Name: Sara Hicks Malone
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Years with Minted: 4
Expertise: Designs with elegance and levity.
Occupation: Designer, art director, Mintie, Mom to two little ones.
How would you describe your style?
Schizophrenic! One side of me is very minimalist – preferring classic touches and a restrained color palette, while the other side prefers bright, bold, and modern designs.
What is your normal workflow or process like?
I usually have too many ideas and not enough time to execute them all. I start by sketching or writing down concepts and then move to a computer. I create an individual file for each viable idea and will often work on several designs at once. I do best working on concepts as I feel moved/inspired, as opposed to seeing one idea through from start to finish.
How many iterations does it take for a design to become final?
Too many to count! As I work through a design, I print out and pin up designs along a wall in my office. I update/reprint them as they progress. When I think they are close to done, I usually ask designer and non-designer friends for feedback. I make any necessary tweaks, and then post the final version with the hope that the Minted community will let me know if something is really off or not working.
Where do you go for design inspiration?
I have a breakfast group that meets on a weekly basis. We are all creatives, but in different fields. We eat muffins and geek out on design…we might discuss a fashion line one of us is obsessed with, an artist whose work we admire, ideas for our businesses, etcetera. I always leave those get-togethers feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. Sara’s breakfast gals.
What are your favorite online design sites and blogs?
I’ve found in the past year I’ve moved away from blogs and more toward Instagram. It gives me the eye candy I’m looking for without the time commitment. I rarely sit down to read blogs, but if I do I tend to go to frolic!, oh happy day, house of lars and of course, Julep! For house inspiration, I like domaine home and remodelista. Sara’s previous, very modern home.
As an independent designer, how do you self-motivate / stay on track?
As a mom, my day revolves around my children’s schedule. I work while they are at school or asleep. I’m a night owl by nature and get a large chunk of work done in the wee hours of the evening. I think having kids helps me to be more accountable for my design time, since there is less of it. Sara with her firstborn working into the wee hours of the night.
As the holidays are around the corner, what’s some advice from a designer’s perspective that you’d give a family for taking their holiday card photo?
If it’s in the budget, I would recommend hiring a professional. For years, I tried convincing myself that I should take it myself- I have a nice camera and felt it was within my capabilities as a creative. Once I let that notion go, it made the Christmas picture taking process a lot more enjoyable for the entire family! Some pictures of Sara’s family by professionals, first one by Brooke Rainey, second two by Leslee Mitchell.
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