Getting To Know You: Katie Pertiet

The Getting To Know You Series has been such a great way of learning more about the fabulous members of this site. I know I can hardly wait to find out who we will learn more about next! We are definitely continuing this series but thought it would be fun to find out more about the designer team that week after week creates the amazing products that we find at DesignerDigitals. Who better to start with than the fabulously talented Katie Pertiet!

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Hi Katie! I so wish we could be sitting down for a coffee and chat but I guess this is the next best thing. I know I’m not alone in wanting to know more about the creative force behind DesignerDigitals.

After graduating as a graphic designer (1985), I started working designing point of purchase displays on the south side of Chicago.  I was a technical illustrator using both pen and ink. From there I moved on to various freelance positions, a position at UIC and corporate art departments meeting various people and learning various skills along the way.  In 1993, I incorporated my own graphic design firm where I worked on textbooks, corporate ads, annual reports, packaging and even Cornnuts packaging!

Through this time, I was always scrapbooking. I started paper scrapping in high school and became the chapter historian for my sorority in college. It was then that I started thinking about the importance of telling a story. I converted to digital scrapping in 2004 after moving all of my scrapping supplies out of my work office to an out of the way upstairs room to help with the self-discipline of being self-employed. With only my computer (and my handy Photoshop/illustrator skills), I would use free moments to do some digital scrapbooking. In January 2005, we thought it was too late to start a digital scrapbooking site but began began DesignerDigitals [DD] anyway and yet here we are seven years later.

One of the things I love about DD is the high quality and freshness of your products. Where do you find your inspiration?

Pinterest is, of course, great but magazines are another fabulous source especially when I’m looking at their graphic design. Honestly though, I find inspiration everywhere.  I’ve been at a highway rest stop and noticed advertisements that made me think “That would make a great sticker.” It’s really everywhere! Colors in the paint department at the home improvement store and watching tv, there is visual inspiration all around us it’s just a matter of being tuned into it!

You have a great way of seeing scrapbooking trends and embracing them. What do you think of Project Life?

I see scrapbooking trends as a new way of telling your story. I love how Project Life gets you telling your story. People shouldn’t be intimidated by the concept. You can still do random scrapping and mix it in with your story. Think of it simply as a grid!

How do you scrapbook?

For me there are two sides to scrapbooking. The first is to tell my story. I look at my grandmother’s photos and the year is handwritten on them but I want to know the story behind the photo.  Why is she sitting on that wall or is her arm tucked behind her because she’s hiding a cigarette…you just don’t know. My hope is that if you link a story to the photo it captures the magic of the moment. The second is my random scrapping which can also be about stories but it also has that creative and artistic exploration side to it.

What are your favorite things to create?

For the paper and brushes, it would have to be the letterbox series. While vintage designs has always been a passion of mine, this series was one of the first for the store so it has that extra meaning for me. As for templates, I completed the Documenting a Decade series and I’m amazed at the story that it told. It’s made me want to used my own Painted Memories Layered Templates to tell more stories like a Book with Quotes or Things I Want You to Know series.

Your Documenting a Decade series was amazing Katie! I’m still working on mine. It’s going to be treasure! In preparing for this interview, I googled you Katie. I am amazed at how much more I learned about you! I I found out you are a triple threat…designer, artist and photographer. I especially love the lighthouse series that I found at art.com. Can you tell me a bit about that?

I’ve exhibited in NYC and have some of my work has been sold at Michaels and Target. I’ve stepped back from the art world recently to focus on DesignerDigitals but still visiting shows in NYC to keep my hand in it though. The lighthouses were done for a wall paper assignment and then I evolved them into wall decor too!

Ok, I must know…where do you get your energy?

Coffee (laughs). Well, I’ve always worked quickly. I think it’s the years of working under a deadline. I always have a task list. I stay on task and try to stay focused.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of DesignerDigitals and what it’s become. It’s much more than a digital scrapbooking store. It’s a group of creative, talented and kind people that have come together to create an incredible community. We are lucky to have each other!

Well Katie I think I can speak for most of us and say how lucky we are to have had you and Randy create this wonderful site. The digital products, gallery inspirations and community have made it a home away from home for many of us. Thank you Katie!

In addition to running this fabulous site, Katie can be found at http://katiepertiet.typepad.com which is a treasure trove of ideas, tutorials (check out her in the studio header!) and generous giveaways. Her gallery at DesignerDigitals is always inspiring.

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