What is Design Thinking?

An iterative process that drives human-centric solutions with specific phases:

- Empathize

- Define

- Ideate

- Prototype

- Test

To meet the needs of the user we challenge what we assume about them and their needs, reframe what the user’s needs really are, and build continuously revisited and revised products and tools. This process is not linear and employs repeatable methods to reevaluate what we’re doing, and why.

This is all in a means to create more intuitive products and tools in ever-changing and growing world. Design is Everything, it's everywhere. It can change landscapes and attitudes.

Professionally...

As a Designer and Educator, my focus is purely set on growth. To create more seamless, meaningful, and engaging experiences that make it easier to reach our full potential as individuals and as a human collective. The best means of doing this is to evaluate what we're doing and the reasons why to make informed choices. With an adaptable frame of mind and human-centric objectives, we can achieve the best outcomes. Question the status quo, challenge assumptions, reframe questions, and see where new problems and solutions lie. Regardless of the products or tactics employed, the methods and thoughts driving the solution is key.

Philosophically...

I'm a watcher, a planner, a questioner, a doer; One of the folks that asks "why?" and follows it up with "why not?" Often my principles guide my path, my productivity, how I treat others, and what people I keep in my company. I believe that everyone has something more to learn and they should be open to discovery. Everyone has a sincere drive to seek happiness, explore, and learn, but I've found that it becomes lost in the mundane and lack of craft in our world.

When we accept complacency in our lives, wanting and striving for nothing, our personal growth ceases.  There is more to life than simply being alive; To really live is something more, and I endeavor to hold that feeling and share it with others.

Personally...

I am Veronica Star Kerr. Most people just call me V or VK, and you can too! I’m from Howell, MI – Born and raised in the mitten. I've been all over Michigan, having lived and worked in diverse communities; Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Howell, Novi, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Taylor, Allen Park, Walled Lake, White Lake, Waterford...

I've been called tenacious, passionate, wise, and jovial. I enjoy learning about complex processes of creation and various fields of study and industry. You'll often find me driving, seeking the experiences that inspire me; Performances, Museums, Galleries, Camping, Fishing, Arcades, or just visiting friends and family. I enjoy both big pictures and small details.



More than you ever wanted to know about my background…

2005 - 2006

While in High School, my first Graphic Design Internship was with the Marketing/Art Department at Centurion Medical Products. This is where I learned the fundamentals of photo editing, layouts, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. I graduated from Howell High School in June 2006 and moved to Detroit, MI to attend the College for Creative Studies to earn my BFA in Graphic Design.

2007 - 2009

During breaks in college I interned with Centurion’s Label Sales Department, gaining more experience with sales support, label production design, and large documents like catalogs. During this time I also moved to Taylor, MI.2010I earned my BFA in Graphic Design from the College for Creative Studies, moved to Allen Park, MI, and had a short stay with Staples Copy Center. That’s where I got my customer service chops and learned about multifunction laser printers, large format printers, and UPS transactions.

Late 2010

In 2010 my Grandmother passed away and I felt it was best to be with my family, so I moved back home and got a job doing Quality Control in Manufacturing.I did more freelance work during this timeframe, doing work for a few political campaigns in Livingston County, MI; signage, print collateral, websites, and a few small projects for Livingston County’s website as well.Late

2011 – Mid 2016

Shortly after moving home, I landed a job with IMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions in Waterford, MI, and later in Pontiac, MI. IMS was the first agency-type job I’d ever been a part of; Very fast-paced, everything with tight deadlines and tight budgets. I took on multiple roles in design, project management, marketing strategy development and tactics, website development, and even IT. I assisted regularly with billing, proposals, research, and internal process development. I’ve kept many clients happy with IMS, balancing good design with short funds and short timeframes. These clients often commented that I’m a pleasure to work with, am very responsive, feel that I genuinely care about their success, and they often called me directly.I moved from Howell to White Lake, MI, then to Walled Lake, MI during this time as well.

Late 2016 – Late 2017

IMS became a part of C3 Ventures in Flint, MI. As a part of the #FlintFWD initiative, C3 is an investment opportunity to revitalize a city that's turning the corner.As a part of C3, I was a decision maker and the point person for all of the marketing strategies and tactics used for each subsidiary and the main brand. All of my duties that I maintained while with IMS were carried through to the new venture with C3.

Late 2017 – Mid 2018

I returned to Howell and returned to college at the College for Creative Studies in the pursuit of a teaching certificate, while doing independent work under own company, VStar Design Group, LLC. Though I maintained work with IMS and C3, I grew more freedom to take on work that is more meaningful to me. During the summer I also worked with Sherman Lake YMCA as their Art Director and a Cabin Counselor.

Late 2018

I began student teaching in Ann Arbor Public Schools with grades 6-12. This experience was beyond valuable to developing my abilities in redirection, explaining complex tasks, and breaking down projects to make them achievable for a variety of skill levels. My goal was to work with teens to develop critical-thinking skills and provide a safe and productive place to explore art and design.

Early 2019 – Fall 2019

Though I interviewed and received an offer from Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies in Detroit, I accepted a position at Arbor Preparatory High School in Ypsilanti as their Art & Design Educator for grades 9-12. Their staff were extremely helpful in my transition mid-school year. Though it was a difficult decision to leave, I needed to find the best fit for me, and that's what I'm doing right now; Finding the butter zone where my working relationship with my employer is both mutually beneficial and rewarding. I inevitably took a position with Wimsatt Building Materials as their Marketing Specialist.

Early 2019 – 2020

Though my time with Wimsatt Building Materials has fit my skillset like a glove, and my manager expressed extreme satisfaction with my work and productivity, I was laid off at the beginning of the Michigan Stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have since taken on more projects through my personal business VStar Design Group, but am seeking new full-time or part-time opportunities.