My photo sessions are so damn personal. I take everything in. I enjoy it and I hold those precious parts of a person’s life. Not much, just a glimpse. But a lively glimpse. The one, that so often makes me happy.
This was my first time visiting someone in Victorian Village. I love people, who prefer a house with a history, who don’t just go and buy new furniture, but appreciate the old one. Who can invest time and thought into renovating the old, into learning a story and incorporating it into their lives. I am not like that. But I love to learn from other people. And maybe one day my house will be just as unique as theirs.
I met Kate in one of the local moms’ Facebook groups. It spoke to me, that she is a freelance graphic designer, and a mom, and a beautiful person, obviously :)
So when she asked to take photos of some of her printed work, I immediately offered her to be a part of The Columbus Faces project of mine. Where I get to know creative entrepreneurs from Columbus area.
Kate Burgener is a freelance graphic designer. She specializes in documents and event material design. She has architectural background, which makes sense, when you think of her passion designing documents. It is very similar to architecture, in my opinion. The difference is that documents are mostly 2D. But you do have to put different elements together and make sure they go perfectly well in terms of style, shape, size and color.
Why have you decided to be a graphic designer?
I’ve always had a fascination with design. Whenever I’m doing something that wouldn’t traditionally involve design, I always end up finding ways to incorporate it. In grad school, I was the team member who wanted to make all of our reports look beautiful and create photo manipulations to show what our proposed plans could do for an area. I love being able to communicate messages through design and elicit a specific feeling.
What do you love the most in your everyday work?
I really love being a part of so many teams! I don’t just work for my clients, I’m invested in making their projects successful and useful. I love being someone my clients can rely on to work efficiently and thoughtfully to improve their materials. I also love when my brain has been working on a problem for a few hours (or days!) and my brain finally just puts together the approach I want to take. It’s a pretty neat feeling, like solving a puzzle.
What would your dream assignment be?
I love to learn new things, so I want to do the course materials (worksheets, checklists, information packets, slides, promotional graphics) for a big course or workshop with a subject that interests me. I would also really love to do materials for a big conference, because it would combine the document design and event material design (my two passions). Conferences tend to have a lot of details and moving parts and I want to be involved in all of that. Generally, the more complex a project or event is, the happier I am!
What helps you balance work and being a stay at home mom?
I’m really lucky because my little person is pretty good at entertaining himself. He’ll happily play with his blocks or read nearby. That makes it easier to switch between “work mode” and “mom mode” without too much trouble. I like taking a break during the morning to let him play outside or prepare some food for him, it lets my brain rest a little bit and work on projects while I’m focused on something else. You can get some good ideas when you’re not actively trying to think about a project! I also get up a few hours before he does so I can knock out things that need more concentration and I’m usually pretty productive during naptime, too. We’ve found a rhythm that works for both of us now.
Little things that make you happy throughout the day?
Working from home means I’m surrounded by my favorite things. Being able to make a more involved lunch (rather than just bringing leftovers to an office break room) or snack makes me grateful that my whole kitchen is a few steps away. I love when one of my cats jumps on my lap while I’m working in the early morning and just settles in, purring. I really enjoy listening to my son read out loud to himself, I’m so proud when I realize he’s picking up the content of the books we’ve read over and over to him. Being able to work from my front porch on a beautiful day also makes me pretty happy.
Favorite place/activity to recharge?
When I’m feeling burned out, I love to learn a new skill. I took a sewing class at Sew to Speak Shoppe last month because I had never made clothing before and I wanted to try it. My sister also held my hand through my first canning experience (we made super-tasty salsa). I tend to be a creature of habit and a bit of a homebody, so forcing myself to try something a little scary and definitely outside of my comfort zone is always an eye-opener. I have yet to regret it!
Favorite place in Columbus and around?
We picked the greatest neighborhood to live in! I never get tired of exploring Harrison West or Victorian Village, with all of the beautiful homes and gardens. I love being within walking distance of the Short North, too, since there’s always a new restaurant to try out or good people-watching.