Tarrytown, New York
Growing up sandwiched between two boys, I developed a bold, oftentimes blunt personality to compete and make sure I was seen. Quirky? Yes. Loud? You betcha—especially according to my mother. With a thirst for exploration, I jumped into almost everything as a child—from art to piano, if there was an extracurricular activity I was all signed up. Adding to my sense of adventure was the fact that I grew up in Westchester, just a quick train ride from all of the sights, sounds, and cultural awesomeness that is NYC.
It quickly became apparent that art would be my passion. I loved creating a strong visual, something that looked interesting and grabbed attention. Because of that, I spent much of my childhood (10+ years) taking private art lessons from the famous Outsider Artist Rosemarie Koczy. She educated me in more than I will ever be able to credit her for. She taught me a wide array of hand skills and techniques that have influenced how I look at art in general—from wood carving, to linoleum printing, ink drawing to oil painting, there was no medium that she couldn’t show me how to work. She also taught me that patience and persistence pay off immensely. On a more all-encompassing level, she taught me through stories from her very difficult life to never take the easy way out and that whatever is worth having is worth the work.
From an early age, I always dreamed I would grow up to be an architect like my father. But after one summer interning for his company it became very clear, very quickly that the structural and safety codes did not mesh with what I wanted to do creatively. I soon realized that I was borderline obsessed with typography. It really drove my visual interests. So, on a whim, I decided to pursue graphic design.
Since I was already in love with the city and its weather, I was beyond thrilled to get into Savannah College of Art & Design, I went full speed into the design world, not realizing that I would only fall in love with it more and more. SCAD was bursting with talented people and made me realize how much creativity is in the world. I began to see everything differently. It was there that I laid the foundation of my design knowledge and got a taste of how big the world is. I had travelled before, but living and interacting with people who had grown up in so many different environments and geographic locations really opened my mind.
After graduation, I returned to NY. Right out of college I got a design position at a printing press. That position not only allowed me to expand my design skills, but taught me the ins and outs of printing and all of the steps of production. I was not only able to design something that looks good, but I learned how to set things up properly for print as well. After deciding to take some time off to travel and see the world, I returned home and got a production layout artist job at Amscan, Inc. There, I honed my technical skills some more while working with various vendors and a huge product line. Throughout this time I was constantly running my side business: picking up creative jobs such as wedding invitations, personal branding projects, etc.
5 Facts About Rena
I’m passionate about traveling. In college, I spent a month in Greece. In 2011, I took a year off from the standard workplace to travel. I made my way all over the United States (hitting places like New Orleans, California, Chicago, Florida, Denver, and Boulder) and I also spent three months backpacking through Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Then, in 2013, I took a cross-country trip with one of my best friends. I’m a firm believer that the more you see of the world, the better you are as a designer—experiencing other cultures gives you more visual reference and completely expands the way you look at things.
I live with my fiancé, Kevin Schroeder, in Tarrytown, NY. We push each other creatively by building and creating custom furniture and art for our apartment and consulting each other on our creative endeavors. There is always some kind of project going on in the garage, and it oftentimes spills out elsewhere. We also live with Bob and Rita—who aren’t an old married couple, but a pair of hell-raising cats.
One of my hobbies includes refinishing furniture. My fiancé and I have picked several pieces out of the trash (yes, we’re those people), polishing up gems that just needed a little creative touch.
I’m an extreme perfectionist—not only in making sure that something is visually perfect, but also in life in general. I am extremely organized (my binder systems are kind of famous) and, while my friends might laugh at me and call me neurotic, knowing everything is in order allows me to focus on more creative things. I pay as much attention to detail in life as I do in design.
I have a line of snarky cards that I sell on Etsy. They’re sarcastic and blunt while also thoughtful… kind of like me. I always speak the truth (even when it’s harsh), but, chances are, I’ll probably win you over anyway.
Production Layout Artist
Created and updated mechanicals to provide to outside vendors for the production of a large scale, international retail line of party good products. Worked on numerous programs at once with tight deadlines. Ensured that all design, legal and production factors were achieved.
Art Production Specialist
Managed the outflow of files for multiple art departments. Ensured all production
requirements were met and adjusted files as necessary for proper production.
Posted artwork to specific vendor’s FTP site. Handled upwards of 100 files daily.
Iscream Graphic Designer
Designed and oversaw production for a retail line of products. Implemented system of organization of internal files. Managed own schedule, project, timetables. Reported directly to Creative Director.
Graphic Design Intern
Created signage systems for hotels and hospitals. Produced and organized presentations. Collaborated with colleagues to ensure all projects were fulfilled to their highest potential.
Graphic Design Intern
PPRB Marketing, Inc
Created and adjusted imprints for clients. Responsible for reviewing and proofing imprints to be sent to printer.
AGA Marketing & Design
Photography/Graphic Design Intern
Assisted a team of designers in the creation of several catalogs. Interacted with outside sources to coordinate photo shoots. Worked with photographers to create sets for shoots.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Graphic Design
Savannah College of Art & Design
Magna Cum Laude
Macintosh, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Prepress/Production, Mockups/Assembly, Social Media
Branding, Logos, Art Direction, Invitations