We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Park and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Over the course of my business, I’ve gradually changed how I function on both a professional and personal level. I’m constantly thinking of ways to improve and adjusting my habits as I go. I’ll highlight a few of the most important ones below. Around 2016, my future husband, Corey, and I were living in West Chester, PA. We moved there for his career and knew nobody. Because we had no friends, and my office was behind our couch in the living room, I developed a horrible habit of working all of the time. The first thing I would do when I woke up, was check my work emails on my phone. That would prompt be to become incredibly anxious about a task or two, so I’d hop up, and to my computer, before doing anything else. A few hours later, it would be 11am, and I would still be plugging away, not having changed out of my pajamas, or performed any of my morning self-care rituals. At some point, I established a boundary, where I would only check my work emails when I was sitting at my work computer, ready to work. Game-changer! I absolutely hate missing an email from a client. It makes me feel so terrible! I help to prevent this by sitting down at my computer in the morning and starting at the first email from the day before. I then go through all of my emails up until the present time. I respond to those who need responses, and record tasks for various asks. This method ensures that I rarely ever miss any emails. My work-life balance has gradually declined over the years, culminating to it’s worst about a month and a half ago. That’s when I started working with my old business coach again, and it’s been life changing. So far, the best habit I’ve gained, is organizing certain tasks for certain days of the week. For example, I send out deposit invoices and contracts on Tuesday and Friday mornings. I email quotes on Monday and Thursday mornings. And I order printed materials on Wednesday morning. Calendly is a godsend, and well-worth the $96 yearly fee. I now have clients schedule meetings with me, using a link in my email signature. Starting next month, I will only answer impromptu calls between the hours of 9am and 12, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. This allows my brain to be completely focused on my design work at all other times. Instead of scrolling through social media in bed, before I retire for the night, I peruse Pinterest for graphic design inspiration. I’ve gotten really nerdy about organizing my Pinterest boards. They’ve become such a handy tool for me to reference when working on a new design! Working 60 hours a week, I need my physical and mental state to be in the best condition possible. Between my husband and I, it’s so hard for us to maintain healthy eating habits when neither one of us has time to meal plan, grocery shop, or cook. In the meantime, I’ve been living off of Daily Harvest smoothies – their Mint Cacao and Carrot + Cinnamon smoothies are such a treat, and an easy and delicious way to get my daily dose of veg. One aspect I’ve really honed in on over this past year is the power of thought. When I let my mind wander, I try to steer clear of issues that make me feel negative emotions such as fear and anxiety. Instead, I visualize what I want in my life, in the immediate as well as long term. And I’ve found that the more you visualize, the better chance you have of pulling those dreams out of your imagination and into your reality. Being such a visual person, it’s been imperative for me to cultivate my immediate surroundings into a space that gracefully reflects my personality. The more I’ve upped my game in the interior design, the more I’ve grown as a graphic designer. For me, the two go hand-in-hand. Living “in the future” is SO cool. There’s an online tool for literally everything. A year ago, I was only using Harvest, my time-tracking software, and Xero, my accounting software. But now I have Clickup (a project management app that also forecasts my work), Loom, Calendly, 1Password, Google Forms, and Docusign. When I see an opportunity to automate a certain aspect of my workflow, I’ve made a habit of doing research. And lastly, I’ve made it a habit to try to wake up every morning, excited to sit down at my desk and start working. This can be so hard – for me, anxiety has been my biggest setback. When I do feel anxiety, I try to walk myself through that thought, to the root of the cause. Then I either extinguish it (because it’s usually an unfounded worry), or I come up with a solution. The more I enjoy the day in, day out aspects of my work, the better I am at it.
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’ve always been creative. At the age of 6, I told a local publication that I would be an artist when I grew up. But my creative skills never felt super tangible. They didn’t exist in a fine art sort of way, rather, how I laid out information on a poster board when I gave a report for social studies. In college, I learned that this talent could be focused into a career in graphic design. When I graduated from college, my employment opportunities seemed rather bleak. My profession was on the front lines in terms of necessity to a business, and finding a job in my major felt like the impossible task. Thankfully, a hip food market in Denver gave me an opportunity, and my career slowly blossomed from there. I always felt that my future career would have to do with the food industry; in college I thought that would be by designing menus for restaurants. But when my next career move came to fruition with a food manufacturer in North Denver, I knew that designing food packaging was my calling. College graduation to where I am today feels like the windiest path that I could never repeat, even if I had a map. It has been far from easy, but I’m managed to overcome many challenges with my creativity, my persistence, and my unbelievably strong support group. My one piece of advice to anyone looking for clarity in their professional life, is to follow the breadcrumbs that intuitively feel like they’re leading you to your higher purpose.
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?
Denver’s hip neighborhoods are where it’s at. I’d spend one night frolicking around RiNo – maybe take a walking tour of the murals in that area, then start the night out with a fancy cocktail at The Ramble’s Death & Co. Dinner at Hop Alley afterwards IS A MUST. It’s a spicy Sechuan Chinese place that my husband and I insist on taking every visitor of ours to. The next morning could be spent in LoHi, at a well-branded coffee shop with delicious pastries (like Black Eye Coffee). There’s a new nail salon on Central street called Purluxe Beauty Bar LoHi that has the coolest wallpaper. I’m not even a nail girl, but I’ve been wanting to get a pedi there so I can stare at their walls. Then, a drink and some light apps at Room for Milly, followed by dinner and dessert at Señor Bear. (The churros with vanilla-lime sugar and browned butter are heavenly.) I’m super obsessed with self-care, so if someone was here for a long week, I’d recommend an overnight trip in Glenwood Springs. I love visiting the vapor caves, and have heard that the Iron Mountain Hot Springs are really nice. In fact, make that a two-night stay, and we’ll spend the second day water rafting. Also, the drive through the canyon is pretty unforgettable. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to recognize my mom, for following me on my crazy employment journey. From college grad in the midst of a recession to underemployment, to a super crazy boss and then my own company – she’s always had a bigger vision of who I could become than even I. And I wouldn’t be here today without her support (as well as my dad’s).
Other: Pinterest: @Goldsparkdesign Pinterest is really my only outlet that I’m consistent with. Coming in late 2021 – a brand / website update, stay tuned!
Annette Slade Photography
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