28 Aug

Pepper Talk with Audra Harvey

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and personal with Audra! Just a little background before we get started, Audra works as a Senior Designer on our commercial team. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 9 months.


1. What is your favorite part about being a designer?
I love problem solving, art, and psychology. I feel like as a designer, I can touch on all 3 of those areas. I’m also a “big picture” kind of person, and am happiest when I’m working on a project that is supporting a mission I believe in.

2. What resources are your favorite to stay up to date on the latest design trends?
Coolhunting.com is a great online publication for creative inspiration. It showcases innovative thinking in products, music, fashion, culinary arts, technology, public spaces, etc. I like seeing the intersection of form and function, and how design really does have an impact on pretty much everything.

3. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I check Slack for any work messages, drink a glass of water, feed the cat, and decide if I want cold or hot coffee that morning.

4. Who is your favorite designer of all time?
Chip Kidd. In college, I wanted to be a publication/book designer. I saw Chip Kidd speak at a design event, and loved his light-hearted approach to coming up with great ideas but never getting too attached to them (since they would inevitably get picked apart by clients and publishers). His designs have so much wit and charm. Years later, I ended up being in the same elevator as him at a HOW conference. I managed to squeak “I love your work” and he graciously said “Thank you” while I tried not to melt into the floor.

5. How would you describe your design style?
Simple and organized with attention to detail. I’ve had to be reminded by colleagues throughout the years that it’s okay to break the rules sometimes, and when I allow myself to do that, it often leads to some of my favorite work.

6. Do you have a set design process when starting a new project?
Ask lots of questions! I always want to get as many details as possible so I can begin to wrap my head around the project. After that the process can very depending on what’s needed (sketching, doing research, etc.).

 7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine
Sweet or Savory: I have a dangerous sweet tooth.
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite place to travel: Anywhere that’s new
Hobbies: Baking, Yoga, hiking, audio books, puzzles

8. Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Any movie poster by Saul Bass.


Thanks for meeting Audra. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

15 Jul

Pepper Talk with Matthew Castle

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and personal with Matthew. Just a little background before we get started, Matt is one of our software engineers, and has been with 11P for a year and a half. He works on software development for our commercial projects. Read his Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Nothing exciting, just Matt!

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?Say hi to my dogs, then check Slack and my e-mail. And get myself some mildly coffee-like drink.

3: How would you describe your design style?
I’m not a designer, but I try to keep my code style efficient but readable. I am drawn to simplicity and form that doesn’t impede function.

4: How did you get started?
Our fellow pepper Paul Denton was a huge factor in driving me to take on being a Software development. I enjoyed the problem solving aspect of it, and I guess I thrive on the constant micro-failures of developing so it seemed like a good fit!

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Visual Studio Code has easily become my favorite code editor. Nothing comes to mind that has been the worst for me lately.

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I like to spend some time to get the general outline of how the code project structure will be, but for me it’s more important to get over the hurdle of actually starting to get some code written to get that momentum going. Getting started is the hardest part for me, so once I get moving, I feel better about things.

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Developers smarter and more experienced than me. I’m always looking to improve and it’s always nice to have something to strive for.

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine
Sweet or Savory: Savory
Favorite Movie: The Empire Strikes Back
Guilty Pleasure: Video game collector’s editions
Hobbies: Gaming and gardening, mostly

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Not a design per se, but I think it would have been awesome to have written code for the Opportunity Mars rover. I love anything space exploration related, so it would be amazing to be involved in things like that.

Couple picturecat picture

snowy dog picture

indoor wedding picturedog profile

smiling couple


Thanks for meeting Matt. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

17 Jun

Pepper Talk with Kate Rodman

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and person with Kate. Just a little background before we get started, Kate is one of our Senior Designers, and has been with 11P for 4 years. She’s worked on a wide variety of print and digital projects and specializes in being an illustration chameleon and incorporating artwork into a lot of her design solutions. Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
One time, when we went out for Chinese food I accidentally pressed the gas when turning on my car (it was in park) and it revved really loudly, startling all the people passing by on the sidewalk. My friends absolutely lost it and came up with Kate “hotrod”man – my speedster, aggressive driver alter ego.

