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Designer Lisa Bohn shares tips on success and on giving to community

Lisa Bohn is a dynamic young woman in Vancouver who is establishing her career as a graphic designer and knows the importance of giving back, networking, and building a portfolio.

A few months ago, Bohn, entered the Passion Foundation's social enterprise logo design contest and won.

Her innovative design was exactly what our foundation was seeking. She is talented, community-minded, and has a passion for taking her artistic gifts to new horizons.

"I always knew I loved anything creative and making things 'look pretty', but I had no idea I could actually make a living out of it -- until I went on a trip to Vancouver", says Bohn.

Originally from Campbell River, Bohn came to Vancouver to explore her options with her then boyfriend. She chosen the Art Institute for its educational structure after an interview upon arriving in Vancouver.

 "I got accepted to begin that winter, lost the boyfriend but gained an amazing career, and I couldn't be happier!" said Bohn.

Currently a full-time designer for a specialty print shop, Lisa also worked with organizations and businesses as a freelance designer. She has worked with companies like StudioThink and Invision Creative as well as Young Women in Business and A Little More Good. Bohn is currently working on a stationery line for weddings and special events of her own. She admits this takes up a lot of time, but she couldn't imagine doing anything else.

"My most challenging experiences were learning how to set myself apart from the other students and designers while staying true to my aesthetic," she said.

"Getting used to critique was a big one, too, and I'll always remember one of my instructors reminding us to 'check your ego at the door' because at the end of the day, your clients just want the best solution possible. The most rewarding part was of course, the portfolio show, and winning best of show award!"

When I asked Lisa who are her role models in design and life she stated,     "Too many to list."

"I have so many design crushes I don't know what to do with them!" she said, noting that Jessica Hische and Fabien Barral were among her favorites. 

"As far as my personal role model, that would be hands-down would be my mom. She has built her career from the ground up, with such hard-work and dedication, and just completely amazes me everyday, she is the strongest woman I know. And she puts up with me, so she must be special!"

Finding positive role models can be a challenge to find if you don't know how to research your industry and network yourself.

Lisa shared some tips for young women who are interested in a graphic design career.

"Network, network, network," she said. "There is such an amazing community of designers, and great connections you can make out there especially in Vancouver -- it's scary to go to conferences and events and put yourself out there, but I've met the most amazing people by stepping out of my comfort zone, and have landed projects because I was there with my business card."

She also tells aspiring designers and artists to come prepared with paper and pencil.

 "Oh! And bring your sketchbook everywhere. Catalogue anything and everything that inspires you. Write down your ideas, and never think that just because you are done school means you stop learning. And lastly, be prepared to search for jobs."

Bohn said that designing was a "hard industry to start out in" and discouraging at times, but said that the work will be worth it when landing a new project or a position at a coveted firrm.


"The jobs don't come to you, so you really have to get yourself out there and make the effort to set yourself apart from the hundreds of others trying to get the same position," she said.

After hearing Lisa’s enthusiasm for her career and her ambition, I asked her what she believes young woman need more in their lives.

“Women need more confidence in their choices," she said. "I was at the networking event Leadership Lessons from Influential women in business, where they featured some of the most successful business women in Vancouver. We had round table discussions about re-occurring issues and challenges we face in the workplace, and 9 times out of 10 the biggest issue among all of us was the lack of confidence in our choices and how our personal doubts get in the way of our own careers."

"Don't ever resist doing something you love or believe in because someone doubts you, even if you're scared take risks. And don't compromise your dreams for anyone!”

Passion Foundation is excited to be using Lisa's logo design for our social enterprise, Giovanni's Passion.

For more information on this amazing young woman, contact Lisa at [email protected] or check out her online portfolio at

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