Maggie Enterrios is an illustrator and typographer with a flair for all things botanical. Working for clients such Apple, Crayola, Instagram, Madam C.J Walker for Sephora, Craftsy, Chronicle Books and also being featured on the TODAY Show. Maggie's style is equal parts formal and whimsical with its contrast of ultra detail you could get lost in, and heavy weight lettering.
What city do you live in?
What is your background?
Bachelor’s degree – Art + Design, Columbia College Chicago
Worked as an Art Director in Advertising 2010-2016
Where do you work?
I work from home, a renovated brewery building
When did you first start pursuing art/typography?
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on two packaging projects, both for beverage products. It’s a wonderful new challenge to work with something that is 3-dimensional. Other than that, my goal is to be proactive rather than reactive in my career. I typically have 8-20 clients at a time, so I’m trying to treat myself like a client and come out with more products and passion projects that truly feel representative of my style and blossoming aesthetic.
What was your first commercial job, how did you get it?
I suppose my first real commercial gig was Apple. Before that, I mostly did logo commissions and personal fine art pieces – and I was content that way! But Apple was my first big brand, and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to leverage the exposure into several other commercial partnerships. Social media has been my main tool for obtaining work. I truly believe in the power of Instagram, Pinterest and Behance!
What do you want to be better at/what are you not good at?
I would like to improve at drawing depth and shadowing. Oftentimes I’m so booked up with client work that I don’t get much time for exploration. Whenever I get the green light from a client (you know, the type that says “you’re the expert. I trust you!”) that’s when the magic really happens and I can explore new styles. I’d also like to improve when it comes to life and figure drawing.
What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without a naturally-lit workspace and a cozy blanket. I’m the type to really dive into the creative zone and not come out of it for hours, so I need to be comfy!
How do you stay productive when client work is slow?
Knock on wood, but I haven’t had a dip in demand yet. I’m a bit hyper-productive, so sometimes I need to remind myself to slow down and think things through instead of churning out work quickly just to satisfy deadlines.
What is important to you?
The most important things in my life are breakfast, naps and quality conversations with good friends. I work a ton, but I think regular socialization is so very important, especially when working solo from home. I heavily rely on morning exercise, taking walks with neighborhood friends, and phone calls with loved ones to keep me balanced.
What do you wish you had known when first starting as a designer?
I wish I had learned more about business management, invoicing, pricing and independent taxes. It was a subject that was rarely (if ever) touched on when I was in Art School. As soon as I entered the workforce, I realized how much I had to learn about managing my finances.
I heavily rely on morning exercise, taking walks with neighbourhood friends, and phone calls with loved ones to keep me balanced.
Looking back on your design career, what is something you persisted with but should have stopped?
I think I wasted a lot of time trying to fit into the box of other designers I saw around me. I thought that I need to have clean, vector illustrations and a flat design aesthetic. It took me far too long to realize that what I have is unique and that I should embrace it.
How do you cope with a creative block?
Creative block is definitely the enemy! I like to keep a list handy of personal project ideas. If I’m stuck on a project or feeling slow and uninspired, I’ll look to that list and pick something off of it to start on. Ten out of ten times, it helps reawaken my creativity just to work on something new like that, and I can return to my original project with fresh eyes.
What is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal is a snake. I’ve always felt connected to them. Maybe because I had a bad lisp as a child. But really, I love them visually: they are living, moving patterns. They are symbols of transformation and rebirth, and in Chinese Zodiac are thought to represent skill and quick wit.
What book (or books) would you recommend to someone you just met?
Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” had a big impact on me. My mother read it when I was young and told me about the 10,000 Hour Rule: that’s how many hours it takes to become and expert in one area. While some theories in the book don’t ring 100% true for me, I think it’s a valuable read for anyone that is determined to succeed in their field and needs some affirmation.
What is the most important lesson you have learned?
Time. There is no substitute for time. When I look back at old design work, I can see so many embarrassing errors. I know that down the road, I may see that in my current work. But I’ve had to embrace that growth can only happen with consistent work and exploration.
Hypothetical scenario: Someone has 6 months to go from amateur to as competent in typography design as possible. Aside from lots of practice, what do you tell them to research and work on?
Mathematics! Learning about grids and layouts has been one of my most valuable experiences. I would encourage that person to study publication design and layouts and learn about the fundamentals of typography use before worrying about letter forms. Practicing drawing pretty letters won’t get you too far if you don’t know how they fit within compositions.
Take us through a typical work day from when you get up to when you go to bed.
I break my week into two parts: 3 days Administrative and 3 days Creative. On an Administrative day, I spend the morning answering emails, invoicing clients and updating current clients on project status. On those afternoons, I also do project research. So, I’ll gather reference materials or research the industry of the brand I’m working with. On Creative days, I spend between 7am-3pm drawing in natural light. For the remainder of the day, once I lose some light, I’ll focus on the digital aspect of work: scanning, retouching and creating layouts and proofs. On the weekends, to relax, I’ll do whatever work my friends, parents or sister-in-law have been asking me to do. 🙂
Describe yourself in one word.
Maggie also has a wonderful book for sale
See more of Nature Observer by Maggie Enterrios
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Shout outs and thanks
Lisa Quine! (Formerly Lisa Lorek) – has been KILLING IT lately. She just went full-time freelance and I am so thrilled for her. Not only is she wildly talented, we also share a mutual best friend, so I know she is one of the world’s loveliest people.
Lisa Perrin (my new favorite illustrator)