Michele Perry

OWNER / CREATIVE STRATEGIST / BRAND DESIGNER / BUSINESS EDUCATOR - DESIGNED TO THRIVE CREATIVE, LLC

I'm the least likely candidate for pretty much everything I have ever done. I was born with life-threatening birth defects including the absence of my left hip, leg, kidney among other things. Even though I think mascara is a survival tool and espresso’s a bonafide food group, I spent 7 years living in an active conflict zone in Africa, founding and running a children’s rescue home and an international development base. It was there in Africa, I learned the power design, creativity and storytelling can wield in building community and seeing transformation happen from the inside out.

What are you best known for?

Encouraging and inspiring people. I often get the comment that the way I live my life helps remove the excuses others have had for not fully living theirs. For coffee, watercolor invitations and being ridiculously committed to authenticity. The whole one-legged woman who lived in an African war zone with 130 kids for 7 years seems to make me a bit memorable as well.

What or who has influenced your design aesthetic the most?

Living and working overseas, and intentionally seeking out diversity. I love people who are different from me and I want to learn from them. All the beauty and pain and suffering and stunning resilience and hope bursting out of the scars of the people I’ve met and carried in the stories from the cultures I lived in. I am so humbled and grateful I have gotten to know the people I did. Their stories have forever changed mine. Also nature is a huge place a peace and creative inspiration for me.

What inspired you to become a designer?

The longing to create a visual language, not just for my own story but for the stories of others I was helping to share.  I have always been creative.  But I love the fact that the things I create as a designer can bring life and joy and inspiration beyond a traditional fine art setting.  On a note card, on a mug or a tote- the things that get used every day.  Design is about aesthetics, as well as communication and functionality.  It is truly the nexus of great storytelling. And the best stories are always invitations for us to step farther out in exploring and embracing our own.  Design is about serving and empowering that journey. -- Below please see the following submitted projects: 1.)  My current custom wedding stationery design 2018 look book.  All art in the book is my own. Also I designed the book itself 2.) A section from The Stationery Designer's Toolkit on ""Getting the Most from Styled Shoots"" (aka how to be a great collaborator).  Design, writing and project development are my own. 3.) Me with some of my kiddos in Africa.  In a broad sense I designed the project from the ground up.  But I really just wanted you to see their gorgeous faces. Thank you again for considering me.  I am humbled, honored and kind of blown away.  So grateful for all you do for the creative economy.