I’m Mallary, a multidisciplinary graphic designer based in Portland, Oregon. I love design because it’s made for the physical word even if it’s created on a computer. Whether it’s an album cover, visuals for a touring musician, or a digital image someone sees on their phone, it’s not just being looked at, it’s being experienced. For me, design is a combination of problem solving, hands on artistic skills, modern technology, communication, impeccable details, enough cultural awareness to keep it relevant and enough unique perspective to start some trends as well.
What is one thing you want to learn right now?
Mallary: One thing I want to learn right now is how to really level up my After Effects skills. It's one of those programs that has so much depth to it and so many different ways of working that it can be easy to plateau. When I do super advanced tutorials it always blows me away how little I actually know and how slow I am compared to a lot of professionals. I love motion graphics so it's always fun to figure out what you don't know and make a plan on how you can get better.
What advice would you give your former/younger self?
Mallary: Advice I would give to my younger self (and any young femme/non binary or gender conforming person) would definitely be to not doubt my work ethic and passion and not try to “play it like a man” in order to feel like I've been working hard enough. Working hard looks so different for everyone and I think we are trained to see it as one very specific, kind of detrimental, way of being. You can be really passionate and a total boss about multiple things including your personal life.
One person's chaos is another person's order. Knowing what works for you and how you can effectively communicate it another person is a great skill.”
What is your favorite trick for “keeping it all together?”
Mallary: My favorite trick for keeping it all together is realizing that no one has their shit together in the same way. One person's chaos is another person's order. Knowing what works for you and how you can effectively communicate it another person is a great skill. As far as staying organized and managing my time I have a really strict folder naming system lol and when I first started designing I used timers A LOT. It helps you work fast but it also helps you work under pressure so when real deadlines come up it just feels like another timed exercise.
What are you obsessed with?
Mallary: What am I obsessed with? That tends to change but I love fancy vinyl when I an afford it. Usually the designs and packaging are just a good as the music. It's an expensive obsession though!