12 Questions: Meet Tiffany Reed (USA)

In our 12 Questions blog series, we feature interviews with someone from the crowdSPRING community. For these interviews, we pick people who add value to our community – in the blog, in the forums, in the projects. Plainly – activities that make crowdSPRING a better community. Be professional, treat others with respect, help us build something very special, and we’ll take notice.

We’re very proud to feature Tiffany Reed (crowdSPRING username: iamtiff) today. Tiffany lives and works in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

Hello, party people! My name is Tiffany Reed, but you can just call me Tiff (as you can see from my username). Getting a chance to answer CrowdSpring’s “12 Questions” is so exciting!

I’m a 25 year old starving artist turned graphic designer, turned web designer. Whew! I wonder what I’m going to morph into next! I’m a Navy brat that was born in Japan and has lived in various places along the East Coast. I now live and work in a small cave in Norfolk, Virginia and I’m hopelessly addicted to reality tv (fist pump!).

2. How did you become interested in design?

After getting BFA in Drawing & Design, I needed to make a living and, well, selling my artwork wasn’t working too well. So after a failed t-shirt business, I decided to give graphic design a try which I had really been doing all along, and began making logos for my church, friends and family. Those projects led to other projects through word of mouth. I started studying as much as I could along the way and became very passionate about the industry and community. Then I stumbled upon crowdSPRING one day while searching for design competitions, and the rest is history.

3. Which of your designs are your favorites and why?

Hmmm… I’m emotionally attached to a lot of my designs so it’s hard to choose favorites. But, if you had said, “Tell me your favorite designs and I give you this delicious cupcake…” I would have to choose the Venture22 logo design for its simplicity, the Foody Two Shoes logo for the fun I had creating it, and the Silverhooks website design because it was also fun and the buyer is a loyal client to this day.

4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?

My peers are the biggest influence, I have to say, on my work. Especially the community here on crowdSPRING. There are a handful of creatives who seem to up the ante and successfully complete awesome designs regularly that make the rest of us work even harder to improve our design skills. I also pull inspiration from other disciplines like interior design and music. I sit back and listen and then try to translate these other forms of creativity into what I do. I love it!

5. How do you come up with ideas for concepts after you read a buyer’s creative brief?

Well, when a creative brief is four sentences long it can be tough to get any ideas. But thank goodness most briefs aren’t that, well, brief. After reading them I usually print them out, take a few notes, and start sketching out my ideas. This is also a way for me to get away from the computer for a bit. If I can’t really think of a certain part of the design or any of it at all I’ll go for a drive and blast some music. I get some wind in my hair and usually get some great ideas. Although, I wonder if designing while driving is as dangerous as texting. Oops!

6.Mac or PC?

I’m a Mac trapped in a PC’s body! I have most Adobe CS products and PC-equivalent software that you can find on a Mac, but alas, I work on a HP Laptop that my parents gave as a present a few years ago. Sorry Mom! I just really want a Mac. By the way, if anyone has an iMac that they don’t want I’ll be glad to take it off your hands in exchange for a dozen cupcakes. Nom nom:)

7. What is your dream design project?

I never really thought of a dream project. My dream has always been to to be able to make a good living and be able to support my family while in a career that I love. I’m living that now!

8. How do you promote your work?

I meet with my Marketing/PR team every week to discuss our goals and throw around promotion ideas. SIKE!! I actually leave my business cards in random places around town, tweet about recently done work on occasion, and have my Mom mention to everyone she meets about my site iamtiff.com… I repeat, iamtiff.com. So, most of the work I get is by word of mouth, but if I could afford a PR team, it would be on like Donkey Kong!!

9. Please describe your typical work day.

Schedules…schmedules! I go with the flow. Ok, not really. If I don’t have some sort of order I’ll go nuts. I usually wake up at 6am, but don’t actually get up until around 6:30am. I work from home, however I’m also a single mom and the Princess has to be at that bus stop on time. When she’s at school I make my pilgrimage to the Holy Starbucks for a latte. After that I go home to check emails and browse my Google Reader until around 10am when I’m ready to rock. Before then I’m pretty much useless because I am NOT a morning person, I just pretend to be. My tasks vary from day-to-day but after the Princess gets home I go into Mom-mode and when she goes to bed I’m up and working my tail off. It’s hard but it’ll be worth it when I have my summer home in Italy. Woot!

10. You seem to be experienced in many types of design – which is your favorite?

I’d have to say that web design is my favorite type of design I do. Although I have experience in almost all forms of design, I do get more gratification out the challenging and ever-evolving nature of designing for the interwebs:)

11. If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be traveling with various carnivals ( I love carnie food), or fixing watches which I was really good at for a few years, or teaching Art as a Professor… Professor Reed sounds awesome!! To be honest I really don’t know what I’d be doing, although the professor thing might be something I could do in the future.

12. What do you do with your free time?
Que? What’s that?? I kid, I kid. Because I love designing so much, I don’t really notice how little free time I actually have (until I answer questions like this). In the free time I do carve out for myself, I like to bake, watch Spongebob with the Princess, play UNO (another addiction), and attempt to finish a REAL book.

If I still have your attention, thank you for reading and happy designing! Over and Out!


Thanks, Tiffany!