We recently caught up with French-Canadian Art Director /Designer Maude Paquette-Boulva who works for creative agency 214 in New York City. 
Maude is passionate about branding, editorial and typography! we love her minimalist style and excited to find out a little about how to kick-start your career as a designer!
Hi Maude! Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Hi there! I am a French-Canadian designer from Montreal now living in New York. I first did a technical program at Collège Ahuntsic, followed by a BFA at UQÀM (Université du Québec à Montréal), both of which were graphic design programs. 

While I was working full-time and finishing school, an impromptu trip to New York City resulted in a job offer and a move to the United States a few months later. It has now been almost three years and I am still a graphic designer at the same agency that first hired me. We work with a lot of startups, so I mostly do branding, packaging, and websites. We’re pretty small and work with clients in various industries, so it’s a great opportunity to learn and experiment.

We love your portfolio, how would you define your style?

Thank you! 

I think most of my projects have a delicate, feminine style. I’m definitely a fan of natural color palettes, if the project allows it. I’m a true lover of all things paper and a book designer at heart, so that translates to very structured layouts. I always start with a grid and probably spend way too much time exploring typefaces in order to figure out the best pairings. I suppose you could say “detail-oriented” would sum it up? 

Who is your design Hero?

There are so many people and studios who I admire in the design community, so it’s really hard for me to pick one. My favorite designers include Charlotte Heal, Roanne Adams, Lisa Hedge, and many more who I can’t think of at the moment. They all have a feminine approach to design, and bring such great art direction to their project photography. Their work is a beautiful mix between gentle and strong.

There are also plenty of emerging artists who really inspire me. Nicolette Johnson’s and Simone Bodmer Turner’s ceramics are to die for, and I love John Zabawa’s art. There’s an incredible number of talented people, and I love how accessible everyone’s work is with social media. 

And finally what advice would you give to people trying to get into the creative industry?

I think the best approach is just to start. Begin somewhere small, even if it’s not perfect. I always tend to wait until I have things figured out to make a move, but the truth is, that rarely works. What works is taking a first step, and a second one, and keep doing that until, haphazardly, you’ve created the path to where you’re going. Course-correcting once you’ve started is easier than starting from scratch, and you’re less likely to give up.

We love Maude's style, be sure to check out her Website for more inspirations!

If you are a creative or know someone who you really admire and would love to see being featured, please don’t hesitate to let us know: [email protected]

Or if you would prefer to carry on reading check out some similar posts here or here.


from Adobe Certified Instructors and industry professionals

About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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