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Q&A with Kathryn Clark

Art director in Washington, DC

My name is Kathryn Clark and I'm an art director in Washington, DC. My approach to design comes from a problem-solving angle: how can we convince the viewer to take a particular action? Finding a beautiful and practical solution to this question is what drives me. It's also this philosophy that inspired my personal tagline, "The art of visual persuasion."

Software / hardware

I use an iMac at work and a MacBook Pro at home. Adobe's Creative Cloud programs rarely get turned off, whether it's InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash or Dreamweaver.

Ideal work environment

A sketchbook in the bathtub. It's where I have my best ideas.

Work inspiration

I tend to think in words rather than pictures in the beginning. A lot of my inspiration comes from reading and the combination of words to form new concepts.

My style is fairly minimalistic, so I'm always trying to remove elements until only the simplest, purest communication remains.

Things that never fail to inspire me include Oscar Wilde, The Economist and Wired magazine, Pixar movies, vintage design samples (especially Victorian or Art Deco), fashion (Oscar de la Renta and Valentino in particular) and textile design.

Artists admire you most

Fairfax Cone and Albert Lasker were two of the people who inspired me to pursue a career in advertising. Pat Fallon is a creative genius. Louise Fili is who I want to be when I grow up—brilliantly creative and prolific, yet frank and snarky about the realities of the industry. Jake and Pum Lefebure, Allan Peters and David Lubars consistently do work that I'm jealous of.