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Life & Work with Casey Walsh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Casey Walsh.

Hi Casey, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
After ten years of experience in the graphic design field, I was thrusted into the freelance design universe during a global pandemic. With a little help from my community I was able to make bold moves doing what I have always wanted to do: start my own design business. Thus, Candlefly Studio was born; a testament to how something good can fly right out of the flame.

I am a one-woman shop out of St. Louis, MO with a degree in Visual Communication from The University of Kansas. It was there that I learned how to be a deeper critical thinker and a design warrior. I am passionate about my clients and the work that we do together. I am also passionate about my professional side hustle, photography, along with a few of my favorite things: food, globe trotting, building my ever-growing playlist of life, my hometown, St. Louis, and leaving this world better than I found it.

“Candle fly” is an old school term for a moth that circles a candle’s flame at night. I identify with that moth, always drawn to the light, always drawn to the next bright idea, invested in illuminating possibility (particularly that of the brands I design for).

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been struggles, but I’m in a point in my life and my career where I have the confidence and experience to navigate those, and I’ve been lucky to come out unscathed.

I experienced an intense handful of long Covid symptoms that severely debilitated my ability to work for a handful of months, but my friends, family and amazing clients rallied to help support me through those tough days. I also have been lucky to have a tight knit group of women in my corner, many of whom have started their own businesses this year as well. We’ve heavily relied on each other to navigate the challenges, like defining the financial value of the services we provide, how to stay motivated in a pandemic, when to use an accountant, etc. There’s so much more to starting a business than I could have ever imagined (not having a business degree in my back pocket!), but having a strong network makes it all so much easier.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a graphic designer specializing in branding. My background in design plus agency experience as an art director and a short but sweet run as the designer for a local brewery gave me a very diverse skill set within my field. My one true love has always been branding, however. It’s truly an exercise in uncovering the personality of my clients and what they offer, and from there crafting a logo, identity system and branding playbook for them to follow to express their brand in the world. The challenge of creating unique solutions that are true to the core of who my clients are is something I find thrilling; there’s nothing more exciting than seeing a brand come to life and getting my clients excited to shout it from the rooftops! I do the full gamut of graphic design projects, but branding is what excites me the most.

I also have a photography side business selling prints of my artwork. Many of my top sellers are moody black and white shots of St. Louis landmarks. I sell them individually or as custom clusters for your space.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
There are so many cheap, out-of-the-box design programs and offerings cluttering up the design world these days and watering down the value of true, thoughtful, deliberate, conscious branding. I’m hopeful that the “everyone is a designer” trend fades and the value of powerful, functional design makes a comeback. In the digital age, we have too many options at our fingertips and too many mass-generated visuals out there in the world. My hope is to see people get burnt out on the robotic/generic/cheap branding you can find on the internet and trust the experts to solve their branding the proper way.

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