagram, and at www.mayaealey.me.

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