We had the good fortune of connecting with Arlina Roman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arlina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Last year I was working at a marketing agency and one of my tasks was to help the creative director bring logo and brand identity design ideas to the table for our clients. I gained so much insight and experience that my relatives started asking me for logo designs for their small businesses. They later told their friends about my graphic design expertise and as a result I gained more client branding projects through them. I was beginning to see that I had the potential to do this as a side hustle as I was getting more and more business, but then I got laid off from my job and worked to take my design business to a full-time endeavor. Perfect timing if you ask me!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I graduated with a BFA from the Art Institute of Austin in 2016 and currently have 5 years of graphic design experience. My main focus is helping small businesses refine their brand identity to connect their message with their ideal client. Other than brand identity, I also design collateral, resumes, invitations and infographics. My hobby and side hustle since art school is hand lettering/calligraphy and I have done fun projects involving the writing of quotes on mirrors, names on birthday cards and other imaginative client requests! One of the lessons I have learned along the way is to adapt to different clients and their aesthetic ideals and to be open about budget from the beginning of a project. Another one is that constructive criticism is valuable for growth to enable you to become a better graphic designer.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Austin, Texas where you can enjoy doing a lot of fun and outdoor things! For breakfast or brunch, I recommend: Gabriela’s Downtown, Holy Roller, TLC, Laundrette and Hideaway. For an afternoon stroll or to take a break from the crowds, take a walk on Lady Bird Lake Trail or view Lake Austin from above the Pennybacker Bridge on Highway 360. For lunch or happy hour, I recommend: Grizzelda’s, Loro, Taquero Mucho and Joann’s. Austin is known to be the live music capital of the world where you can listen to live music at a large number of venues in and around downtown! Rainey Street and 6th Street are the most popular and you can enjoy the music while having a drink! The Domain is a great place for shopping and a change of scenery from downtown, where you can shop local businesses! For dinner, I recommend: Fresa’s, Fixe, Stella San Jac and The Grove. If you would like to watch a beautiful sunset, going to The Oasis on Lake Travis is the perfect location for that, where they also have salsa dancing classes for free on Sundays. The possibilities are endless in this amazing city I call home!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are a few designers I look up to who have helped me get to where I am today. One of my favorites is James Martin (@madebyjames on IG), he is a logo designer who has shown his followers how to expand their creativity while designing logos and brands according to client specifics. Another designer I look up to is Angela Mondloch (@saffronavenue on IG), she is a brand designer and calligrapher who I get inspiration from as she has such amazing talent! I also cannot forget to mention my friends and family for being such a great support system.
Photos by Erin Dudley Photography / IG: @sewstratton