Getting to know Allison
Since launching West Coast Aesthetic this last fall I've received an overwhelming amount of support when it comes to my blog posts as well as questions and advice my viewers would like to have answered or addressed. Although I've been a little slow at getting around to this post, I am excited to share some answers to questions I've received in emails and in comments. Below are my response to questions revolving around my blog, personal life/interests and other tidbits. I have selected 20 questions and have responded with my answers. I will try and get around to posting 20 more questions in the coming weeks! Enjoy! xo
Also, if you have questions for me; feedback or ideas of how we can collaborate or if you would like to be featured on West Coast Aesthetic, please never hesitate to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. How did you come up with your blog West Coast Aesthetic?
West Coast Aesthetic sort of happened on a whim. I knew I wanted to have a creative outlet outside of work that allowed me to share my inspirations, ideas and passions. I also didn't want it to be strained or feel as though I was trying to embrace something I was not. I thought blogging was a great way to be expressive. The name West Coast Aesthetic was born in the summer of 2014 at a downtown Seattle Starbucks when I was brainstorming how I wanted to portray my online identity. I was born and raised in the Greater Seattle Washington area and have always had a knack for embracing the beauty and creativity that is unique to the Pacific Northwest but on a broader scale, is unique to the West Coast itself - its modern, evergreen, beachy, artistic, colorful and relaxed vibe. And so, West Coast Aesthetic came to be. I break my blog posts down into three over-arching categories: Create, Consume, Explore. My posts aim to align to these themes on a broad or specific scale.
2. If you could live anywhere in the United States where would you live?
I love the Pacific Northwest and Seattle definitely has a special place in my heart. However, if I had to choose to live anywhere in the United States I would most definitely be found living in Southern California. I'm a city gal with a love for the sunshine and water. Whenever I visit it feels like my home away from home. I hope to experience life there for at least a few years someday.
3. What got you into graphic design?
I have wanted to be a designer since I was five-years-old. My career ambitions ranged from graphic design, fashion design, painting, photography and interior design. I loved anything that allowed me to be expressive. I landed upon graphic design because there's a lot of creative freedom that also goes hand in hand with my other loves: communication, copy-writing, marketing and business strategy. I grew up painting, drawing, picking out outfits and cutting my Barbies' hair. It was safe to say at a young age I'd be doing something in the creative field.
4. How do you plan blog posts?
I generally try to post up to 3-4 times a week, but if my schedule gets hectic at work or in life, I get set back a bit. I come up with post ideas by what I'm seeing recently and what inspires me. Whether it be fashion trends, designs I am loving lately, recipes I want to try out, interior design spaces I am swooning over or my own personal photos or life experiences I want to share. I tried to post EVERYDAY when I started West Coast Aesthetic but started feeling like my posts were forced so I took a step back to reevaluate how to fit West Coast Aesthetic into my life and it started to take more shape and embrace its purpose.
5. What is one thing you wish you were better at?
Drawing. It seems ironic that I'm a designer and can't draw even a stick figure well, but it's true. The hardest classes I ever took in college were my drawing courses.
6. What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love exploring new places which I've been doing more frequently though creative collaborations particularly for West Coast Aesthetic blog posts. I also love attending museum gallery shows; it keeps me inspired and I love seeing what other artists around the world are doing. Music has also been a huge part of my life so attending concerts and local shows is always one of my favorite leisurely activities.
7. Why do you consider Nordstrom your dream job?
Landing a Web Designer position within Nordstrom's creative department at the Seattle Headquarters was a great personal accomplishment. As a young designer with aspirations of success and personal happiness landing a job that combines my love for design and fashion was something out of my wildest dreams. I also could not be more thrilled to work for such a wonderful company that embraces creativity, individuality and pushing the boundaries. I didn't think I would have as much creative freedom as I do working for a corporate fashion company. It's truly an honor to work for Nordstrom and I look forward to seeing where my career will grow within the company from here.
8. How do you stay inspired outside of work?
Well, West Coast Aesthetic for one is a great way to keep my creative gears turning. I also freelance on the side of my job so that also keep my design skills sharp and provides me with the opportunity to work and be more business-minded.
I'm also an avid mood-boarder. I have been known to save magazine scraps, embossed business cards, matte paper and other keepsakes that I turn into creative inspiration books or mood boards to reference when I need that extra push for a project or fueling my creative fire. I also am the proud owner of a Nikon D-5000 so whenever I get the chance to go out and shoot photographs, that also is a great way to keep me motivated and thinking creatively.
9. I love your style! Where are your favorite places to shop?
First and foremost my favorite store has always been Nordstrom when it comes to jeans, shoes, tops, accessories and beauty products, I can't think of a better place for my style aesthetic. Zara is also one of my favorite stores because of its minimalist and high-quality clothing; I can't get enough of their accessories either. I enjoy Forever 21 as well because their prices are a steal and their products are always high-quality. Locally, I enjoy shopping at Frankie, a small boutique located in Gig Harbor that has a beautiful selection of dainty accessories and a wide-range of minimalistic clothing options --my favorite!
10. What is your go-to weekend day outfit?
Lately...my black Nike flyknit shoes, jogger pants, a long open cardigan, loose tank top, statement necklace and a Kate Spade crossbody bag.
11. What do you wear on a regular basis to work?
Because I work in a creative environment we have a little bit more free reign with what we can get away with wearing. I don't have a specific go-to outfit. I try to wear comfortable shoes like my Nike flyknit, perforated leather Vans or ankle boots since I have a hefty walk to my bus after work. In terms of my outfit, it really varies.
12. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
I love anything fruity. Pina Coladas, Strawberry Daiquiris, Moscato, sangria...
13. Where is your favorite place you have vacationed?
My favorite place I ever vacationed would have to be the Caribbean. I also love Maui. Anywhere with sun, surf and stiff fruity drinks!
14. Your favorite designer handbag?
Currently my Kate Spade crossbody in the color marsala that I received from my boyfriend for Christmas.
15. Favorite places in Seattle to explore?
Here's some tourist must-hit-up spots: Columbia Tower skyview observatory is a must. Pike Place Market. Volunteer Park. Kerry Park. Queen Anne neighborhoods. Alki Beach. Seattle Great Wheel. Space Needle. Pioneer Square art galleries.
16. What is your favorite beverage?
Vanilla latte in the morning, green tea in the afternoon, water throughout the day, milk for dinner, wine for dessert.
17. What did you study in college?
I attended Western Washington University in Bellingham and received a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. I also double minored in Communication and Journalism. My three passions.
18. What is your favorite color?
I have more than one. Mint, black, lavender, orchid, sea foam.
19. Who are some of your favorite bloggers and what are some of your favorite websites?
Bloggers: DesignLoveFest, Oh Joy!, Eat. Sleep. Wear, SFGirlByTheBay
Websites: Creative Bloq, Pinterest, Design Sponge, Brit+Co
20. What are your favorite magazines?
Communication Arts, Vogue, Real Simple, Elle, Kinfolk