Noonday Design is a brilliant and colorful graphic artist. Lollipops, pandas and encouraging quotes fill this artist’s profile engulfing her audience in a feeling of summertime fun and childhood joy. See what she has to say:
Describe your style in 5 words or less!
Whimsical, fun and eclectic
What is your creative process like?
I am always thinking of new ideas. I have a small notebook where I keep these ideas so I don’t forget them as I’m working on other concepts. I think currently I have at least 100 ideas I want to work on – no pressure!
I generally work details of concepts and how to execute them out in my head (normally when I should be sleeping) and then go to work in Illustrator and Photoshop. I spend most of my time thinking about and working out new designs and concepts when I’m not actually designing. Sometimes I will also sketch out ideas, especially if they are more complex. I generally form an idea in my head of what I want something to look like and follow that pretty closely when I start laying it out.
Do you always work from the same a spot- a studio, a particular desk, etc.- or do you move around?
I recently acquired an amazing large solid maple wood corner desk for my home office that has tons of storage and space for all my equipment, including my printers, Silhouette Cameo, supplies, etc. I’m in love with my office! This is where I do the majority of my work, although in the past few weeks I have had to move in with my mother-in-law to be her primary caregiver while she is on hospice care for Stage 4 lung cancer.
How has your style changed over the years?
This is tough! I think I have stayed pretty true to the same sense of style over the years, although my skills have definitely improved and I am continually seeking to improve the quality of my work as I go forward. I started out as a self-taught graphic designer over 18 years ago and have worked for small non-profits and large international corporations and a lot in between. In the past few years I have gone freelance and while I have enjoyed that work, I have found myself desiring more and more to design my OWN concepts and ideas, instead of what others have wanted. In 2014 I started doing just that and the majority of the designs I do now are my own. I think this past year has brought a greater awareness of my own personal style and this has been very liberating (and fun) to me!
Tell us about the colors you use- how do you choose them, what inspires them?
My whole life I have gravitated to all shades of blue and I use blue a lot in the work I do. Blue is very calming and grounding to me. I also collect images of color palettes I like, especially on Pinterest. I seem to go more towards pastels and brights as opposed to dark shades, although I will choose my palette based on the theme of the piece I’m designing and use the colors that seem the most suited to that piece. I also like to use the Pantone books to put colors together for designs.
Did you always know that you wanted to design for kids and families?
I honestly don’t believe I have ever set out to design specifically just for kids and families, although there are a lot of my designs that fit into that category. I keep an eye out on trends on sites like Pinterest, Wanelo and Keep to get inspiration and I really love cute and fun illustrations. I have two teenage stepdaughters and their tastes also inspire some of my ideas. Nature is also a big inspiration to me, and I think many of my nature inspired designs work well for kids and families.
Do you think art is important for kids? Why?
Art is definitely important for kids! I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon and many times doing art is what has held me together through the years. Art inspires the imagination, gives pictures to words, and opens us up to new ideas and concepts visually that otherwise we may not be able to grasp, and enables us to express ourselves in ways that cannot always be expressed in any other way.
Tell us about your favorite one of your designs on the site: Which one is it? Why? What inspired it?
I think right now my Hope Anchors the Soul piece is my favorite.
I absolutely love the ocean theme, the colors, the textures…and the words (a paraphrase of Hebrews 6:19) really speak to me. To me the piece makes me think of a stormy sea and being anchored by hope in the middle of the storm.
Do you have kids? Tell us about them!
I have two stepdaughters, ages 16 and 17. Wow! Our oldest is about to graduate from high school and the youngest just got her driver’s license. I met them when they were 3 and 5 years old and I love them more than I can ever begin to express. Becoming a stepmom is the most difficult thing I have ever done and it has also been the most rewarding. Watching these girls grow into beautiful and capable young women has been an amazing journey over these past 13 years.
How did you decorate their nursery?
When the girls were little, I decorated their rooms with the themes they desired. It was so much fun. One wanted an outdoorsy theme, so it was painted with big fluffy clouds and one wall with a huge tree and birds, butterflies, etc. The other wanted kitty cats, so her room had cat paw prints all over the walls, with hand drawn cat artwork. Their playroom was a Hawaiian theme, with hula girls and grass skirts, along with tropical colors. I miss those days!
What was the most surprising thing about having children?
This is also tough! When I became a stepmom, I think one of the things that surprised me the most was how organized I had to become. I have never been a particularly organized person, but having an “instant” family with schedules and places to be, things to do, sports to play and all kinds of things to carry around made me become a much more organized person. Suddenly having to keep up with 3 more people instead of just myself forced me to learn how to keep track of everything in a way I had never had to even think about in the past.
Any advice for new moms or dads?
Since I have not had children of my own, I think my advice goes to new stepparents instead! One thing I think that is very important is to learn to give yourself grace and learn patience with yourself.
We currently have two cute-as-a-button cats…one is a very cute long haired grey cat with green eyes, Alex. The other is our tortoiseshell cutie girl, Mocha. They make us laugh and bring us a lot of joy!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and have since lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee for college, then Gainesville, Florida and have now been here in Washington state near Seattle for the past 13 years. This is my true home!
What was your most prized possession as a kid? Tell us about it!
My art supplies were my most prized possessions as a kid…drawing pads, watercolors, pencils, markers, crayons, brushes, etc. I remember even having a drawing pad and pencils with me on my first trip to Disney World when I was little – and wanting to stop and draw some swans in one of the little ponds there.
What did your room look like growing up?
My room was decorated with a pink rose theme! I had a white provincial style dresser with gold trim and a pink rose comforter with pretty pink and green matching accessories. I also stenciled matching pink roses around the ceiling and around my window. I’m surprised it wasn’t something blue! J
Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it and why?
My favorite quote comes from Isaiah 58:10 and the name of my design business (Noonday Design) is taken from it: “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will shine in the darkness and night will become like the noonday.” This verse has meant so much to me since I was 17 years old, when I first traveled to a third world country and saw the poverty and conditions there.
What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t?
I’ve always wanted to have singing lessons! I love to sing and think I would be at least decent at it, but I don’t know how to read music and I’d love to know how to sing better than I do now.
Beach or mountains?
This is difficult! I love both, but probably the beach a little more than the mountains. Living here in Washington, we’re close to Mt. Rainier and the Cascade mountains, but also close to the beach! We try to do at least day trips to both the beach and the mountains frequently throughout the year.
Pencil or pen?
Definitely pencil! I am never confident enough to use a pen. Plus I like that you don’t have to exert as much pressure with pencils.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I absolutely love to travel and see new places. I have lived in Ecuador and have been to Panama, Nicaragua, England, Canada and across a good bit of the United States. A lifelong dream is to travel to Italy and Spain…and eventually the rest of Europe, but especially Italy and Spain.