WV ARTIST ON DISPLAY: ABBEY’S POP-UP DESIGN STUDIO

Get to know Abbey, a designer who specializes in branding, web design, and web development. Currently located in Copenhagen, Denmark, she is from Ronceverte and keeps her roots in the mountains of West Virginia. She works with clients across the globe with her traveling design studio, Wayfarer Design Studio. She loves creating brands that are more than just a logo and help businesses build authentic relationships with their customers through design.

Abbey is coming back to West Virginia this March and April and is hosting a Pop-Up Design Studio for West Virginia businesses. The Pop-Up will offer a unique design experience for West Virginia businesses looking to spruce up their branding, including $200 off the price of Abbey’s standard branding package. Also, when you start a project with Abbey, you’re giving the gift of freedom. 7% of each project is donated to International Justice Mission, a world changing nonprofit that fights for the freedom and protection of victims of modern day slavery. Learn more about Abbey with our Q&A:

1. How do you describe your palette?

My palette consists of a lot of different things. Since I do web and graphic design, a lot of my work is done digitally. But anytime that I can make something with my hands and sneak it into my work, I’m all for it. Brands and websites that have handmade elements in the design just feel more real, you know? So I love doing hand lettering, either with a pencil or a brush pen, and I’ve been trying to do more illustration lately.

2. What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Honestly, a year ago I had zero confidence that I could run a design studio, let alone do it while traveling. I felt like I was way too young to run my own business, as if there’s a certain age when you’re automatically ready. None of this was part of my plan and that was hard to accept at first. I was really scared of failing, I still am sometimes. But I had to learn to trust myself, trust my work, recognize the value in what I do, and just put myself out there. All of this – starting my business, moving abroad – it’s all something I never thought I was capable of and that’s why it’s a huge accomplishment for me because I sort of had to overcome my fear of myself.

3. What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?

Being a creative and working while traveling is amazing, but it can also be very challenging. Especially with finding a good workspace where I can create freely. This past year, we’ve moved around quite a bit and lived in someone else’s home or apartment most of the time. In some places, I’ve had a little desk or somewhere that I can claim as a workspace, but in others the couch or kitchen table ends up being my “desk”. That can throw my work/life balance out of whack because I’m watching Netflix or eating dinner in the exact same place I’m doing work for clients. It can be hard to draw a line between work time and free time. But going to work at coffee shops has definitely helped with that.

4. How do you find your inspiration?

All of these places we’ve traveled, being immersed in new parts of the world has been a huge source of inspiration for me. In Australia, we were surrounded by rainforest, wildlife, and some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Now we’re in Copenhagen, which is full of history, gorgeous architecture and Scandinavian design that I love so much. Being able to see these different parts of the world and learn about their cultures has definitely been great for my creative process and I can see how each new place we’ve lived has inspired and came through in my work.

5. What advice do you have for other artists?

There’s a great podcast with the author Elizabeth Gilbert and in one episode she talks about creatives having an idea but being hesitant to see it through from fear of failure or nobody liking it, etc. She goes on to explain that this thing, this deep urge inside of us to create, this idea that keeps us up at night, this dream that we’re chasing – it’s chasing us! “This thing wants to be made just as much as you wanna make it.” That resonated so much with me when I was starting my studio and I feel like every creative needs that reminder. Whatever you’re wanting to make, you have that urge for a reason, it’s meant to be made by you. Don’t underestimate yourself. Play. Experiment. Make something you’re proud of. If you’re creating something that’s genuine and meaningful, there’s someone out there who will connect with it and appreciate it.

For more information, you can visit the website pop-up.wayfarerdesignstudio.com or email Abbey at hello@wayfarerdesignstudio.com.

– HashtagWV #87. March 2017.

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