Tabitha Bogard, 42
Give us a brief bio:
Where are you from? Born? Muskogee, Oklahoma Raised? Skiatook, Oklahoma
Where did you go to school?
The University of Oklahoma
What did you study, and how did you become interested in design?
Visual Communications in the School of Art at OU. I’ve always been creative but the truth is I became interested in design because of a movie I saw in the ‘80s. I wanted to be an interior designer until I found out how much math I had to take! I didn’t realize graphic design was an option and/or field until my advisor enrolled me in art school.
Do you find that there are difficulties for female designers to find their place in the design community?
Not at all. Since this profession is so liberal, I haven’t witnessed any difficulties for females. If you’re talented, work hard and are passionate about what you do, then you’ll succeed.
How about to become leaders in the field?
Drive, talent and a lot of hard work. Expression and creative thinking play a big role.
How about the Dallas community specifically?
Again, I don’t think so. Plus, this is the only area I’ve experienced.
How was your experience entering the field here and getting to where you are now?
My first place of employment was VWA Group, a small design firm that focused on residential living and hotels/resorts. From there, I moved to David Carter Design – which while in school I told myself… “I’m going to work there one day.” The learning experience was amazing, from both a creative standpoint as well as business. That’s where the turning point of my career happened. I credit my experience at David Carter for who I am today.
I dabbled a little in web design at IMC2. It was interesting but I missed print, so I interviewed with Don Sibley and he hired me on the spot. I was at Sibley Peteet Design for a few years then moved to my current place, TPN.
TPN specializes in shopper marketing, and was quite a change from smaller firms. I started on the Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon account, and eventually moved to a new account we acquired, Bank of America, as the Creative Director. Financial services was a new discipline for TPN. In the first year, we went from three AD’s and two Account Execs to a creative team of 14, production team of five, and an account team of 12. It was a huge accomplishment, considering we were building the plane in the air. We were in charge of all of the in-store creative – signage, collateral, fixtures systems, etc. I was on the account for five years. I’ve since moved on to work on new business as well as my current accounts, MWV and SHC.
What are specific milestones you’ve encountered? (Interpret at will)
• My first logo in CA
• Winning the Ogilvy award
• Working for David Carter
• Traveling to five continents
What are the most significant things you wish you had known when starting out?
That clients have budgets, the printing process, the art of selling your creative strategically (to clients).
What are the most difficult challenges a designer faces in her career?
• Enlightening clients on what’s best for their brand
• Unorganized organizations/companies
• Educating the client on the creative process
How did you adapt your skills and knowledge to the challenges you faced?
Through experience. You have to remember that communication is our job; be flexible and understand that the ultimate goal is answering on the objective.
What is the most disappointing mistake or problem that you’ve encountered in your career?
When a project you’ve worked so long and hard on gets cancelled. It’s heartbreaking.
Who are your personal role models, and what styles influence your work the most?
Role models: Lori Wilson, David Carter, Margo Chase
Styles: It’s ever changing. All fashion and design – Architecture, Interior, Environmental, etc.
Who have you worked with who has impacted / influenced you the most?
There are several people who have impacted me throughout my career.
Lori Wilson, my CD at David Carter. Jill Hatfield, our Bank of America client.
What are your personal organization or time-management tips – professionally and life-wise?
Learn to multitask; use file folders; and stay current with your industry. Understand your team, cultivate and nurture their growth (therefore, they trust in you and that leads to better results –“team”).
Do you have a family / kids?
Not at the moment.
If you are single, what are you dedicated to outside of work? How do you handle the pressure of deadlines and stay well-rounded?
Volunteer for CASA, my bowling league, exercising, traveling.
Have you had to make sacrifices one way or the other (relationships, jobs, hobbies, etc) for any reason?
Hasn’t everyone… Yes when I was younger, I try not to now. I’ve learned that priorities change and you need to take care of what’s most important at the time.
Technology is changing unbelievably fast. What are your feelings about all of this information and automation?
I think it’s great – more opportunity.
What are some of the ways you keep ahead of the game and stay innovative?
Definitely stay current with the industry. Never stop learning, do research, attend conferences. Understand your audience.
Do you think your persona is reflected in your work? If yes, what aspects, if any, of your designs and illustrations reflects parts of your personality?
My nickname is Tweaky Tabby because I’m a perfectionist. It depends on the project; there’s always some reflection of my personal style.
What should students and new designers focus on outside of their course work to advance in their careers?
Understanding how to communicate to different audiences.
What would you recommend to students who aspire to working in design? Any message to female designers specifically?
Follow your heart and don’t settle. Always remember your values – in life and design.
1 aspect of design you give the highest priority to:
1 design-related book you highly recommend to read.
Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
1 design magazine you read on a daily/weekly basis (online or offline).
1 website you have bookmarked (design / non-design)
If you could take a trip anywhere in the world for design inspiration, where would it be? Sweden
What are three qualities that you admire most in a designer.
Hand skills, problem solving/thinking, ownership.
If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?
A Sports Commentator OR an Interior Designer
Second to lastly, what is your favorite memory / recollection of working? Any incident?
Lori Wilson picking up a rusted can at Matt’s Rancho Martinez then later using it for a new business presentation. She taught me to see things differently.
Any crazy deadline?
There have been too many!
Any inside joke?
Just a few…
“Overlay???” Ask Ashley Mattocks.
Also ask about Jon Tony’s birthday card we did at Sibley Peteet. It’s crazy funny and the joke was on me.
Lastly, what would you tell people outside of DFW, about the opportunities for women here?
A great city with wonderful culture and many resources.
How would you describe the women in the field here?
Smart and talented.