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Meet South Pasadena Textile Graphic Designer: Erin Monty

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Monty.

Erin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
With a background in studio art and art history, I got my start doing graphic design right out of college. I was illustrating and designing beer labels for a local brewery and quickly caught the bug. I began working in marketing and advertising and eventually went back to design school in New York for a couple of years. After that I was back in San Francisco working for Gap & Gymboree, doing print and web design — but always found myself gravitating towards prints and graphics for apparel. I eventually made the jump over to textile design and found a happy place. I’ve been working for various retail brands for eight+ years and still love the endless possibilities of prints. I’d love to put them on everything.

Has it been a smooth road?
It took awhile to make the jump from more of a marketing background into product design, as it’s difficult to switch career paths without the experience. I was fortunate to have a background in studio art and also work for companies that did both in-house. I eventually made my way into what was a much more natural fit.

So, what should we be on the lookout for, what’s next in store for you?
My hope is to always keep inspired and work towards doing some of my own ventures. I’d love to develop my own fabric and/or product lines. It would be ideal to collaborate with people or businesses doing innovative products and design directly to that purpose. Art looks good everywhere, and I love applying it — especially to the most mundane or unexpected things.

Let’s go backward a bit – can you tell us about the most trying time in your career?
I think the hardest moments are when you know what it is you want — but are not exactly sure how to get there. Job hunting can feel like the great abyss, especially when moving to a new city. I made the jump from a full-time job to freelance, while also moving to the LA area. It’s daunting, but also forces you to put yourself out there a lot to see what sticks — and I found the more you do it, the easier it is. Staying positive I think, has also always been the key. That with some much-needed patience and focus to keep you on the path towards the bigger picture!

What about “Wow-moments” – any moments that stick out? Any moments when you felt like you had made it?
When I first started working in apparel graphic design, I couldn’t believe what I was getting paid to do. Hand-painting and drawing, researching vintage fabrics, checking out what’s going on in the market — were all things I already did for fun. That was really exciting and definitely a wow moment. I still get that feeling when given assignments that allow some creative freedom. There are always challenges, but trying to turn what you love into a livelihood is ultimately worth it. Another great discovery is the people you meet along the way, who get excited about the same things that are so specific.

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