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Make & Matter

Design firm

Location: Austin, Texas.

Duration: Since 2011.

Staff: Just me, Trina Bentley.

Education: I graduated with a BFA from Ball State University in Indiana, but my Texas roots took me to Austin.

Influences: I can find inspiration in just about anything, and I’m constantly studying different techniques I see on a daily basis. I don’t have to like something to be inspired by the way it is done—and to reinterpret techniques in my own work.

Big break: Simply getting a design job was my first big break—I found it frustrating to get my foot in that door. More recently, it was landing my first packaging gig, which has defined my current design focus.

Work environment: The bottom level of our house. I have loads of natural light, a view of Lake Travis and a sliding door that stays open most the time. I normally have a dog at my feet and music playing.

Technique: A mix of hard work and happy accidents, I'd say. I’m designing at my best when I tap into my gut and trust my eye. I fully commit to my creative time (no phone calls, no e-mail, etc.) within a fairly regimented work schedule. I’m constantly setting deadlines and creating urgency for myself; I need that.

Philosophy: Design should be simple and strategic, yet feel human and strive to truly connect.