One of the wonderful things about living in Austin, TX is that so many people move here every day (an average of 152 per day over the past decade). Ok, most residents don’t count that as a plus, but the migration to the capital city means that creatives from larger cities have been flocking here.
I met Joanna within a couple of months of her arrival from LA and decided instantly that we would be friends. Lucky for me this has meant that I have also watched Modular, ink flourish in its new city! I’m so excited to share a peek into the work and life of Joanna. Make sure you go check out her work and reach out to introduce yourself!
“There is a vitality in this city that inspires me to grow in new ways and to further my real-life education.”
Sierra Bailey: Every time I sit down with you, I wish that I could follow you back to your workspace and see everything you’re working on. Your work with Modular, ink. is beautiful and inspiring. For those who do not follow you around, explain what your studio does.
Joanna Holden: Thanks so much! My studio is a branding and digital design studio. That means, we work with clients—big and small—to tell their story visually through brands, websites, infographics, videos—whatever medium our clients need to reach their audience. Our goal is to become your long-time partner in the creation of a powerful brand and continue to showcase that brand to your audience with impact and sustainability.
Sierra Bailey: What is your background career wise? Have you always been a designer?
Joanna Holden: I come from a long line of designers—my mother is a fine artist and my grandmother was a fashion designer, so I’m a designer in every aspect of the word.
I was classically trained as a fine artist before deciding I really loved working more directly with people to help them express their ideas visually. I use my classical training daily to hand draw logo ideas and to develop concepts for my client work.
I started out at agencies and learned the business from a lot of great mentors and worked in-house at a large consulting firm, both of these roles really gave me a well-rounded start to establish my own agency.
Sierra Bailey: What is your favorite thing about what you do?
Joanna Holden: Working with and interacting with my clients. The moment a brand is unveiled and seeing my client’s reaction brings me such joy. I love being hands’ on and really getting to the heart of what the work needs to look and feel like based on the story we are telling.
I also love big-picture thinking. I think it is important to look at a brand holistically to create a powerful campaign that will last.
“Our goal is to become your long-time partner in the creation of a powerful brand and continue to showcase that brand to your audience with impact and sustainability.”
Sierra Bailey: You made a big move last year from LA to Austin. Your clients can be anywhere, but do you feel you have an influence on your work from living in an incredibly different style of city?
Joanna Holden: Absolutely. Twelve years ago, I moved to Los Angeles from Dallas, my hometown. I moved to challenge and expose myself to a city that has so much to offer in design, aesthetic and culture. LA molded me in a way that is priceless. I learned and grew into a much more diverse creative. Our recent move to Austin was one that I had a lot of wonder about and I have really grown to love the city for everything it has to offer as a creative person. There is a vitality in this city that inspires me to grow in new ways and to further my real-life education.
Sierra Bailey: What are you the most excited about in the next 1-3 years?
Joanna Holden: I have plans to grow my business significantly and I cannot wait to see what that looks like. The business community is full of interesting, creative and inspiring people that I am excited to learn from and to collaborate with. It’s so fun exploring Austin I love seeing my children grow in this city.
“Being the principal of a business can be lonely and as a creative professional, I thrive in groups where I am on a team to solve a problem.”
Sierra Bailey: What is the one, under $100 purchase in the last year has been life-changing in your business or life?
Joanna Holden: I replaced all of my hand-lettering tools. I was still using some of the drawing tools I have had for over 10 years and getting new ones were a real inspiration to draw and concept by hand more frequently.
Sierra Bailey: If we could do one thing to help you get to the next level, what would that be?
Joanna Holden: Reach out! I love collaborating. Being the principal of a business can be lonely and as a creative professional, I thrive in groups where I am on a team to solve a problem. And of course, new contacts and referrals to people in my industry and clients.