There’s an overwhelming amount of girl power in Austin nowadays, especially in the tech and startup world. We want to showcase some awesome ladies you should know in the design and illustration world.
Natalie Armendariz started designing at age twelve after watching her brother use Photoshop. As a native Texan, she attended The University of Texas at Arlington. A couple of semesters in, she took a summer internship at advertising agency, imc2, in Dallas.
She ended up suspending her college classes to continue the internship, ultimately pursuing a career in advertising and marketing design. Shortly after, she made a move to New York City, spending six years honing her craft. Afterwards, she and her husband, also a native Texan, found themselves wanting to be closer to family. So they packed up a truck and moved to Austin. The pair now runs Funsize, a digital design studio, with clients ranging from OpenTable, to EA (Electronic Arts) to bootstrap startups.
Born and raised in Austin, Isa D’Aniello grew up with parents who were artists. Illustration running through her blood, she was part of the high school yearbook team, which prompted her to learn layouts and Photoshop. D’Aniello studied advertising at The University of Texas at Austin, learning how to tell stories visually. After graduation, she pursued at internship with Buzzfeed in New York City, where she focused on design for the marketing and advertising teams.
In June 2015, D’Aniello moved back to Austin, taking on freelance jobs until she joined the team at Umbel as their graphic designer. She also teaches hand lettering workshops and creates commission pieces. Her clients have included Jeep, Everly Well and ScoreMore.
Ruthie Fleming stumbled upon illustration and design. Claiming it was by accident, she found herself drawing illustrations for different online forums at thirteen and realized this was an opportunity to build a career. After contemplating pursuing political science and international business, she opted for design instead.
Fleming spent two semesters at community college in Ohio before deciding to pursue freelance work instead. Her freelance and contract work brought her to San Antonio for three years before she moved to Austin in 2015. She now works at RetailMeNot as part of their design team and stresses that she “likes to take complex ideas and make them understandable and beautiful to see.”
Annie Lin started drawing in high school and became interested in graphic communication and film editing. She moved to Austin from nearby College Station to major in advertising at The University of Texas. Lin started working at Tilted Creative after graduating in 2013. She is now a visual designer at Fjord and has freelance projects on the side as she builds her own brand.
Erika Marquez grew up not too far from Austin, about three hours south in Ben Bolt. She had always wanted to be an artist and decided during high school she would pursue art as a career. Marquez studied graphic design at St. Edward’s University, with a minor in art. Her interest in branding and logos led to an internship at Progress Texas, a rapid response media hub that focuses on promoting progressive ideals in Texas. She held multiple internships in town before landing a full-time gig at advertising agency, Bakery.
Hanlly Sam started out in design by making poster and logos for her friends’ punk rock bands. Hailing from Mexico City, Hanlly constantly visited family in Austin, finally moving to the city after high school to attend St. Edward’s University for her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She currently works at Bird’s Barbershop and is in the process of partnering with a Dallas photographer in collaboration with Urban Outfitters.
Elayna Spratley wasn’t sure at first that design was her calling. Her love of zines and basic HTML websites in fifth grade led her to photography, owning her own business and design. She realized the importance of design and how she related to it while designing for her own small business.
Her design career began in Atlanta, Ga. while working part-time for herself. After two years of the hustle, she committed full-time to this passion and enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design (Atlanta Campus), where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Spratley calls herself a “New York apple that became a Georgia peach.” Her journey brought her to Austin in 2015, where she currently works at IBM Design.
Austin’s plethora of female designers and illustrators prove girl power is real in our backyard. Get it, ladies!
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which other female designers or illustrators in Austin should be included on our list?
Irvianne Torremoro is a service industry professional and founder of Flavor & Bounty, where she enjoys sharing stories about food, drinks and getting to know the people of the craft. She’s willing to hug all the animals, talk Beyoncé and be your BFF.