We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Bailey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
As a graphic designer, the urge to push yourself never dulls with how competitive things are! It’s a drive, like so many of us have! In my line of work the project direction, the overall layout, or even the color scheme doesn’t always work on the first draft. It hardly ever works! I may have to tinker with it for hours, possibly days trying to get it right before I realize… sometimes it takes giving that idea a rest (or dropping it completely) and trying a new one. Possibly trying several before I or my client is happy with it at all. It’s part of the process. I have found this process to be impactful in my everyday life as well. When situations turn from difficult to impossible, it’s not a failure to acknowledge the circumstances of whether or not it’s working. When you have simply given your all, it won’t be easy to walk away.. but when there is nothing else to give, and it has already cost you too much. It’s more of a win to cut your losses then, rather than wait to loose more.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My passion is using art to interact and serve people. To do art, not just for art’s sake. Thats when I discovered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is the leading national public health institute serving the United States. Their mission states, “To protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the US.” Combining my essential nature to serve others and my artistic ability, it was without question that working in the Division of Communication Services as a Visual Information Specialist was meant for me. I get the rare opportunity to work along side so many talented people. My team consists of a wide variety of ages and talent, however, we all have one common thread – design. We create various artistic materials including branding, creative campaign development, digital first materials, and social media graphics. More recently, I have been a dedicated artist to our emergency responses. One emergency response I am currently working on is the novel coronavirus response (COVID-19). This response has required that I focus more on media graphics, which has shown to be most effective when guiding the public on safety procedures and protocol during the pandemic. Most of the material covers the signs and symptoms of the virus, understanding the necessary precautions and identifying ways of handling related stress. There are a few challenges with being a creative and working with a federal agency. In many cases, our documents will require text-heavy content, and as a result, doesn’t leave much room for design. However, having to work under such circumstances allows me to exercise my creativity by effectively problem solving. I enjoy keeping every detail in mind, especially in regards to the well being of the public. Personally, the hardest part for me is the broad target audience. Not having to focus on one particular race, sex, age, or culture can be difficult, and my goal is to always be fair and true to the diversity of society. If a design only requires one individual to be featured, how do you represent diversity? Part of the biggest process in design is the research. One must know how to visually represent something that everyone can relate to. If the design is only featuring an individual, and the subject matter doesn’t target any single type of person in particular, then you must find a way to make the illustration appeal to the greater audience – perhaps through a general appeal or neutral color scheme.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
You can’t beat a nice day in the city. In fact, one of my favorite parts about living here is how active the community is. The Eastside Beltline being my go to! Its incredible, being able to walk to several parks, restaurants, brews and bars. Its all right there, what ever the mood may be. Even on a cold evening, you have places like, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, who are well equipped for an outside experience. Nothing beats sitting in a lounge chair by a fire pit catching up with friends.
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 was first inspired to be an artist by my father. Who has been an artist all his life but was never encouraged to pursue his natural talent as a career. Even though he did not pursue art professionally, he continued to do it in his personal time. Because of this, I grew up surrounded by art. I spent hours of my time in his workshop, mesmerized by his ideas. He never limited himself to any particular medium. Instead, he dabbled in all forms of art. My favorite was when he’d create one of his wood like creatures! They always looked like something you’d see in a Syfy movie. I took this creativity and I applied it to my life. By the time I got to high school, I knew exactly what I wanted to focus on. Exploring the arts! When signing up for all the electives related to art… I noticed a course being offered that I was unfamiliar with. “Beginning Graphics”. Knowing absolutely nothing about the subject, I signed up for it anyway. It was there that I met Mrs. Yates, who deserves a shout out as well for having such a positive impact on my life. At the time, she was the only one offering graphic design. Though I did not think of pursuing graphics any further after that class, I was made aware of it. Mrs. Yates also had a college representative come and talk with that class. Mainly for the seniors, however, that very college ended up being the one that I would go to.. three years later. That college was The Art Institute of Atlanta and when you apply to get in, you apply for your major. The only choice I understood going into it, was graphics. I am now an award winning graphic designer.
I took the photos myself.