2021 Fall Mentor

Elaine Kalvelage (she/her)

Creative Director at Energy BBDO

Design Confidence

Finding Your Voice in Design

Building your design confidence comes from tapping into the core principles of knowing who you are, understanding what lights you up and why. Getting to this degree of awareness, on the other hand, is a journey that takes time to understand and perfect but as one moves through it, you will inherently uncover the voice you’ve been looking for. Finding your voice is what will distinguish you and, in turn, is what will make your work interesting, distinct, debatable, and desirable by others. It is essential for achieving consistent, repeatable results, as well as boosting your confidence for the rest of your career.

Join Creative & Art Director, Elaine Kavelage, in (re)gaining design confidence by discovering your design voice. You’ll explore sources of creative inspiration, how to break through creative blocks and dry spells, and how to effectively communicate and craft design ideas.

Hybrid Sessions (Remote & In-Person):
  • Zoom (Remote for 1st Session)
  • Decide as a group on In-Person Sessions in Downtown Loop, Chicago (In-Person)
All Levels:
  • Creatives who are looking to find their voice in the design world
Potential Mentor Topics:
  • Don’t Arrive Empty Handed: What do you bring to the table? Identifying what sets you apart
  • Stuck in a Rut: Discussing and sharing sources of inspiration
  • Practice Practice Practice: Build creative muscles through design exercises
  • Craft: How to bring a concept into reality
  • The Pitch: How to communicate your design ideas effectively
  • There’s no failure, only feedback: How to handle criticism
Potential Takeaways:
  • Learn tried and true techniques to become a more confident designer
  • Community and mentorship from others who are passionate about design
  • Inspiration and motivation to become a master of your craft

Elaine is a Creative Director/Art Director working at Energy BBDO. Her work for Extra Gum, Alka Seltzer, Kerrygold and Home Instead have received attention from Creativity, Adweek, Variety, The Drum, Lürzer’s Archive, the Chicago Business Journal and Ad Age. Her passion is to create purpose-driven work to impact culture for the better, but while she’s not doing that, she curates her corgi’s Tik Tok profile to make her a famous influencer so Elaine can retire early one day.

Talk to Elaine about:

Corgis, cats, triathlons, horror movies and random TikTok videos.