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Rising Stars: Meet Brandi Goff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandi Goff.

Hi Brandi, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up, I was surrounded with family that encouraged my more artistic side. My mother and grandmother were always crafty as I was growing up and really encouraged that as a hobby for me as well. There really wasn’t a limit on what medium I used – from painting to jewelry making to sewing – it was all encouraged. I remember being about 12 or so and convincing my dad to let me stencil the walls of my room with acrylic paints (actually, I don’t think it took much convincing). That’s probably where it all started.

Fast forward several years to undergrad and then a master’s program. Art and design wasn’t my focus. I wasn’t unhappy with my choice of degrees, but I was still missing a creative outlet. It wasn’t until I started designing training programs that it really clicked that the design side of things was what I really enjoyed. From the content and structure of the programs to actually designing their look and feel, I realized this was where it all comes together. With the encouragement of family and my supervisor, I started a master’s program in Instructional Systems Development.

Shortly after I finished that program, I also realized that I wanted to start my own business that encompassed this hard-earned skillset but also focuses on portraits and other illustrations. From there, Brandi G Design Studio was born.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I would consider myself to be really fortunate, and the road so far hasn’t been too difficult. I’m fortunate to have a full-time job on top of owning my own business. That being said, the hardest part so far has been navigating the ropes of creating a new business. You really don’t realize how many forms, permits and licenses, and steps you have to go through to create a business until you actually go to do it. There is no clear roadmap, so for me, it required a lot of research. A LOT of research. I have pages of notebooks filled up with notes on everything I needed to do.

I’m also fortunate in that my dad also owns his own service-based business, so I was able to turn to him for some questions. But even so, there was plenty of new territory that I’ve had to explore and am still learning!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
There are two main aspects to my work – fine art illustrations and instructional design. As part of my business, I provide consulting on instructional design, from analysis to design and development of education and training products. Businesses and educational institutions were forced to move to online instruction over the past year and a half, with little to no idea how best to do so. I have expertise in adult learning and online instruction and am able to help clients optimize their instruction.

The other side of my business, and what has received the most attention, includes fine art illustrations. This really is the most fun part to me. I have various line art series and create custom portrait illustrations, available in both digital and physical print formats. Each illustration is meticulously hand-drawn to capture all of important details, whether it be a charm on a wedding bouquet in a portrait illustration or the architectural details of your most favorite city landmark. I’m able to take these memories, new and old (some from decades-old photos), and create a new family keepsake.

And what am I most proud of? I would have to say there isn’t one thing specifically, but there is something gratifying in getting the reaction of “Oh my gosh, this is *insert complimentary adjective here*” when a client receives their custom illustration. I don’t think that will every get old.

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I think a lot of my favorite memories involve my grandmother (Maw-Maw). She would watch me before and after school and never let a day go by without some type of activity and many, many homemade snacks. Together we created clothes for my dolls out of socks and scraps of fabric, made quilted baby books and blankets for new family members, and crafted ornaments and picture frames out of any materials we could find. She saved the refrigerator box so that my cousin and I could build the best fort and made us lemonade that we could sell at our lemonade stand. She never stopped encouraging creativity and had a fascination with learning and education, both traits that I am thankful to have rubbed off on me.

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