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Meet Graphic Designer & Artist, Mariah Leah

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariah Leah Beard.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mariah Leah. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, my time spent doing typical, light-hearted activities was actively restricted. I grew up with a very weak support system and suppressed dreams.

Between collaging in journals and drawing posters of bubble letters, I remember focusing so much energy towards sneaking time on the computer. My ideal fun time turned into the making of pixelated GIFs and drawings in Microsoft Paint. I started to share my collection of mini designs through the super hip and trendy virtual pet/gaming website, Neopets. It was here that I dug myself into the basics of coding and web design as I established my own graphics page.

Nearing the end of my senior year in college, I accepted a part-time position at the business where I had interned. A short time prior to graduation, I visited Beverly (where I grew up) for the weekend. As I walked downtown, I noticed a totally beautiful storefront facade decked out in dark metal paneling and metallic golden letters that I had never seen before.

After realizing that it was a design studio, I did some research online, fangirled through email and asked to learn more about their work. Fast forward a few days, and your girl was offered her second post-grad, part-time design job.

My very last class at school was a presentation of my semester’s work in ‘Imagery on Glass’. One of the projects was a cold-worked case which housed a series of book covers that I had designed the year prior. My concept was meant to help strengthen the bond between child and parent through a means of teaching and creativity. My teacher and I had a conversation about my work before the presentation and by the conclusion, I had attained my first post-grad freelance client.

Since working two design jobs, freelancing and squishing passion projects in all the nooks and crannies, I’ve found myself constantly inspired by and making friends with various other kinds of artists and teachers. I love to support and collaborate with their own uniqueness and ideas, helping to brand their image and design some kick-ass events. It’s this continuous cycling through new experiences that inspires me, driving my creative mindset.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’d have to admit that the most prominent, continuous struggle along my journey as an artist has been due to my own criticism and self-doubt. When it comes to mental health and personal well-being, I’ve come to acknowledge the real importance of stepping back to take breaks and DO NOTHING. It’s in these phases of “boredom” and commuting time that I’ve struck some of my greatest ideas.

Mariah Leah Design – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I have a love for branding and logos — to emphasize, enhance and expand upon the personality of a business by expressing it through means of custom typography and a bit of illustration. I love to communicate through the use of written words and lettering in general. I’ll forever geek over “foodie” design because typically it means that I can play around with lots of colors and textures.

I love — and feel a need — to dabble and experiment in all different areas of art and design. I love to discover and adapt new styles and techniques through various projects, whether it be digital or hand-crafted. I especially enjoy the initial brainstorming stage, to provide clients with conceptually strong solutions.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There’s no feeling quite like painting a mural in the heart of my own hometown, or with my oldest sister/best friend. My favorite moments are always when local and childhood friends will wander by to express (or scream) some really meaningful (or nonsense) words of excitement and support.

This past summer, my sister and I had painted a mural which reads “Don’t quit your daydream”. A few adults said things like, “I wish someone had said that to me when I was younger” and parents emphasized its meaning to their children. One of the sweetest responses was from a little girl who tapped my arm, shyly whispered that our painting was pretty in her tiny little voice, and immediately ran away.

But I also can’t forget all of the strangely satisfying moments while painting murals, like those resulting from sexist remarks — because yes, I am female, and yes, I am killing it.

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