Kelly Beall’s lifelong passion for art and design convinced her to take the leap and make design blogging a full-time career.
When Kelly Beall began the Design Crush blog in 2007, she never thought it would turn into a full-time job.
“I started Design Crush mainly just for me and to gather inspiration for my day job,” she says. “I was super surprised when people started reading it a few months in.”
Two and a half years ago, Kelly took the leap and transitioned from doing Design Crush as a second job in the evenings to making it her full-time work.
“I still do some design work on the side, but doing Design Crush has allowed me to be super picky about the projects that I take on,” she says. “I feel so lucky because it doesn’t feel like work.”
The Perfect Storm: How Design Crush Came To Be
Kelly graduated with a bachelor of arts in advertising, even though she had always wanted to be a graphic designer.
“I stuck with it because I liked the conceptual side of it, and I did like working with other people on projects,” she explains.
After a few years of being an agency art director, she fell into a graphic design position while she was looking for a new job.
“I took it because I didn’t want to wonder ‘what if?'”” she says. She says she learned more from her time as a designer than from her entire advertising career.
As far as transitioning to Design Crush full-time, she calls the experience the “perfect storm.”
“Everything kind of happened where I left my graphic design job,” she says. “I had this chunk of time before me, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to look for another design job, or if I was going to go freelance or what. I already had this foundation of Design Crush, and it would have been silly to not step on the ledge and see where it could go.”
Seeking and Living Design
“I like to be inspired by anything that I see,” she says. “From something at Target to an art exhibition at a museum or gallery.”
Even after doing Design Crush for more than half a decade, she doesn’t find staying inspired that difficult.
“I try to keep my eyes open for it everywhere,” she says. “It has become part of my day-to-day life.”
And this feeling guides what she chooses to post on Design Crush.
Whether she stumbles upon cool things on other sites or gets press releases or offers to review products, her only criterion is that the product in question makes her heart skip a beat.
“I have to get a feeling at the pit of my stomach,” she adds.
Being a design blogger makes Kelly extremely aware of just how affected she is by design. Design affects what she buys at the grocery store, what magazines she reads, what she’s drawn to online, and what she posts for her readers on Design Crush.
“Good design serves a bigger purpose than just looking pretty,” she adds. “It informs and it convinces people to bring things into their homes, their lives, and their minds.”