Humanizing Tech through Illustration with Krystal Lauk

Surviving as an artist in SF today is no small feat. Flourishing as an artist and getting quality work that is globally recognized yet another impressive accomplishment. Krystal Lauk has managed to do both, as an illustrator that helps tech companies tell their stories through the power of illustration.

As the founder of her own SF based boutique agency Krystal Lauk Studios she specializes in tech-orientated illustration and visual design, and has worked with a multitude of tech companies including Facebook, Uber, Google, Intercom, and The New York Times. Her work has been recognized by American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators, and 3×3 magazine.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Krystal in her lovely SF home and welcomed by her cats to discuss her journey from artist to entrepreneur and the importance of developing partnerships between the tech community and artists to help companies differentiate themselves in an ever increasing global playing field.

Krystal is lucky in that she always knew she wanted to be an artist, the question was how? She started out painting, but quickly realized that she wanted to do commercial illustration and in order to do that (ie find the clients), she’d have to move to a bigger city than her home state of Arizona could provide.

She came to SF and fell in love with the city and quickly enrolled in the Academy of Art to pursue a degree in commercial illustration.

Illustration is a wonderful way to bring humanity to tech... to remind us to that we’re human through this really delightful approach. It’s also a great way to for tech co’s to set their brands apart from each other.

Krystal believes that it’s no longer about the interface, but about bringing personality and character into the brand to set it apart. Her work with Google Play was one such opportunity that also enabled her to create campaigns with a global presence and take cultural inspiration from countries such as Korea and Japan.

Recently, Krystal has been taking more risks with her work, inspired by her time at Burning Man, a cultural festival and yearly Silicon Valley exodus that takes place in the desert and “forces you to drop everything you know about society and routine and embrace the heart of who you are and what you want to do in that moment.”

Krystal also shared some of her challenges in moving from artist to entrepreneur with the launch of her boutique agency and expansion of services to include motion graphic design. As with many entrepreneurs, there is a feast of famine mentality, but also super empowering to be in control of one’s own destiny.

Everything is what I make it, we miss 100% of shots don’t take so why not just go for it.

We really loved getting to know Krystal better and getting an insight into her creative process, inspirations, and ideas around design. If you are a brand that is looking to distinguish itself from the competition, leveraging illustration to communicate complex topics is a great way to do so and Krystal’s agency is open for business! Visit Krystal Lauk Studios to see some of their amazing work!


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