Designer Q&A: Katrina Romulo’s Design Perspectives

Edgy Katrina shares how building a strong portfolio is the key to success.

We met Katrina Romulo and invited her to share insights into her creative mind and eye-catching designs. In this interview, she talks about her journey, inspirations, and unique approach to each project. You can follow Katrina’s work on Instagram and Pinterest.

Question: What is your design process like? How has it changed as you’ve evolved in your career?

Katrina: Depending on what I’m working on, my design process changes from project to project. Normally I start with a moodboard and a general vibe that I’m going for. I’ll sketch or do low-fidelity concepts on my laptop, and build as I go. For branding, I try to mock up a set of posters so that I can understand how type, colors, and photos are going to work together in the brand identity. My process involves a lot of iteration and communication between me and the client until we’re both feeling satisfied!

Colorful Flowers Floating On Water
License the photo via GS & Co

Q: Where do you look for inspiration?

K: I look for inspiration in real life whether it’s museums, art books, magazines, or the outdoors. I also love Instagram and Pinterest.

Q: How do you get your head back in the game when you’re feeling burnt out?

K: I try to make myself walk away from whatever I’m doing and take a break for as long as I feel like. Whether it’s half an hour reading a romance book, a couple of hours watching a movie, or a weekend away from the computer, I don’t force myself to work through the burnout. Everyone needs a break and there’s no point in beating myself up about taking one.

Bright Colored Hair
License the photo via Grade Solomon

Q: If you can share, what do you think is your ‘secret weapon’ when creating? Please explain how you developed this skill.

K: I genuinely enjoy what I’m doing. I try to only take on projects that excite me (and I’m really grateful that I’m able to do that) so that I can put my heart into it. I also don’t put too much pressure on myself to make something “good” and I understand that sometimes it’s not that deep. Not taking myself so seriously allows me to have fun with whatever I work on. I have harnessed this skill through years and years of teaching myself design and some therapy.

Q: Looking back, what are some hurdles you had to overcome personally that impacted you?

K: I thought I was behind because I don’t have any formal training – I didn’t major in graphic design as I’m self-taught. Because I lacked that experience I was worried that I would be overlooked for jobs, but it wasn’t the case. What matters most is your portfolio, not the school you went to or the program you took. I struggled a lot with what I wanted to do and how I was going to get to where I wanted to be, but once I learned to stop feeling insecure about my lack of formal training I started taking on some really exciting projects.

Stone Wall Abstract Brick Layout
License the photo via Off-Menu Studio

Q: What do you like about Stills? How is it a good resource for designers?

K: I like Stills because photography can play such an important role in branding and design. Illustrations and graphics are necessary but high-quality photography can bring the concept to life and tell a more detailed story. It saves time because I don’t have to look through a million websites for a photo that doesn’t feel too stock-perfect. With Stills, I have a curated collection at my fingertips.

Want to license Katrina’s favorite photos on Stills? View her board here.

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License the cover image via Steve Clouse.