Hi! I’m Kia

I am an award-winning graphic designer, visual communicator, design educator and multi-passionate creative. 

I’ve always had a love of design and art. I excelled at projects in grade school that allowed me to be creative and combine my love of visuals and the written word. I enjoyed making maps and building models for school projects. In high school, I took my first graphic design class – and I was hooked. I am grateful every day that I can make a living pursuing creative work that helps others.

I am currently a professor of digital communications at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). My awards and recognitions include a Cuppie Award for my work on the Beacon College University email redesign, and a Muse award for the 100 Days of Action Campaign for Kapor Center. I also participated as a consultant for ReDesign K-12 Education Content Map (redesignu.org). 

I have a passion for entrepreneurship, and I am the founder of The Happy Solopreneur, where I create and facilitate courses on small business ownership, creativity, and business/life balance. I’ve experienced many of the joys and challenges of building a profitable creative business. I started The Happy Solopreneur project to inspire and help others on the journey of self-employment and side business endeavors.

My personal work is influenced by the world around me. I love using design as a tool to tell stories about history and culture. I am especially excited by outsider art, hip hop and street art. I am also influenced by afrofuturism and ways designers can use art to reimagine the world through a different lens. I’m interested in design thinking, equity, and leadership. 

My professional experience has spanned many areas of design. I was part of IBM’s Arts Cafe where I designed website interfaces for Fortune 500 companies. After several design jobs including working as a publication designer and a product designer, I became interested in the multifaceted field of digital marketing and began working as a digital strategist within several corporate roles. I am the owner of Brightsmith Creative, a communications and design studio invested in helping businesses and organizations grow through branding, strategic marketing, and visual communications.

I studied graphic design at  Florida A and M University, earning a BS in graphic design. I received an MFA in visual design at Temple University (Tyler School of Art).

When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling, DIY projects, and most of all spending time with my husband, three sons, and my dog, Jumbo.

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