Designer Success: How They Do It

by Brian Tippetts


Jennifer McGuire, designer for Hero Arts, CK Contributing Writer, and former CK Hall of Fame winner

Jennifer McGuire


Q What path led you to become a designer?

A I was working as a mechanical engineer and wasn't very happy. So I started volunteering at my church with the senior-high youth group. After a mission trip, I created a scrapbook to record the memories. I was hooked! My scrapbooking hobby was so fulfilling, and I decided to go out on a limb and try it as a career.



Q Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

A I find a lot of my inspiration looking through travel magazines. The ads in these magazines are designed very well, focus on a photo and have great titles. I highly recommend checking them out!


Q Do you have a go-to color palette?

A kraft + parakeet yellow + teal. It seems to work with everything!


Q What design principle do you use as a "go-to" method?

A I like to block my photos and papers together. By giving the layout an organized look, it seems that the focus stays on the photo.


Q Do you follow a specific design process when you create? If so, what can you share about your process?

A I always start with a sketch. I don't always stick with it, but it gives me a good start. I then pick my photos and papers. I totally design around the photos and try not to overembellish. If I'm unsure of how a design is coming together, I put the layout on the floor and stand up to get a good look at it-it always seems to help me.


Q What are some of the artistic hobbies/talents you had before becoming a professional designer?

A I always loved cross-stitch. It was something to keep my hands busy while I rested. I also dabbled in other crafts.


Q Do you continue doing any of those hobbies now?

A Not much. I find my big hobby now is card making.


Q How do you get out of a "rut" when trying to design?

A When in a rut, I used to take a nap. But with a two year old, that isn't possible! Now I turn to my book of sketches to get me going. It always seems to do the trick.


Q What is your favorite color?

A That is tough. I love to decorate in red, but I wear teal. The color I seem to reach for the most with scrapbooking is kraft.


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