Cool Job Alert: Our Print Designer Dishes on How She Puts Her Passion to Work
Do you have a passion for fashion? Have you been dying to break into the industry, but aren’t exactly sure what your options are? Then get excited… Have we got the new feature for you! Each month, we’ll sit down with someone from our Corporate HQ/Design Studio in Los Angeles to give you the dirt on everything you’d want to know about their job + how to break into a similar opportunity yourself. This month, one of our incredibly talented print designers gives you a glimpse at her personal illustrations and shares what it’s like to put her passion to work.
TITLE: Associate Designer for Prints
STYLUST: Describe your illustration style.
AASHA: Fashion inspired, figurative, loose brushstrokes… I have experimented with different media over the years, but by far my favorite is ink painting. I love the bold, fluid lines it creates. So elegant. (Note: The above black and white illustrations with pops of red were made for our bebeBLACK runway lookbook, which you can see now on bebe.com)
STYLUST: Where do you get your inspiration?
AASHA: As far as illustration techniques, I love roaming through art galleries. I’m so inspired by the painting of others—to see how colors and spatial relationships are interpreted in ways I would never have considered. But as far as the human form, nothing is better than a good fashion magazine, particularly those with more artistic and expressive photography like W.
STYLUST: How does this talent cross over or influence your day job?
AASHA: Before starting any print job, I can draw and design it on paper first. I have always believed working this way is the best—the computer should just be an extension of this initial idea. No program will ever compare to the quality and feel of actual paint.
*Want to see more of Aasha’s art? Click here to check out her website!
STYLUST: Who do you work with on a daily basis?
AASHA: I report directly to our Design Director. Then I work with all of our designers, the fabric department and production regularly.
STYLUST: What is your education background?
AASHA: I went to Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (in Jamaica) for a BFA Illustration/Graphic Design and I obtained my MFA Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design.
STYLUST: How did you get your start in print design?
AASHA: Fine art has always been a great love, and that led me to pursue my undergraduate degree in Illustration and Graphic Design. I dabbled in Advertising for two years after graduating, before deciding to pursue my MFA. Then, I was a capable painter and illustrator, and soon employed by a licensing company where I illustrated greeting cards and stationery products for five years. But my passion was in a very different industry though—I ADORED fashion. I was always drawing tall, thin figures styled in haute couture gowns, and eventually turned that into a freelance career as a fashion illustrator for numerous fashion houses. But I wanted more. To permanently belong to the fashion industry, I moved to Los Angeles and by absolute luck got the first job I applied for—Associate Designer for Prints with bebe.
STYLUST: What exactly do you do now? Describe a typical day.
AASHA: By far the best part of this job is that there is no typical day! No routine, no daily grind. Each day begins with checking email and correspondence with overseas vendors, and from there it can go anywhere from painting original designs, to creating concept boards to researching new trends. Essentially my job touches on anything print related: from sourcing emerging trends and colors, to finding, designing and coloring prints that compliment each season. I provide support to the design team as well, working with the designers to create a union of print and silhouette that our bebe girl will love.
STYLUST: What’s the best part about your job? The worst?
AASHA: One of the best parts about my job is getting to see the end result—it never gets old. To see my hard work hanging in the store or proudly displayed by a young woman on the street…It’s so rewarding. Additionally being a part of such an incredibly gifted, knowledgeable and diverse team of designers makes each day so inspiring. And the worst part of my job? Ugh…the administrative stuff. For every print there is a corresponding paper trail of print codes, emails, legal info, data entry. It is by far the least glamorous aspect of the job…
STYLUST: Do you have any parting advice to share with aspiring designers/artists?
AASHA: The best advice I ever received was, “Do your best and leave the rest.” Focus on what you want, and don’t let anything come in the way of it. It is entirely possible to find your niche or even switch careers…I did! Always be prepared to start at the bottom—no job is too small on the road to getting what you truly want. There are hundreds of people vying for the job you want too, so always think about what you can do to separate yourself from everyone else. Be as resourceful as you can and NEVER take “no” for an answer.
Have any questions for Aasha or requests for future job profiles? Comment below and share away!