From Salads to Lemon Bars: Jillian Farris on Designing Her Creative Journey 

From Salads to Lemon Bars: Jillian Farris on Designing Her Creative Journey 

Hey there, it’s been so long—too long! But our A Day in The Life series is back!  

We’re thrilled to give you an exclusive backstage pass inside the creative minds and success stories of our team. In this blog, we pull back the curtain on what a typical day as a designer looks like with one of our contingent staff, design powerhouse, Jillian Farris. From initial concepts to the collaborative symphony of feedback, without forgetting the delightful balance of work and rest. 

Because we take pride in getting to know the human behind every role, we asked Jillian to create a three-course meal that represents her job. After all, nothing is more human than love for food! We indulged in each dish and how it reflects the different aspects of being a designer, plus a couple more fun questions that you should stay tuned for.  

Now, on to this delectable exploration—from the freshness of salads to the zest of lemon bars. Let’s dig in. 

Starting With a Fresh Salad: Taking on Projects 

Let’s kick off this creative exploration with a dish that sets the stage—much like those initial steps when embarking on a new project. Imagine a vibrant garden salad, a mix of crisp elements coming together to create a harmonious plate. Projects are the same way; the early stages of a project involve assembling ideas, concepts, and strategies to build the groundwork of the creative journey. 

Before Jillian can start designing, she sets the foundation first: researching the project brief, the target audience, the competitors, and the trends by brainstorming ideas, sketching concepts, and gathering feedback. She also has to juggle multiple projects at once, each with different deadlines and requirements. 

Jillian says that these tasks are like a garden salad. They may not be the most filling part of the meal, but they are essential for setting the foundation and whetting the appetite. Without them, the rest of the meal would not be as satisfying or successful. And we know what our mothers used to say; “Healthy things go on the plate first!” 

So, next time you find yourself wading through the early stages of a project, remember that the art of crafting a successful design begins with the careful assembly of ideas, much like the thoughtful selection of ingredients in a salad. Ready for the main course? 

Related Article: Feed Your Mind, Fuel Your Creativity: The Importance of Intentional Content Consumption 

Spaghetti With a Twist: Unexpected and Exciting Journey 

Transitioning to the main course, Jillian likens a plate of spaghetti as an excellent representation of the design process. Picture those twisty, unpredictable noodles that can cause a bit of a mess with each forkful. It’s a journey with surprising twists and turns that ultimately lead to a gratifying destination. 

Jillian’s creative journey has been full of swirls and entangling noodles. She started out studying advertising and graphic design in college, where she learned the basics of design theory and practice. She also worked on branding projects and pitch decks for TV and movies, where she honed her skills and experiences that contributed to her dynamic design portfolio. 

Today, Jillian is an assistant designer at Bath & Body Works, designing for their gifting and accessories department. It has been such a fun and rewarding experience for her, where she gets to work on a variety of products, from gift sets to cosmetic bags to hand sanitizer holders. She enjoys keeping up with fashion trends to incorporate into her Bath & Body Works designs.  

Much like those unexpected twists in spaghetti, Jillian’s path has led her through challenges, opportunities, and unexpected turns. Each experience adds a unique flavor to her creative journey, culminating in a fulfilling and exciting ride that exemplifies the dynamic nature of creative growth.  

So, before the last bite, remember that creativity, like a plate of spaghetti, is meant to be savored one delightful twist at a time.  

Related Article: The Power of Audacity: Why SMART Goals Just Won’t Cut It Anymore 

Sweet and Tangy Lemon Bars: Handling Feedback and Collaboration 

We hope you’re as excited as we are about this next course—the dessert!  

Imagine sinking your teeth into a delicious slice of sweet, tangy lemon bars. The contrasting flavors mirror the unique symphony of feedback and collaboration. It’s a journey that might have its ups and downs, but in the end, it’s always a harmonious blend that leaves you craving more. Jillian says that lemon bars represent the scary aspect of presenting her work, but the feedback is usually sweet. She also learned to appreciate feedback from a funny and memorable experience.  

She shared a story that most, if not all, designers might relate to. Picture this: Jillian presenting her design, only to have her boss and coworker point out that the work resembles a particular shape that looked rather, well, unusual.  

It’s shaped like a behind!  

It was a classic case of seeing something unintended in the artwork, and yes, it was hilarious.  

But here’s the beauty of it—Jillian didn’t shy away. She embraced the moment with laughter and willingness. It’s a testament to her ability to turn feedback—even the unexpected kind—into an opportunity for growth and improvement. 

Collaboration is like the secret ingredient that enhances the flavors of any creative endeavor. In Jillian’s world, collaborating with her team means tapping into a wealth of perspectives and ideas, enriching the final product beyond measure. It’s the collaborative symphony that turns individual notes into a melodious masterpiece. 

Having Your Lemon Bars, Eating It Too, and Sharing It! 

At Bath & Body Works, her small team consists mainly of women who support and inspire each other with their ideas and productivity. She says that they collaborate and communicate with each other, giving and receiving feedback along the way. 

The creative journey is not just about individual strokes of genius. It’s about embracing the bittersweet—the feedback that refines us and the collaboration that elevates us. Just as lemon bars strike the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, the blend of feedback and collaboration creates a final creation that’s truly exquisite. 

Naptime with a Sidekick: Balancing Work and Play 

Does anybody else feel sleepy after a full meal? We know, we do. 

A seemingly unrelated yet vital aspect of Jillian’s journey is her practice of recharging through naptime, accompanied by her feline companion. This interlude highlights the importance of nurturing work and rest in sustaining creative energy and enthusiasm. 

This interlude serves as a precious moment to recharge her creative energy. It’s a time to let her mind wander, dream, and reset. Just like the harmonious blend of flavors in the lemon bars, this blend of work and rest keeps her creative juices flowing. It’s a reminder that nurturing both work and play is essential for maintaining enthusiasm and producing exceptional results. 

So, we say to you, fellow creatives, we need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Remember to find time for rest, recreation, and reflection. It’s your reward for hard work that serves as a boost for your next project. 

A Plate of Inspiration 

And there you have it! Jillian’s creative journey embodies a multi-course feast of experiences served up on a plate of inspiration—from the foundational steps of project initiation to the intricate twists of the design process and the harmonious blend of feedback and collaboration. 

Jillian’s journey has taken us through the heartwarming laughter that emerges from design mishaps turned to learning opportunities and the powerful symphony of collaboration that enriches every creative endeavor. It’s a tale of resilience, growth, and the harmonious interplay of creativity, feedback, and teamwork. 

We’d love to leave you with this: Creativity is a multi-course feast, and every twist, turn, and taste adds flavor to the journey. The message is clear: Creativity flourishes through a fusion of diverse experiences that shape us into well-rounded individuals.  

So, as you continue your own creative journey, may you find inspiration in Jillian’s story. Thank you for joining us on this adventure, and until the next chapter unfolds, keep exploring, keep creating, and keep savoring the flavors of life’s creative moments.  

Bon appétit! 

Start Your Creative Journey with Portfolio Creative Today 

Looking for graphic designer jobs? Well, look no further. We have many design job opportunities waiting for you! Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out in the design field, we have design careers to suit your needs. But it doesn’t stop there. Our recruitment teams are always on the lookout for talented individuals like yourself to join our vibrant design community. 

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Our success stories speak for themselves. Join us and become a part of the creative minds that have found inspiration and achieved great things in their design careers. Whether you are brainstorming ideas, collaborating with a team, or embarking on an exciting journey, we are here to support you every step of the way.