About Laura Vanderwel

Hello, I’m Laura! This is my personal portfolio. I’m a graphic designer + illustrator + mother keeping it real on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. I run a part-time branding + design business over at Fjord Creative, working from home in a messy office while my son sleeps. It’s still a relatively new space for me, and I’ve been learning a lot about business, design, and myself (yikes!).

If you’re interested in working with me on any type of creative project, especially something that doesn’t fit into the traditional branding packages I offer over at Fjord, get in touch here!

My Story

After working for 7+ years as the lead in-house designer at a national non-profit, moving to motherhood and freelancing in one fell-swoop has been one of the craziest transitions for me. While my years of working in print & web design left me feeling confident in my services, the whole “learn-as-you-go” and “customize it for yourself” method of design freelancing has exposed all of my well buried insecurities. I am scared of numbers, the telephone, and letting people down. As an enneagram four with a five wing, I am constantly evaluating if I have “enough” (of what? who knows!?) to get everything done that I agree to. I’ve been learning how to compartmentalize my work and my kid time so that I don’t go crazy thinking about client emails while we’re playing in the back yard. But you know what? I’m making progress. And on the good days, I still can’t believe I get to spend time with such a cute piece of my heart AND work on inspiring design projects.

I have a diploma in Digital Art and Design from Thompson Rivers University, and since graduating in 2009 have worked as a newspaper ad designer and non-profit design co-ordinator while freelancing on the side. I have a small line of children’s art prints available at Lop + Lore, and as mentioned do most of my work through Fjord Creative. I love illustration, layout, and branding, and do photography and wordpress web design with a little less passion. My personal projects (like the Sasquatch block print above) are usually rough around the edges and involve more of my hands than my digital design work.

When I’m not designing or being an on-duty mom, I love to explore and adventure outdoors in this beautiful place I get to live. I’m a follower of Christ, and a fan of the Enneagram, Bethel worship music, home improvement, and mint chocolate. I like to top up my extraneous knowledge with podcasts and fantasy fiction (always taking recommendations!).

This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.

– Maya Angelou