Feature Friday #001 — Virginia Poltrack

Hey, everyone. Welcome to a new series we’re starting highlighting some of the incredible people on Cotton Bureau. Virginia created our wonderful 10th birthday celebration tee (available only until Wednesday, June 21) and is a fantastic designer and illustrator. We previously interviewed Virginia all the way back in 2014 if you want to read more. You can follow Virginia on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with all her work, or check out her entire Cotton Bureau portfolio.

Hey, Virginia! How are you?? Are you still in Johnstown? What’s new?

Hi there! I am still in Johnstown - and what's new? Let's see...well, I've been working for about a year at a Start-up out of San Francisco called "Observable", it's a collaborative data visualization platform. It's been very challenging in the best way. I love the fact that the CEO is a woman, and my manager (the Design Lead) is also a woman. Sookie is still my office manager, of course, and she's still interrupting meetings in an arbitrary and capricious manner (I love her so much!).

Last time we talked you were working on some fun Google Glass projects. Since then we’ve had a number of AR (but mostly VR) projects that haven’t quite become mainstream the way smart phones and watches have. Are you still interested in the space? Do you think AR/VR are going to be as central to our lives in 10 years as phones are today?

I am interested in the space, but there are still a number of issues, I think. The price point for all of these devices is still prohibitive to the average consumer. Additionally, we haven't really found the problem we are solving - sure, you can do some cool stuff, but what are they REALLY for? And there is still this vague, like, factor of looks, right? People aren't used to seeing these facial devices, and they think it's not cool, or it freaks them out, and that's a real barrier to ubiquity. I don't know when, or if we will see cultural saturation of these AR / VR devices, or what form factor they will take. I will say, it is really fascinating to see smart folks working these problems out and finding solutions. And maybe it isn't the designers or companies that will crack the solution to this, I think it'll be the developer community - what they build, and how they build it may be the answer to changing public perception.

I love the hand-lettered place names and photos on your Instagram. Anywhere in particular you would like to visit next?

Ahhhhh thank you! I was inspired by all the phenomenal letterers on Instagram, so I started using this little Muji notepad to doodle names and get photos on trips. We were in San Francisco awhile ago, in line for the cable cars, and a tourist couple from Germany were asking about it when they saw me taking photos. They thought it was very cool 😎 I showed them all the places and names and we got to talking while waiting in line!

The top three cities I would love to visit someday are Tokyo, Lagos and Chiang Mai. No plans or tickets just yet, but I'm optimistic! I need to figure out a way to get a cantankerous, geriatric sausage dog flight ready (kidding, I think she would hate it). I recognize the privilege I have, being able to see all these amazing places, it's really delightful to try and document it as much as possible.

Wow, you have clearly thought about this. Those are some pretty amazing locations. (No disrespect to the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania farmland!)

Last question: what’s your favorite thing to do that isn’t drawing, designing, or traveling?

LOL the rolling hills of Pennsylvania farmland, I love it!

Whew, great question. Napping and snacking are two favorites, for sure! Also seeing concerts and live music, camping, hanging out with family, being outside, these are all things I really love to do as well. Oh, and I can't forget the Jeep! I have a 2006 Jeep which I adore (I know, I'm being one of those "Jeep people", it's fine). Sookie has a special harness she wears, and LOVES going for rides in the Jeep, it's hilarious. Her little ears flap in the wind and her little nose is up in the air, sniffing away.

Also, of course, creating shirts for Cotton Bureau ❤️

Aww, that’s super nice of you to say! Thank you so much for chatting with us. We love the 10th birthday design you put together for Cotton Bureau, and of course, everyone should check out your new Sookie hat.

That’s it for this week’s interview! Don’t miss the Cotton Bureau 10th birthday sale. We’ve got three incredible limited time only items available: the appliqué logo sweatshirt (on the ultra-soft Bella + Canvas 3901 in mauve, heather navy, and dark grey heather), Virginia’s flowery Cotton Bureau logo on a variety of black t-shirts, and our 10th birthday metal cards. Use code HBDCB10 at checkout to get free shipping on all items, and pick up a metal card to get free shipping on all orders for 12 months.

Oh, and don’t forget, we’re giving out prizes from our friends at the end of the sale. Read more about the whole sale.