Name: Brenda Riddell
Company name: Graphic Details, Inc.
Title: Owner and Creative Director

  1. What does the term “creativity” mean to you?

    For me, creativity means opportunity. Thinking creatively provides a way to solve a problem or overcome a challenge uniquely. Doing something creative gives me a retreat from the mundane, a mini-vacation as it were. I’ve been fortunate to teach students, both young and old, in various design disciplines. Helping them unleash their creativity rejuvenates me, and in turn, makes me better at what I do each day at Graphic Details. Creativity is all about generating positive outcomes.

  2. You own Graphic Details and also carry the title of Creative Director. Can you take a moment to explain what being a creative director means to you?

    When you read a job description for a Creative Director, you often see words like “decision maker” and “overseer”. While that might be part of what I do, I try to focus more on empowering our team to do what they do best. It means trusting the team we have in place while also guiding them toward our project and business goals. I provide creative support when it’s needed, autonomy when it’s not, and the tools and advice the team needs to succeed.  

  3. Even though your job has “creative” in the title, you’re often overseeing the work that your team puts out, which I imagine is fulfilling but is less traditionally hands-on. How do you find time to create?

    “Overseeing!” I told you that’s a term that I see often! When I’m not working hands-on, I’m still part of our creative process. Collaborating with my team to brainstorm ideas at the outset of a project is one of the things I enjoy most. The icing on the cake is watching those ideas come to fruition through our talented team. It’s just awesome to witness. I also jump into designer-mode occasionally. I think it’s essential to keep my design skills sharp and on-trend and frankly, that’s where those “mini-vacations” often take place. Who would want to give those opportunities up?!

  4. What are some unique creative challenges that you’ve faced as the owner of a graphic design agency?

    The biggest ongoing challenge as an owner of a design agency, especially as it relates to web design and development, is knowing when to adopt new technologies. The truth is, if an agency continues to use the same systems without considering how to continually streamline or beneficially change an outcome, then it will be tough to survive the long-haul. We’ve found success by listening to our clients and our intuition. Most clients know what they need to do to succeed, but not necessarily how to get to the finish line. It’s our job to continually research and test new tools and strategies so we can make informed decisions to provide the best possible long-term outcome.

  5. If you had to pick another profession, what would you choose and why? Do you think that it would change your relationship with creativity if you were in a different field?

    I love what I do, but if I were to pick another profession, it would somehow combine education and animals. I’d want to help design experiential learning opportunities at a nature center, an animal or wildlife sanctuary, or even a natural history museum. I currently volunteer for a few animal rescues, so I think it would be nice to take that to the next level someday.

    Finding unique, interactive ways for people to learn about animal welfare would be a rewarding challenge. But it goes without saying that I’m working in my dream job now, and I’ll continue to do so until it’s no longer fulfilling…and I don’t envision that happening anytime soon!

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