That’s what I always tell my design clients and students—and what I finally got tattooed on my arm. I’m Deb Pang Davis, and I design how I live—boldly. Does that mean circus layouts and blinding colors? No! It means thinking big while minding to all the small details. It means reaching for the stars while remaining down-to-earth.
I believe down-to-earth should be an official color.
Quietly bold—or perhaps boldly quiet—should be a color, too.
As for beauty, there are too many shades of it to name, but all my life I’ve had an eye for it and an impulse to capture it. It was dirty work in the beginning. Back then, in pursuit of my BFA in photography, my hands were stained with darkroom chemicals. I reeked of Dektol.
Since those early days, I’ve designed story packages for The Chicago Tribune and other papers. I’ve been an art director and designer for a luxury travel magazine and National Geographic Traveler. I’ve been an independent designer for nearly a decade and an educator for the past five years.
I believe beauty makes business sense.
Along the way, I learned and mastered web design because it’s a powerful way to amplify beauty and beam it right to the desired audience.
I understand how branding, websites, social media and print collateral must all work together to impress and persuade that audience.
These days, my design portfolio features custom digital and print publications, books, websites, and stationery. I especially enjoy magazine and book design. People still love the feel and smell of print-on-paper.
I believe in fulfilling all five senses.
My writing portfolio is expanding, as well. My first book is due out next year!
The book builds on my 10+ years of experience which, along with glowing praise from clients and peers, emboldened me to pitch my idea and undertake the challenge of expressing myself in words (gulp!) as well as design.
When I’m not designing I enjoy baking for friends (gotta distribute those calories around!); gentle exercise; cloud gazing (the sky is a Caldecott-worthy picture book); writing about food/health/wellness; and traveling with my husband, Mike Davis, who also knows a good picture when he sees it.
I hold these truths with open hands:
Faded jeans and T-shirts are the best balm ever (and my default lack of style).
Cooking and feeding others nourishes your soul.
Protecting nature is, ultimately, an act of self-preservation.
Stress can hold the body hostage but its ransom demands are simple: Breathe. Move. Dance. Meditate. Read. Slow down. Let go. (Listen to your body. It knows.)
Gratitude is the key to happiness and enjoyment of the present.
Change is hard. But change is the firewalk that leads to growth and insight.
Anger is heavy. Put it down.
Love makes us stronger. Lift it up.
What we eat profoundly affects who we are and how we are. Choose wisely.
If you hold something dear, hold it with open hands.