- Freelance graphic designer (+ illustrator + infographer)
(“It's a bit of a mouthful, but in the simplest terms I do visual storytelling. Usually, that means illustrated infographics, but it can just as easily mean a logo or animation or something else entirely. And it's not all about numbers, either. There are all sorts of ways to tell a good story. Part of the challenge is figuring all of that out. You can see some of my recent work at YoAngela.com.”)
Originally from: Nebraska.
“But I actually moved to Nashville from Washington, D.C. I used to work in international development, doing design as well as general marketing, but I was frankly miserable. There are a lot of great things about D.C, but I personally found the city and its work culture pretty stifling. So, I made a sudden, rash decision to move to Nashville with absolutely no plans beyond ‘get out of D.C.’ I didn't even know anyone in the city, and I'd only ever visited once before. It should have been a disaster, but now that I've been here for a year and a half I can say it was definitely the best decision I've ever made!”
3 QUESTIONS WITH ANGELA
Is there a person (or persons) you can point to who really influenced your entrepreneurial journey?
“Probably my mom. My dad and my grandfather were both entrepreneurs. I always admired that, but it just seemed terrifying. I'm really not a risk taker, and I never thought I could be successful outside of a traditional business structure. But my mom was very encouraging of my crazy decision to move and be irresponsible for a while.
“It's funny. I remember having a conversation with my mom not long after I got to Nashville. I was taking a few months off to just read comics and play Super Nintendo like a woman-child, and I felt guilty about it. But, surprisingly, she encouraged me and said taking time off was how I'd get my inspiration back and figure out what I really wanted out of my career. She was completely right! If it weren't for her I'm sure I would have panicked and gotten a more traditional job. I never would have found out how much I love freelancing.”
Why were you drawn to coworking?
“Being new to Nashville, as well as new to freelancing, I found it nearly impossible to work from home. Home is where all those comics books and video games are, after all, and I'm just too easily distracted to work around that stuff. Coworking has really been a lifesaver, not just because I'm in work mode when I get here but because there are people to talk to and run ideas by. I can't even imagine working alone at home again.
“I was also drawn to coworking because working from home was turning me into a hermit. I knew no one here in Nashville, and while I wanted to connect with other cool, creative people, I had no idea how. Joining The Skillery has really opened a lot of doors for me, and I'm a lot more involved in the community now. It's great!”
Who or what are some of your favorite other independent pros/small businesses in the Nashville area, and why?
“This is a tough one, because I find pretty much everything in Nashville inspiring, especially after living in such a serious, corporate city as D.C. I'm most inspired by the sheer variety, and by anything different from what I do. I especially love that, even just here at The Skillery, there are passionate people involved in so many different industries. I can talk to a fine artist, a programmer, and a woodworker all in one day and easily be inspired by each.
“All the enthusiasm has started to rub off on me, despite my curmudgeonly personality, and you never know how a conversation might spark a great idea later on. I suppose that means The Skillery is my favorite small business? Is that cliche? Oh, well, it's true!”