When I asked Liz, the Art Director at UnderBelly Creative, what the topic of this blog should be she responded without hesitation. “Why our art director is the bomb-diggity.” Her words verbatim. She immediately burst out laughing, amused by her own creativity until I told her “Done”.
Up until this post, we’ve talked about What is Branding? What is Strategy? How to build a color palette? And the truth is, without Liz, the rest of the educational posts would be moot because there would be no UnderBelly and we would not have had the opportunities to learn these lessons along the way.
She takes her craft seriously.
Liz is the reason that we are always pushing ourselves to be better designers, creatives, and strategists than we were in the last project. She has one of the keenest eyes I’ve ever met. She’ll be the one to spot the wrong black being used once in a 15-page presentation. She notices the slightly weird alignment issues and knows how to fix them.
“The contrast is making the lettering look larger. Decrease the font by one pixel”
“You can’t have it truly centered here because the button is drawing attention to the bottom making it look off”
“The hierarchy of fonts is out of order which is why this feels weird. Let me fix it”
Whenever I create a document either for internal use or for a client, she’s the one to take the extra step to ensure the formatting is aiding in telling the information. She is the reason we have the philosophy that any content worth creating is worth designing. I have she is able to take a presentation or a report and make you want to read it.
She’s a wicked illustrator.
As a team of largely self-taught brand strategists and designers, I did not realize the absolute wizard of an illustrator Liz was until we started doing UnderBelly full-time. Sure this might sound silly (if you’ve been on our website, you’ve seen her work) but I assumed everyone was as detail-oriented and fast as she was. That is not the case. When I say a wizard, I mean a wizard. She can illustrate a full-on scene in less than 5 hours after she’s made just one other asset in that brand style.
Not to mention she’s been able to illustrate in dozens of styles and create entire worlds that are robust and cohesive all while bouncing between projects. And it doesn’t hurt that almost by magic she’s able to take all of the random, almost impossible-sounding ideas and make them a reality.
These are just a small selection of projects she illustrated last year.
She’s a collaborator through and through
Our best work consistently comes from the fact we love to collaborate with our clients. This often means getting feedback or input that fundamentally changes the design direction we had started with. And as a designer, letting go of your original idea can be hard AF. But Liz isn’t precious about her designs. This means that if someone else’s direction is working better, that’s where we go. If a client insists on including a specific element, she makes it work. Liz is a true collaborator in that she is looking to create the best product possible and that almost always comes from a team.
She makes the process fun.
One of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to work almost every day with my sister. So yes, if you’ve seen us in meetings and thought “WOW these two look alike,” we get that often.
It means short random calls in the middle of the day to work out a design problem. It means getting snaps of her making a new bread recipe that I’m sure will be her ‘Cool Shit’ of the month. She will enthusiastically sit and brainstorm marketing and sales and pricing strategies and then send me the most tragic dog adoption story on IG. She insists on calling me ‘Boss’ at any given opportunity because she finds it hilarious.
So thank you Liz for being the bomb diggity and for making this weird and wild dream of UnderBelly a reality.
Liz over the years.