Written by Shelley Kilpatrick
Accomplished graphic designer and University of Texas graduate, Eva Gonzales has served as secretary of WCA’s Board of Directors for the last three years and chairs WCA’s Technology Committee. Often referred to as “the amazing Eva” by her fellow WCA members, Eva volunteers, freelances and so much more. Get to know here in this month’s member spotlight.
Did you grow up here in Austin, and if not, where did you grow up and what brought you here?
I grew up in the small town of Victoria, Texas. My sister went to UT, and I decided to follow in her footsteps and head to Austin. I’m so glad I did because I fell in love with Austin (as everyone else does). And other than a short year stint in Chicago, I’ve been here since.
What are some of your favorite Austin activities?
One of the reasons I fell in love with Austin was the music scene. Music was a huge part of my life growing up. When I got here and was able to go see live music, I was in heaven. I would go as often as possible.
I don’t go out to see live music as often anymore. I’m usually busy attending design events, attending art shows, and volunteering. I volunteer a lot at Austin Pets Alive! in the kitten nursery.
How did you get started in graphic design?
My first recollection in my interest in design was when I was in junior high. MTV had a show called “Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes” where he interviewed different people and introduced new bands. Through that, I learned about his magazine, Interview. I just loved the layout.
I also took an interest in type at this point. I would check out books on calligraphy, and there was even a book where you could draw characters out of each letter of the alphabet. During summers, I used to just sit there and create hand drawn type in different styles over and over while I sat in front of the TV.
I didn’t know it was called graphic design or even typography at the time, but I knew I wanted to work for a magazine like Interview and create those layouts.
Where are you currently working, and what brought you there?
I am one of four designers in the Media Services Department at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. I have been there since October 2014 so it’s a fairly new job for me.
I got very lucky with this position. According to my manager, these positions are hard to come by. People tend to stay there until they retire. And so far, I’m really enjoying it. The work is fulfilling and I like collaborating with my coworkers.
Outside of your day job, you’re also a freelancer. What made you decide to venture into freelancing?
I’ve always freelanced on the side since the start of my career. Being an in-house designer, you tend to only work on a certain types of publications. Working as a freelancer, you have more opportunity to work on different types of publications and styles.
When and why did you join WCA?
When I was pursuing freelance projects, one my fellow designers suggested that I attend a Freelance Austin meeting. At the meeting, I sat next to Amy Hufford and starting chatting with her. She asked if I would be interested in serving on her web committee.
As WCA was forming their new board, I was contacted by Susan Jahns asking if I would be interested in the Web Editor role. The WCA board position seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about web design and the backend of a website.
I let her know my interest in the web editor role and accepted the nomination. I was voted onto the board that year and have served on the board since then.
Before going to the Freelance Austin meeting, I hadn’t heard about WCA, so it was all new to me. I am so glad that fate intervened. This organization is such a great group of women – intelligent, strong, generous, fun women.
Can you tell us more about what you do as the Tech Committee Chair?
My role deals mostly with the backend of the WCA website. I manage our member database, Memberclicks, as well as our website. I create event registration forms, troubleshoot issues with forms or profiles, add event pages, and work with board members to create pages or update existing pages.
Is there anything else you think our members should know?
I encourage members to get more involved in volunteering. One of the greatest ways to learn more about WCA and meet many of the wonderful members is to volunteer.
In fact, (shameless plug here) the Tech Committee is looking for two volunteers: one that has more technical experience to help with troubleshooting html/php on the website, and one to help with the database. Contact WCA’s VP of Volunteer Services, Samantha Furry, at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her you want to volunteer on the Tech Committee!