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Usually, just check my phone. I don’t open any emails that will require too much thought at that point, but I’ll just get an idea of what my day is going to look like.

3: How would you describe your design style?
In my personal work, I love organic details. The more flourishes and leafy bits, the better. I love to blend illustration and typography together – to me, custom type is where illustration and graphic design overlap beautifully. For 11P work, it’s very nice to have a creative director there to rein me in. I tend to start “over the top” with adding extras and things that excite me. I’d like to think this makes their job easier (much simpler to remove/edit than come up with new ideas for things to add)… but maybe that’s just wishful thinking 😉

4: How did you get started?
I’ve always been an independent artist since I was little – if my parents couldn’t find me, I was probably drawing on a wall somewhere, or giving the dog a new haircut (sorry…). But the “fine artist” life was never for me. I am too comfortable with structure and rules – graphic design was a natural fit. When I went to Towson University for my BFA, one of their requirements for a class was to attend AIGA’s Ink & Pixels portfolio review. Luckily, I happened to sit down in front of Kristen that day, and the rest is history.

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
For thinking & sketching, I use cheap mechanical pencils and copy paper. No fancy notebooks for me. I also adore my lightbox for tracing during sketching – don’t know what I ever did without it. On the computer, I spend most of my time in Illustrator but I also love InDesign. My least favorite are Office products… Microsoft & Apple don’t play nicely, and I have no patience for that wonkiness. Would much rather use Google products for those things.

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Generally, I start with information gathering. I start taking rough notes of important messages or goals, etc. Then I’ll probably start a private Pinterest board to just gather style inspiration. Once I have a handle on that, I roughly sketch (a LOT) until I have several options that feel right. After running that by the team, we usually pick 1-3 to refine. I’ll use my lightbox to re-draw the idea larger and in more detail – something that I can easily trace in Illustrator. Most of my thinking happens on paper. (If I find I’m struggling on the computer, it means I need to go back to the drawing board)

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Like everyone else, Pinterest and Instagram… I love following illustrators/artists that use color in unexpected ways. My favorite pieces of art are the ones that look great at a glance but then you dive deeper and realize, oh wow, that tree is actually bright orange because of the light. Or the shading on that person’s face is actually green. The serious color mastery based on light just blows my mind.

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Never
Sweet or Savory: Savory – love salt too much!
Favorite Movie: All the Harry Potters
Guilty Pleasure: Watching Friends and The Office on repeat, almost constantly
Hobbies: Board games/puzzles, plant-based cooking, socializing with people’s dogs, thrift shopping (most of my furniture and clothes are secondhand), and crafts!

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Hard to choose, but this piece is the one I keep coming back to for inspiration. Love the message too – I am a chronic procrastiworker.


Thanks for meeting Kate. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

29 Apr

Celebrating 5 Years: Ryan Kelly

Today we are celebrating another five year work anniversary, Ryan Kelly, Senior UX Designer. Ryan has been a critical part of our UX team for the last 5 years, sleighing any UX task that comes before him, and known for his friendly, upbeat personality. He’s also a talented illustrator, often seen with a sketchbook in his hands, doodling or drafting up the next logo or practicing his hand lettering. Check out this graphic for more info about Ryan, and read our incredible interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? Simple. I love the people! We’re fun, exciting, and freaking talented! I have never worked with such a diversely talented group of people. That alone, is inspiring…and motivating! Our company is run by wonderful people who make it their priority to put us first no matter what. I’ve worked for both small and large companies and by far, Kristen and Bryan got it right.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory? Visiting Atlanta for the HOW Conference. So many memories made during that weekend! From spending time with friends to walking away truly inspired and ready to crank out some awesome creative stuff!

 

3: What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P?  Technically the Squatty Potty was an employee white elephant gift. So probably the Disney trip. Duh!

