Visually Marketplace Designer Spotlight: Kiki Karpus

Visually
Written 1 year ago
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Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]visual.ly.

Name: Kathleen Karpus, but everyone knows me as Kiki
Age: 31
On Visually: kikikarpus
In design: 8 years

 
 
 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?

I went to Michigan State University for Advertising. Also worked on a minor in Fine Art. I took a few design classes there. My “portfolio” was worthless so I went to the Creative Circus in Atlanta, GA, and was trained as an Art Director. I worked in Atlanta and NYC. Then moved up to Traverse City, MI for a year to be with my fiancé. We then packed our life up and have been on the road for the past 2.5 years. She is a travel RN, so we go where there is a need for cardiothoracic nurses. Being freelance is also great for being mobile, as long as I have decent internet. So far we have lived in California, Arizona, Washington, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and currently Dallas, Texas. I’m hoping to get to all 50 states. Currently we have been to 31 states. Since I have been freelance (4.5 years) the majority of my work has been design more than art direction. I kind of fell into infographic design/data visualization. A friend whom I went on a college study abroad with to Italy worked at GOOD Magazine, so I told her that I’d love to try and design for them. She passed my portfolio along and they had a last minute need so I jumped right in. That was two years ago.

2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.

Minimalistic simplicity.

3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?

Probably Jessica Hische and Erik Marinovich – I love their custom lettering and would really like to learn how to do that better. Whenever I attempt it, I always think that my designs just look like my own handwriting.

4. What’s your favorite color? Why?

Blue, it reminds me of the ocean.

5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?

Early in my career I would never toot my own horn about my work. I was always very modest and reserved if something was my idea or design. I learned that if you don’t speak up, no one knows what you did and what you are worth. It’s ok to go out there and toot your own horn. But just don’t be mean or hurtful. No one wants to work with a turd.

6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.

In the past two to three months I’ve worked with some pretty big name clients. Unfortunately for me though, I cannot toot my horn about the work because of many non-disclosure agreements.

7. Who should we feature in this space next?

Ilias Sounas – I like his work.


I should explain that because we move so often, I never have a typical workspace. But here is a picture of my current workspace a week ago when I was stamping my new business cards.