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Influenced since childhood by a trio of artistic aunts, Katie Glantz has a deep-rooted appreciation of art and a passion for creative design. Her career began in 1996 at The Dallas Museum of Natural History, where she designed everything from banners and posters to business cards and mailers. She also conducted educational tours in her spare time.

After graduating from The Art Institute of Dallas in 1997, Katie honed her Mac skills at Matthews International before joining Virtual Packaging in Irving, Texas, where she developed and managed the country’s first digital prototyping studio and gained a thorough understanding of the packaging design process. Katie’s dream of starting her own company was realized in 1999 with the launch of JABEYE, which has established an international reputation with its thought-provoking design solutions for branding, packaging, print, and the Web.

When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
I have always loved to draw and paint; it has been an outlet to express myself in ways that words could never describe.

When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I got in trouble for skipping class and going down to the Art room to volunteer…of course I told a fib to my art teacher, saying that I was allowed to leave my other classes so that I could help out. Needless to say, I got a detention slip and had to spend time after school making up for my missed classes. With that said, I had an amazing art teacher in high school that encouraged me to go to art school when I graduated. I knew I was reasonably good at drawing but didn’t realize I could make a living from it. So she helped me get a portfolio together so that I could apply for a full-paid scholarship to the Art Institute of Dallas. I didn’t win the scholarship but I did end up going to an interview at the school. I was given a tour of the different disciplines, one being packaging. That’s when I finally knew that I found my niche – graphic design and, even better, packaging. I couldn’t stop talking about it when I got home that day. Mom agreed with my decision to start my education in design, and I enrolled in the summer of 1995. So you asked, was there a pivotal moment…I think it was with my art teacher in high school. If it wasn’t for her, I would have never have been inspired to take that direction.

Who or what inspires you?

Wow! That’s a toughie. I guess I would say other designers and artists inspire me. Just seeing a fresh perspective on art gives me the boost I need to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m always listening to music, too, when I design. It helps get those creative juices flowing and keeps me positive. Traveling also helps. I just got back from Burbank, CA, and a simple change of scenery – mountains and palm trees verses the flat and boring terrain of Dallas – recharged the batteries and inspired me. Oh and did I mention my dog, Salvador Dalí? He climbs up a tree in my garden (if you don’t believe me, see the photos), and I say if he can do that, then anything is possible!

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?

I graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas with an Associates of Applied Arts in Visual Communications – Graphic Design. I would also say my training came from just a natural ability to know what looks good visually. As far as software training, I learned that on the job. There is no better way of learning than when you are put in a situation where you just have to…I also had some great co-workers who were patient enough to train me and keep me afloat until I did it on my own; you might be good at designing but you also need to master your computer skills, which will keep you on top of your game.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?

I go jump in the pool, cool down, and then read some art books!

Just kidding, of course! I love to read creative magazines and also look at Web sites, which give the latest trends. Photography always inspires me too. I love to paint, which is another outlet for me so that my designs aren’t and never look like they were generated on the computer. I always sketch out ideas before I take it to the next level.

What are some of your current projects?

One of my latest (it’s ongoing, actually) is the Web site for the voice and guitar of Pink Floyd, David Gilmour ( We launched the new design in February to coincide with his ‘On An Island’ album and tour. It’s an evolving site, so it takes up a lot of our time at the moment. There are plenty of updates to keep us busy, whether it’s new graphics or content.

We are also working on another project for Quality Telephone (Qtel), a client of several years’ standing. We created the company’s logo and have developed their marketing materials – everything from mailers and signage to floor decals and point-of-sale. This one is always ‘On the Block’ at JABEYE.

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?

Wow! Another toughie. It’s really hard to choose but I guess I’ll say “David Gilmour”. It has really been the most rewarding of all the projects I have worked on over the years. As a bonus, we got to fly to Burbank, CA, to see a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where David Gilmour was the guest artist. We also attended two of his concerts in LA, and met David and his wife, Polly, who were delighted with all the Web work we have done for them. It’s nice to hear feedback from that caliber of client.

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

There are a few areas I would like to try, one being glassmaking. I have always found it fascinating and intense. I can’t imagine a better medium to learn from and work with…the colors and shapes are endless. I attended an art show about a year ago and I met a glassmaker who was demonstrating his techniques. I ended up spending the entire evening watching him work and being mesmerized by the timing, patience, and skill it takes to create a masterpiece. I also wouldn’t mind having a go at metalwork. You can make some amazing art with the different color and shapes of metal.

Any advice to the novice designer/illustrator?

No matter how long you’ve been in the design industry there is always room to grow and learn from others. Read creative magazines, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Never compare yourself to another designer. Everyone has something unique to bring to the table. Dig deep and you’ll find it!

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
I would have to say a well-executed concept…a design that deserves a second look. When consumers want to buy it or participate in something, you have done your job as a designer and/or illustrator. And, of course, perfectly matched color and layout make for great design.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

To stay motivated, I tend to take on projects that keep me interested. I’ve been in the industry long enough to know which projects to avoid and which are keepers. You have to love what you’re doing to stay focused and creative. Without a deep appreciation for the project you’ll never be able to do your best work.

To keep from burning out? I’m never quite prepared when the time happens. It usually comes in waves and there is only one true way to overcome this obstacle and that is step away from the drawing board/computer and come to grips with yourself. Take a break, listen to music, look through design books, and take a walk outside. Never work on weekends, if possible. There is no absolute way from keeping this from happening but when the time comes, don’t panic. Every designer goes through it at one time or another.

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?

Boy is this question geared toward me or what? I’m torn between a few shows. I can’t just pick one! Let’s see, I like ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘The Apprentice’ on Mondays. On Tuesdays I watch ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Deadliest Catch’, and Wednesdays it’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ and the ‘American Idol’ results show. On Thursdays I watch ‘Survivor’, ‘American Inventor’, and my all time favorite – ‘ER’. Nothing particular on Fridays, although there is an extra helping of ‘Deal or No Deal’ at the moment. I’m beginning to sound like all I do is watch TV and work. Could I need an ‘Intervention’? (I watch that on Sunday nights, BTW.)

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flyglantz said...

hello katie you do not know me, but i was bored and i looked my last name and look who pooped up, well you and like 300 tousand more things related just saying hi well bye. Miguel A. Glantz (

Stylographica said...

Hey Katie,
Long time no see.
Hope all is well.
Happy New Year.

Iggy916 said...

HOLY CRUD! We have the same name!IM KATIE GLANTZ TOO!?

KatieGlantz said...

Hi Everyone!'s ages since I've look at this link. Find me on FB sometime...

Also, Hi Matt!!

Hi Katie – great name.


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