Art Direction | Design | Photography

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Vanessa McKenzie is a multi-disciplinary creative living in San Diego, California.

Branding, Editorial, Exhibition, Website, Photography, Fine Art, Public Space, Urban Planning, Video, Copywriting


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Live from the stage/my workspace

I am a multidisciplinary designer and photographer currently based in San Diego, but relocating to Los Angeles. My recent projects range from small scale identity work, to multi-family residential brand build outs across the United States, to international clients with a wide scope of digital and print needs. Throughout my career, I have supplemented my full-time jobs with freelance work. This has allowed me incredible access to brands and individuals that I would not have otherwise had the pleasure of working with—stories that I would not have had the privilege to tell. By partnering with the product and growth departments for Leadfeeder, a Helsinki-based tech startup, I have expanded my reach abroad and developed an efficient remote workflow.

Prior to the West Coast, I was at a branding agency in Chicago where, in addition to layout, brand strategy, and marketing collateral, I worked daily in Sketch, collaborating with development teams on responsive, SEO-friendly websites. I moved to Chicago from Kansas City where I was the lead designer for two monthly food industry magazines, and an annual book of interviews and recipes. After a year of design and photo direction, I was also brought on as a copywriter, submitting monthly features and an opinion column.

For the past four years, I have partnered with the New York City-based firm Artist&Title to produce a variety of art exhibits. Each project demands keen observation, unique attention to detail, and cultural sensitivity. Transforming space is what I find truly attractive about exhibition and environmental work—crafting an integrated experience for the audience, giving them a place to not just read about a movement or an artist, but to be enriched and surrounded by a feeling and a message. My interest in urban planning and development led to several collaborative and educational efforts with other designers, planners and architects.

An endless search for inspiration and a need to constantly create have helped me to establish a lifestyle, instead of a career path. With a renewed sense of authority over my life, I am excited to continue building on that foundation with a variety of collaborations, partnerships, and life experiences.