We had the good fortune of connecting with Allison Sosebee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allison, how has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance?
When I accepted my first design internship back in college, I knew so little about the importance of boundaries and balance between work and my personal life. So many of the influences around me were encouraging a lifestyle of hustle-harder-sleep-when-you’re-dead nonsense, but maintaining that level of creative output without taking care of yourself is not sustainable. I used to fill all my spare time with work and social obligations – mistakenly equating rest to laziness – but now I do the complete opposite! As soon as 5 o’clock comes around, I close my computer and do whatever will bring me the most joy. If I’m being honest, a lot of nights that’s just watching TV, but it could also be baking or working on a new sewing project, or whatever I’m most excited about that week. In my experience, when I take breaks from digital design, I not only come back to work more refreshed, but I end up finding inspiration that helps keep me going.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
At the very beginning of my design career I had the best mentors: Jessica Chen and Kevin Craft. They taught me all of my foundational knowledge; not just design, but also how to work with clients, collaborate with a team, how to charge for my work, and most importantly how to say no. I also wouldn’t be where I am without my partner, Matthew. His support has allowed me to take some pretty big risks in my career and has been a healthy reminder that my value isn’t based on my work alone.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
There’s a lot I could talk about here but for the sake of brevity, I’ll say that getting to where I am took time, and it took learning what I need, personally, from my career so I could move on from jobs that didn’t align with my goals and priorities. I’m not sure that anyone’s journey is easy, but the faster you learn and pivot, the faster you’ll get to a point where you feel…not content, necessarily, but energized by the work you’re doing. Looking back on the path that brought me to where I am, it’s clear that the most important thing I did for myself was move on from opportunities that didn’t serve me – whether that was a toxic client or a company that didn’t share my values or even specific career paths within design that wouldn’t fulfill me in the long-term. Reassessing and making those little course-corrections (and sometimes big course-corrections) got me here, working with people that inspire me every day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc. In your view what are some of the most fun, interesting, exciting people, places or things to check out?
If I had a whole week, I’d have to split up the time between Dallas and my hometown of Fort Worth. In Fort Worth, we’d make a trip to the Modern then spend the rest of the day on Magnolia making stops at Craftwork, Grow, and Salsa Limon. If I was feeling nostalgic, I’d pick up some craft beers and wrap up the day with a double feature at Coyote Drive-In. In Dallas, we’d probably spend most of the time in Bishop Arts because so many of my favorite shops and restaurants are there: Oddfellows, Ten Bells, Emporium Pies, Oasis, Spinster Records. I’d just insist on brunch at Jonathon’s because they make the best chicken and waffles in the world. There are a few other spots around Dallas that would also have to make the itinerary: tacos and margs on the patio at La Ventana, late night at Beauty Bar, and sake and tsukemen ramen at Wabi House.