Interview

Talk Shop with Jennifer Puno, Founder of ilovecreatives and People Map

Here is Jennifer Puno (aka Puno's) slashie, one-line bio: Digital Entrepreneur / UX Designer / Web Designer / Photographer. The Internet is her hangout and she's making it a prettier place and simpler place for freelancers, marketers, designers, and just about anyone who makes a living online. A few years ago, with a lot of gumption and some spreadsheets, she set out to forge her own path and be her own boss. Right now, she's running ilovecreatives, People MapMade with Map, and somehow also finding time to freelance as a Squarespace Circle member.

Every online tool that Puno builds solves a big problem for her own process and in turn, for anyone who's growing a brand and managing an online hustle — which, is just about everyone, right? If you have questions about how Puno is building her ideal career, growing her brand, paying the bills, and finding time to jump on so many beds, join the club and come to Talk Shop on November 10 at Lumi HQ. Read some Puno ice breakers below and RSVP here.

 Talk Shop with Jennifer Puno, Founder of ilovecreatives and People Map

“As a designer, you can bring people together by building a brand online that speaks to them.”

You started your design career working with a lot of gaming companies. What’s your biggest takeaway from working in that industry?

I started in the Advertising industry as an Art Director where we would concept and think of campaigns for brands. I learned a lot about executing big ideas, but I always felt detached from the customer. 

When I went in-house as a UX Designer at Activision, I was client side and my only focus was our game, Call of Duty. As a UX Designer, I did whatever I could to understand the Call of Duty gamer. For me, that meant becoming one. I literally played 140 hours of the game so I could be fluent in COD lingo and everything that made you excited about the game. 

Also, since we were building a product, we had to deal with the design decisions we made. With advertising, you never really got that feedback. I really thrived on iterative design and taking responsibility of the user's experience. It was the most fulfilling part of my job.

Is there a common thread between your current projects: ilovecreatives, People Map, and Made with Map?

Community and the internet! I love the internet. OMG, it's my favorite thing in the world. Ha! As a designer, you can bring people together by building a brand online that speaks to them. The cherry on top for me is by creating tools that help a community share and do more of what they do best.

Why did you start vlogging?

I just had that video itch. I think it's the best format for me. It shows my personality without any apology. While I love building our company's brands, I needed a little creative release of just random shit that has nothing to do with my work. I haven't vlogged in awhile, but it was a really great project when I did it.

Your design style really pops — how would you describe it?

Thanks! I think it's an amalgamation of a thousand visuals I've seen. When I started freelancing, I made an effort to take on a few clients that just let me do whatever I wanted. A few of those projects started defining more of my design aesthetic and I didn't want to let go of that. I want my designs to feel fun and not like a typical website. Sometimes, I go too far where it isn't user friendly, but you can always iterate! 

Oh, and what’s that rad header font that you use?

For ilovecreatives, it's Romana. Typewolf is a GREAT resource for fonts.

What tools/strategies (mental, physical, or digital) do you use to stay on top of your hustle? 

Where do I begin? I have an obsession with online tools. I try new things all the time. As of late here are my favorites:

  • Chrome Users and Mac Desktops - I have multiple accounts to manage across social media and Gmail. It’s really annoying logging in and out. I create separate users in Chrome for Map, ilovecreatives, and personal stuff. Then I make three separate desktops with branded wallpapers. Put each browser into their desktop and boom! you can easily switch without having to log out. Life changer. Here's a Vlog on it: 

  • Streak - for email Management. It’s basically like Trello within Gmail. We do a lot of emailing for ilovecreatives and it’s great to see what stage the emails are in. Also, I love that you can track opens, create message templates, collaborate, and snooze emails.
  • PeopleMap - Grow your Instagram account! We've got an Analyze feature that I love.
  • Harvest - to track time. I use it for my team, freelance work, and my personal time. 
  • Do The Math - I live by this spreadsheet. It helped when I first started freelancing and helps me say no to clients.

There's more where that came from. Chat with Puno in person about how she launches and manages new brands while keeping her creative mojo. RSVP here.

When: Thursday, November 10. Talk is at 7 p.m. Wine, cheese, and mingling at 6:30. Feel free to come early and check out our HQ!

Where: 3828 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

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