Danielle Becker is a mixed media artist and the founder of Lefty’s Right Mind, a design and marketing company that serves to bracket her many talents and services. Growing up in an artistic household, Danielle Becker was drawn from the very beginning to all types of crafts and traditional mediums. To this end, her wide array of talents across multiple platforms is rooted in hands-on art making and a commitment to unbound creativity.
From chalk and mirror art, to signage and logo design, to wedding invitations and decor, Danielle’s vast and varied skills allow her to approach events and branding from many angles while always contributing her unique artistic style to any project. We spoke with Danielle about her design process, working with brides & grooms, and the value of the handwritten word in our progressively digital world.
First, I’d love to know how you accumulated so many talents and skills, and how you went about bringing them all together to form Lefty’s Right Mind.
I have to say, I couldn’t have started Lefty’s Right Mind without the support of my parents. I wouldn’t be a designer if it weren’t for them. They supported me 100% when my school curriculum was full of art classes and I had their unwavering support when I decided I wanted to go to art school for college. They exposed me to all kinds of design, and that’s why I believe my skill set and talents are so diverse. They knew I was born with a natural visual eye, and they let me follow my dreams. That’s how I came up the name of my company, Lefty’s Right Mind. I’m a lefty, who is in her right mind, the mind she was born into and the one she is following. It’s also a double entendre because the right side of the brain is where creativity comes from.
I believe in doing what you love and I feel beyond lucky to have the opportunity to live my dream. I am able to build a life for myself doing what makes me happiest and what I am truly passionate about. Lefty’s Right Mind developed from the simple fact that I didn’t want to narrow my scope. I wanted to keep the broad range of talents I developed since I was young, and I wanted to build on them. I wanted to guarantee myself the opportunity to keep learning new skills and to never stop growing. And above of all, I love sharing my passion and what I love most, with others. If my artwork brings a special wedding day memory, a smile given with a gift, or becomes a piece of one’s home, well then I think I’ve made my mark. What else could an artist ask for!
Can you tell me more about the chalk design and calligraphy you do? In such a digital-heavy world, do you think we’re more drawn to and impacted by beautiful handwritten design?
One thing people always say about me is that I am an old soul. Technically yes, I am considered a millennial, but that mindset is one I can’t seem to grasp. If I could rid electronics and go back to the days of land lines and snail mail, I’d be there already.
I told myself when I started college that I never wanted to become reliant on the computer. I think most people can be trained to design electronically, but what you can’t teach is raw talent. I decided that what was going to set me apart from the pack, was that my hand feel would never be lost. Don’t get me wrong, I do not take my computer training and electronic skill sets I’ve developed for granted. They are extremely useful and wonderful tools. They also help a lot with time efficiency and of course, easier clean up. Although I am a trained graphic designer, I always take time to get off of the computer and work by hand. That’s why I love the balance that Lefty’s Right Mind offers.
I absolutely believe we are more drawn to handwritten design because it is seemingly disappearing with the growing technological world we live in. It’s much more common to see a child playing on an iPad then playing with crayons. That’s why I am so proud of my chalk artwork. It encompasses all the skills that I have learned, but is most loved for the handwork and detailing.
What is your design process like? Do you typically know right away what direction you want to take or is it a lot of trial and error?
One of my strengths and something I take great pride in is my ability to be able to listen and understand what a client is looking for. When I start a project I first chat with the client about what are they looking for. I have them send me inspiration of things they like and things they don’t like. The latter is very important to me personally, because I believe it’s easier for someone to understand what they don’t want, opposed to what they do. I gain a strength for my designs off of the initial feedback I get from the client.
My creative juices are always flowing, so typically and fortunately, my ideas stream easily. There are definitely times where I struggle and the direction takes a bit longer to develop, but overall my head is full and raring to go.
What are the first questions you ask yourself when you begin the branding process for a new company or product?
The first question I ask myself when I begin a branding project is what is the company trying to portray with this visual branding and how do they want to be represented. It’s very easy to get carried away once you’re in the design zone, so I continue to check in every few hours with those important bullet points to make sure I don’t stray from the task at hand. I always make sure that my designs depict the client’s initial vision before they review it.
It’s such a special, individualized experience designing for weddings. What is it that speaks to you specifically about working with brides and grooms?
The fact that a couple would instill their trust in me to create artwork for their special day, is in itself such a flattering and beautiful gift. Many dream their whole lives about getting married and of their wedding day, so who wouldn’t want to be a part of someone’s happiest of days. I’m a hopeless romantic and a sucker for fairy tales! It’s an honor for me to be a part of something so magical.
Tell me about your latest pursuits or projects?
My mom and I have started a business together. dBb Group is 30 years in the making. Town Crier Paperworks and Lefty’s Right Mind join together to help you realize your dream for Lifestyle, Social, Corporate Events and branding for any occasion. If you can envision it, we can make it happen. While I, Lefty’s Right Mind will be heading up the art department, my mom will be reviving her company, Town Crier Paperworks, which was started in 1986. TCP’s main focus will be on the event planning side of things. Ultimately, we will be working on all projects as one team, but it was important at the same time for us to keep our own identities. We’ve been an unofficial team since I could remember, and the time has come to make it a true business!
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