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Meet Riverside County Graphic Designer: Elizabeth Arriaga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Arriaga.

Elizabeth, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story is one of destiny (God) leading me places that I never expected. I’ve always been a creative. As a child, I loved to draw horses and landscapes. Through middle and high school I learned to paint and the basics of art. Though I did not have the slightest notion that art would become my profession. I wanted to become a math teacher or a musician. After high school I found myself working as an assistant to a successful realtor in Vista, CA. I used Microsoft Publisher to design flyers and postcards to advertise the properties for sale. Soon I started to learn Photoshop so I could edit our photos. Through a DVD course and youtube videos, I learned Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Aside from a few community college classes, I’m a self-taught designer. The real estate company was sold, and at the same time my church was looking for a graphic designer, I didn’t want to work there but my hand was forced and so I took on a full-time position in 2007. It turned out to be the best job I ever had! I get to work with my friends, get paid to do what I love and get to use it for the glory of God. Win! That is also when I met the love of my life and we married the next year. My day job is creating print and web designs for my church. My husband and I work together as a team to create a design for local small businesses as a side project.

Has it been a smooth road?
It was not a difficult road, but not a smooth road either. At the time I was totally confused about what the future had for me, what to do, what decisions to make, etc. Now as I look back I can see that God was guiding me and leading me step by step to get me where I am today. Even now I wonder what I should do to promote myself and grow as a creative, but I am confident that things will work themselves out as they always have.

Has there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
Yes, there are several influences that have played a pivotal role in my development. Had it not been for my Bible study friend Brian letting me borrow his 6 DVD training set on Illustrator, I might not have had an interest in learning the Adobe suite, which was the catalyst for me moving in the direction of graphic design. Secondly, designing for my church, Revival Christian Fellowship, for the last 9 years has given me a wide spectrum of experience including concept design, communication, in-house printing, advertising, and experimenting with a variety of design styles. Another huge influence has been working with other designers over the years at my church. I love learning from and working with creatives on projects because it causes me to push myself further and into areas that I would not have gone alone. My husband is a driving force and challenges me to try alternative concepts. He has a gift for communication and humor. Last, but not least, my relationship with God is the biggest influence in my life and career. Using my God-given ability to help businesses and show people how great God is – that is my driving force every day. He is the reason why I am where I am, so I must give credit where credit is due.

Do you have a favorite type of client or project?
I enjoy working with startups and small businesses. Larger corporations seem intimidating to me because I assume they would be rigid and limiting, but perhaps I am wrong. Small businesses (in my experience) are down to earth and more personable to work with. I’ve enjoyed brainstorming with people who are at the beginning stages of developing their brand. That is when the creative possibilities are wide open and we are working together to set the course for the future of the company. It’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy it. Additionally, I love clients who have a clear vision of what they want/need, yet they respect my knowledge and experience when I give my input. I like to work with clients that are willing to experiment with the latest design trends and think outside the box, not cookie cutter designs that have been hashed out a million times already. Working with these kinds of clients often turns into opportunities to expand my experience. A recent client of mine decided they wanted a vehicle wrap, so I learned how to design vehicle wraps and knocked out a design that they loved. Another client needed a design that would be broadcast on TV, so I learned the ways of “release for broadcast”. Each client is a new learning opportunity. I enjoy doing illustrations and advertisements other than the typical flyer or t-shirt.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Start earlier, take advantage of opportunities and network. I’m happy with where I am now, but I know that I could be so much further along if I had a stronger drive at the beginning years. Back then I had more time to learn but didn’t take advantage of it. Life is so busy now. Also, some of my best learning has been done while working with other creatives, and some of my best designs emerged from more than one brain designing. I wish I had surrounded myself with more creative people earlier and along the road. Even now I’m looking for more creatives to network with. Want to be friends?


  • Logo – $400+
  • Flyer / doorhanger / postcard – $150-$200
  • t-shirt – $200-$400
  • Window decals, web graphics, vehicle wraps, etc. $50/hour

Contact Info:

0-10174313599847-56275bf60df74 1-c71d6d13599847-56275d7e97adc 2-1584d331156557-5643884641f87 3-b4453039851839-5606c5ed54e8b 4-eb587639851837-5606c7098945a 5-a6985d8019715-560b5d7264e1d 6-856b7545956365-5607bb59e775d 7-9a87c932461445-5605bddf8093f
Image Credit:
John Miller

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