Hi Andrea! Please tell us a bit about you and your story.
Hello lovelies! First—it’s a joy to contribute to this community of women, and it’s my hope that these words might bring encouragement + inspiration.
My husband and I moved to beautiful Denver just one year ago—and I began the process of applying for full-time graphic design positions. If I’m honest, it was a season of anxiety, yet also excitement. We didn’t know a soul in this new city and, I still hadn’t heard from any of the jobs I applied for.
So I did something out of the ordinary for me—I embraced the fear. I started to reach out to local creatives via Instagram + email, just to grab coffee and (hopefully) make a new connection. And goodness, little did I know that those handfuls of coffee dates would give me freelance design work, and eventually turn into a full-time freelance design studio months later. I’m simply grateful for those women who generously gave of their time and advice in the early stages of my freelance career.
How did you become a designer and creative? Was there a specific moment when you decided this was what you were going to do?
I seemed to always have a creative spirit growing up, but I remember I wanted to be an oceanographer or a teacher or a physical therapist or even a librarian—but didn’t really consider the option of an artistic + creative career. I had a humble introduction to the world of graphic design—I took a career decision making class at the community college in my small hometown—and that’s when decided to go for it!
As women, I think there’s a lot of topics we’re afraid to talk about. What is something that has been on your heart recently?
I’ve been striving embrace who I am as a creative today, and be okay with the “not yet.” Creative growth, skill, and wisdom come over time—and while I’m chasing that, I want to enjoy where I’m at creatively right now. I think once we embrace that—the comparison fades. We can start to genuinely celebrate and support our fellow creative friends and colleagues, because we recognize that we’re each on unique creative journeys.
The online world can be a noisy place sometimes. How do you stay authentic and true to who you are?
I’ve realized that boundaries are so necessary and definitely not easy! I’m working on establishing a work rhythm of only being on social media briefly in the morning and at the end of the day, that way my day is focused on work, and the evening is focused on rest.
To stay true to who I am—I always love asking myself this question: “I come alive when ____.” It keeps me grounded and reminds me of my purpose and broader goals.
What’s the best life advice you’ve ever received from someone else?
I’ve gathered quite the collection of advice from mentors, friends, fellow creatives, so it’s hard to pick just one! But one general idea has been guiding a lot of my work lately. It’s the idea of just putting your unfinished, in-process work out there—just starting somewhere, and then giving it space to grow. This advice was given in regards to my website, but I think it can easily apply to multiple pursuits—your career, relationships, and wellness. “Be patient love, and let it grow.”
Can you share your own nugget of wisdom with our readers?
Be okay with the wait, with the “not yet” seasons, with growing pains—you have your whole life to become. I’m really embracing this idea—that creativity is a lifelong pursuit and never really an arrival.
What’s next for you in your journey? How can we support you, and where can we find you online?
I am continuing to pursue the freelance life, with a focus on empowering small businesses through branding + design. A few new collaborations and adventures are in the works— you can follow my creative journey on instagram at @a.crouse and explore the studio projects at andreacrouse.design.
Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Andrea. One last question before we leave, what does being a wholehearted woman mean to you?
To me, being a wholehearted woman means loving and serving others well, while maintaining healthy life + work rhythms. Nothing extreme, no hustle hard mentality, but a steady pursuit of creative goals & dreams.
It’s truly an honor to contribute, thank you again! xoxo
Rapid fire q’s:
- A woman who inspires me: Honestly, I’d have to say my lovely clients! Most of my clients are women, and I truly find so much joy in partnering with them in reaching their creative dreams.
- Favorite place to hang out online: Instagram!
- Best book I ever read: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon (one of my favorites!)
- My core values: My word for 2017: humble courage. | humility + boldness + joy