Brooklyn Creative League is truly home to a plethora of creatives. Architects, writers, media producers, and graphic designers, such as Aly Miller, who is also an illustrator, are some of the many members who have set up shop at our coworking space.
We spoke to Aly to learn more about her work with Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), a company that works out of BCL, and offers peer-review certification to farmers and beekeepers producing food for their local communities without relying on synthetic chemicals or GMOs.
We also learned more about Aly, the freelance artist, and the many ways she’s benefitted as an independent artist at a coworking space.
Graphic Design to Promote Food Sustainability
Aly has been working at CNG for over 5 years as a part-time employee. She helps farmers market themselves through the creation of banners, postcards, and other marketing materials. In addition to helping farmers in the CNG network, Aly helps raise the profile of CNG through the creation of graphic and promo materials. Aly shares that she enjoys the interactions she has with farmers because they connect her with rural America and the culture of growing clean, sustainable food. As a part-time employee, she appreciates the flexibility she has to contribute to the team.
Working part-time allows Aly to spend more time on her own graphic design projects, which are also food-related. For instance, Aly’s work has been featured on Grow NYC’s Greenmarket banners and marketing materials. You may be familiar with Grow NYC from your local farmer’s market; the organization runs programs across New York City. Grow NYC’s “mission is to improve NYC’s quality of life through environmental programs […] and empowers all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment.” Aly believes that the portfolio she’s developed through her work with CNG may have contributed to her success with Grow NYC.
“The More You Create, the More You’ll be Asked to Create”
Aly tells us that she decided to be a freelance artist because she wanted the ability to work on multiple projects at once; she enjoys the challenge of working with different styles and requests. She shares that once she started gaining more recognition through her own project posts on social media and via tags to her work from organizations she’s worked with, people started asking her to do projects for them. Aly credits social media and working in Brooklyn and at BCL as some sources of referrals for her work.
Aly says that while at BCL, people see her working on projects, ask questions about it, and share ideas about some of the creative work that they might need.
She finds that working at BCL makes connecting with other business professionals much easier, and has also found inspiration from other freelancers. She tells us that through meeting people who work in a variety of industries, she’s been able to have conversations about marketing, contracts, and other business-related topics that have helped her believe more in herself, “I’m not sure if I would’ve felt so confident it I wasn’t here,” she says.
Facilitating the Community
In addition to her CNG part-time and professional freelance work, Aly can sometimes be found at one of the front desks of BCL. In late 2018, Aly was asked to help watch over the desks about once a week, and since it worked within her schedule, she shares that she was open to the opportunity. “It brings me a lot of joy. I really like working here. It feels natural to me to fill in and help out,” says Aly, about her role at BCL.
Be sure to say Hi to Aly when you see her at the front desk!
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