Jesse Evans brought a Squatty Potty to our holiday party white elephant gift exchange. I got it. Someone stole it from me. Luckily, Albert also brought the same gift! But unfortunately someone stole that one too. I think I ended up with some Goslings Rum.

So yeah, Disney.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? Needless to say that our holiday parties are always fun. Especially when you win big at blackjack! The Parks definitely know how to throw a party. It’s great to get all the peppers together since we don’t get to see each other all the time.

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? Poblano. It’s mild and versatile. Everyone likes a poblano. You can stuff it, chop it, stick ’em in a stew.

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: Krista Cochran.
Krista’s the type of person you can totally open up to. She became a pepper in 2015 and went straight to work on our UX team and instantly, a life-long friendship was created. We might have been regulars at a local sandwich shop for lunch. Codename: DOGPOUND

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Melissa “the Don” London.
The Don’s work ethic is legendary. I hear her name whispered from time to time between our customers. No joke, the new team I’m on brought me an example of a brochure she designed and asked us to “do something like this.” Now those were big shoes to fill.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame!
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Ryan a little bit better…

1: Favorite Star Wars character and why?
Chewbacca. Well, I can do a pretty good Chewbacca roar.
Other reasons:
Chewbacca sounds from everyday objects
10 best Chewbacca quotes

 

2: You’ve just brewed the perfect IPA. Describe the flavor. What it’s called?
*the perfect hazy NEIPA…
It’s called “Floccinghell, this is good!”
The reference is from yeast “flocculation.” And I might sometimes say this after sipping a perfectly crafted NEIPA.
The description: A fluffy mouthfeel with a citrusy burst of tropical fruits and maybe a subtle coconut.
Thirsty now aren’t you…

 

3: Favorite local brewery? Favorite national brewery?
Local: Sapwood Cellars in Columbia – the owners are known nationally for their skill and pushing the limits. We’re lucky to have them so close!
National: The Veil in Richmond – Every single beer they put out is perfect. And their taste in artwork is pretty cool too. They put on the best festival I’ve ever been too called the Forever Summer Festival. You must attend if you like craft beer!

 

4: Name your favorite all-time Orioles player.
This may be a shock to some people, but no not Ryan Flaherty (or Ron Flattery as he’s called by some lower shoremen). Eddie Murray – He played first base and could hit from both sides of the plate. His stats are amazing. He’s why I chose to play first base growing up.

 

5: If you were a pro baseball player, what would your up-to-bat walk-up song be?
Wake up, Rage Against the Machine

 

6: Favorite daddy/daughter time event?
She is a dancer. It doesn’t matter where we are. Out of nowhere she will come up to me, grab my hands, and get me to do a quick dance move (usually spin her) and go about her way. It could be while shopping in the mall, the middle of Baltimore Inner Harbor, or on our way to her teeball game. I love this and hope that she never stops doing it.

 

7: How many times have you watched your daughter’s favorite movie (estimate), and what is it?
Well, her favorite movie changes from time to time…but we have watched “Dolphin Tale” over 1,000 times. She loves dolphins (probably because her god-mama, Aunt Erica does as well). We went to the Baltimore Aquarium during Fleet Week one year and she wanted to go down to talk to the dolphin trainers. She asked 100 questions and told them she wanted to save dolphins one day.

 

8: Favorite movie of all time?
Usual Suspects. “I’ll flip ya fa real.”

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies? If so, what?
I consider myself a craftsman. I tear stuff apart and put it back together. I like woodworking, maintaining my car, and creating something from nothing to hang on a wall. Side note: my jetta currently has 275,000 miles and I’ve done all the maintenance on it. I’m a little proud of that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Apr

Pepper Talk with Debbie Williams

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and person with Deb. Just a little background before we get started, Deb has been with Eleven Peppers Studio for about 3 years. She currently works on UX projects for the government sector but also has a lot of experience working as an Instructional Designer. Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Just about everyone close to me calls me Deb…

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Make coffee! I’m a morning person but no conversations until coffee. Shortly after, I’m also scrolling through text messages from my kids and then jumping online to catch up on emails or see what’s going on in the world.

