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Conversations with Cayla Penenberg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cayla Penenberg.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
As a child, I was curious and creative, loving colors and shapes. I was lucky enough to be educated at a Waldorf School through High School where the arts were woven into the curriculum.

In college, I studied dance and went abroad to Botswana, Africa where I experienced traditional dancing and later trained in Senegal. I filmed and produced a documentary short about my West African dance training with the National Dance Company of Senegal which debuted at the Action on Film festival.

My previous experience informs my current work. While I was abroad for several years, I taught English as a second language in Thailand and Ukraine with my TEFL Certification. Language is a communication art form as is graphic design. Exposure to the world of acting further opened my eyes. Later, while studying acting, I worked in film and television learning about large productions in Los Angeles. Camera work, visual aspects of film, animation, storyline, themes, branding, and marketing all overlap into the profession of graphic design.

Upon completion of my graphic design program, I now work in Los Angeles. To date, I have been part of a design team for the SMC Go College App, work as a graphic web designer for an Agency, and freelance designing logos and websites for various businesses and nonprofits.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In freelancing, I know what makes me comfortable and how to use my skills for the best and greatest purpose. After working with many clients and experiencing a few difficulties, I learned to set limits for design changes in the initial contract so that expectations are clear. I keep things balanced in terms of work, previews, changes, and good communication with my clients during set meetings.

Design is a challenge itself. Sometimes I’m a teacher, sometimes I’m a programmer, and many times I’m a creative director. Every time I am responsible for presenting the best options for each client and keeping the project focused on the end result.

The computer has the power to generate multiple changes and endless options. With the variety of colors, fonts, and layouts, being creative with this medium can be overwhelming if you don’t have a designer.

I have learned to rely on my intuition to help me navigate this work. It’s important to take risks to stretch the boundaries of the norm. It takes practice, repetition and dedication and even then the outcome is often a satisfying surprise.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
In my graphic design practice, I design websites, logos, and branding. I am also a visual artist and painter. I have worked with people from all over the world and can easily adapt to many situations, types of work, and clients.

My coworkers have said that I’m extremely detail-oriented and focused. I have an ability to observe, reflect and receive feedback. A design project is collaborative, it helps to listen and work with others to utilize everyone’s skills and ideas in executing the best ideas possible. I give my honest opinion while listening to the goals and needs of the client.

The industry has its trends. I like to utilize either video, animation, parallax, or some form of movement to draw the user in. I am most proud of the logos I designed for clients utilizing my typography and illustration skills in Adobe Illustrator. I am enthusiastically learning new programs and techniques and pushing the boundaries for what I can create.

What does success mean to you?
Skills + talent + intuition = Success

Success in a creative career takes dedication and practice, requiring focus and craft. It is the act of designing itself. It is starting something and allowing it to creatively unfold and tell its story. It is a process, a flow, and a collaboration. It is not an end result. Success is an idea, a prototype, a page-turner.

Success in design is an aesthetically pleasing result. All components such as colors, typography, layout, images, and videos must cohesively connect. Visual design has the power to clearly convey ideas and concepts for the user of a website, app, or brand. Not everyone is a visual communicator, that is why it takes a specific person to do this type of work.

Skills + talent + intuition = Success

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Image Credits

Anna Penenberg

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