Interview with designer Clarissa Nicole

Today, I’m talking with Clarissa Nicole of FIVE12 STUDIO. Clarissa is a designer and photographer who has fused her passions into one beautiful business! Her blog gives us a mixture of business advice & lifestyle posts. She’s all about sharing her knowledge and inspiration while letting her readers see a more personal side, and I love that.

The Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself, and your business.

Hello! I’m Clarissa and run FIVE12 STUDIO, specializing in helping your visual dreams become reality through print/web design and photography.

How long have you been a designer?
Four years. 2 part-time, 2 full-time.

Do you have formal education in design, or are you self-taught?
A bit of both. I took a design class my last semester as a PR major and loved it. A year later I decided to pursue another degree in design and learned a lot of the basics. However, it was through years of practice, tutorials, books, etc that I’ve developed my skill as a designer.

You have a Society 6 shop featuring some of your design work that people
can purchase, how’s that going?
It is? It’s new so I’m still a small fish in a big pond of designers. Learning to promote myself more. I wish I could clone myself so someone was in charge of just promoting that shop. Also, looking to add more things in the future. A lot of things have suddenly happened at once (I’m not mad at all though).

Iphone cover designed by Clarissa NicoleDesigned by Clarissa Nicole

What does your day to day look like? Do you like to keep a structured schedule, or play it by ear?

I wake up around 8, lay there and on figure out what day it is (every single day), pack my gym clothes for the appropriate class I’m going to, coffee, breakfast, coffee, get dressed, pack a lunch head out and start working for the day. I learned I’m more productive out of the house then in, so that helps.

What makes you stand out as a designer/photographer?

A lot of my clients have told me they love that it was really, “them,” so maybe my work reflects the client. But aside from that, I’m really about minimalism and clean lines. I like design to be classic and timeless. This was actually a harder question to answer than I thought.

You’ve recently written about your re-branding process. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about re-branding themselves?

Think about why, what you like about your current brand, what you want to change into the new and plan it out. Create a mood board for yourself to help guide you through the process. It’s also OK to pick a brain about what you should do. Nothing wrong in some helpful critiquing.

Where do you see yourself, and your business in 5 years?

Is this where I answer “married with at least one child?” 😉 Hopefully I’ve moved to a new city, surrounding myself with more creatives with a cat I adopted named Tallulah (the name changes every month but I love Tallulah right now).

In terms of business, I hope to branch into product design working with a store that sells to a large range of customers. I also hope to employee a few people. I’m a huge fan of job creation and want to focus on hiring those getting out of school finding it difficult to nail some sort of steady income because they’re competing against people with 17-year experience. It’s what I went through after graduation and I don’t want that for anyone else.

What do you think has made your business successful? 

Pushing through when I wanted to quite 8397953287 times before. It’s hard, but something in me told me to get up, get working, and I’ve been so excited by the current growth that’s happening. Also, I stopped comparing myself to everyone else. It’s not about them, it’s about me.

Tell us something silly that we don’t know about you.

I car dance and lip sync—hard. I’ve had people join me at stoplights countless of times

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