Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 80. Julieta Felix.
For Julieta Felix, the sky's the limit.
The Phoenix area designer works for American Airlines. That is, when she's not heading to yoga, working on freelance projects. or catching up on Game of Thrones.
"I'm working on a full content redesign for the American Airlines website, which will be implemented nationally and internationally on 66 websites across the globe," she says.
Though it's a full-time job, the 30-year-old, who graduated from ASU's school of design, is full of ideas for other projects she'd like to take on. "My mom gave me the best education I could receive: to be nice to people, to help others, to be humble, to not be materialistic, and to always stay positive." Many of her aspirations are rooted in those values.
"I love having design in my life, but I value my family, friends, my free time, and my relationship way more than any freelance job, so I do what I can with the skills and time I have," she says. "I do want to have a lot of money though, so I can substantially help the elderly, the homeless, hard-working moms (like mine was), I want to save animals from slaughter, perhaps fund a sanctuary. I have a lot of dreams! I gotta start somewhere, so American Airlines is a great place to start."
I came to Phoenix with the dream of having a better life than the one I had in Mexico. I arrived with 150 dollars for 1 month of rent from a random Craigslist guy, no car, no friends, no family, knowing very little English (excuse any typos!). I walked for 2 days straight looking for a job, then I was hired as a waitress, where I worked for the following 7 years, being able to pay for Design School by myself. I've been here 9 years total.
I make art because it's an extension of who I am. From being a kid, drawing in a corner for hours, to now watching a movie and feeling inspired to make an illustration about it. I can't help it, it's all I think about, and it's very personal.
I'm most productive when I work in projects with my boyfriend, Ben Pelley. He and I are both graphic designers who usually have a ton of freelance projects in our hands. We feed off each others ideas, we have similar taste and sense of humor, which is important when being creative. To try to not bore people to death with something generic.
My inspiration wall is full of European style magazine covers and layouts, Swiss geometric bold posters, and anything slightly disturbing. Anything that mixes the human body, food, photography, type and unexpected materials.
I've learned the most from my professors at Arizona State, at The Design School. Al Sanft, Mookesh Patel, Lisa Pena and Marsha Minnis. I hear them every single day in my head: Do you think this could be smaller? Do you need this divider line?
Good work should always provoke a feeling! A smile, a thought, a wince, a frown.. Anything! What good is it for a design to be beautiful, trendy, and functional if it makes you feel nothing? If it looks like 1000 others out there? If there's no personality in it? I guess I aspire to make people react to my designs, for good or bad.
The Phoenix creative scene could use more risks! I feel like the internet has us designers kind of tied down into the idea of 'in order to be successful, you gotta produce work that looks like X' and it's so liberating to not look at blogs, not follow trends, not modify your aesthetic based on what others are doing! Phoenix Design community is small enough that if you go outside the box, people will notice and share your work! So we need to be not afraid of experimenting and not be so serious about it. After all, we're not neurosurgeons! No one dies if my poster is bad, haha so let's have some fun.
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See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:
100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal