Not Every Passion Will be Found in College


Laura Aslesen, the force behind Laura Ann Creative, didn’t set out to do graphic design. In fact, she started her education at the University of St. Thomas with a major in marketing and a minor in psychology. She began her career in communications and social media with Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors, a commercial construction contractor.

“I do graphic design and social media for them full-time,” Aslesen said.

Once in her job post-graduation, Aslesen realized she had an interest in design.

“I expressed interest in learning graphic design and my boss sent me to Normandale for a crash course certificate program,” she said. “I watched a lot of tutorials and spent a lot of time playing in the Adobe Suite programs to teach myself, as well.”

While she uses graphic design at MMC, Aslesen also runs a personal business alongside her full-time employment that is entirely focused on design: Laura Anne Creative L.L.C. She’s now fourth month into running her own business.

“I am having a lot of fun working with entrepreneurs and small businesses. I love helping companies establish a brand identity they feel really represents their business and their values,” she said.

Most of her work is found through network connections and referrals.

“I’ve found that connecting with people and doing solid work leads to more work.”

However, sometimes work doesn’t fit.

“[The] biggest challenge for me is learning that sometimes it’s okay to say no. Not every client is going to be a good fit for me.”

As she works and develops her style, she leans towards clean, simplistic, and modern design; though weddings bring out a vintage romantic flare.

“As far as my work style goes, I am very, very organized and efficient, but I like to have fun with my work and with my clients.”

The process with clients often brings in her psychology background.

“For example, when building a color palette, I always consider the emotions different colors evoke. Yellow is optimistic and joyful while blue is dependable and trustworthy.”

Often times, brand design comes down to communication.

“I spend a lot of time with my clients upfront learning about their business and their vision for their brand,” she said. “Depending on the complexity of the project, I might create a mood board as a starting point for inspiration. I usually provide a few different concepts for my clients to provide revisions on, this way, the final product is something they love.”

After all, at the end of the process, giving the client something they’re happy with is the goal.

As she continues to work and grow, Aslesen shares how she continues to tackle new processes.

“If I see something I want to replicate, I go to tutorials right away. There are a lot of great, free resources out there for designers,” she said.

In the beginning, she relied a lot on YouTube videos and Adobe Suite tutorials.

“It can be frustrating when you can’t get the exact effect you’re going for, but if you keep at it, you will get there. Sometimes, I have to step away from work if it’s getting too frustrating. Often times, during the process of trying to create one effect, I end up with something even cooler. That’s the fun part of design. It’s a real art.”

Although she didn’t start with graphic design, Aslesen wouldn’t have changed her marketing major or her path with MCC, which she loves. She found graphic design now, and she’s going to continue growing. View more of her work on her website.