Olivia Herrick is a graphic designer, author, mother and golfer who believes in taking a glass-half-full approach to the everyday. From her vibrant and uplifting Instagram Account, @oliviaherrickdesign, to her latest book, Olivia has continued to create things that make each day just a little bit brighter.
This month we had the pleasure of sitting down with Olivia who shared a little bit about her day-to-day life, her art, her journey and how she finds balance in her day-to-day life as a mother and business owner. Check out the Q&A below and don't forget to snag a piece of Olivia's work in the September edition of the Polished Post.
PP: Hi Olivia! We're so happy to have you. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
OH: My name is Olivia Herrick and I live in Minnesota with my husband, daughter, and our chocolate lab!
PP: Tell us a little bit about your journey as an artist. We would love to hear your story – how you got started, where you are now and all the ups and downs in between.
OH: I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer really young – probably around 13 or 14 years old! My mom was a graphic designer and art director so I grew up in a really creative environment. I ended up going to college to study graphic design and play golf and when I graduated in 2010 went to work for a commercial stationery company. I stayed there for just over a year, then went to work for a nonprofit for four years, then to a socially-conscious apparel start up! So I had a really fun group of unique professional experiences in the 6+ years that I was in the full-time workforce. Now I run my studio and specialize in visual branding, packaging, print, and pattern design!
PP: Share a little bit about your daily life – what does the typical routine look like for you?
OH: We live in Minnesota where it gets pretty chilly from October – April, so I really ramp up my work life during that the winter and scale back during the summer. I work 40 hours a week in the winter and take on a lot of projects. This gives me a bit more flexibility when summer rolls around so I am able to say “yes” to fun outdoor things like camping, family reunions, playing golf tournaments (a big part of my life), and spending time with friends and family. So I can’t say I have a super regimented year round schedule, but during the winter I usually am waking up around 5:30 so I can get in a bit of reading before my daughter wakes up, then I’ll spend time with her until I leave for work at 8:30, work until 5 PM, have family time until bedtime and then I will work out while my husband makes dinner (he’s the best!)
PP: So many women in our community are mothers who are also passionate about their career. The balance is, well, not always easy. I was hoping you could share a little more about the ways in which you’ve been able to lean into both areas of your life and how you find harmony?
OH: The balance is NOT easy. I would say that one of the most helpful things has been having more clear boundaries between work and home life – before I had a family I would work in the morning, at night, at home, on the couch, while watching tv with my husband – you name it! Now we have childcare for 35 hours per week, which meant getting real with myself about how many clients I could take on at any given time and being disciplined about not taking on too much work.
Ultimately I believe that being a mom has made me a better person, better creative, and better business owner. My personal journey has also been that continuing to work full time has made me a better mom. It’s a hard balance to strike, but my best advice is to just be really honest with yourself about how much time you have. If it’s during naptime and after bedtime, you might have 5-8 hours a week for your business. But as long as you are disciplined and take on only what fits within those parameters, everything can (theoretically) run pretty smoothly!
PP: Where do you find inspiration these days? Is there anyone in particular in your life who inspires you?
OH: I try to find inspiration offline as much as possible – my greatest sources of inspiration are nature, my family, books at the library, a musician practicing in the park. I really try to refill my cup away from any and all screens.
PP: What is the last book you read? Favorite musician/band you can’t get enough of?
OH: The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson. My favorite artists are Kenny Loggins and Don Henley (I’m an old soul!)
PP: How has the past year and a half affected you emotionally, physically and within your work? Can you share any rituals or practices you use to stay afloat that you’ve learned along the way?
OH: I think that without a doubt the most consistent difference-maker for me is exercise. I try to work out in some capacity almost every day, and it makes me feel better every single time. So I think my rituals would be exercise and time outdoors – those two things have healed my heart many, many times.
PP: Can you share the most recent act of kindness you witnessed? (or that was shown to you)
OH: Just yesterday my sister-in-law noticed I was at my emotional mothering limit and stepped in to play with my daughter so I could step away for a minute. Just one of those things where you’re teetering on the edge and someone extends a hand to pull you back to solid ground. The best!
PP: What are your professional and life plans for the next year? Any words of wisdom for those of us who are also parents and small business owners, striving to lead more intentional lives and build something beautiful?
OH: One of my big things is that… I try to not have a lot of plans! I love goals, and think they’re great and can be useful (ex: I am launching a new course in January, and want to experiment with Pinterest more) but I have found that the best (and worst!) things that have happened in my business and life have been way outside of what I have dreamed for myself. So I try to go with the flow, and do the best I possibly can every day.
I live by this Storypeople quote: “All the times I imagined the future, I never saw you in it, so now when someone asks me what I think will happen, even about the simplest things, I shake my head & say I don't know for sure, but leave room for something wonderful.”
PP: Where can we learn more about you and your work? (website, social, etc.)