Graphic Designer Jennifer Harris

Staff Spotlight Winter 2021

Harris Style

“I’m from the northern part of Texas – Wichita Falls area – and moved around quite a bit.  I was, however, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas from 97-2001.  My family and I moved to this area four years ago because my husband got a transfer to the Killeen Post Office where he’s one of the supervisors. I love being close to Austin.  So much culture!  The cost of living is very affordable here in Copperas Cove. I love that we’re driving distance from friends, family, and endless stuff to see and do.”

Family Dynamics

“Chris and I have been married for 15 years.  I have a son from a previous relationship, Jeremiah.  He has a daughter, Andi, who is seven.  They live in Bowie, Texas.  Together, Chris and I have a daughter, Emory, who is 14.  We have three fat, happy cats named Onyx, HydeeHo, and Iris.  Our family life is relatively quiet and drama-less, except that we all like our rock music – and we like it loud.  Chris likes more aggressive, screamo rock.  Emory listens to octane or new metal.  And I listen mostly to older heavy metal and grunge. The cats dig the stoner metal, of course.”

She’s Got Game

“My forte is definitely composition – like taking a bunch of random “stuff” and laying it out so that it is appealing to the eye.  I’d rather be given 20 pics of cars, houses, or clothing and their descriptions, with your logo and information and let me sort it all so that it’s organized yet exciting – than say, create a graphic from scratch.  But what I really love is the printed product.  Once I get something sent to press, I can’t wait to see it in my hands.”

Colorful Agenda

“I have been working for a small newspaper out of Grandfield, Oklahoma for close to three years, but most of the stuff I do is freelance.  I’m working on a whole campaign for my cousin who is starting a new business, and a patch design for a friend for his website.  SB Inks in Cove calls on me from time to time when she’s covered up.  She prints t-shirts, business cards, labels, and stuff like that.  Then of course, I do Let’s Connect and Symphonic Skin Magazine.”

How It All Began

“I started at Let’s Connect sort of as a favor to Editor-in Chief Tee Word.  It’s his vision, his baby.  I’m not sure exactly when but I feel like it’s been about two years.  He contacted me at the launch of the Symphonic Skin Magazine to do the layout and design for that one.  That was a year ago.”

“With both magazines I am afforded complete artistic freedom.  Tee has been really liberal about letting me use my eye and my judgement for the layout of the pages.  Knowing that I’m trusted is huge.”

“When I got out of the Army (literally a week after 911), I used my GI Bill to go back to school and study graphic design. The focus was primarily Adobe software. I was immediately hooked.  I got a job around early 2002 with The Bowie News and then The Montague County Shopper shortly after.  Since then, I’ve hopped around from paper to paper always taking on new and  challenging gigs as they present themselves – some freelance (like this biker magazine called Chatterbox out of Oklahoma, and a cutesy girlie magazine called Treasure Seeker which focused on boutiques around North Texas), and others like the American Classifieds or Big Pasture News.”

What’s What

“I dig around Pinterest and try to keep up with design trends – like what colors are in, or what patterns are emerging and what fonts are being used.  Right now, text and manipulating it is very trendy.  I love it.  I try to mimic the styles of graphic art that’s new.  I know I have my own style, but I would never want my stuff to be stale. To keep print alive, I believe it must wow the reader.  I try to do that by stretching the boundaries – or even breaking the rules – of design.”

Inspiration for Jennifer

“Music mostly.  I love music.  I typically turn on Pandora or Amazon Music when I’m working.  I think it helps me keep those creative juices flowing and eliminates any stifling.  I always think about how recording artists must be bold and unique (and bold about their uniqueness) to make it.  That is inspiring.  I do admire anyone who is comfortable and confident doing what they do.”

COVID-19

“We stay home A LOT!  We don’t get out much at all.  My hands are washed WAY more!  I’m not scared of it, but I don’t want to get it, and I’d hate to give it to friends or family.  I’m definitely cautious and I wear a mask without hesitation.”

Green Light

“I’m actually enrolled in Real Estate school, but I’m having trouble with the math portion.  I understand there was a study group in the Round Rock area, but they no longer meet because of the pandemic.  YouTube has been my back up.  But yeah, I hope to get my license someday.”

“Also, the campaign I’m working on for my cousin has me back on YouTube learning about websites, but I might have to do a Zoom meeting with Tee Word and get some basics.  Hint hint, nudge nudge.”

“And I’m working on this crazy quilt.  I’ve never finished one before but this one is made of all my old concert shirts (the ones I still have anyway).  Except there’s a twist to it in that I’ve started doing hand embroidery on all the shirts. I like it so far, but who knows if it will ever be finished in this lifetime.”

-AS TOLD TO ANITA Y. ARMSTRONG

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