Team Member Spotlight: Kelli U.
Kelli U. works with Leverage in our Marketing vertical, focusing on graphic design. With a strong design background, Kelli helps her clients create everything from logos to presentations to custom PDFs, lead magnets, social media assets, and more.
Kelli has an impressive story, having worked with such high-profile clients as E!, TBS, Esquire Network, Dreamworks, Toyota, the NFL, and the MLB. Here are a few reasons why we love Kelli so much (and why you should too):
- At age 13, Kelli taught herself HTML and CSS by reading the source code pages of Geocities and Livejournal websites.
- In addition to design, Kelli has a strong love for typography, lettering, and video production.
- As a child, she instantly knew she wanted to become an artist after watching the 1995 animated film, Pocohantas.
- She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in Design.
- She is proficient with Adobe Creative Cloud (Animate, After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Sketch, InVision, Wordpress, MailChimp, and Powerpoint/Keynote.
So, without further ado, let’s get to know Kelli!
How long have you been working with Leverage?
- I’ve been working with Leverage since March of 2019, about six months now.
What is your specialty at Leverage?
- I’m a design specialist, so I mainly work on graphic design-related tasks. I’ve worked in a lot of different design capacities over the years, so I have a mixed bag of skills including art direction, print and web design, retouching, typography, animation, motion graphics, HTML and CSS, HTML5 AD banners, social media strategy, photo and video production, prop styling, illustration, screen printing, calligraphy, hand lettering, and painting (exhale).
What is ONE task you’ve done that you think every Leverage client could benefit from?
- Branding and rebranding. It’s important to refresh your branding if you haven’t done so in a while. It’s like having a fresh wardrobe or getting an updated haircut! It breathes new life into a company no matter how large or small it is.
What is your favorite type of task to work on?
- I love working with clients I can feel a connection with — so, really, it could be designing PDFs, presentations, social media assets, logos, or illustrations… I love it all. Each client has a different need for their business and that’s what makes it challenging.
What is your favorite part about working at Leverage?
- I love the freedom of working on my own time! I also love the people who work at Leverage. We all have different backgrounds and strengths. If a client comes to me with a question that I don’t have an answer to, there’s a high chance I can find an answer by asking the rest of the team for help.
What are your goals at Leverage, in your career, and/or in life?
- I wanted to go full-time freelance for a while, but I was terrified: it’s hard to predict your income month-to-month and we all have bills to pay! It’s risky. I was introduced to Leverage a couple of months after going full time and it’s been great. I still have full control over which tasks I pick up, and I’m still able to communicate directly with clients, which I love. I’m curious to see where freelancing full-time will take me in the future. I will always want to be designing, illustrating, creating — and at the rate we’re going with remote-work culture, it’s a high possibility that I’ll continue to be doing what I’m doing now. It’ll be interesting to see where technology takes us!
Where are you currently located and where did you grow up?
- I was born and raised in a small rural town called Apollo, Pennsylvania, where we celebrate the moon landing every summer. I got to live in Florence, Italy for a month in college and lived in Los Angeles for a few years. I recently moved back to the east coast, making my way back to the Pittsburgh area to be closer to family. I’m hoping to “settle” in the near future, but haven’t decided where yet! Philly is a possibility.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (And why?)
- I’ve always wanted that superpower Alex Mack had where she shoots electricity out of her fingertips and turns into a blob of goo. It’s almost like being invisible, except you’re just a blob of liquid… And then I’d be living proof to bring back those old Capri Sun commercials.
What do you like to do outside of work?
- Thrifting! My husband and I thrift together multiple times a week. The majority of my clothes are thrifted. I’ve had a huge appreciation for the 60s/70s era since I was a little girl. My husband has over 12,000 vintage shirts from the 90s, 80s, and even 70s. (Needless to say, we need a house with a lot of space.)
If you could go anywhere in the world, right now, where would you go?
- Australia. I grew up watching “The Rescuers Down Under” and “Fievel Goes West” on repeat — I’ve already done the “gone west” part (Los Angeles), but have yet to give Australia a chance.
Outside of your career, what is one thing you’re REALLY good at?
- Sleeping. And maybe yoga (but that’s an ongoing practice!).
What is your favorite food/dish?
- Cheeseburger and fries, the true American meal.
What’s the last thing you learned?
- I learned this morning that the albatross (bird) can spend their first six years of life flying over the ocean before coming to land to mate. They’re capable of traveling more than 10,000 miles in a single journey and they can circumnavigate the globe in just 46 days!
Coffee or tea?
- Tea, but let’s face it, I need coffee to get me moving.
For Leverage Clients:
Want to have Kelli design a new logo for your company? Maybe your branding needs some freshening up? Or maybe you need some illustration work done…
Whatever it is, Kelli can help. CLICK HERE to submit your task! Simply add “Kelli Upshur” to the assignee field and she will reach out to you with the next steps.
Not a Leverage Client Yet?
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