About Claudia From a young age, I always enjoyed being creative. I expressed this creativity in many ways, from constructing and decorating elaborate tents in the basement to drawing and painting for hours. In fact, one of my first memories was getting in trouble for taking the messy oil from my tuna fish salad and drawing designs all over the stainless steel tray of my high chair.
When it came time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I knew that it had to revolve around art. I was lucky to have a cousin who blazed a trail for me. A graphic designer who had a successful career, she showed me (and my parents) that I could turn my creativity and talent into a career.
Coloring in the Lines
For years, I played by the rules: I went to college on an art/design scholarship, had internships at ad agencies while in college, and even got a job in a large ad agency as a design assistant before I graduated from college. At first I loved what I was doing. I quickly moved up through the ranks and was even recruited by other agencies. I loved getting to use my creativity and design skills on the job.
But the more time I spent in the agency setting working with large corporations that sold products that I didn’t care about, like household appliances and diesel engines, the more disillusioned I became. Ad agencies are usually set up so that the creatives work through the account executives, with very little client contact. I didn’t like not being able to talk to the people who made the products, and not being able to develop relationships with the people I was designing for. I also questioned the value I was adding to the world.
Finding My Passion
After my four-year stint in larger agencies, I joined a small web design and marketing firm at the height of the dot.com boom. I advanced from art director to creative director, and I loved learning this new technology. I relished the immediacy of it: how fast you could see a final product and how you could quickly change things on the fly. But what I liked most was working one-on-one with the clients I served. I loved getting to know the people and products I was helping to market. But after four years, the dot.com bubble burst, and I knew I would soon be out of a job. That’s when I made the leap, took my destiny into my own hands, and became an entrepreneur. Oomph Design was born in 2001.
Why I’m Still Here
After 16 years in the world of advertising and branding, I keep coming back to one thing: the joy I get from seeing how strategic design can energize and delight a client and help them get results they are looking for.