Meet Brittany Gay: UX Designer by Day, Music Aficionado by Night
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce y’all to Brittany Gay (or as our close friend group calls her, BGay or Wab)! We practically became blood sisters over portfolio submissions. True story: we both almost sliced our fingertips off cutting matte board (stress + sleep deprivation + sharp objects got the best of us back then…oooh, the good ole days). We go way back to freshman year at LSU. Two little art nerds bopping around. Little did we know back then that we would have amazing careers together in the future.
Now to the important stuff. Throughout our years in college, I got to see just how hardworking and passionate Brittany was. Fast forward a few years, Revelry was looking to hire a third designer/front-endy person. Brittany was everything we needed. I knew firsthand how driven and willing to learn she was. Not to mention her creative chops are on point, too. So it’s no surprise that she landed the job, and thank goodness she did! She’s been with us for almost 4 years now, and we’re so grateful to have someone who kills it on a daily basis no matter how much she’s handed!
Without further ado, let’s get to know Brittany.
I know you’re huge into the music scene. What are your favorite bands to see? And where do you go most for good live music?
My favorite venue in the city would have to be One Eyed Jacks for specific shows, but there are tons of other good venues around New Orleans, too. If I had to pick the “best 3-4 shows” I’ve seen, it would have to be Ty Segall (I’ve seen him a bunch, and he never fails to disappoint), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, and Dan Deacon had a really small show a few years ago that was super fun. I saw Father John Misty in Chicago recently, and his show was amazing. The local music scene is also GREAT, and they deserve so much credit. That’s what I’ve been most into lately, honestly. In the future, I would love to see Kevin Morby or Andy Shauf play in NOLA.
FYI Brittany is an amazing cook, and her food pics will literally have you drooling. Britt, what’s your favorite thing to cook? And obviously we need a pic.
Oh man, this is a hard question. For me, I don’t have an all-time favorite dish to cook, but I would say I really like experimenting and trying new dishes or cooking with new ingredients. Asian fusion inspired dishes might be my current favorite because they’re always a challenge, and I love using those ingredients!
What would you say is your favorite part of your job?
I would say my favorite part of my job is having the ability to switch sides of my brain to complete different tasks. When I enter “mockup-land” and have to put my UX thinking skills to work, I’m definitely using all of my creative juices. When I switch over to front-end implementation, then it gets very analytical. It’s almost like I get the best of both worlds, and it’s not easy to do both on a regular basis! I guess that’s why they call us unicorns. 🙂
How did you end up in this career?
My career path all started back in college. I was a Graphic Design major at LSU, and around my junior year I landed an internship at a local tech/creative agency. They initially hired me to help out with graphic design work, but once I saw my colleagues working on websites and front-end development, it immediately sparked my interest. They saw how eager I was to learn, so they took time to teach me more. It was so beneficial having that one-on-one time with my peers at that company, and it paved the way for me to continue to teach myself and grow further into UX and front-end development (as well as keeping my graphic design background). As soon as I graduated, I took a job in New Orleans at a marketing firm, where I furthered my skills even more.
Within a few years, I was ready for a new challenge, and I joined the Revelry team as a UX designer/front-end developer. (I decided to drop print design, because UX and web are my main interests.) And here I am now, four years at Revelry down, still going strong!
What’s your favorite place to look for inspiration? (It doesn’t have to be tech-related.)
If I had to walk away from the laptop (which is my favorite way to get inspired), I find myself getting so many creative juices just from walking around the French Quarter, sight-seeing, listening to good music, etc. One thing I love to do is critique signage, restaurant menus, mobile apps, sites, etc. Looking at not-so-good work makes my head spin (in a good way) and allows me to think of better solutions the designer could have made or better ways to solve those UX problems.
If you could give advice to someone who wanted to start a career as a UX designer/front-end developer, what would you tell them?
Don’t be scared to get involved! I think that getting involved in local community meetups gives you a HUGE advantage. They’re a great way to meet others in the field, learn more about UX/front-end development, and you can also network to get your name out there!
We have #frontendparty that my coworker Steve and a few others host once a month (you’ll probably see me there, too), hack night every Tuesday, and tons of speakers and other events that happen all the time around NOLA. I’ve met so many people in my field just by attending these events, so get out from behind your laptop and go mingle!
What are your favorite things to do outside of work? And where are your favorite places to hang?
I’ve picked up quite a few after-work activities and hobbies lately. I love to cook, especially when it comes with a new challenge. I play dodgeball twice a week in two different leagues, one with my fellow Revelers. I’ve also started running more. I find running in the park to be extremely therapeutic. I’m also getting more into gardening! Shout out to my friends who are the plant experts. 🙂 I’m also about to be that n00b that invests in a ukulele and attempts to learn an instrument.
When it comes to “going out”, my biggest go-to is seeing live music, of course. Otherwise, I love hanging anywhere and everywhere around the city with friends, and I especially love trying out new bars and restaurants.
We must know more about Wab (your kitty)! Tell us your favorite Wab story!
Haha, I don’t think I have a specific story about my cat, Wab, but he’s a crazy weirdo. He loves being on a leash, so I take him outside sometimes, but we never wander far. Wab also loves to sunbathe on the porch when we are outside, too.
He does do this insane thing where he jumps on top of doors. (I still don’t know how he can jump up there.) He hates Halloween, hairdryers, and vacuum cleaners (what cat doesn’t?), but he LOVES sunbathing, catnip, being a diva, wearing bandanas, boxes, and jumping up to really high places where I can’t reach him. He also LOVES sniffing people’s heads. Again, he’s a weirdo.
How did you even come up with calling every cat Wab?!
It’s a long story. If you ask me in person one day maybe I’ll tell you. 😉
What’s your favorite show to binge on?
Sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, horror, thrillers…I love everything within that realm. Most recently, Chernobyl on HBO blew my mind, and season 2 of Dark made my brain explode.
Shows I typically like to binge on include GOT (like every other human on this planet), Black Mirror, Handmaid’s Tale, Channel Zero, Stranger Things, etc. I haven’t had time to catch up on a lot of shows recently, but I have a longggg list awaiting.
That’s a wrap!
Britt, I’m honored to have become your blood sister way back then. It’s been such a fun journey to come full circle with one of my best friends. To see you happy and thriving in your career makes all the blood, sweat, and tears along the way worth it!