Hey! I'm Kat.
I'm a multidisciplinary designer who uses pens, pixels, and planning to help people communicate better and make their big ideas more concrete (so they're more likely to become a reality!). Basically, I turn thoughts & information into pictures and help people launch their businesses.
I'm also a digital nomad, minimalist, and paper notebook dork who loves dancing, bikes, board games, and tea. (So much tea.) I'm currently living just outside of Seoul, South Korea.
My work blends backgrounds in design, engineering, and marketing. (Yeah, this dork has an engineering degree!) And I work with people who want designs that are as useful as they are good-looking. Because great design isn’t just pretty, it solves problems.
Why go solo?
Everyone has ideas they'd like to see happen. What's yours? It might be an idea for a business. Or a cause you're passionate about championing. Or maybe you'd just like to share your knowledge & expertise.
So many people get stuck talking about their ideas. Sometimes we don't even get that far. Your startup idea fades into a "nice thought." That cause you're so passionate about gets lost when people don't take action (or worse: they don't remember why they should care). And your expertise doesn't get seen if its buried in hours of dense information.
But I realized that something amazing happens when information is made into something visual. We're wired to think visually. People can see and respond to information better. It gets remembered. It gets acted on. And sharing information in a way that helps people remember it and act on it is the best way to make ideas reality.
In 2014, after dreaming of a lifestyle that would let me travel more (and, let's be honest, take more afternoon naps), I left my corporate gig. I started katingalls.com because I wanted to help people share their cause, their expertise, and their business ideas visually. So that they can stop being ideas, and become real-world results. And because, well, I love making pictures.
engineer / product designer / marketer
I've always been half type-A geek, half rebel art kid. When deciding between art school and using my mad math/science skills, I decided to major in engineering. Because innovation & creative problem solving seemed like an awesome blend of left & right brain.
I studied mechanical engineering at Cornell with a focus on product design. I also did a masters' thesis is in systems engineering as an undergrad. So I got the skills, but skipped the grad degree (and the loans!). While studying engineering, I worked as a gallery intern doing graphic design and illustration.
After college, I worked in product design, graphic design, and social media marketing before deciding to go solo. I did product design at a startup in India. I worked as a graphic designer for a nonprofit, a mom-and-pop shop, and a major tech corporation. Then I worked for 3 years as a social media marketing manager (with a dash of UX design + business development) at Autodesk in Portland (with a manager in San Francisco - yay remote teams!) before I decided to start my own business.
While I've had many roles, the constant has always been balancing analytical and creative. Happily, it all blends together! Today, my focus is on visual communication and systems-level problem solving. One of my favorite parts of being independent is being able to bring out my "engineering hat" or "UX/product designer hat" as I work on different projects.
How can we get better at communicating so that ideas & information actually get used?
— a ponderous Kat
just for fun
- I love making lists. (Heyyy! See what I did there?)
- My favorite drink is a mix of assam tea + lapsang suchong. Try it. It's like drinking a happy campfire.
- Part of the reason I decided to go solo is because I love me some naps. No joke. I'm a morning person and a night owl. But that afternoon slump hits me hard.
- Big dork, tiny body: I'm only 5'2."
- I'm currently based in South Korea and travel to other countries 2-4 months a year. I work as I travel (a.k.a. a "digital nomad").
- Harry Potter fangirl: I've refused to even see the trailers for the films because I don't want them to ruin my idea of the characters.
- I think bikes and motorcycles are way more fun than cars. It's all about that zippy "whoosh" feeling, am I right?
- Istanbul is my happy place. I love the architecture, ceramic art, super-strong tea, and rock music. And the juxtaposition of Roman with Ottoman, and ancient with modern.
- I have always believed that logic and creativity aren't contradictory, but complementary. Leonardo DaVinci has been a role model since I was a kid: loved that blend of artist and scientist. (Fun fact: my cat Leo is named after him!)
- I love psychology. Also: if you're a Myers-Briggs nerd, I'm ENTP... -ish. (Hardcore iNtuitive and Perceiver, but 50/50 on the other two traits.)
- I have a serious pen and notebook addiction.
- I excel at stereotypically old-lady activities: knitting, reading books, watering plants, being a cat-lady.
Sound like we'd get along?
Follow along with me, or say hello