She joined us at Dropbox to share her creative process in making the book. We learned a lot about her during her visit. Here are some key takeaways:
What was your journey to become a published author?
I studied journalism with concentrations in graphic design and advertising. I wanted to be an art director at an ad agency but I couldn't afford portfolio school (do they still call it that?), so I took creative classes at night while I worked as an account manager at Ogilvy in New York.
I ended up leaving advertising because I couldn't transition to the creative side and freelanced at magazines while teaching English at night in Flushing. I took photographs of restaurants, color-corrected Fashion Week photos, and created photo illustrations until I got a job as a web producer at a media company.
I asked for design work on the side, then asked if I could design flowcharts and graphics for bloggers, and then started pitching my own ideas that I'd design and write. I did this until I got the attention of an editor who hired me as writer-illustrator. I got rejected from a lot of design jobs along the way and realized maybe I should be combining my skills to make something more unique to me, since I’m not strong at any one thing.
Can you tell us the story of how this book came to be?
I made this series after I quit my graphic design job due to chronic repetitive strain injuries. I had to be off the computer but I wanted to keep doing something creative so I started making simple analog charts. They were similar in content to ones I had been making as a writer-illustrator at BuzzFeed and for other publications, but simpler and off the computer. I started adding objects to make them even easier to make and ended up with enough to use for a book proposal.