 

 3: How would you describe your design style?
I like clean, simple designs. My writing style is conversational and I enjoy incorporating elements of story-telling into my writing.

 

4: How did you get started?
I graduated from Penn State (yay Nittany Lions) and began my career working as a systems engineer. After staying home with my kids when they were little, I decided to enroll in a master’s program in instructional design where I could combine my passion for teaching with my interest in technology. Since then, I’ve worked on all sorts of instructional design projects including serious learning games, simulations, web-based training courses, and instructor-led training. I’m really interested in finding out how people learn and thinking about how best to use multi-media to express an idea or explain a complicated concept.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorites: I like anything Adobe.

Worst: PowerPoint, SharePoint.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I’m a research junkie so when I start a new project, I love to research the audience. I also like to draw inspiration from other ideas and will spend time seeing what other people are up to.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
I would have to say my kids often provide my greatest inspiration – Lauren (25), Allison (23), and Michael (21). They give me lots of ideas to draw from and they keep me young! For style and color inspiration, I look for ideas in fashion and interior design.

 

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine…coffee, lots of it.
Sweet or Savory: Sweet…any kind of chocolate
Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption.
Guilty Pleasure: Watching old episodes of The Office
Hobbies: Hiking, reading, crafts, any activity near the beach!

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
The yellow smiley face…it’s simple and make people feel happy.


Thanks for meeting Deb. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

14 Mar

Celebrating 5 Years: Theresa Santelli

Today we are celebrating another five year work anniversary, Theresa Santelli, Director of Creative Services. Theresa has been instrumental in leading one of our award winning private-sector teams and has rightfully earned the respect of her teammates, and of course, her customers. She recently transitioned into her new Director role to support the strategy and operations of ALL of our creative services. Check out this graphic for more info about Theresa, and read our special interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? The lack of BS… and the trust. The trust I feel is put in me and the trust I have in my bosses and co-workers alike.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory (in words or in sketch)? The second 11p Holiday Party. It was the point in my mind when symbolically it all came together. To look around and see how far we had come since the year before when we all fit at one table (and I was still waiting for a start date J). Kristen had such a look of gratitude on her face when she looked around the room… it was like …Look what we did!! Amazing!

 

3: What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P? Disney World! It was the best! I love Disney World! I even reached a new level of Disney nerdom on that trip when a few of us (Albert and his now wife and Popka and her family were there with me) got on a bus before the sun even rose to catch an early magic hour at Animal Kingdom to get in line for the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride. Yup! New level! This girl, not a morning person. Good thing we did though. Later that day the line was like 4 hours long.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? I don’t have one because I can’t choose. We are always trying new things, which I LOVE trying new things and many times just a simple happy hour turns out to be so much fun too.

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? Thai Chili because it’s with an “H”

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: There are so many! I’ve been lucky enough to work directly with several peppers all of which have been amazing people as well as co-workers. To name one though I have to say one I haven’t worked with, Dave. He’s my partner in crime (disclaimer: not real crimes). He listens to all my things (or at least acts like he’s listening 😉 ), tells me things will be okay when I’m upset, and is happy when I’m happy.

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Debbie. It’s inspiring how dedicated she is to how a project will turn out.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame!
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Theresa a little bit better…

1: Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?
Cusco, Peru (that took some serious googling, with London, England coming in a close second with only a 13 mile difference between the two).

 

2: Where do you want to travel next?
We have a trip to Zion National Park planned for next month. I love going to national parks, and love traveling in general.

 

3: How many trails have you hiked (estimate)?
How many hikes and how many trails is different. I’ve hiked the same trails several times and couldn’t possibly come up with a number of hikes (in the hundreds). But the number of trails not hikes, hmmm, probably about 75 spanning various states, countries, and continents.

