My name is Kara Philipovich and I am currently a student at Western Washington University pursuing a BFA in Design and a minor in Sociology. I am incredibly grateful to have reached this point in my life and be surrounded by such a talented group of designers. I’ve loved creating since I was a toddler, and I plan to continue for as long as I have the privilege to do so. My favorite part of design is discovering how to be an impactful communicator to an audience while simultaneously staying true to my creative expression. This synergy of being effective and creative is what propels my work. I enjoy the variety of steps within the design process from ideating to presenting, and hearing various reactions and critique from others whether they be a designer or not. Being able to cater designs to a specific audience while maintaining my individual spirit as a designer is something that both my internship and Tyro gave further insight into. I hope to create beautiful solutions to problems that will speak to viewers clearly and meaningfully. When I’m not designing, I’m usually spending time with my dog, practicing yoga, or attempting overly ambitious recipes with my roommates.
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TYRO & WILDFORTH CREATIVE
Tyro was our design studio experience during the summer, led by Paula Airth. The name Tyro means “beginner or novice”, giving light to our emerging and fresh nature as designers. Consisting of five BFA students, we each reached out to several local businesses in the Bellingham, Seattle, and Boise areas to acquire various clients.
Kenna and Kerry started Wildforth Creative after working together at a design agency. Together, they form a collaborative team with Kenna’s focus in business and Kerry’s focus in design. Between both of their individual expertise, they go above and beyond their clients’ expectations and create designs that are visually impactful, effective, and tell a valuable story. Through their dedication to their craft, they create quality work that results in the continuation of partnerships with top-tier clients. Much of this work involves full brand strategy, identity creation, and website design for retail, restaurants & hospitality, and professional services. What makes Wildforth Creative distinct is their outward encouragement of women in business, and exemplifying successful women entrepreneurs.
Tyro was a very new and eye-opening experience for me, as I have never taken on a client project from start to finish with this level of control before. One of these projects included illustrations for a Seattle gift shop called Monster. They used these illustrations as templates for their Instagram to announce events and workshops. My other client was Claudette Evans, a Seattle yoga and Sanskrit instructor. My work for Claudette was more extensive–I revamped her website, created Instagram graphics/illustrations, directed a photoshoot at Chambers Bay golf course, and edited those photos. My favorite part was also the most challenging, which was figuring out how to understand the client’s vision. It can be difficult to know exactly what you want as a client, so I enjoyed the process of collaboratively discovering the specific aesthetic that is suitable for the client’s needs. Although each member of Tyro took control of their individual projects, it was helpful to be able to have a team to update and reach out for feedback. I had a balance of independent control and communication with my clients and collaboration with the rest of Tyro throughout the summer. Because of this group, this experience gave me insight into both freelancing and agency dynamics.
My favorite part of the internship was being able to have a hand in multiple types of projects for various clients. I loved getting to know each nuance of Wildforth’s clients and understanding their audience, so that my designs can reflect that. I appreciate that Kenna and Kerry both listened to what my interests in design are and handed me projects that allowed me to put that into practice. I was able to create motion graphics projects for both their internal brand, as well as for clients such as Élastique Athletics. The opportunity to continue motion design reinforced this newly-found interest, and I’m grateful that Kenna and Kerry listened to that and encouraged me to pursue it. This is particularly impactful because I recognize that they prioritized my interest and put that into consideration when assigning projects to me. I also really appreciated the amount of agency I had in these projects. I felt that I had a main role in impactful projects. This aspect of the internship stood out to me because Kenna and Kerry had a level of trust in me to take control as a designer while sharpening my skills.
Thank you Paula, for being such a supportive mentor during this summer experience. I recognize how new and unpredictable the summer plans were, so I’m grateful that you provided a fulfilling experience for us regardless. I appreciate all the times you were willing to take the time to help me over Slack or Zoom if I was having trouble with anything, and for making sure that all of our voices were being heard. You created a very meaningful and informative environment by providing us with firsthand client experience, and bringing on additional mentors who have also been incredibly helpful. From the soft skills of how to communicate with clients about sensitive subjects such as payment and time, to the hard skills of creating invoices and transferring website domains, I have learned so many valuable facets about being a professional designer. Tyro was unlike any experience I’ve had and I’m so glad that I could be a part of it!
Thank you Kenna and Kerry, for the opportunity for me to learn, grow as a designer, and practice design under your mentorship. Despite difficult circumstances of being remote, you have given me insight into working at a design agency. I am so grateful to have the privilege of learning valuable lessons about the professional world from such kind and caring individuals who have created a comfortable work environment. You both have challenged me to keep pushing my designs and ideate until I come up with the best possible solution, and that is something that I will carry with me into my career. I loved seeing how you both collaborate with each other, and how you carry that partnership into mentorship roles. Your risk-taking and commitment to reach excellence has been encouraging for me as a young designer who is preparing for a career. It has been inspiring for me to see women take action and start their own business, so thank you so much for allowing me to contribute to your work!