Hello, Working Girl: Elaine Stephenson, graphic designer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeet Elaine Stephenson, graphic designer and winner of our recent #TWGinstagirl Instagram contest (check out her winning shot here!). Learn more about the native Atlantan, her day-to-day work routine and her favorite city hangouts below.

Q: How did you land living in Atlanta, and what are your favorite things about living in the city?

A: I've lived in Atlanta my whole life and I love it here. I went to UGA and worked at a small design firm after graduation temporarily until I moved up to Cleveland, Ohio to be with my boyfriend. I lived there for a year and we both just moved back last spring...I was so happy to move back because I do not do well in cold and snow! I'm living in Dunwoody now, but the next time I move I definitely want to get further into downtown. Even though I've lived close to the city my whole life, Atlanta is so big that there are so many great places to discover. There always seems to be some fun event or festival that you could go to every weekend! I really like our growing art and design community as well as the culinary scene.

Q: Tell us a little about your job working in graphic design – did you always grow up knowing that you wanted to work in design?

A:  I honestly didn't know what graphic design really was until I got to college. I thought I knew what it was in high school but I didn't realize just how many different types of jobs you could have with it. I had always loved art and doing crafts and I took a computer design class in high school where I learned Photoshop. I knew that I wanted a career in art, but also a way to make a good living, so design seemed like a good fit! I loved every minute of design school and sometimes wish I could go back and learn more! Right now I'm working full-time as a graphic designer at a small creative ad agency in historic Roswell. I'm one of two designers so it's a very small team which let's us get a lot of hands-on experience. I also freelance some on the side so I can make some extra cash and get to choose different kinds of creative projects that I want to try. I'm currently trying to hone my web design and Wordpress skills so I can be even more versatile as a designer.


Q: What’s your morning routine like before going to work?

A: Well, I'm not really much of a morning person – more of a night owl! I wish I could do more with my mornings, but if I go to bed too late I'll just keep hitting snooze. But once I get up, I shower and dress for the day. My work is very casual, so I wear jeans almost everyday! Instead of coffee or tea, I usually drink warm water with lemon and honey. I try to also do a mini exercise in the morning like some sit ups or a one-minute plank...it really helps you wake up! Then I have breakfast and make my lunch for the day which is usually a salad. Then I put on makeup, make the bed and I'm off to work by 9 a.m.

Q: Your winning shot in our #TWGinstagirl contest was spot-on and truly captured a moment in the day of a Working Girl. What are some of your favorite hashtags and Instagram filters? It seems like everyone has a favorite!

A: Design and food are two of my biggest passions, so I'm usually tagging photos with: #design #food #yum #healthy #atlanta or #cats when I get to go home and play with my family's pets. For filters I really like X-Pro II and Lo-Fi. I like for the color of my Instagrams to be really vibrant!


Q: What are some of your favorite hangouts in Atlanta and things to do on the weekend?

A: When I'm not catching up with my favorite shows on Netflix, I really enjoy trying out different restaurants around Atlanta. One of my favorite areas is Westside Provisions District where I can get tacos at Taqueria del Sol and then dessert at Jeni's Ice Creams. Tin Lizzy's is also maybe one of my favorite places to go with friends for margaritas! Now that it's getting warmer I'd like to get outside and visit the parks around Atlanta and ride bikes on the BeltLine. I'm also excited for baseball season to start up again so my boyfriend and I can go to some Braves games!

Q: If you could pick, what is one of your favorite pieces that you’ve designed recently? A: I recently did some branding for a craft beer and growler shop in Woodstock, GA called Barrel & Barley. I created a logo for them as well as some social media designs. That was a really fun freelance project for me...I always love to see my work come to life in the real world and I have a growler with the logo I designed on it!



Keep up with Elaine on Twitter, @elaine88designs, Facebook and Instagram, and check out her own blog here!