 

4: What is your favorite hike so far?
Inca Trail (Peru), but other top tier are Iceberg Lake (Glacier/Montana) and Half Dome (Yosemite/California).

 

5: If you could be ANY superhero/have their powers, who would it be?
So, I feel like saying Wonder Woman is cheating because who doesn’t want to be a demigod raised by Amazons, so Logan/Wolverine. If I had super healing I could get really good at so much stuff!! No injuries, no recovery time, no illness!! I would have so many more black belts!

 

6: If you had to pick one wine to drink the rest of your life, what would it be?
Whoa, this question hurts my heart a little, but pinot noir. I miss the others already and this isn’t even real.

 

7: What is your favorite type of yoga practice?
Hatha is my favorite and the one I couldn’t live without but I like it all.

 

8: If you were a type of coffee, what would it be?
Espresso.

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies?
Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Feb

Pepper Talk with Jill Nemec

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re snooping into the inner-working mind of Jill N. Just a little background before we get started: Jill is a Senior User Experience Designer and has been with Eleven Peppers for a little over 4 years… get ready for her 5 year anniversary interview in September! If you’re ever in the need of someone for a Murder Mystery party, she’s your gal! Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Oh lots and lots – Jilly, Jill the Pill, Jilly Bean, Jillian, Jill the Thrill and what I call myself when I’m irritated or exasperated with myself… Bean.

 

 2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Look at all the texts that have rolled in throughout the night from my 19 family members (mostly nonsense, but sometime emergencies), open up the blinds for all my high maintenance plants, drink hot water, and start getting dressed.

 

 3: How would you describe your design style?
Simplicity.

 

4: How did you get started?
Started at Seattle University pursuing a degree in Social Work and after two years I reevaluated and took a hard turn transferring far away to Virginia Tech and into their Architecture program. After receiving my BS at VT I decided I still needed some more education (my parents were of course overjoyed) and headed to Savannah, GA to SCAD to get my MFA in Graphic Design.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorites: First and foremost my retired type A personality Father/My Personal Assistant aka Papa Joe (gotta keep him busy). Along with Google Calendar, Timers, ibooks and Nook, Alexa (when we aren’t in an argument), and my first love AutoCAD.

Worst: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram… sensing a trend!?!?

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Ask lots of questions, research, ask questions again, get some hot water, and then jump in.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Architecture mostly, patterns, and textures (I have to touch everything so museums can be extremely frustrating).

 

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Moderate Caffeine via Nespresso or fellow pepper, Albert–my favorite Barista
Sweet or Savory: Savory
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams
Guilty Pleasure: Psycho thrillers/Murder Mysteries
Hobbies: Skiing (snow and water), paddle boarding, cleaning and organizing (seriously), screen printing, reading, rock collecting, hiking

 

9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
The Roomba!


Thanks for meeting Jill N. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

30 Jan

Pepper Talk with Katie Long

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting cozy with Katie L. Just a little background before we get started: Katie L is fairly new to Eleven Peppers Studio. She mostly works on projects for the government sector but occasionally contributes content for 11P blogs and social media posts. Read her Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
KT, KTor, Cyber Mama, Buckaroo, Auntie Shark

 

 2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit the snooze button! Then I lay there either dozing until it goes off again or sleepily telling my cat I’ll feed him in a minute. I’m definitely not a morning person so I’m slow to wake up. I like to enjoy my coffee at home before I hit the road. That’s really for the safety of everyone.

 

 3: How would you describe your writing style?
When it comes to what I contribute to the 11P blogs and social media posts, I like things that come from my own personal experience and/or my heart. If I’m writing a blog post, I’m going to pull from something I’ve seen or dealt with even if it’s not directly talked about in my writing. In the work I do for the government, I’m all about creating content that is clear and concise. I write documentation for software so I have to make sure that the customers that will be using it can use what I’ve written to navigate through the software when they’re learning to use it instead of needing to call for help. I end up doing a lot of translating from developer speak to English.

