"Never stop trying to improve yourself."
Now a designer at the Fossil Group, Inc., Fowler is sharing her secrets to productivity, where she finds inspiration for her quirky creations, and why research is the first thing she does before designing.
DesignRush: What inspired you to become a designer?
Rachel Fowler: My previous boss introduced me to editorial design and how it’s been repurposed for graphic design today. While I will fill any creative role where I work, I’ve come to love those opportunities that allow me to play in After Effects.
DR: It's great that you found your niche! Take us through your creative process.
RF: I am a reserved person, so I really like to take in all the information I can and research the topic as effectively as possible.
My research leads to sketching and then to digital comps, and after lots of tweaking, I get to the finish line.
DR: So, it's quite regimented.
RF: Yes, but another important aspect of my process is getting to speak with the creatives I work with every day. They are able to deliver feedback that elevates my work.
DR: We all know that feedback is so important, too. Is there anywhere you look for daily inspiration?
RF: I find inspiration in taking care of my dogs and crested geckos. They all have such unique personalities that inspire the personality I put into my work. I love goofy types of comic books and TV shows. I really gravitate towards cute and quirky types of media, and it seems to translate into my work.
DR: Are there any designs or projects of your own that you are particularly proud of?
RF: I’ve been working on animations for a smartwatch that will be released soon. I’m proud that I was able to find a team that trusts me to build a character that would fit into their brand.
DR: Ooh, we'll keep an eye out for those animations.
RF: I’m proud of my side hustle that relates to motion design. Not too long ago, I had no idea how to even approach motion design and I get to make work that makes me creatively fulfilled and challenges me.
DR: What designers or brands speak to you professionally?
RF: I love Charlie Harper (I love his simplification of form in animals), Fossil Group (I’ve been in love with their nod to vintage since I was a pre-teen), and Jessica Hische and Aaron Draplin and how open they are in their creative process. My favorite illustrators at the moment are Dan Matutina and Owen Davey.
DR: Let's talk productivity. What items do you always keep on your desk?
RF: Sticky notes! Working in a small creative team is wonderful, but it also means you’ve got a LOT to juggle. Sticky notes help keep stuff straight.
DR: Is there anything that helps you beat designer’s block?
RF: I like to take my dogs for a walk, go to the gym, or watch a few episodes of The Office.
DR: Is there a quote that motivates you in your work?
RF: “Every new thing you make will be (should be) the nicest thing you’ve made so far because you’re learning and getting better with each and every new project.” -- Jessica Hische
DR: Do you have any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone in the industry?
RF: Never stop trying to improve yourself: Creatively, in relationships, and in health.
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