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Life and Work with Caitlin Hottinger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caitlin Hottinger.

Caitlin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Absolutely! I am a graphic designer and illustrator, originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. Growing up, my dream was to become an “author and illustrator.” When I eventually studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I learned about graphic design and typography. I loved the way design requires both visual and analytical thinking, and found that these fields encompass my appreciation for language, letterforms, art and problem solving all at once. I moved to Chicago after graduating to professionally practice design and illustration. Being a designer and illustrator is fun, challenging, and always interesting. I love what I do!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
A challenge I’ve faced has been the balance of keeping up with a competitive, rapidly changing industry while avoiding comparing my journey with others’ in nonconstructive ways. I’ve found it’s really important to stay aware of industry trends and leaders and to keep learning new skills. There are so many incredible tools and resources to do this in our interconnected, technologically advanced world. However, these tools for connecting need to be navigated intentionally. I think it’s beneficial to regularly disconnect and remember that your creative and professional progress should only be compared with your own journey and the goals you’ve set for yourself. Instead of being discouraged by feeling that you’re behind in some ways, you can see those areas as exciting opportunities for growth!

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a graphic designer and illustrator. My specialties are stationery design and branding. I often work with engaged couples to design and illustrate custom wedding stationery suites that are beautiful, special and specific to their wedding vision. I also work with small business owners for brand design and consultation. Sometimes that involves creating a brand from scratch (including logo design, colors, typography, iconography and other visual elements), and other times we make revisions to their current branding to strengthen and expand their brand and marketing capabilities. In addition, I’ve also recently been taking on the challenge of learning hand lettering, which has been loads of fun!

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
I’m so grateful that my parents read to me every night growing up. My love for visual communication, illustration, and writing can absolutely be credited to the cherished time I spent listening to and looking at stories that my mom and dad read to me.

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 Image Credit:
Caitlin Hottinger, design and illustration, Amaya Adams, portrait of Caitlin

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