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Meet Andrea Kelsey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Kelsey.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It’s taken me many years to come to accept myself as an artist. I was raised thinking I needed to pursue a career that would provide steady employment and good money, which I struggled with and was never able to embrace.

As an adult, I found myself drawn to short-term jobs in fields that I was interested in – from food to education to social advocacy to aromatherapy – and in my mid-twenties I moved to NYC to pursue new experiences and grad school at The New School. I thought I wanted to be a professor and teach philosophy!

But I had been piecing image and sound together in my head for as long as I could remember and found myself taking classes to explore filmmaking, communication, and the visual arts. I was able to explore so much that I had been afraid of before- that I would be too drawn to it, that I would end up a starving artist. I had been working multiple jobs for years with no clear career path, so I figured why not?

My interests in media and communication as well as being able to piece together complex ideas were a perfect fit for web design and video editing, and I started freelancing in my “spare time” building websites, doing photo shoots, & making/assisting on short films.

I also began exploring more tactile art forms and combining philosophical ideas with media making. After grad school I moved to Los Angeles and, after a few years working in the social advocacy realm, I was able to become a full-time freelancer and haven’t looked back since!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have always been and still am my own biggest obstacle! I find the world such a fascinating place, and there is so much to explore, it’s hard for me to focus on one thing… I’ve always been envious of those who can commit to one field of study or one instrument or one career, where I want to be and experience everything.

Coming from a supportive middle-class family I never really wanted for much except to feel free and independent. That independence came at a price- self-doubt and lack of confidence have been a constant struggle. Do I want to be the person my parents/society want me to be, or do I want to find my own way?

I’d wished for a mentor and sought one for years, I do wonder sometimes who I’d be now if I had had direction and advice from someone who had done it before, but on the other hand, I am proud of who I’ve become and am becoming through my own approaches, downfalls, and successes.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a web and digital designer, media creator, expert communicator, and enthusiastic collaborator, somewhat of a Jill of all trades. I enjoy experimenting, learning, and turning ideas into reality. I would say that I specialize in discovering beautiful methods of communication, balancing client and user needs.

As a web designer, I work across industries and platforms, where there is always something new to learn and discover. I like to tell my clients that there is no “no” in web design, just compromises!

A major focus for me is setting up my clients for success. Too often I’ve had clients come to me with a website that they cannot access or update on their own, and that just makes me sad. I create update handbooks and train my clients to take control of their website so that they can take care of the day-to-day, and contact me when they have bigger and/or new projects.

Since many of my clients want to be able to run their own website, much of my work is with WordPress and Squarespace.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had wonderful friends, co-workers, supervisors, and peers along my journey, those who have boosted me as a person and encouraged the best in me. I don’t think I would have come to terms to with myself as an artist, or it would have taken a much longer time to do so, without the support and encouragement of my friends. My partner Raj helped me take the leap into full time freelancing- sometimes you don’t realize how miserable you are in a situation until someone lends you their perspective!

My supervisors at The New School, Mary, Sue, and Phil, were instrumental in helping me begin to unfold my full potential. My family, though they often don’t understand my decisions or passions, has supported me nonetheless and I am incredibly grateful for that. Gotta give a shout out to Keely of 360 Media who keeps sending excellent clients my way and is a fantastic collaborator.

I’ve also been very lucky that the majority of my clients have been reliable and a pleasure to work with, and consistently recommend my services to others- the best kind of compliment!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Neeraj Sharma

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