Designer Q&A: Samantha Glassman’s Creative Process

We spoke with designer and content creator, Samantha Glassman, about where she draws inspiration from, how design can help others, and what inspires her to keep creating.

We had the privilege of speaking with Samantha Glassman, a seasoned graphic designer, brand strategist, and content creator. Samantha made a name for herself with visuals that resonate powerfully and leave a lasting impact. Her portfolio is not just a testament to her skills but a journey through the diverse landscapes of creativity.

Samantha brings a wealth of experience and insight to the table. We delve into her creative process, the challenges she’s overcome, and the stories behind some of her designs. Curious to hear what she has to say? Keep reading for more of her insights.

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

Samantha: My design process looks a lot different depending on the project I am working on. If I’m working on a branding project, my design process starts with a lot of research. I like to know what similar brands are doing and who the client is looking to target before doing any design work. I typically like to go to Pinterest and look for inspiration and make mood boards based on what I see. This process involves a lot of collaboration with the client. For any poster design projects I love to sketch out rough concepts before moving to the computer and from there I just kinda play around! For merchandise design, I like to do the same and also gather inspiration from Pinterest and other sites.

My design process has evolved over my career as I learned how important it is to have an idea of what you’re going to design before bringing it to the computer. Simple sketches and writing down ideas are necessary and make the whole process so much easier.

A Large Apartment Building
License the photo via GS & Co

Q: Where do you look for inspiration?

S: Mostly Pinterest, Instagram, Behance, and out in the real world. I love taking pictures of art and design I see out and about so I can refer back to them when starting a project. 

I also have created folders on Pinterest and Instagram for different designs or resources I find. I have boards and folders for branding, typography, tutorials, color combos, and more. This helps organize all of the inspiration I find and definitely speeds up my design process. I’d recommend all designers do this! While you’re scrolling just hit save because it will help you out later. 

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

S: I think the best thing to do when I’m burnt out is to spend time with my friends, exercise, or go for a walk. Doing things I enjoy that make me feel good outside of work is super important. I plan these things in my calendar during the week so I avoid getting too burnt out. If I know I’m seeing a friend later I can guarantee that my day will be more balanced. It’s great to get off technology and live in the moment because it not only helps me mentally, but it also makes me more creative and inspired when I get back to work.

People walking in a street in bright daylight
License the photo via Zachary Hertzman

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

S: I think my secret weapon is how fast I am at using Illustrator, especially because I use my trackpad. This allows me to truly work from anywhere. I have learned almost all of the shortcuts which makes the design process so much faster. I developed this skill by learning from other designers and through practice. I somehow prefer to use the trackpad (I know it sounds crazy) but will be getting a mouse and see how it makes my process faster while at my desk. 

Q: Looking back, what are some hurdles you had to overcome personally that impacted you? They can be big or small.

S: Personally, a hurdle I had to overcome was the fear of not being good enough. I always loved to create but I’d look at my peers and think that I had to be the best of the best at drawing or painting and that if I wasn’t a natural artist I wouldn’t be able to pursue something creative. This was something I struggled with until a few years ago when I realized that those types of skills are inherited. While I wasn’t naturally great at painting or drawing, I am creative and can quickly pick up creative skills, including graphic art and design. I also struggled with developing my own individuality, because I am an identical twin. It was difficult to be seen as a unit and not as my own individual person. My sister and I are both designers and are planning to build a design agency together. When I was younger I wanted so badly to be seen as an individual and do my own thing but now I recognize how lucky I am to have someone to share this with.  

Pinky sunset
License the photo via Vijay Sarathy

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

S: I love Stills! When starting a project, I always found it difficult to find high-quality stock photography that looked different from photos I’d seen before. Stills is a great resource because it provides high-quality stylized photography, unlike any site I’ve seen before. I love how I can also create mood boards. This has really helped in my design process and I know other designers would really benefit from it as well.

Bio: Samantha is a versatile graphic designer, brand designer, and content creator based in Charlotte, NC. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring both individuals and brands to unlock their true potential. You can find out more about her creative work here.

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License the cover image via Eren Sarigul.