Coffee, cats, and cartoons are all staples in Becca Kaiser’s life as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator! Get inspired by Becca’s passion for art & design as she shares what her freelance lifestyle is like, what her main sources of inspiration are, and more.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).
I am a full-time freelancer currently living in downtown San Antonio, Texas. I typically spend the majority of my time working from my humble one-bedroom apartment with my favorite co-workers, my husband (Blake) and our two cats, (Mila and Otis, who stole the show during our photoshoot as you can see).
I also spend time at local coffee shops throughout the week to have more interaction with the outside world. Coffee is always a huge incentive to get out of my introverted, cat-filled bubble, and be social with other freelancers and actual humans.
Where does your inspiration come from and what does your design process look like?
I frequently pull inspiration from anything that creates a sense of play and fun. It can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day reality of being a mostly one-woman show and wearing many hats, so it’s refreshing to regularly step outside of the adulting side of things.
My go-to for inspiration is always cartoons with a unique art style or storyline, so if you’re out there reading this and have a recommendation, please share! Also, if you’re reading this and want recommendations, the last few ‘toons I enjoyed and pulled inspiration from were: Tales of Arcadia & Summer Camp Island.
My design and illustration process is typically analog at the beginning, with some paper and pencil sketches to get ideas flowing. From there I like to re-sketch in Photoshop or Illustrator as I find it’s easier to refine digitally. Usually I like to create my compositions in grayscale, then move onto color tests, and afterward, I will move into a more full development stage.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
Having a routine of waking up at 7:30 am helps tremendously with breaking my night owl tendencies. I start my day with many cups of black coffee, reading my Bible, answering emails, then heading to the gym with my husband. Often, the first portion of my days is spent in meetings, emails, or doing things that help me with workflow and productivity, followed by the more fun part; designing!
How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?
I lived the “9-5” creative agency life for about three years and prefer the flexibility to work on projects I am passionate about in a space that is more suited to my personality. I find the creative process to be much more rewarding when your values match up with that of the clients’. Personally, I think I have benefitted from a strong work ethic that has been bred naturally from my love for design. Design is intertwined tremendously within Blake and I’s lives from our design-centric work (Blake owns a neat tobacco pipe shop that showcases new and old artisan pipe makers). This helps us cultivate a sense of artistry in all that we do.
I constantly feel a need to improve on everything I am doing, but currently, I’m focused on creating a habit of setting better boundaries and more clear expectations within a project. This helps me establish a more transparent design process that showcases how I work.