 

4: How did you get started?
Wow… that’s a long story. I went to Towson University for Mass Communication with a focus in Public Relations. I really wanted to work for the Washington Capitals (back before they were the STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS) in their youth hockey outreach program, but I ended up as a front desk receptionist for the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. I moved from that Commission to an administrative position with the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves and when that wrapped up I got an administrative job at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL). This is where I really gained the experience for what I’m doing now.

 

The group I was working with developed software that was being used at military cyber exercises – think war games or capture the flag, but in cyber space. I started traveling with a large group of people (25+) from APL to logistically support the team on site. I had to fill my time somehow so I started getting familiar with the software and then I was helping run between teams to get information on issues they were having and moved on to troubleshooting issues. By the time I moved on from APL (9 years after I started there), I was going to smaller scale exercises as the only person on site from APL to help install and run the software and I was running software training for everyone at the larger exercises.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Pen and paper. I take TONS of notes in meetings. Anything that I’ll share with my team is written on the lines, but the things I’m noting for myself (something I want to research more or something I need to do) goes in the margins.

 

The team I’m on now does agile software development so we use JIRA a lot. Before joining my current team I hated it, but I have to admit it’s growing on me.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Devour as much background information as I can get my hands on and then hit the ground running.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, news articles… as previously mentioned, I like to devour as much information as possible and that Google search bar is my bff.

 

 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz
Sweet or Savory: Sweet… I’ve never met a dessert I didn’t like
Favorite Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes
Guilty Pleasure: Snarky memes, Downton Abbey (obviously the Dowager is my favorite character), true crime shows/podcasts
Hobbies: Genealogy, obstacle course racing, working out, reading (although lately it’s mostly audio books for me)


Thanks for meeting Katie L. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

04 Dec

Celebrating 5 Years: Rebecca Popka

Could the end of 2018 get any better? Multiple promotion announcements, holiday get-togethers, and our SECOND 5 Year Pepper-versary!!! This time we are celebrating the wonderful Rebecca Popka.  Rebecca (or Popka as we fondly call her) also took a leap of faith as our first Commercial Team employee, working hand-in-hand with owner Kristen Parks. Rebecca worked on everything from 11p in-house marketing efforts and social media, to client branding projects and full website redesigns. Rebecca’s commercial team work even earned her an ADDY award for her 11p holiday hot chocolate kit design. Since then, Rebecca continues to wow and amaze her clients and teammates with her incredible talent and work ethic. We’re so lucky to have her in the pepper family! Check out this graphic for more info about Rebecca, and read our special interview:


 

 

1: What do you like most about working at 11P? I love everything about 11p but what I like the most is everyone’s amazing talent that makes them a unique pepper.

 

2: What is a favorite 11P memory (in words or in sketch)? The most memorable was the wonderful opportunity to visit Disney, “Where Dreams Come True,” to celebrate the company’s 5thanniversary.

 

3: What is your favorite Holiday present ever received from 11P? Hands down Walt Disney World, which was a complete surprise.

 

4: What is your favorite 11P event? I’ve always been an avid gamer so when 11p announced a game night I was ready for some table top fun. There were a lot of new games I never played before that I enjoyed like Telestrations and One Night Ultimate Werewolf.

 

5: If you were a pepper, what type of pepper would you be and why? A Pepperoncini. It’s a common pepper with a dash of spicy that’s been pickled, which is a favorite thing of mine (picked foods).

 

6: Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: 11p is a unique company with a close-knit family of peppers who are always supportive and there for any type of advice. The pepper chat channel has always been my go-to for creative guidance.

 

7: Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Kate Rodman is an incredible illustrator whose passion and amazing talent is beautifully moving. Her work is always inspirational.

 

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

 

Get to know Rebecca a little bit better…

1: If you could pick 2 fonts that you had to work with forever, which would they be?
Helvetica Neue and Cambo.

 

2: What design trend do you wish would just die already?
Bevel and emboss, especially when new Photoshop users discover this “effect”.

