Personal Brands We Love: Lindsay Adams, Blogger and Illustrator

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Hailing from Prince Georges County, MD Lindsay Adams is a full-time Management Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Aside from consulting, Lindsay combines her admiration for fashion and art into her blog 2nd and L. She uses her corporate career and world studies to communicate different interpretations of art forms through painting, drawing and photography. Lindsay's signature artwork has allowed her to stand out in the blogging world and create opportunities for herself that has expanded her network. With her drive there is no doubt that Lindsay's artwork will one day be featured in a major magazine or on a book cover. Read on to learn more about today's Personal Brands feature!

Describe your personal brand in three words Creative, Inspirational, Innovative

30 second elevator pitch, Go! My name is Lindsay Adams. I am a creator. 50 hours out of the week I am a Management Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, and the rest of the time, I create. I own and curate a lifestyle blog, 2nd and L, where I showcase my illustrations and art work, as well as my style and overall journey as a young professional. My academic background is in International Studies and Latin and Iberian Studies. Through my travels, studies, work experience, and creative fervor I can give something that is dull more life.

Current position and your typical work day I am currently a Management Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. My work day starts pretty early (really early actually!) My alarm clock goes off at 5:00 am, I usually get to work between 7:30-8:00. On days where I need to take some photos for the blog, I get in closer to 8:30. My work consists of a lot of research. I conduct market research, write market research reports, cost estimates, and figure out ways to enhance my client's business and the best ways for them to market their name and brand to essentially increase their revenue. In my down time, 2nd & L takes over! I plan blog posts, and during my lunch break I usually start an illustration, and plan more blog posts, and more illustrations! After work I work out for about 1.5 hours at the gym (definitely try to maintain a healthy work life balance), I go home and illustrate more! I send a lot of emails, connecting with other bloggers, and other brands, sending samples of my art work, and gaining exposure for my blog. I go to various fashion networking events, and an art museum whenever I have time.

How have you developed your brand? 2nd and L was really something I stumbled across. Initially I  was writing for a blog that I co-owned with a friend, and then decided to create a tumblr just for my art work. After some time, and being exposed to different things and artistic forms, I began dabbling in illustration, specifically fashion illustration. I was just doing it as an outlet, but I just fell in love with it! I always loved fashion, but wasn't really a fashion enthusiast. Some of my closest friends were really into fashion, so I had many exposures, but I was just sticking to my conservative, prep chic look! Once I entered the world of blogging, my eyes were completely opened! I decided to start my own blog, combining my adoration for both fashion and art! It seems like in such a short amount of time it has gone from just an outlet, to a second job, and in a sense my passion. I have partnered with many bloggers, and brands, providing illustrations and art direction. My title as both a blogger and an illustrator tend to work very well. My illustrations helps me stand out as a blogger, and my fashion enthusiasm helps me stand out as an illustrator.

Explain the role that your personal brand played in getting you to where you are today. My personal brand has really given me a voice and an outlet that I probably would have shied away from if I hadn't invested my time and energy into it. Blogging in general is very vulnerable, especially lifestyle and fashion blogging. Similarly, being an artist is vulnerable as well, yet so rewarding. Gaining exposure as an artist and as a blogger can be quite daunting, and although the "yes's" do come, there are MANY more "no's" and emails/phone calls ignored. Showcasing my art work and style has really given be a confidence and boldness. Rejection is always going to be there, but it is nothing to fear. My art is my expression, my communication, and a way for me to share myself with the world. Without my personal brand, I would just have a million sketchpads sitting around collecting dust.

How did you garner press coverage and media attention? Emails, phone calls and taking leaps of faith. I started emailing other bloggers, going to networking events, and emailing fashion brands that I thought would benefit from my illustrations and creative eye. Social media played a huge part of it...Posting my illustrations and blog on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram really helped me expand my reach.

Personal brands attract opportunities. What has been the greatest opportunity you have gotten? My greatest opportunity thus far has been being the featured illustrator in the best-selling book, "Gentlewoman: Etiquette for a Lady, from a Gentleman" by author Enitan Bereola. His first book, "Bereolaesque" truly changed my life, so it was such an honor and humbling experience for him to feature my illustrations in his second novel.

Who are some of your mentors and why? My greatest mentor is definitely my mother. She keeps me grounded, supports me through it all, and even tells me when I need to do an illustration over again.  I have been so focused on academics and studies my whole life, so my mom always reminds me to sit down and sketch. Another one of my beloved mentors is Yanique Moore, she is also a fashion illustrator/ designer and fellow creator. She has taken time to help me set goals for the brand, shoots me various ideas and inspirations, and we share our art work with each other, which is always such a joy.

What were the steps you took in college that impacted your professional success? In college, I always had some sort of leadership role. Although it was sometimes stressful to manage a double major and other extracurriculars, I think those skills I learned of balancing, and serving others while still managing your responsibilities were so rewarding. Through my illustrations, blog, and even work, I am providing a service. I am trying to enhance a product or a concept and inspire as many people as possible. Though my studies are not directly related to what I am doing now, they really helped me look at things with an open mind, and critically think about everything. Studying International Relations and learning about other cultures really helps you appreciate the world, for all it has to offer, it's diversity, it's complexities, and embrace all it has to offer. This is very important in the professional world as you come across new opportunities and meet new people.

What would you say to a young person who wants to work in your industry? To be a creator, and an artist, you really have to be confident in who you are and have thick skin. There is always going to be someone who doesn't like your vision, or who is negatively critiquing your work, but if it is something you like and that you are passionate about, keep putting yourself out there, and keep creating opportunities for yourself. Creating a blog is a way of creating opportunities for yourself, you are opening yourself up to the world, seeking exposure, and gaining influence. Stay true to yourself, and remember your vision and why you started.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Well I hope that you all can see more of my illustrations, whether in magazines, or another book. I am still networking and trying to gain exposure. Between the blogging and the illustrating, I hope that 2nd & L will be a place where one stops frequently to pick up some thank you cards with custom illustrations, or to hire me as an Art Director or Designer. Im not quite sure where it will take me, but I have not been disappointed, and neither will you!

What has been your biggest branding challenge thus far? I think my biggest branding challenge has been figuring out how to market myself. Initially I wanted to do the illustrations to stand out as a blogger, but then the illustrations took over. As I said before, the blogging and illustrating go hand-in-hand. I have found a healthy balance of incorporating both my blogging and my illustrations, and Im just looking for different people to align and collaborate with.

Connect with Lindsay! http://www.2ndandL.com | LinkedIn | @2ndandL