One of the best things about SOBDL is that it brings together such an inspiring and talented AF community of local women. And there’s nothing we love more than shining a light of some of those talented souls. 

With the recent launch of our Small Batch Merch Series, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the artist behind the ‘Wish You Were Beer’ design: Amanda Goncalves, in the interview below. Learn more about the local designer, illustrator–and self-proclaimed coffee critic–responsible for kicking off our Small Batch Swag Series!

Available for a limited time in our swag shop And for the month of November, you’ll receive a free Wish You Were Beer sticker when you order a Wish You Were Beer tee.

SOBDL: How did you get your start in art & design?

AG: I got my start in art and design when I went to Niagara College for a Graphic Design program. Prior to starting college I didn’t really know much about design or whether I’d even be good at it. I grew up drawing and loving illustration and I knew I needed to pursue something creative. I really felt like I thrived in my design course and I’m lucky enough to say I don’t picture myself doing anything else.

SOBDL: Can you tell us about something you’re most proud of?

AG: Something I’m most proud of was completing my post-grad at Sheridan college. I took a course called Interactive Media Management–which is basically a hybrid course of programming and design–where we learned to build apps and websites from the ground up. This was something I always wanted to do but, honestly never thought I could before starting this course. I knew I was interested in coding but trying to learn on my own was such a big challenge. Instead of giving up I decided to take this course to broaden my skill set as a designer and hopefully move me closer to getting a dream job (which it actually did!). This course still stands as the hardest thing I have ever done, but I’m so glad I did it–and even meet some life long friends along the way! 

SOBDL: Who are your artistic influences?

AG: My artistic influences are kind of all over the place. Since  I practice design, illustration, and development I find inspiration from many different mediums. Usually in the mornings before I start working I’ll spend a little time on The Dieline or reading web design articles on Medium. As for people in the design community that inspire me, a couple of names to mention are Meg Lewis a Brand Experience Designer, Fiona Yeung a Google UX Designer and Director of Hexagon UX, Phoebe Wahl an award-winning children’s book illustrator and surface designer. All great ladies! 

SOBDL: What beer do you drink while you’re creating?

AG: Usually what’s in my fridge which is normally Collective Arts Lunch Money.

SOBDL: When you’re not designing what do you love doing for fun?

AG: After my workdays are done I like to put away my technology for the night. I think mentally this is something that really helps me so when I come back to my computer the next day I feel refreshed and ready to start again. In my free time, I have discovered a love for yoga. Spending a little bit of time every night that is just for yourself is so important and I think contributes to my creativity too. Another thing that consumes my nights is reading, I’ve always been a big book worm and I even go to a book club. 

You can find more examples of Amanda’s work on her website!

by: Amber Smith