 

3: What designer/artists do you admire?
I really like the artist René Magritte, a Belgian surrealist who captured thought-provoking images that challenges a viewer’s perception of reality. He had a distinct and creative way of displaying ordinary objects out of context, giving new meanings to familiar things.

 

4: What do you love most about being a mom?
Watching my son grow and learn new things is exciting but what I really love is the sweet yet brief moments when he gives a hug, a kiss, or even wants to cuddle.

 

5: What did you do for Thanksgiving?
Cancun, fun in the sun – drinks, a spa day, and some tasty tacos al pastor.

 

6: We know you’re an avid Disney World fan, what is your favorite ride?
Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride even before the popularity of Jack Sparrow. Being immersed in their story while listening to the catchy music in the dark has always been a favorite of mine. One day I would love to experience Shanghai Disneyland’s ride, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, as the visual effects look incredible.

 

7: If you could dine with any Disney character, who would it be?
As a fan of Star Warsit’s got to be Han Solo and Chewbacca in Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana listening to their adventures as smugglers and joining the Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic.

 

8: Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?
I’ve traveled to a lot of different places but the furthest I’ve gone is to Thailand. The plane ride alone was about 24 hours (not counting layovers)…loooongest travel day EVER but well worth it. It was great traveling to different cities, sight-seeing, and eating a ton of delicious food even the infamous durian, not a fan.

 

9: Any secret talents or hobbies?
Before having a baby I loved gaming. Anything from table top to console to PC gaming, which for each I enjoyed playing Geister Geister Schatzsuchmeister, The Legend of Zelda, and World of Warcraft. I would even host a game night every couple of months but post baby most of my time is now occupied entertaining him. When he gets older I hope to share some of the games that I’ve always enjoyed with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Oct

Pepper Talk with John Reid

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re doing a deep dive with John Reid. John is a Senior User Experience Designer who has been with Eleven Peppers for three years! John is a very detailed-oriented designer that loves to go off-roading in his precious Jeep and attend Sports games during his free time. Want to know more about John? Read his Q&A below!


1: Do you have any nicknames?
Some of my friends call me ‘AJ.’ Other than that, not really. Though, friends do have the tendency to call me by first and last name which is kind of weird.

 

2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit the SNOOZE button and roll over.

 

3: How would you describe your design style?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a design style in the traditional sense of the word. If I had to pick a word to describe it, I would say it’s ‘Detailed.’ I don’t necessarily mean there’s complexity to the products I am designing but I do focus on the fine details. To me that’s important because it can elevate your designs. In turn, what actually happens is that you elevate yourself as a designer, all the way from your thought-process to design skills to execution and onward.

 

4: How did you get started?
I always liked drawing designs when I was younger. I didn’t think of design as a serious career option until sophomore year of college when I took an elective art class called ‘2D Design.’ After some well received assignments, my professor asked me, “What major are you?” Dissatisfied with my answer, she said I needed to change my major and the rest is history.

 

5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Pencil, paper, and Adobe Illustrator. MS Paint, Gimp, terrible smartphone filters.

 

6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
If I’m not assigned a task that needs to be done in an hour, I will always start with pencil and paper. Sketching and Paper-Prototyping is a great approach to successfully fulfill any task in an appropriate and efficient manner. Planning will save you time in the long run. Other than that, I don’t necessarily like a concrete process because it’s not adaptable and/or agile and it’s important to be both with the type of environment my team and I work in.

 

7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Video games, television shows, movies, music, architecture. I try to take note of things around me too. You’d be surprised how many cool things are around you that normally, you wouldn’t notice.

 

8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine, duh
Sweet or Savory: Yes
Favorite Movie: Tron: Legacy. The visuals are amazing and the score/soundtrack was produced by Daft Punk
Guilty Pleasure: Watching movies made for kids like Trolls, The Lego Movie, Big Hero 6, etc.
Hobbies: Jeep/Off-roading, playing sports, watching sports, video games, music & concerts, woodworking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thanks for meeting John. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!