Hi, CI! is a series featuring the best team we know—the Capacity Interactive team! Today, meet Cecily Moore: CI's Manager, Content Strategy and Creation and multi-talented designer with boundless colorful creativity.
How long have you been at CI?
I joined CI in late August 2021 so I’ve been with the company for just under a year and a half.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri through age 16, at which time my mom and I moved across the country to Providence, Rhode Island. There, I finished high school before darting off to New York City for college.
How did you decide to specialize in graphic design after attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)?
After graduating from the FIT with a BFA in Fashion Design, and minors in Art History and Psychology, I embarked on an arduous job search for Fashion Designer roles. Throughout that long process, I realized that a lot of the tasks that I really loved and looked forward to actually fell within graphic design job listings, not fashion ones. When I first came across a graphic design job listing, my face lit up, and I was excited by every single item on the ‘what you’ll do here’ list. I knew I had a great basis in art and design (color theory, achieving balance, and visual hierarchy) from my undergraduate art degree, but felt I needed some real technical training, especially when it came to typography. So, I dove head-first into a 3-month intensive program at Shillington, which was one of the best experiences of my life and it really prepared me for life as a working graphic designer. One month after graduating with that certificate, I landed a graphic designer role at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Finally, it seemed like all the stars aligned, and I found my calling. I’ve never looked back since and continue to learn and grow my graphic design skills—learning new things from motion graphics to font making and everything I can soak up in between.
What is your design brand, The Paper Curator, and how did you get it started?
The Paper Curator is my small gift company offering artfully-designed goods for modern creatives. It really started as a creative outlet for myself where I shared scrapbooking and DIY projects way back in 2014. But, as I began working more and more with other company products, I found a niche space in the market where my vision could shine. It was also a true passion of mine to combine product development with being a hands-on maker. Over time, I grew the line from scrapbook kits to a full stationery and gift brand to reach a wider creative market that I myself felt connected to as a designer.
You recently had a booth at NY NOW - The New York Gift Show. What was that experience like?
Exhibiting at a large B2B tradeshow like NY NOW is always an exhilarating experience! It’s quite the feat to set up a booth in a couple of days, but as a small business owner, it’s incredibly empowering to display my entire line of products on such a large scale and to have the opportunity to interact and meet new buyers for stores all over the world. While I attend trade shows like other small business owners, I also find a ton of joy in being surrounded by industry friends who are all incredibly kind and inspiring in their own ways. Interacting with a community of like-minded business owners, like the one I’ve always found at NY NOW, is one of the best parts of the long show days!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to become a graphic designer/content creator?
My biggest piece of advice if you want to be a graphic designer or content creator is to keep your eyes open and actively study the world around you. One of my favorite exercises is to keep a journal of graphic design pieces I find out in the world, just to collect them in a notebook and, next to each piece, write an analysis about why I think they are good or bad. Honing that critical eye and forming opinions about the world around you will do wonders for your ability to critique your own work, and to learn what makes certain designs successful, or not.
What do you do at CI?
I’m the Manager, Content Strategy and Creation here at CI, which means I collaborate closely with Krisi Packer, Senior Director, Marketing & Content and Devin Law, Senior Graphic Designer to provide client content services for a range of amazing culture organizations. My work ranges from content creation for clients’ paid CI-run advertising campaigns to supporting voice and tone workshops, creating social content recommendations, and brainstorming content strategy, among other things. My role involves being an everyday content creator and graphic designer in partnership with CI’s amazing roster of clients.
A big part of your job is being creative every day. How do you stay inspired and keep your creative instincts fresh?
I love finding inspiration both inside and outside of the industries I work in. Sometimes, scrolling through social media without the focus of ‘being inspired’ is a great way to spark an idea for advertising from an unrelated industry. However, I think the best way to find inspiration that moves the needle for my own work is to look elsewhere entirely. For example, I love flipping through magazines unrelated to what I’m working on, like UPPERCASE Magazine designed for creatives and inspired by craft, design, typography, and illustration. I also love scrolling through people’s motion graphics reels on Showreelz. These two always leave me buzzed with ideas and direction. Another great outlet is looking through Pinterest at other design industry work like fashion and interior design. I find a lot of inspiration from colors and shapes, and seeing how other industries leverage their own mediums to play with those two elements always leaves me feeling inspired.
What’s your favorite WFH hack?
I don’t know if this is a hack per say but one thing I’ve found to be instrumental in my WFH success is finding a coffee maker that I love. I got the Ninja DualBrew Pro last year, and I absolutely love switching seamlessly from delicious coffee in the morning to warm water for tea or ramen in the afternoon. It’s been a game-changer! The second piece of advice is to make sure you schedule yourself breaks throughout the day. Standing up, stretching, and generally just stepping away from your desk is the best way to invigorate yourself during a long workday. Plus, putting dedicated time on your calendar helps you honor those breaks!
What do you love about working with arts organizations?
Working with arts organizations is such a fulfilling experience because it brings me closer to art and organizations that enable the powerful stories of artists to be experienced by the general public. I grew up appreciating art, from live theater performances to annual art shows and museum visits. Connecting with a variety of art truly helped me learn about others. Immersing oneself in artists’ cultures and stories is the closest thing to experiencing human connection without a lingual or physical exchange. Art moves our culture forward and roots us in history, and arts organizations perform a public service by uplifting unique artistic voices, sponsoring new works, and preserving historical ones. Partnering with them is a true (and inspiring) privilege.
What's something about your job that makes you excited to come to work every day?
I love how creative my role is and that’s super fulfilling. However, what makes me really excited to come to work every day is the people I get to work with. Having an incredible team of collaborators that continuously inspire me alongside a roster of stellar clients I get to serve really makes me feel like I’ve already won when I sit down to work every day!