I just got some of the only kind of publicity I ever get: surprise and unsolicited. An online magazine that is doing a “hidden gems of Boston” series contacted me for an interview and of course I had to say yes. I found it strange to non-braggily brag about myself, but apparently, one must:
Today we’d like to introduce you to Axie Breen.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Axie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a kid, I loved drawing and books. I knew I wanted some kind of career in art, maybe as an illustrator. It wasn’t really until I got to the University of Illinois that I realized that graphic design was a job, maybe one that could be good for me. As it turned out, I got some great teachers and loved that curriculum.
I landed at a small design studio in Chicago—the owner was committed to using her talents to make the world a better place, and the clients were mostly non-profit organizations, very nice people doing work you could feel good about.
Eventually we were ready for a change—she moved to California, and I started my own business, keeping several of those clients and adding more variety. Since then, I’ve managed to keep the business running at a steady hum.
Also, my personal interest in photography and my professional constant work with images have collided in recent years; I’ve added a photography studio to my office and developed into a portrait photographer.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We moved from Chicago to Needham for my husband’s job, and I was concerned that I might lose my network of Chicago-based clients. As it turned out, technology was my friend and I didn’t really need to show up in person for presentations after all. My clients are still mostly long-distance.
Please tell us about Axie Breen Graphic Design.
I’m a graphic designer and photographer. Most of my business is book and DVD covers, as well as all kinds of print and online work for a variety of clients like non-profit organizations, small businesses, and arts organizations. I also provide photography like promotional images for schools and small businesses as well as headshots.
I’m pleased that so many of my clients have been with me for years. I think I’m known for being easy to work with, calm and reliable, and that I am very responsive about meeting people’s schedules. Also that I’m open to collaboration. A client told me recently how he sees it: He tells me his rough concepts and the market we want to connect with, and I take those sparks and Bam! Come back to him with great solutions that he could not have visualized. So that’s another thing, I do like for people to feel like they have given me a bunch of copy and some guidance, and I work with them to create something way better than they were imagining.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I recall a night of shooting stars. My best friend and I were canoeing at night. It was a lake in northern Wisconsin, silent except for our talking and paddling, and so dark you could see the Milky Way. That was pretty magical in itself, gliding along in the blackness with that sweep of stars overhead. But it was early August, time for the Perseid meteor showers. We didn’t know that — we just knew the shooting stars were amazing that night—so many! So bright!
Here is the original article with a few samples.