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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jill Feig

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Feig.

Hi Jill, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
This is actually my second career. I was a physician for over 20 years – almost 10 years in the military and the rest as a civilian. While serving in the US Air Force, I made many of the scientific posters, patient handouts, and infographics that our department used; I suppose I’ve always had an affinity for layout and typography. Although I had a fulfilling career through 2018, I felt that creativity was missing from my life. So I retired from medicine and went to art school at the Art Institute of SA to pursue graphic design. Graduating at the start of the pandemic had challenges. No one was hiring (or even stepping foot in an office), so I had to begin a freelance business—Funnel Vision Design—on my own. Despite the difficulty of marketing and attracting clients remotely, I have completed some fun and rewarding projects for several different people and businesses.

My next chapter includes working as a graphic designer and publicity assistant at Randolph AFB starting next month. I am excited to actually be able to go back to a non-home office and work with my peers!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nope. As I already mentioned, graduating in the middle of the pandemic was so difficult and isolating. I could not physically meet with people and network. Changing careers took a scary leap of faith too. I had to learn how to use design software/programs that I had never experienced before. I remember wanting to quit school after only a few classes because it seemed I was the only one who had no clue how to use the programs. Luckily, I was surrounded by wonderful and supportive staff and fellow students.

During my first year of school my mother suffered a bad fall, had complications after her surgery, and ultimately died (young). It was so hard to be present for my family and then have to get right back to school within a couple of weeks. However, I channeled my grief into a beautiful charcoal illustration of my mother that now hangs on my father’s wall at home.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a graphic designer and illustrator. Presently, I specialize in helping small businesses create an identity and voice by making them custom logos and branding products. I have also had a personal essay with a companion illustration published in HuffPost Personals, and two other illustrations published in a book of food-related illustrations, as well as in the SAPL’s Big Read Zine. I am really proud of the illustration that accompanies my personal essay in HuffPost. The piece is about my struggle with infertility; the illustration was the equivalent of journaling to me…it helped me deal with the loss and be at peace with myself as an infertile woman.

My experience as a preventive medicine physician is what sets me apart from others designers. I have a unique perspective because of my non-traditional path to art. I also find inspiration for my art in medicine. This unique perspective is one reason why I named my business Funnel Vision Design.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory is waking up to the smell of eggs and bacon on Saturday mornings. My mother was an excellent cook, as was most of her Italian family. Food has always had a big place in my traditions.

A relevant childhood memory to my current career is my discovery of how typography can affect design. As a preteen, I misread the company name on a carton of milk as “garlic” instead of Garelick, which I thought would be a terrible flavor to associate with milk. I dutifully wrote a letter to the company suggesting that they create a logo in which the letters got larger in the middle of the word and tapered on the ends to emphasize the “e” and lead to less confusion. Of course I got a typical “thank you for your letter” response, and as far as I know nothing came of it. However, I was proud of myself for imagining a solution for a potential design problem.

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Jill Feig

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