Graphictional Design: An Interview with Judith Alkema

I love artists.  I really really do!  My mom is an artist and I grew up watching her paint and create the most beautiful paintings and drawings.

Anyway…since I started this interview series, I’ve gotten to meet and talk to some very talented and amazing artists.  Today’s interviewee, Judith Alkema, owner and creator of Graphictional Design, is one of those artists who make it look so easy and fun.  I am in awe! I am not kidding!  Check out her work AND her interview. She is awesome!

Take it away, Judith!

Graphictional Design: An Interview with Judith Alkema

Hi, Judy! What is Graphictional Design?

It’s a one-woman on-line bespoke branding station – original graphic design for other female solopreneurs! Any images you need for your microbusiness, I’ll create and hand-paint digitally from the ground up.

Promo Pic of Judy - Slide Format copy
Judith Bard, Graphic Designer Extraordinaire!

Tell me a bit more about yourself – what’s your background?

I’m a Canadian entrepreneur and autodidact who’s spent a lot of time living and traveling overseas; I’ve taught, made art, created programs and classes, run a number of microbusinesses, and had some extensive cross-cultural experiences. I’m an artist, a bard, a creative, a designer, an educator, fix-it, gardener, home schooled…. yeah, I could go through the rest of the alphabet!

So what inspired you to create Graphictional Design?

I was spending a lot of time making images, both for my mini-company and just to feed my own creative side, and I also noticed that there were a lot of other women getting bold and using the Net to start their own businesses – but on a start-up budget they were often limited to clip art, packaged graphics, and stock photos to try to express their unique ideas. And I found I had a knack for bringing out their identity visually, to create an atmosphere which is all their own, so I expanded from just doing logos to full branding packages.

I really like the concept of designing brands and logos to reflect the overall design and vision of the business and having worked with a few graphic designers, I know that this can sometimes be a challenge. How do you handle that challenge?

I ask my client to begin with a short style quiz that helps both of us focus in on some of the essentials of her business. I want to know what her values are and how she wants to be perceived. Then we do a free-hour-consult session to get even closer to the heart of that. Once you’ve conveyed your vision, I transform that into visuals – we choose a palette, a style, shapes, mood, even the fonts, that will all support the concept at the heart of your offerings.

Who is your ideal client?

Womentrepreneurs who have a strong business concept and some offerings ready to put out there. Heart-centred, caring, healing, wise, homely…those are my favorite kinds of people and projects to work with.

And what sort of services do you offer them?

I’ll quote from my ‘What Do You Get’ list! “Creative, innovative, bespoke, one-of-a-kind designs – personal attention to all aspects of your small-business branding with both holistic & detail focus – vintage, retro, classic, warm, intimate, natural stylings – fine art & custom illustration applied to your unique personality, business, niche & clientele – adaptability, diversity, responsiveness & affordability”! You can cherry-pick off the A La Carte menu, choose from three different branding packages, or negotiate your own package with me.

What sort of experience do you hope your clients have working with you?

My clients say things like ‘effortless’, ‘intuitive’, ‘collaborative’, ‘fun experience’, ‘exciting’. I always tell them I provide graphantastic service for graphantastic clients! No, but really; I’m dedicated to making sure you get what you want, with way more reworks than most designers will give you. I won’t take more than three clients a week so that I can focus on each individual with the maximum amount of my creative energy, and if I get consistent quick feedback, you’ll get a great turn-around time. So I provide one-on-one direct attention and almost hourly responses.

Do you have a ‘best client’ story?

They’re almost all awesome! If I had to pick a favorite, it might be the steampunk flying puppy. I did this logo for an FB friend who was starting her own dog-walking business called ‘Go, Dog, Go’. I used a photo of her dog and created a colourful zeppelin with the dog stretched out ‘flying’ underneath, like the basket/pilot. She wrote back: “The paws are perfect, absolute awesomeness. Everyone who knows Tansy who has seen the logo says that you captured her perfectly!”

How can my readers find you?

Easy-peasy. Check out the Graphictional Design facebook page, or better yet go straight to my website at Graphictional Design. Drop me an FB message to Bard Judith, or email me directly –

Great! Do you have anything else you’d like to share with my readers?

There’s a free style quiz under the Portfolio tab you’re welcome to take, to help you find focus, and I’m still offering a Vision Board special, throughout the year. I really believe that your solopreneur business revolves around your vision – your unique perspective and gifts and talents and beliefs and passions – and focusing in on that vision is the best way to be able to offer it to the world! Tobi, thanks so much for this chance to chat with you today. It’s been fab.

Interview with Tobi - Poster Letter Size
The Interview as a cool graphic designed by Judith Bard

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