Our first office in Boston was on the top floor of an old warehouse on Congress Street in the Fort Point neighborhood. Our loft space had brick walls, massive wood beams, factory wood floors, and a steam heating system that constantly thumped, clanged, hissed, and made the office boiling hot or bitterly cold during the winter. That’s all gone now, of course, replaced by several luxury condo developments.
Our last winter in the building, on one of the colder mornings in February, I went down the hall to the shared bathroom to get more water for the coffee maker. Just outside the bathroom, a rickety ladder had been set up. At the top, a woman, not dressed as a plumber, was fiddling with some valves. After some nervous laughter, and a grunt as the release valve opened, you could hear the steam flowing once again. “There,” said the woman, somewhat surprised, “I think it might get better now.”
It was Elizabeth, and I learned that she’d been asked to teach a class that day in the space across the hall from us, rented out by a digital design learning company. The classroom, like our office, was freezing, and Elizabeth, on her first assignment as a teacher, had taken it upon herself to follow the pipes from the cold radiator in her space, down the hall, along the ceiling, to the shutoff valves at the back.
I have great respect for anyone who can pull off something they have never done before and I couldn’t help but ask what it was she did, normally, when not at the top of an old ladder.
Turns out she was a designer. Not only that, she was a conceptual designer, not afraid to solve visual problems with creative solutions that had not been tried before. As a small creative agency, we rely on our connections to a wide-ranging pool of freelance writers, designers, and editors. Naturally, we are always on the lookout for new talent. We’ve worked with Elizabeth ever since that day.
People like Elizabeth have helped JA craft an authentic and modern voice in a field that is often mired in mediocrity and me-too work.
If you’d like to learn more about Elizabeth and her work, I hope you will read her new interview by etymnews, an emerging feminist news website.
You can also visit Elizabeth’s professional website and portfolio here.