Wednesday, May 22, 2013

At The Table: Amanda Wyler of Artistic Amanda Designs

At The Table: Amanda Wyler of Artistic Amanda Designs

 I recently sat down for dinner and drinks with a very creative colleague of mine, Amanda Wyler of Artistic Amanda Designs. I must first admit that I have a professional crush on graphic designers because I am a stick-figure drawings type girl (Yes, really!). I wish I had the ability to sit down in front of design software and come up with some magnificent design masterpiece like Amanda does! I am amazed at the creativity of great graphic designers.

Not only is Amanda a great graphic designer, but she also owns her own graphic design business. I talked to her about what she does and how she feels about being an entrepreneur.

Amanda Wyler of Artistic Amanda Designs 

Dr. Carmen April:    Amanda, you are a graphic designer, web designer and a creative consultant.  Explain to me exactly what you do.  

Amanda Wyler:    I got my start in web design, which is basically putting up a website for people from start to finish.  The back ends, talking to them exactly about the layout that they want and going from there.  Then I transitioned more to print design.  I really like doing that a lot more.  I know enough html coding to be a danger, so I leave that to others now. I actually hire people to do that for me and contract it out.  Now I do more print designs, which is anything from marketing material such as business cards, flyers, catalogs, billboard posters or what have you. 

Dr. Carmen April:    When did you realize that you were really good at graphic design?

Amanda Wyler:    I started out designing as a hobby, actually.  I’ve always been involved in art and creative ventures ever since I was a kid but, I was actually in Nashville studying music. I was doing web design on the side - just for fun.  I got more and more into it.  I started going into print design and it transitioned into an actual career.  I officially started in graphic design around 2004.  When did I discover that I was good at art?  Probably when I was around three, I’ve been doing it since I was a wee lass!

Dr. Carmen April:    Tell me where you attended college and your degree. 

Amanda Wyler:    I went to Belmont University.  I moved from Peachtree City Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta, in 1999 and went to Belmont University, studying music.  My actual degree is a Bachelor’s in Music with a Music Business emphasis, but I studied commercial music- which is like pop rock, country, jazz, and a little bit of classical as well. As a music major, you pick a field of interest.  I was a singer/piano player/guitar player and with a music business emphasis, I took business classes then my music business classes. 

Dr. Carmen April:    Do you do any singing gigs?

Amanda Wyler:    Only in karaoke bars LOL!

Dr. Carmen April:    When did you realize that you would venture out on your own to become an entrepreneur and work for yourself?

Amanda Wyler:    It was something that I’d always wanted to do.  Even in college, I was talking with friends about starting a record label.  I’d always wanted to do my own thing. I graduated in 2003, and started working for a non-profit in Brentwood.  I worked for them as coordinator of communications for about three years.  I actually got a lot of on-the-job training in print design, which is where I developed that interest and then I started working for another non-profit downtown as their director of communications.  Then I had the opportunity to go out on my own.  It was kind of a scary thing.  My boss was retiring and it was something that I wanted to do.  He really kind of pushed me to do it, but it was a good thing.  I don’t think that I would have done it if he hadn’t been on his way out and given me the opportunity.  That was 2007, 2008.  I love the flexibility of working for myself.

Dr. Carmen April:    Tell me about how you promote yourself in the industry and how you gain business. 

Amanda Wyler:    I don’t do a lot of paid advertising, but I have a lot of great word of mouth advertising.  That’s the best.  It’s free and it’s the best advertising that I really have.  That works for me quite a bit and I also find websites for freelancers and I’ll put my portfolio online. 

Dr. Carmen April:    What advice would you give to another graphic designer thinking about venturing out into the world of entrepreneurship?

Amanda Wyler:    Network, network, network.  Here’s where I’m going to put in the little plug for The Nashville Junior Chamber because I’m involved with them. I initially joined the Nashville Junior Chamber because of the networking opportunities. I was totally by myself, I had my handful of clients, but nothing else was coming in the door because nobody else knew that I existed.  If you go out on your own, you have to let people know that you exist, you have to let them know that you are there, and networking is a great way to meet people too.  If you work for yourself, I think you’re your own advertisement.  That would be my biggest piece of advice - Network, network, network! 

Dr. Carmen April:    Tell me what’s next for Amanda Wyler!

Amanda Wyler:    This is something I’ve been considering because my term for the Junior Chamber presidency is coming to a close at the end of June.  I’m getting married in October and I’m looking ahead, but I’m not really sure.  In addition to my business, I’ll keep being involved in professional organizations and in the community. Maybe taking some cooking classes, maybe traveling a little bit, who knows!! 

Dr. Carmen April:    Since you just mentioned that you would be interested in cooking classes and that type of thing, which do you prefer........Breakfast or dinner?

Amanda Wyler:    Breakfast, hands down breakfast!

Dr. Carmen April:    Your favorite breakfast food?

Amanda Wyler:    I’ll tell you what I cook the most -- probably omelets. 

Dr. Carmen April:    Cooking in or dining out?

Amanda Wyler:    Dining out -- if I had an unlimited budget I would dine out everyday! I love trying new things and new places.

Dr. Carmen April:    I've heard you mention before that you love pizza, correct?

Amanda Wyler:    Yeah!

Dr. Carmen April:    Your favorite type of pizza?

Amanda Wyler:    I’ve got two different kinds.  I’ve got something I like to make and something I would prefer to go to order.  My go-to order is  pepperoni, black olives, and onions. What I like to make is homemade basil pesto pizza topped with arugula on top of goat cheese and tomatoes!

Dr. Carmen April:    What is your favorite place or restaurant or bar here in Nashville to network?

Amanda Wyler:    I love it here at Bar Louie! I think it’s spacious and it’s got great drinks!  Rock Bottom Brewery, which used to be Big River Grill, has a great space.  

Amanda is such a talented individual and her talents reach far beyond graphic design! She is the outgoing President of The Nashville Junior Chamber and is constantly giving back to the Nashville Community by being involved with numerous non-profit organizations.

You can see Amanda's resume and portfolio on her website @


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