It brings us to light to chat with creative in other cities. Bay Area resistant, Erin Rose came into our world with her vivid images and expressive pieces of work. With a whole host of experience, we wanted to dig into Erin's world a bit more..
EYES & EDGE: You wear many hats. Can you describe your role as an art director, visual designer and creative strategist?
Erin Rose: It’s an earful, right? It’s definitely hard to put a single title on what I do, but I think the short version is that I am a creative professional. I have spent a lifetime collecting and refining my skills; I’ve spent a lifetime as an artist. I have formally studied painting, photography, design, UX, branding and marketing. I have worked at an art gallery, a magazine, and an ad agency. But, the thing that has remained consistent is that I use creative thinking to solve problems. Sometimes, that means creating the most compelling image or design. Other times, it means helping brands evaluate their digital presence, or launch a new campaign. But, it always means I get to use my greatest passion in life to help people achieve their goals. And that’s pretty amazing.
I spent so much time as a young person saying, “I have good ideas. I wish someone would just pay me for my ideas.” And now they do. Of course, I have to execute them. But turns out, I’m good at that, too.
E&E: What work have you been most proud?Erin: Wow, that is such a tough question!
Hmm… Well about a year ago, I did some quick-turn branding and design for a feminist fund-raising and letter-signing event. The goal was to remove the judge who handled the Stanford rape case from the bench. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but it’s really disgusting to watch the life of a brutal criminal be treated as more valuable than that of his victim because simply he’s a white male. So, I guess that’s a whole other article, but I truly believe in the power of design for good. Being able to use my passion for design to create momentum and inspire action was really affirming.
On the complete other side of the spectrum, I’m really proud of my personal work these days. And by that, I am referring to most of the content you see on my IG. I worked in these fairly structured, just-shy-of-corporate environments for years. And, I started to lose myself. I felt so much pressure to reflect a certain persona in order to be respected. Honestly, it was killing me. Now, as my own boss with my own wonderful clients, I feel free. My clients love who I am, and I serve them well. And if they see me visually exploring weakness, strength, femininity, sexuality, or my perspective, they love that, too.
No one needs to be anyone other than themselves. People will be drawn to you for who you are. You just have to let your freak flag fly and let them find you. The artwork I create for IG is the truest exploration of self I’ve created in all my years as an artist. I love the challenge of creating a visual language rich enough to speak through every day, without ever saying the same thing twice.
E&E: How do you hope to grow your company?
Erin: You are asking all the hard-hitting questions! I still have some decisions to make, and I know that. I began working full-time under the Erin Rose Creative brand one year ago; ten months to be precise. The support of my community has been amazing, and now the support of my clients has me strategizing how to scale.
One of the things I love about my business right now is how accessible I am able to make high-quality creative services to small-to-medium sized businesses. I’ve seen agency work from the inside. The work I deliver is absolutely as smart and as good. For me, scale is not the ultimate goal. And while a business by nature must make a profit, that is not the ultimate goal either. My goal is to make great work, serve my clients well, and love every minute of it. At some point, I’d like to begin working collaboratively again. Maybe that means I’ll build a team. Maybe it means I’ll join one. Right now, I’m putting one foot in front of the other and I’m not saying no to any opportunities. I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be an adventure.
On a side-note, (shameless plug) one of my many side-projects is the creation of illustrated pattern designs. There is a collection launching with my illustrations soon (Cara Bloom x The Fabulous Stains) and now I’m looking for more brands to work with. Let’s get my awesome patterns onto some more clothes!!
E&E: How have you been inspired and encouraged in your field?Erin: I don’t necessarily think that inspiration is something that happens to you. I think it’s something you seek out. It’s everywhere; you just have to be looking for it. To be honest, I think my strongest sources of encouragement and inspiration don’t come from within my field. They come from my friends, my family, my clients. It’s the people who watch me work myself into the ground and then offer a hand to lift me up. It’s the people who are more excited for my success than I am. It’s the people who believe in me when I falter, and stop believing in myself. There’s nothing easy about being an entrepreneur and there’s nothing easy about being an artist. I’m over here trying to do both. I would be nothing without the supportive community around me. And I’m always looking for ways to give that back. So, if you’re reading this and you want to talk shop, need advice, or just want to bend my ear: don’t be shy. I’m happy to help.
EYES & EDGE