Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Traci Naff. Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Traci, please provide us a short bio.
I studied graphic design and journalism at Appalachian State University. I’ve always been a bit of an odd bird for my love of expressive creativity and analytical problem solving. Design let me do both and journalism helped me find interesting narratives in unexpected places. After graduation, I started my career at a boutique agency where I learned to hone my craft as part of a small team where we all wore many hats. After a few years there, I joined the amazingly talented team at Wildfire as a designer.
As part of this great team, I’ve had the privilege of working with some great brands, both large and small. We’ve even managed to snag an award or two along the way. Currently, I’m Creative Director for our Richmond office and excited to see what we do next.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
Since I was a student, I’ve been involved with AIGA, the professional association for design. It’s a community that I hold near and dear to my heart. I currently serve on the Executive Board for the Richmond chapter. Look us up and check out our next event (shameless plug). Other than that, you can find me bopping around local events and staying connected with all things RVA.
What are you are most proud of?
I’m proud of the team I’ve built in Richmond. We learn a lot from each other, do great work, and have fun doing it. I’m also proud that I have a house full of plants that I’ve managed to keep alive.
Who are your personal role models?
My parents. They taught me how to love with kindness and strength. Professionally, my high school art teacher Mr. Parrish. He taught me how to be creative with purpose and skill. Both encouraged me to have a life filled with passion for what I do and to not be a jerk in the process.
Did anyone offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
I’m more of an observer than a notetaker. So, the advice I received was in the form of behaviors I’d like to model. They acted with intention and tackled challenges with courage and compassion, both large and small. Curiosity and hard work were both encouraged and expected. They set a standard that I continue to measure myself against.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Work hard, listen with intent, and be kind. It’s not groundbreaking, but I’ve found if you do those three things, you’ll come out alright.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, Bahamas, Charles Bradley, Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers, Childish Gambino, Michael Kiwanuak, HAIM, Johnnyswim, Joni Mitchell…should I go on? It’s an ever-growing mixed bag of things that put me in a good mood.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Now this is a difficult question. I love food. Right now, I’m loving Spoonbread Bistro.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I’m amazing at Mario Kart 64.