WLHQ: Designing for Your Future

Posted by Abbey Ley on 9/12/13 in Inspiration

2151 Music, art, and love for festivals are in my blood. My dad worked in radio, and as a child I was always psyched to tag along to jazz and art festivals he emceed. At home, I had his ever-growing vinyl collection to rifle through. I found myself becoming very interested in music, and also really intrigued by album artwork. Both of these interests led me to study graphic design in Pittsburgh, where I turned the desire to create art for musicians a plausible reality.

2152 I visited New York City briefly while I was studying, and like many visitors to the city that never sleeps, the energy instantly drew me in. I knew I had to spend some time there. I trusted my intuition, that powerful force that always knows best. Shortly after graduating, I made the move. Living in Brooklyn, I couldn't even keep up with all the bands playing everywhere, all around me, all the time. I took a part time job at Glasslands, a raw, new music space in Williamsburg, where I  made many great connections. My love for live shows brought me down to Tennessee with some friends to take in Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in the summer of 2010. It was magical, unforgettable. My desire to create album artwork expanded; I really wanted to play a role in visualizing the live experience!

2161 A few months later, a friend I'd met at Glasslands emailed me about a design position where she worked, with the Wanderlust Festival. She had showed the co-founders my design work and they were interested in working together. I had heard her speak of Wanderlust before, and I was very intrigued by this event that combines the experience of yoga with live music. 2155 Their first festival in Squaw Valley in 2009 had a simply amazing music lineup with Broken Social Scene, Andrew Bird, Jenny Lewis, Spoon, Girl Talk, and many more on the bill. The visual aesthetic that generated was lovely - warm, enchanting, exciting. But this event was much different than a traditional music gathering. Wanderlust offered up something more - a combination of yoga, wellness, and music into 4 days of positive vibes amongst breathtaking natural beauty.

2156 I felt such great energy when I first stepped into Wanderlust's large, sunny loft office in Williamsburg. I met with the co-founders, who told me they wanted to bring a designer onto the core team, as their event would soon rapidly grow. Yes! I felt like I was truly in the right place at the right time. It was everything that I wanted, and I was totally up for the challenge.

2157 I started designing for Wanderlust in January 2011. I quickly realized that this was not just a job, but a lifestyle. I had practiced yoga a bit since first moving to New York. I was aware that it made me feel stronger, confident, and more mindful. I began practicing much more regularly in order to fully understand this new world I was now in charge of visualizing. And Wanderlust was indeed expanding - I was thrilled to spend my summer in Vermont and California! I practiced amongst hundreds of yogis, hiked up and down mountains, drank wine with my new friends at dusk, rocked out backstage to amazing music, and took photos of it all.

2158 Over the next 2 years, Wanderlust continued to expand rapidly, bringing Wanderlust love to Colorado, Whistler, O'ahu, Chile, Tremblant, Austin. We've put on 1-day events in major cities across the US. It was my job to create custom art for each festival location and evolve the look and feel of the brand appropriately as we grew. I gained experience designing for nearly every platform - huge stage banners, guide booklets, web graphics, apparel, wine labels, yoga mats. Admittedly, it's a pretty incredible feeling being at these events and seeing all of my work in action. It has sure been challenging at times, working with tight deadlines across all these mediums, but there hasn't been a single dull moment.

2159 Experiencing Wanderlust sparked my own wanderlust. Every time I'd leave New York for a different mountain, I'd realize more and more how much I truly value being surrounded by nature. There's a certain feeling I get - a quiet sense of calm that allows me to focus on the present moment, and gain clear perspective on my life. This year I returned home many times to my overpriced Bushwick apartment - a rarity with its gorgeous, lush backyard - and questioned my city lifestyle. With my intuition stronger than ever, I've made the decision to leave New York this fall and head west. I'll land somewhere in California, amongst all sorts of natural elements, and always continue to create art. I'm not totally sure what's in store for me next, but I'm so grateful to have the teachings, support and blessings from my Wanderlust family as I continue on my life path.

2160 ~ As Wanderlust Festival's Art Director, Abbey has a great responsibility to create unique imagery that intrigues and captures peoples' attention, inspiring them to learn more about our events. From poster art and print ads to our websites and digital banners, she makes sure Wanderlust images are beautiful and clear.




Tags: Abbey, art, design, inspiration, WLHQ

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