We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Neubauer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m naturally a very risk-averse person, but I am working on viewing risks not as “potential failures” but as “possible successes.” I’ve definitely taken some risks in my work as a graphic designer. Not every gamble works out- but I try to chalk it up to experience and move on. I would like to see the business community talk more openly about their failures- I think there’s too much emphasis on sharing success stories. The reality is- failure happens to everyone, even the very best. If we normalized missed opportunities, we actually encourage people to keep trying and to go for big. I love the Michael Jordan quote where he talks about about how many missed shots and lost games he’s had in his career- he says, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” To designers and creatives (and anyone really)- don’t be so afraid of failure that you don’t try something big.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a creative entrepreneur running my own branding and web design studio. I’ve worked for 12 years with small businesses and non-profits creating high-quality logos, branding, websites, and annual report designs. I have had lots of challenges as a small business owner- but the drive is always there- I love the work I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Helping a client identify and then portray their business ethos with a logo that’s custom and perfect for them is one of the most rewarding things that I do. When we take it a step further and work on a killer website that not only is beautiful but has great user experience and is optimized for speed and conversions, that’s even better. I love the challenge of taking a company’s branding and applying it in a cohesive way to all digital and print aspects of their business. I always have my clients best interests in mind- they are the reason for what I do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Macon is a super fun little city right in the heart of Georgia! We’re home to the oldest structure in the US- the Earth Lodge at Ocmulgee Mounds. There are tons of fantastic micro-breweries (my favorite is Piedmont Brewery) where you can grab a bite to eat and sample a locally made beer. The Ocmulgee River offers miles of biking and walking trails, or you can rent an inner tube and float for a couple of hours.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to the art director at my internship, Darren Eagles. He encouraged me by continually recognizing and naming my talent- but also I saw the realities of mistakes made even at the agency level, and that was even more impactful.