beth swanson

beth swanson

How many times can I write something, roll my eyes, then delete? Turns out, about nine(teen).

My enthusiasm for the arts predates my memory, as does my adamant belief that you can¬†love what you do and do what you love.¬†Combined with my nagging, bleeding heart for anyone, anything and any cause that needs help and you’ve got a bundle of things that are pretty hard to combine, or so I thought.

I had the fortunate opportunity to live abroad, first in Abu Dhabi, UAE, then Middle-of-the-Nowhere, India. The experience took everything I thought I knew about the world and the people in it, then turned it flat on it’s head. It was enlightening to say the least, and depending on your interest level I could give a 30 second or 3 hour spiel. Once in Abu Dhabi, I began working for a Publicis-owned shop, Intermarkets and then TBWA\RAAD – each provided life-long lessons on working with people from all over the world, where the number of nationalities represented at the office easily hit fifty. We all were coming from such wildly different backgrounds, each having preconceived notions about the other, and in the process of working together, would slowly realize how wildly similar we all were.

Being in places like the UAE and India, I witnessed just how lucky I was to hold the passport I held; I felt guilty for having the world at my fingertips, and I needed to find a way to absolve my geographical pedestal. So I began to pursue work with non-profits, charities and NGOs whose mission I believed in, whose purpose was real. Little did I know these were the tiny flakes that snowballed into exactly what I had been wanting to do all along.

When I returned to the States in the winter of 2012, I was still working with the non-profits I had been working with while abroad, and slowly added a few more on this side of the planet. And eventually, after much prodding, I decided to finally call it was it was, a philanthropic design studio.

I was born and raised in Memphis, TN, I received a BA in studio art and graphic design from Binghamton University in New York, after graduation we headed to Chicago to put my husband through grad school, I worked at Esquire Magazine in ad sales while still finding a way to break into the ‘real’ ad biz. Upon discovering no agency would hire me without a book, I toiled away for a year to create my book at the Chicago Portfolio School. I got my first shot at advertising with an internship at twoxfour and before I knew it, I was headed for the Middle East.