We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Schoen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marisa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Creativity and art have always been part of my life, and by following my passion for it, it led me to where I am today.

Growing up, I had a creative & hands-on babysitter, Bernice, who always had a craft for my sister and I to work on. In grade school art was my favorite subject, and when it came to classes outside of art, I still found ways to be creative. I would always spend the most time incorporating design into my presentations and making my dioramas look polished.

When it came time for college, I was actually going to pursue a degree in business in hopes to opening up my own boutique. My friend knew the Director of Public Information at the college I was attending and said he was looking for a work-study student. I applied and a few days later got the job. Within the first few weeks, I met and shadowed the graphic designer who did freelance work for the school. I knew right away that I wanted to spend my life doing something similar. Shortly after, I switched my degree to graphic design with a minor in studio art, and it felt like this was the right path to take.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m motivated to create designs around music, fashion, traveling, architecture, and nature. I like to work with geometric shapes and textures, and want my work to invoke retro and nostalgic feelings. I’m fascinated with the 20th century; especially the culture from the 1950s-1970s. I want my work to pay tribute to the craftsmanship and detail that went in to design during that time.

It was definitely a process to get to where I am today. Along the way I’ve challenged myself to take on roles outside of my comfort zone, such as product design. In this role I gained a new understanding and appreciation for packaging design. Without this experience, I may not have started Sunrise Motel.

I’m still learning, growing, and adapting in order to get to where I want to be! I’m motivated and dedicated to what I do and spend a lot of time creating and practicing. I think every detail counts in order to improve your skills.

What I’ve learned along the way is that not everything is always glamorous and sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do, that’s just part of life. I also have learned if you really don’t like something, you have the power to change it or improve it.

Graphic design is versatile and creates a lot of business opportunities. In 2020, I opened up my Etsy shop, Sunrise Motel, selling enamel pins, keychains, cards and art prints based on the things that inspire me. Recently, I’ve also been experimenting with gouache paint as another creative outlet and plan to incorporate more of it into future designs.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Arizona is a beautiful, magical and an inspirational place! I’ve been there a couple times and definitely have plans to visit again soon. I live in Minnesota and have always been blown away by the weather and captivating landscapes. If you’re from out of town like me, I would suggest flying into Phoenix because the airport is easy to navigate! The Grand Canyon is a must-see. I was at the South Rim but want to explore the other parts as well. Monument Valley is also breathtaking and a beautiful drive. I’ve heard the hike around the monuments is a must! Being inspired by music, I stopped in Winslow Arizona ( thanks, Eagles!) and also explored the Meteor Crater. Along the way, I visited the desolate Petrified Forest National Park. In addition, I would suggest checking out the Horseshoe Bend to take in the beautiful landscape. I also stopped in Page to tour the Antelope Canyon. It’s an amazing experience to actually go inside the canyon and understand how it formed. I would also suggest visiting Sedona and experiencing the different rock formations and vortexes. The Airport Mesa hike is great and super scenic! Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock are some of the vortexes I climbed and would definitely recommend. You’ll be blown away just driving around Sedona alone!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m so thankful for all the help, encouragement and support from instructors, coworkers, designers and friends. I also am grateful for Tom, the Director of Public Information at FDLTCC for opening my mind up to design. My family has been behind me every step of the way. From a young age, they helped me discover my passions and encouraged me to follow my interests and express myself through fashion and design. I’d like to also dedicate this shoutout to my fiancé, the left side to my right brain. He pushes and motivates me to think outside the box and is extremely supportive. I am also inspired by all the artists and designers I follow on Instagram and Dribbble, who motivate me to keep creating.

Website: www.etsy.com/shop/sunrisemotel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marisa.schoen

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/schoenmarisa

Other: www.marisaschoen.com https://dribbble.com/marisa_schoen

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