Spotted in: Downtown Santa Cruz
Occupation: Web, Interactive & Print Designer, Musician
What are you up to today?
I'm a designer. I run my own business, so I'm in-between touching base with clients. I do mostly web and interactive design, but I'm picking up some print work from my client because I do that too. I specialize in web and apps but I've been doing print for a long time. So I provide both to my clients. We might do their branding and put their web up, and do all their print. So I'm picking up a proof in San Jose and dropping it off to Palo Alto. And then I'm meeting up with my music manager [laughs] because I have a music project and we have this manager/agent out of Los Angeles that I'm meeting with this evening!
Wow, you have a full schedule today!
I know, and somewhere in there I need to get new tires because my current ones are totally bald!
So how did you get started doing all of these things?
I'm a glutton for punishment! [laughs] I chose design because I was a visual artist—a painter and whatnot—and I thought it was a good way to use my sense of color and spatial management so I became a designer a long time ago. It's great because I can work from home and be more flexible as a graphic designer. Then I went back to school for web and interactive after I had a clothing line. I had a fashion company for a while.
What was your clothing line like?
It was ready-to-wear. It was called Genevieve Primavera. You can google it. It did well! I got covered by Women's Wear Daily and Women's Apparel News, so that was kind of exciting, but it was an expensive hobby so I returned to graphic design and went back to the Art Institute for web and interactive and I've been doing that ever since! And music, I've always been into music!
How would you describe your music project?
It's like a trip-hop, indie pop project so if you like Phantogram, it's like that with some Portishead influences.
Have you been playing around town?
We're not playing a lot of places right now. We've just released a video so we've been focusing on our online presence. Our manager is supposed to start booking in summer. We've played a couple of places—the Back Bar SoFa in San Jose, and the Stork Club in Oakland. But yeah, we're waiting to do some bigger shows and work on more music!
Are you from Santa Cruz?
Well I work out of NextSpace the co-working space down the street, but I live in Ben Lomond on the border of Ben Lomond and Felton. I live more on the Felton side, more by Don Quixote's and the Cremer House that opened there—they have amazing burgers. It's weird, there's like plentiful organic food over there!
That's a neat area because it feels sort of remote but you're still close to town.
Yeah, it's still 15 minutes into town, but a couple Saturday mornings I got to chase a baby deer around my back yard to try to help it out—that was kind of funny!
What's a recent challenge you've overcome?
Getting paid by clients! [laughs]. Actually, that usually is a challenge. And I think it's a challenge as women because sometimes men think they can get away with a little bit more I think with the designers. Like, oh I can just talk her down. So I have to be strong—more assertive. I've gotten better at it. My biggest challenge is time! Because I've got clients, and so business is good. My music project is coming along, too. After we released the video, we got contacted by Gary Avila—who used to manage Papa Roach out of San Jose a few years ago and placed a musician in No Doubt. So he's got all these wonderful connections and he reached out to us and was like, I want to represent you. So now the pressure is on and the music has gone from hobby to having deadlines! [laughs]
What are your favorite things to do around town?
Bike riding on West Cliff. You know where Natural Bridges are? The butterflies? Yeah, that's the beach area over there. Hiking near Felton, that's why I moved there. Going out with my friends here in Santa Cruz. First Fridays—I love First Fridays here. Especially with all my friends at NextSpace. We'll have happy hours there on Friday and afterward we'll go to Oswald's, The Red, 515 or whatever.
Anything caught your attention lately?
I'm thinking and the only thing that comes to mind is hamburgers! [laughs] Grass fed burgers! A good burger is hard to find!
Where's your favorite burger?
The Cremer House in Felton, Oswald's—those are my two favorites right now. Actually another thing that's sparked my interest is I've decided to learn a program called Swift to write iOS 8 apps. I do web development, I can write the code for that but I want to get more into app development because I have some apps—some of my own ideas that I'd like to get out there.
Very cool! Where did you find the course?
This course I found online, you can give it a try. It's called Udemy, and I heard some good things about it. And I also have a friend at the workspace who I've done design for so we're going to work something out to where he can kind of coach me through it a little bit in exchange for barter or a reduced rate.
I also wanted to ask you about your personal style! How would you describe it?
I don't know! I just try to reflect myself, I try not to fall into any genre, so I probably just dress my mood—how I feel. But still, I have to do business so I can't be dressing too sexy or anything. This is me [points to bull skull on her tee] I'm a Taurus!
Where did everything come from?
These platform shoes are from Nasty Gal. You know that blog? I love that blog. So I ordered these there. These are from Urban Outfitters I think, which is funny, because I just went there one day after work. But usually I try to buy all American mostly.
I like this little clutch too, it's really cute.
Oh I got this in Santa Cruz, too.