Our newest designer, Courtney Lopes, has pliéd her way into CSG and added a keen eye to our design team, not to mention local barres (hey it’s different kind of happy hour!)

This Montclair, VA native brings a host of artistic abilities with over 10 years of design experience and an impressive repertoire of adorable family pictures and videos.

Q: What is something you can’t live without?

A: Oh my gosh — my family. May 18th is actually my husband and I’s five-year wedding anniversary. We’ve been together over a decade, and he’s my rock, my #1 fan, my biggest supporter. He challenges me on a daily basis, he’s awesome. We have two amazing kids, Harper and Colton. They are the three human beings I cannot live without.

Q: What do you do when you’re not at work, and not mom-ing?

A: Taking care of the kids is a full time hobby, mom, 24/7, but I love to do Pure Barre, that’s one of the things I’m addicted to right now. Just the camaraderie that I get, and the positivity behind everything. I love that hour of “me time” where I get that workout in and just detox and focus on myself for an hour. I also love to run. I’ve run quite a few half-marathons. I have my sixth half-marathon coming up in November, it’s the Woodrow Wilson Bridge 1/2 Marathon. We start at Mt. Vernon and cross the bridge over into the National Harbor. I run a lot of races with my twin sister Ashley and that’s been a lot of fun, racing together. Now that we’ve gotten older and I don’t really have a lot of time to train, we take them as fun runs and enjoy the scenery, have a good time, and pose for the event photographs. You do get medals at the end of each the race. So really I run for the free t-shirt and the shiny accessories.

Q: What drew you to graphic design?

A: Growing up — my dad is who I inherited my artistic ability from. He saw that my sister and I had an artsy talent early on so he helped direct us into photography and yearbooks — we started doing that in high school. And that’s what sparked our interest, and he was the one that said, “Hey, maybe you guys might want to try graphic design.”

Originally, hands down I thought I was going to be an educator, because both my parents were teachers, my father was a principal but graphic design was my calling. So I went in search of schools that had really great art programs and ended up at East Carolina University, School of Art & Design, and it just spiraled from there. Once I started getting really familiar with the Adobe programs and had so much fun learning about all the different techniques you can do, I think that’s what really drove it.

Q: Do you have any skills you want to learn for the future?

A: Oh gosh there’s a lot. I would love to learn more of the web development, I’ve had a little WordPress experience and HTML back in college, but I think web design is so cool and very interactive. I’m also very envious of my colleague Katya and her illustrations, so if I could have a future superpower in the design world, I’d love to have the superpower to be an illustrator of some sort.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: I have a lot of friends that are in the art field, I still stay connected with my classmates from East Carolina and a lot of them are at other agencies in North Carolina so we talk to one another and exchange ideas. I love to follow a lot of blogs, a lot of mommy blogs, too. Mix & Match Mama is probably one of my favorites; she’s more a culinary mom, mom of four kids. I love Pinterest – lots of great ideas there. And just everyday out in the world, when I’m driving and the FedEx truck passes, I can’t get over the arrow that’s hidden in the E and the X. Genius.

That there might be the secret sauce to Courtney’s design style — when you’re a graphic designer, you have to be inspired to inspire. Welcome to the squad, Courtney! We’re very happy you’ve found a solid landing with us.