4 Tips for Artists Looking for a Career In Emerging Tech

4 Tips for Artists Looking for a Career In Emerging Tech

Artists and designers have long been considered “right-brain thinkers” who excel in creative pursuits but may struggle with analytical or “left-brain” tasks. Billi Rogers, a recent graduate of RMCAD’s Online Graphic Design Program, wants to disrupt that notion. In 2016, she founded the design and technology studio, Voss Alan, along with her husband, Jerry. 

Rogers describes Voss Alan’s niche as “the emerging tech market, focused on Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.” Voss Alan represents the collaboration of left and right-brain thinking, so she shared some of her tips for designers looking to break into the emerging tech industry.

As a graphic designer working in tech, Rogers made a name for herself by approaching the field from a unique, design-focused perspective. However, she wasn’t immediately sure if this was a drawback or an advantage. She elaborated that “being a creative, the way I communicate is so wildly different from how techies communicate. I had a hard time bridging that gap.” The lesson Rogers learned was that when you’re the only person who can solve a particular type of problem, businesses and individuals will come to you. “I am the only designer in our entire networking group of roughly 2,000 companies, so it puts me at an advantage. People would say “You’re a designer? We need design help,” shared Rogers. 

Billi Rogers with husband Jerry Rogers.
Billi Rogers (right) and husband and business partner, Jerry Rogers (left).

As a husband and wife team, Billi and Jerry Rogers prefer to approach their business from different perspectives. “As far as Voss Alan goes, it’s a combination of my husband and I’s career transitions. I transitioned full-time into design, and he transitioned into software development”, shared Rogers. She emphasized that communication is key in a working relationship between a creative director and a technical director, like her and her husband. Voss Alan tackles user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) projects for clients, so it is common for Rogers to work on the front end of a website while her husband develops the back end. As such, learning to communicate clearly with each other allows Billi and Jerry to utilize their different skill sets to give Voss Alan a competitive edge. 

Networking is often considered the dating of the professional world; you have to get comfortable with chit-chat, talking about yourself, and sharing your goals. As such, many young professionals find the process difficult and awkward. Rogers said you have to “speed date different networking groups until you find one that pays off. Last year, our greatest return on investment was our networking groups. However, it takes a while to find a group that feels like a safe space.” Rogers said the way she got comfortable networking was by having a teammate. “I always go with my husband. I love to get the conversation started and then he’ll keep it going. I recommend teaming up with somebody different from yourself. ” 

Billi Rogers, creative director and co-founder of Voss Alan.
Billi Rogers, creative director and co-founder of Voss Alan.

Knowing which parts of your education will change how you see the world is impossible. Even still, Rogers encourages students and non-students alike to stay open-minded, saying, “What I loved about my experience at RMCAD was that I took something away from every class. Even in the classes where I didn’t design anything, I was refining my way of thinking and that’s helped me more than anything.” Open-mindedness has also been vital to Rogers’ success as a designer outside of the classroom. She shared that before being initiated into the tech industry she was “closed-minded and wouldn’t have looked into AI.” Now, Rogers says AI helps her cut down on inefficient practices. Specifically, she cited AI-powered design tools as a starting block for inspiration when creative block hits. However, AI-generated designs lack the humanity that great design requires, it has even empowered Rogers to see the importance of human designers. 

Artists and designers are creative thinkers whose unique perspectives are vital to the health of countless industries. For all the artists and designers reading this, remember, there is space for every single one of you in the creative industry. As the Voss Alan co-founder can attest, the world of emerging technology is clamoring for creative designers who can solve the visual problems that plague tech innovators. Rogers, who has been working in the design space prior to RMCAD, said: “RMCAD refined what I thought I knew.” With her aptitude for creativity and her passion for innovation, Billi Rogers is a great example of how you can use both sides of your brain. 

Explore RMCAD’s academic pages to learn more about our campus and online graphic design programs! To learn more about Billi Rogers and Voss Alan, please visit here. For more information about graphic design at RMCAD, check out Design Systems Course Brings Real Industry Experience to RMCAD Students

Some of the quotes in this story have been edited for brevity and clarity by the author, but are meant to retain the significance and purpose of the original speaker.


We're accepting applications for our next session. No fee, Apply Today!

Classes Starting Soon!

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design Campus

No Application fee