artist + graphic designer
I started MALWEST in 2014 with a need to break away. I’d been working for an advertising agency, and although the job was great for professional development, the work itself didn’t lend much to the creativity and challenges I desired. Perhaps it was the complacency driven anxiety or the daily grind in a dimly lit office that finally motivated me to leave that job and take the road less traveled. I politely quit the agency and put my own values first: sketchbook before computer / without limitations / express and create!
At the time, my husband was in-and-out a lot flying for the Navy. It was just me, my little fur baby, and plenty of time to deliberate the next step. Like most designers taking that entrepreneurship leap of faith, I started with some freelancing. While I certainly enjoyed the creative design work and fulfilling client interactions, I sought to create something more tangible along with the digital products I was making at the time. The Ultimate Goal? Combine a studio art background and education in graphic design to generate a line of artfully designed goods and provide custom services for those who have a vision for something wonderful and need a detailed professional to make it happen.
With a way ahead and a big move back to our hometown of Pensacola, MALWEST was ready to launch the first product line. The City of Five Flags made a marvelous backdrop for MALWEST, greatly influencing the watercolor designs and aesthetic I love so much. Our time was well spent walking the old path near our home that stretches along the bayou, boating on the oak-lined waters of Pensacola Bay, or sinking our feet into the powdered-sugar sands of the Gulf. Honestly, it was just so wonderful to be home and feel inspired by the physical world around me. Plus, I was so excited to share all this new work! It was about this time when I had the great pleasure of working on a large watercolor design project with one of my dream clients (love you Sam! xoxo), which transformed this whole endeavor from mostly stationery to the full lifestyle product line you see today.
Much has changed since beginning MALWEST. Some parts have grown while others diminished. That ‘plenty of time’ I mentioned earlier is but a sad, distant memory — enter the busy life of a Mompreneur! These days, my office often shifts from the upstairs workstation, to the dinner table cluttered with art supplies and piles of sketches, and inevitably to a laptop in the bed paired with two ultra cute toddlers climbing all over me and pressing buttons on the keyboard *sigh* One thing that’s always remained though is my passion for creative, inspiring art and sharing that with our community in a meaningful and practical way.
Thank you for reading my story! Now I’d love to hear yours! Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether it’s just a friendly hello, or you have something specific in mind you would like to create together, I’m here for you! I love hearing your stories and cherish the time with new and old friends. I believe illustration and art can represent who we are and what we value as human beings. Help me represent you!