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Susie Sewell: Graphic Designer, Illustrator & Fine Artist

Artist: Susie Sewell

Company Name: Susie Sewell Creative or Susie Sewell Design

Susie is a graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist. She’s always had a passion for all things creative. Her personal belief is that curiosity ignites adventure and as creatives, we should never stop exploring.

Q: How long have you been an artist/creative individual?

A: I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember, when I was 6 I wrote that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. it states “I want to be an artist when I grow up, I will paint pretty pictures such as rainbows and them in a museum.” I keep it framed and hanging right above my workspace to remind myself that I’ve always been working towards this goal, and continue to do so. It’s a humbling reminder of who I am, and one of my most prized possessions.

Q: What is your favorite medium(s) to work with?

A: I’m all over the place with what I like to work with, I usually have a favorite of the moment, not an overall favorite. I love painting in oils, as well as acrylics, but most recently I’ve been challenging myself to grow with watercolor. I love good old pencils, pens, and markers and manipulating those drawings in illustrator, photoshop, or experimenting with brush script. I love editorial layout and creating brand guidelines so InDesign is my go-to for that. I also find myself knitting for a week straight after a month of letting a project sit so It really depends on what the project needs or what headspace I want to be in.

Q: Is your personal art different from the professional work you do?

A: Professional work is a good marriage of the artist’s personal style and really good communication as well as an understanding of the client’s needs. I tend to use a lot of colors, especially pastels in my personal work, however for a professional project, that may not fit the bill. It’s really important to figure out what works best to tell a client’s story through design. This can lead you down many different paths which ultimately can really help expand an artist’s style. The client hires you based on your previous work, so already they see their vision in your style if you got hired for the gig. As for fine art, unless I’m doing a commission where the client gives me a direct photograph to work off of, my personal work really varies in style.

Q: Were you ever discouraged from pursuing the arts as a career? If so, how did you overcome it?

A: My parents really encouraged me and my sisters to always follow our passions, so I grew up romanticizing and striving for a career in the arts. I’ve been discouraged in certain situations, sure, where I didn’t feel like I measured up to the competition, or when I’ve applied for what seems like a thousand jobs and not hearing back from any of them. However, if it’s your passion, you learn to trudge through any of that doubt and keep creating because it fulfills something inside and makes you happy.

When I didn’t get accepted to jobs and felt defeated I decided to freelance and pick and choose the work I wanted to do, giving myself flexibility and freedom, design on my own terms, and be my own boss. (I always worked full time in the service industry as well in conjunction with freelancing.) Another instance wasn’t until I was about to (literally months away) graduate with my Bachelor’s in Fine Art’s degree in glassblowing that I just knew I didn’t want a career in that field. Although I absolutely appreciate and still refer to everything I learned during that time, I chose to follow my gut feeling and pivot my focus to graphic design which, for me is perfect because it is a medium that is vast and inclusive and has the ability to encompass so many processes.

I went back to community college after receiving a Bachelor’s degree that took me about 5 years to complete because I chose to also study abroad. I did almost 7 years of art school to find where I fit in. There’s no “right” path, and I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up! I’m very curious about different art processes and I love learning new ways to create. That insatiable need mixed with my passion for fine arts really drove me to work through any time I felt discouraged.

Make art for yourself, even if no one ever looks at it, do it because it makes you happy.

Q: What books/genres do you like to read/watch?

A: The 2 most recent books I read were both biographies/autobiographies--

I love watching documentaries as well. Something about relating to someone else’s human experience really excites me. The aforementioned two books were The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, and Just Kids, by Patti Smith. The two couldn’t be more different, just as the messages and insight I took from each were very different. You can learn a great deal of empathy through tuning into the triumphs and tribulations of others, which in my opinion can create a better world for everyone.

Q: What was the last TV show or movie that you saw? Did you like it?

A: It took me a while to catch this train, but I’ve been currently binging The Handmaid’s Tale, which is based on the Novel A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The setting of a dystopian future is super unsettling, and at times very frustrating because of the content, however, I absolutely love the displays of strength, trust, and survival. To take something positive from the show, it empowers me as a woman to be stronger. They also manage to make a frightening and, frankly disgusting circumstance humorous at moments.

To learn more about Susie Sewell visit her website at

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