marla-squareIn a Nutshell
I’m a multidisciplinary designer.

Specifically, I’m an information architect. I’m a content strategist. I’m a writer. I’m an editor. I’m a UX designer. I’m a visual designer. I’m a storyteller.

Let’s get personal
I’m a closet attorney and librarian. I’m a member of two writer’s groups. I have three children; the youngest are boy/girl twins. No, they aren’t identical. I love to swim. I love yoga. I love movies and everything that has to do with writing. I was a model in my past life. I grew up in Sacramento, which I reluctantly claim as my hometown. Most people think I’m European. I used to speak French. I’m married to a German. We work together and live together, imagine that. 16 years and counting. I will always miss New York, where I lived for a decade, but Los Angeles is my home at the moment. I love the big backyard,  pool and fireplace lifestyle. Nature is good for my brain. I love taking candid photos of real situations and people (see my instagram). I have a cool gray tiger cat named Theodore who behaves like a panther. He rules the roost. Yes. I’m also a dog person, but I don’t have a dog at the moment.

Cocktail Party Small Talk
“What do you do?” is the question of the day or evening, in my case, at pretty much any cocktail party I attend in and around Los Angeles. It’s difficult to explain to people who don’t do what I do or at least are not in a similar industry exactly what it is that I do. Here in Los Angeles, where it’s mostly entertainment, a content strategist confuses them, and a visual designer could mean anything. Most people I encounter can relate to web designer, but that’s so limiting in its description! My ten year old can design a website.

“Yes, sure I can fix your WordPress website. Sure, I can show you how to sign in. Sure, I can change that color. Sure, I can make you a custom website.”

“I’m a logo designer” also works at parties. People seem to relate to that. Or something like “I work on brands—websites, business cards, etc.” But, again, it doesn’t really describe what I do.

In the end, it all boils down to this: I tell stories through the brilliant organization of content (content strategy), wrapped up in a pretty package (ui design, Interaction Design, visual design) to create an enjoyable, frustration free experience (UX Design) for users (audience).

What I love
I love puzzles. Crosswords. Jigsaws. Codes and Ciphers. I love reading, writing, organizing and researching. I love maps. I began organizing from an early age (virgo). I began coding from an early age. (Thanks, Dad.) I loved reading from an early age. (Thanks, Mom.) I’ve always been curious. I’ve always loved learning. I’ve always had a ton of natural energy; it’s in my genes.

Keeping the Fire Alive
I like to enjoy what I do. Let’s call it “The Fun Factor” (been used before) but I’m not afraid of hard work, quite the opposite. But, life is too short and moves too quickly to not enjoy the ride. I like working with great people who are inspired, creative, motivated and intelligent. Other than that, I love a good game of strategy.

If you made it this far, you might want to read the Top 5 Questions I Get Asked.