Hello, my name is Amy Ladas. I welcome you to my website, hope you'll enjoy your stay, and come back again!
I have been in the visual communications field my entire working life (12 years) and I have always had a love for design ever since I could hold a writing utensil in my hand as a little girl. My first drawing was what my parents refer to as "Chalk Man".
Shortly thereafter, I made my very first "Picasso" long before I even knew who Picasso was. It was a bird, flying through the air... a lovely side view... beak pointed straight ahead ... both eyes on the same side of the head.
Although my art foundation seemed to point to a love for abstract art, I quickly fell in love with realism, and although I pride myself in highly accurate art, I enjoy letting go and breaking out in my love for pure, simple HUE (color, that is).
I've always desired to be on top of my game, and as fast as this technology will fly I will be holding on to its wings.
Why I Created This Site
I have created this website as a visual escape, yet another way to express myself to the world, to reveal my passion and creative soul, and to market myself as a freelance artist capable of creating the difference.
Peering Into My Career Experience
Usually, I would go in order from my first to my most recent experiences. But, I am going to go in the order of what has influenced me in the most positive light ... what has made me a better designer ... what has given me strengths ... what has helped to form what I do and who I deal with.
Digital Arts Instructor
As a teacher, I have learned the true value of helping others ... of thinking beyond self. I have learned the importance of a good example in providing understanding direction. I have learned of the positive impact that can be made on the future generations. I have come to care more deeply for the incredible variety of humans (many of whom have been my students). I now feel as if I carry this ongoing responsibility with me from now on, whether I carry the title or not.
My heartfelt thanks goes to my mentor and friend, Melissa Wallis.
This was my very first design working experience ... with a small family-owned print shop. This experience opened my eyes to print production from very beginning to its printing, finishing, packing and completion. I handled a variety of fine arts jobs within the business (which is nearly unheard of anymore), in addition to old-style typesetting, hand-cut overlays (for color separations) and many other "prepress" operations. Many of my pen and ink drawings for East Evergreens Real Estate are featured in my Art Gallery. Many of the T-shirts you will see in the Art Gallery were designed and completed for various clients of this small print shop.
Among the many varied customers: Hornings Pedal Cars * Annual Fun Runs (for the big Hershey Car Show fans) * A Local Emu Farm * Local Girl Scouts
Assistant Production Manager
This was actually my second major employment that began nearly a decade ago. This experience gave me the taste of leadership, independence and responsibility that I craved. While I was employed there, I learned a great deal about treating others with respect, the mishaps of assumption, and the importance of a well-oiled production flow.
Many of those whom I worked with and deserve to be mentioned: George Gassert, a kind and generous Bindery Foreman * Larry Donmoyer, Lifelong Press Operator and Foreman * Scott, Jessica and Cindy (friends in a crazy production world) * Phillips Graphic Finishing (with my account rep Dave Eichler) * Bindery Associates (with the ever-patient Chuck and Cora)
This experience taught me quite a bit in the time I was employed there. The biggest positive impact upon my career was the importance of keeping "Inspiration Files" to avoid the inevitable "artist's block". To this day I urge all designers-to-be to keep a current and ever-changing folder of inspirational ideas and items. Another positive was that I learned the importance of simplicity - even in something as confounding as a quarter-page ad.
A friend whom I've never forgotten and whom I hope is living her dreams: Emily Bubb
Desktop Publisher for Creative Services Department
This position was a true test of many parts of my personality that I have always considered to be my highlights - my strengths - my creative sense - my independence. The highlights of this position gave me the quick thinking, the true understanding of paper stock varieties, the importance of having pristine files on both ends (from the designer's and the printer's points of view), the importance of tactful persuasion, and one of the best printing contacts that I have ever done business with - as a designer working for a larger corporation, and as a freelance designer looking for the best quality and price.
The printing contact that needs mentioning beyond a shadow of a doubt: Graphtech Printing, Harrisburg, PA. Thanks to Linda Weiss, my fellow representative many years ago; Jon Williams, the owner - a very kind, generous, and hard-working man; and Dani Stillo, a wonderful account rep always ready to help.
Landscape Designer and Sales
Although this may seem to be an out-of-place position, this actually opened up my eyes to design that can be applied to more than just a computer and paper. I really loved seeing my planning and design come to light in the variety of landscaping bed designs, trees, shrubs and flowers. I handled a fair amount of marketing materials for this company, as you'll see in my "Print Work Gallery". Not only did I learn an incredible plethora of landscaping terms and plants, I also came to light that I excel in helping others see something better - even before it is actually there. This has become one of my greatest assets as a designer and in life itself. I have always found that landscaping and gardening are great ways to relax, and a wonderful way to get away from the computer.
Everyone should try this position at least once - you'll never know what you're missing until you do. This position is what makes or breaks a designer ... not because it will challenge your ability to create designs ... but because it will challenge your ability to predict whether such a concept can be produced in a reasonable time frame ... and see if you're made of the right materials to see the job through to its completion. Not for the faint of heart. This position was a challenge for the organizational parts of my brain ... for the part of the brain that usually does not get along well with the creative and carefree parts. I handled a variety of voluntary and non-profit organizations as clients. I was at my supervisor's side as we handled various jobs for the company's largest client ... CitiBank of North America.
Thanks to Barbara Sirolli for her wisdom and her understanding (and the many Friday trips to Baltimore for CitiBank) and for helping me to reach for my dream.
A Glimpse Into the Future
With the creation of this website, I began to build the foundation for my ideal career dream - that of being an independent and active freelance designer, on my way to my own small business. I am ready for any questions, ideas, and possibilities that I can help you see and achieve. Whether large or small, easy or complicated - please contact me today - and you'll be glad you did so.