River City Six – Emily Smith
Meet Emily Smith, graphic designer at Eleven Twenty-Three (11twentythree.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
We are a full-service, in-house advertising agency. We have a variety of capabilities and services, including campaign strategy, branding + design, video production, digital + traditional media planning, social media management, and event planning. I enjoy working with a team that has such a broad range of talents. Both the media and creative departments work closely with one another, collaborating on ideas and strategies.
How did you get started in the business?
My interest in creative work began at an early age. Whether it was woodworking with my dad, spending hours drawing, painting, crafting, or making videos on my VHS camcorder (commercials and all), I was always busy with some kind of project. I attended college at the University of South Dakota and graduated with a bachelor’s of fine arts degree with an emphasis in graphic design. I also minored in art history and contemporary media and journalism. My passion for endless creativity has led me to this position as a graphic designer at Eleven Twenty-Three.
Tell us a little about your family.
I was born and raised in Hastings, MN. My family and I spent summers fishing, camping, and swimming in the many lakes of Minnesota. My parents, Paul and Nancy, still live in Hastings in the house I grew up in. I have one older sister, Ashley, who recently moved out to the San Francisco Bay area.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
On my days off I enjoy making jewelry or working on some other kind of project. You can also find me spending quality time with family, friends, or my five pets.
Who inspires you?
I think I can answer this better by explaining what inspires me. There are definitely certain people throughout my life who have inspired me, but I think what inspires me the most is the world around me and the observations I make of it. Art, design, poetry, music, nature, psychology, the past, the present, the future, human nature, traveling…there is really inspiration all around us if you’re open to it.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein. Who doesn’t like to have fun? Also, a piece of advice that has stuck with me throughout my life was from my club swim coach, Kimberly Ann Olson: “You have to learn to enjoy things that you don’t always like doing.” She gave the example of taking out the trash. It’s not fun to take out the trash, but you have to do it, so you might as well enjoy doing it. This definitely translates to life. There are many parts of life that aren’t always enjoyable, but that’s life, and it’s better to put a smile on than to let it bring you down.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Anything with animals! I love all animals, but think I am 51% cat person and 49% dog person, so I would like to foster kittens someday.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Modern Love. I am not even a vegan, but I love to explore different foods and flavors. I love how you really have to get creative with vegan food and all of the flavors that become a result of that. Also, their house-made ginger ale is to die for.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?