You can call me Elle, pronounced like the letter; a clever derivative of the name my mother actually gave me: Danielle. Usually, you'd start an About page with labels, fill it with accolades, and end it on a neat quip. If that what you're in search of, I beg you to retreat back to the safety of my resume. Don't get it twisted, I'm forward with my contributions and successes, just not in a way that typically jives with a cover letter.
I am truly a natural creative, in a can't-stop won't-stop kind of way. I've spent over a decade designing digital and print graphics and communications for friends and family, groups and clients, and now teams and brands. I've developed a core understanding of the creative process that's allowed me to translate success over a range of production methods and styles. I intentionally put myself in the weeds with all types of creative teams to really understand and refine their workflows. Equal parts creative and practical, I'm happiest implementing systems and supporting initiatives that allow others to produce their best work with the highest visibility into branding and business goals.
But here's the thing: I'm what most people would refer to as 'a lot'. Try as I might, it's the first thing anyone notices about me in-person. I can't hide behind a laser-sharp focus on my work and career or my bubbly Cancer Rising charisma. One little question: 'What do you like to do for fun?', stumps me every single time. I like to work. If I'm not working for you, I'm putting just as much drive into myself or my surroundings.
Catch me outside the office and I'm just as dedicated to something else. When I say 'all of the above' on social media, it's just easier than saying: an obsessive plant mom of dozens, an indifferent cat parent, equal parts ride-or-die stan for both Harry Potter and Beyoncé, a lover of exploring new places and profound documentaries (This 'Timelapse of the Future' video changed me forever!). Oh, and don't forget: a part-time personal stylist and interior designer, a fierce defender of authenticity (blame it on being ISFJ-T), a passionate lover of almost any genre of music and street art (think: Shepard Fairey, Basquiat), and a soon-to-be-wife to my boo, Sean, after a decade of dating.
My diverse personal background only pushes me more to be unmistakably myself at all times. I was born and raised in Northeast Florida by my mother, and the woman who would come to be her wife. As strong white LGBT women raising a clearly bi-racial child in the South, we faced a unique combination of criticism and intolerance but flourished as a family unit. While I am my mom's only child, my step-mom has two children by her ex-husband: my brother and sister. Then, as a teenager, my mom also adopted one of my closest cousins, adding her and two more brothers to the mix. Basically, I'm both an only child and also the oldest of six, identifying strongly with both. Being the oldest pushed me to be the example I never had for them; I was the first to graduate college and first to move away. On the other hand, I also thrive in one-on-one interactions and covet distinct individuality.
As I said, I'm a lot. All of the above. 'Other'. But if you ask the right people, you'll see why I wear it with honor. I've been lucky to hear from folks closest to me that I'm a loyal and supportive friend and partner, always in your corner and ready to throw down for your honor. My favorite compliment I've ever received was from a co-worker who said that just being around me made her 'feel like a badass' because that's all I've ever wanted. As a sister, a partner, a colleague, a friend, it doesn't matter, if you're willing to be your whole self around me then I'm here to support you. In the words of the great Lizzo: