Alicia de Mello

Alicia de Mello is a writer, content creator, and creative director based out of Los Angeles.

First question: Do you consider yourself a freelancer or a founder?

I think at the moment, a freelancer.

As my mom would say, what exactly do you do?

That's a tricky question I never have the answer to. In the simplest terms, I guess I create content and cohesive branding for not only myself, but brands from time to time.

You seem like you have a lot of passions. How do you decide what to focus your energy on?

I never know what to focus on! I feel like that's why I can never pin down exactly what I do. I know that I do my best work when I feel like I have complete control of creating something. I used to juggle a lot more and was slightly overwhelmed. I've recently started to focus on things that make me happier.

How do your creative process differ when you're writing vs. designing?

It's easier to design for me. Writing takes a lot of work. Nothing I ever write will ever be perfect in my eyes — it's always a struggle to just let go of my writing work as it is. It's easier for me to see things that look good. Working in aesthetics is something I feel more confident in. Designing things takes less brain work and is easier on my self-esteem, which makes me more willing to work and create in that field.

“I try hard to give brands what they want, but I think it's more important that I feel proud about the content I produce. I try and be uniquely me in everything I do.” – Alicia Claire de Mello

Can you tell us more about your vision for your zine, Shrew Magazine?

I write a load of poetry and it's all in this notebook, and it felt a little useless. It mostly began as an idea that started out of boredom. I felt like I was limiting myself to design and needed a creative outlet that I was able to fully control. It allows me to play with graphics, photo, web design, copy and writing all in one place. I'm really excited for it.

When working with brands, how are you able to bring your unique aesthetic while maintaining their vision?

I try hard to give brands what they want, but I think it's more important that I feel proud about the content I produce. I try and be uniquely me in everything I do, and I look for branding opportunities that have no interest in altering how I produce my content.

How do you decide to price your services and charge your worth?

I used to work with brands on a more regular basis than I do now. I kind of took a creative content break, which makes it difficult to charge anything anymore. I feel like I lost a little bit of credibility in the past year or so. I try and make sure that I don't give myself too little credit for my talents, but that's always been a struggle with me. I'm glad you asked me this question because it reminded me I need to make some type of media kit with pricing to reply to emails with.

What are your favorite resources for creatives?

I've been really into Design Milk lately. It's a design blog that highlights architecture, design, lifestyle, fashion, and furniture. I think that's the only website that I could spend hours looking at.

Where do you look to for inspiration?

My day job is as a creative / branding director for a sustainable clothing company, so I must keep up with trends and design elements. I follow a lot of Instagram accounts that involve design, style, and lifestyle.

What is one project that you've worked on that pushed you creatively?

During this current pandemic, the clothing company I work for still has to produce content and manufacture clothing, so it has been really challenging to work around not being able to organize photoshoots and sew goods. It has definitely pushed me and my boss to be more creative about our immediate surroundings and how to highlight the importance of health and balance.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring creatives?

Don't sell yourself short. I sell myself short a lot of the time, and I wish I didn't.