How We Make Our MARK – A Day in the Life featuring Devon Harrison

We’re rolling right into our next sit down. Let’s get to know another member of our talented team just a little better.

If you missed any of our previous issues of How We Make Our Mark, check them out here!

This month, we caught up with Senior Graphic Designer.

How long have you been at OTM and how did you hear about the company?

“I’ve been with OTM for about 12 years now! It seems like just yesterday I interviewed for a summer position as a junior graphic designer.

Funny story. I heard about On The Mark through my dad. He did some plumbing work for Nicol, our chief creative officer, and he kept her business card while I was in college. A few years later, that card came in handy as I was looking for work! I decided to reach out about open positions in graphic design and the rest is history!”

In 12 years how has your role evolved?

“I’ve grown and evolved a lot over my time with the company. I initially started as a junior graphic designer and then was promoted to graphic designer several years later. The position involved more independence, a larger client base and coaching junior designers. A little over two years ago, I earned a promotion to senior graphic designer responsible for our entire design team. I really enjoy helping them grow and expand their skillsets in the field while working on so many exciting projects.”

Devon designing away at her desk back in 2013

What does your typical workday look like?

“Being a manager requires balance and forethought on how best to strategically use my time to support the team while also working independently to execute my own client projects. We are a busy team, so the days move quickly.”

How do you find a balance between your own projects and managing the team?

“It is sometimes a balancing act that requires practice and solid time management. I like to step back and review the big picture. This helps me prioritize based on deadlines, next steps in the workflow and unique client deliverables.

I also find that time blocking is an efficient way for me to get a chunk of work done without distractions. Instead of toggling back and forth between projects, I find that if I give 100% of my attention to one thing at a time, it helps to free up space in the day. It also puts me truly present and focused on an individual project or team member.”

Tell us about a recent favorite project?

“Oh, it is so hard to land on just one favorite project. My clients are so diverse, and I have something good to say about each project! Print design is my go-to project preference, but I also appreciate growing my skillset and challenging myself through digital design. I’ve worked with our client Jewelers of America for the past 12 years and recently had an opportunity to strategize and execute some fun digital work for one of their signature annual events and membership recruitment. That worked pushed me outside the box and it was very rewarding.”

Stay tuned to check out this project, and others, when we launch our new website coming soon!

In your opinion, what is one important skill for a senior graphic designer?

“I’m going to give you two: patience and communication.

As a leader, I believe patience has a powerful effect on your team. Maintaining composure during difficult situations creates a calm, productive and creative atmosphere in the workplace.

Keeping an open dialogue of effective communication with your team helps avoid misunderstandings and confusion. It also lets them know they are heard. All of which leads to a positive and collaborative relationship.”

When you’re not at work, where can we find you?

“With my son, Tristan! He’s my world and will be two years old this July! He keeps me in touch with my own inner child. Lately, we’ve been doing arts and crafts together. He loves it and for me, it reminds me of a place where I found joy when I was young. It’s been so much fun to watch him learn, grow and play.”

Tristan having fun with arts and crafts

What are you looking forward to the most with Tristan?

“Being a mom is still a whole new world for me. I have no idea what to expect or even how to do it some days! I’m taking it one day at a time and believe it or not, he helps show me the way.

It is incredible how a little being can absorb so much, like a sponge. Sometimes it seems like he knows what to do or say without being taught. I find myself saying, “Umm, how did you know how to do that?” (haha) I am also astonished how big his heart is for such a little person. I melt when he just does something in an act of pure kindness. There’s just such innocence in them. So, to answer your question, I look forward to spending time exploring new adventures with him and revisiting childhood memories of mine and my husband’s and to teach and expose Tristan to as much as we can. Most importantly, I find myself in a state of endless curiosity wondering who Tristan will become one day.

For right now, he just loves to be outside, especially in his Red Radio Flyer Wagon! So, our current goal is to turn our backyard into a kid-friendly environment with a swing set and a place for him to run around and play. And of course, let’s not forget about adding an adult patio space for us as well!”

Tristan enjoying his Red Radio Flyer Wagon last Christmas

Do you have any closing advice for new graphic designers?

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s the only way you learn! If something is not clear or you just want to learn more do not hesitate to ask. We all started somewhere.”

Tristan took a trip to the aquarium!
The happy family – Devon, her husband Pete and Tristan
BONUS! We played a game with Devon to see which traits Tristan inherited from mom and dad!