Name: Tami Bohn
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Years with Minted: Four
Expertise: Retro / Modern. A couple of colors, a graphic element and a bold font.
Occupation: Full-time studio designer at an ad agency, Mintie, Mother to two.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I always have loved drawing. As a child, I would spend hours coloring, painting or drawing. One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year I received the huge Crayola art set. I still get excited when I open a box of crayons for my kids, there’s just something about new crayons that makes me happy. I went to college (Indiana Wesleyan University) with the goal of becoming a children’s book illustrator. I wanted to specialize in pop-up books – the idea of that makes me laugh now. I ended up graduating with a major in graphic design. I never did figure out how to make a pop-up book. I wonder if they offer a graduate program.
What is your normal workflow or process like?
I like to have lots of projects going on at once. If I hit a wall with one project, I can take a break and work on something else. Until I hit a wall with that one and have to move on to another. And so on…
What are the easiest and the most difficult aspects of the design process?
For me, there really isn’t anything easy about designing. I struggle with self doubt all the time. The only time it’s easy is when I know exactly what I want to achieve. But that only happens 5% of the time. The hardest for me is feeling like I am good enough to pull off an idea of something I want to do. I have twice as many designs that I don’t submit to Minted because I am afraid they aren’t good enough.
How did you hear about minted?
From my good friend, and old coworker, Paige Rothaar (or Cadence Paige Design). I am a studio designer and sometimes my work doesn’t require a lot of creativity. Paige told me about Minted, and how it was a place where you can be as creative as you want and you could get feedback from other designers. I signed up in March 2010, but I didn’t enter my first design until February 2012, because I was too afraid I wasn’t good enough.
Tell me about one of your designs for sale on Minted and how it came together.
For one of the wall art challenges I wanted to create a retro looking movie poster. My favorite TV show is Mad Men, so I decided to base it off of the episode where one of the characters sings Zou Bisou Bisou. I submitted it and it won, not first place, but it was in the top 20! It also ended up being in issues of Glamor and Marie Claire. I was so excited about how well it was doing. The best part was when the creator of the show bought a print for the character that was my inspiration! But, unfortunately the lawyers from Mad Men contacted Minted and let them know that we were no longer allowed to sell it because of copyright issues. Which was a huge bummer, but such a learning experience.
How do you balance all the different parts of your life and work?
I work a full-time job as a studio designer at an advertising agency. I am also a mom to two little boys, one is 5 and one is 2. When I am at work, I work. I don’t spend time socializing or procrastinating. I don’t even think my coworkers know that I work there. I want to be able to go home every night and be a mom. And when I am home, I turn off the computer and spend time with my boys. Once they are in bed, I may work on some ideas for designs, but usually I am too tired to move and I just want to eat a bowl of ice cream (or two).
What is a typical day like for you?
My 5 year old doesn’t sleep in, so I am up by 6:00 making breakfast, doing dishes, folding laundry, getting the boys dressed and cleaned up and then I get ready for work. Then I head into the office and I work from 8:30 to 4:30. I usually am working on several different projects throughout the day so it goes really fast. And then I head home to make dinner, do dishes, do laundry, and get the boys bathed and ready for bed. Then I eat ice cream.
Do you have any fun decorating tips you can share with us?
I like to mix and match art and make collages out of them. I really love using pieces that mean something to me, like cross-stitching pieces my Mamaw made, or a painting from my sister, or something that I created. I like to find pieces that no one else would have. I also love turning my kid’s art into decorations too. I hang empty frames on my walls and fill them up with special pieces that my son brings home from school. It makes him feel so special to see his stuff on display too.
Where do you go for design inspiration?
I look through magazines and tear out anything that catches my eye. A photo, a pattern, a layout. I keep them all. If I ever get stuck for an idea or need some inspiration I go through my stack.
Favorite font right now?
Bebas Neue. It’s so simple, and bold, and tall. 🙂
What advice would you give a new designer?
Take risks and don’t be afraid to make LOTS of mistakes. It’s the only way you learn.
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