CREATIVE DIRECTOR + OWNER, KNOXVILLE GRAPHIC HOUSE, KNOXVILLE TN
Courtney Jernigan leads Knoxville Graphic House, a 360 Creative Branding Agency specializing in marketing to millennials and out of the box design. Courtney completed her BFA at SCAD, was the only American selected to complete a Masters of Fashion Design Advanced at Polimoda Institute in Florence, Italy, and the only Master student to have her designs appear in a televised Italian Fashion Show alongside Pinko, Pierre Cardin, Miss Italia, and Cirque du Soleil. Returning to the States, she worked for fashion designer Anna Sui before returning to her southern roots to teach fashion and merchandise design at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville. There, she was nominated for Educator of the Year and built curriculum for Graphic Design and Illustration courses. In 2011, Courtney moved back to her hometown of Knoxville to raise her family and open a design studio. The mural she painted of her daughter on the side of her building won a 2017 GDUSA award and was nominated for the 2017 Knoxville Orchid Award for Public Art. Courtney is a Trustee of the Knoxville Museum of Art and Chairs the marketing committee.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
Born in Knoxville TN, traveled all over, and ended right back where I started
DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL?
SCAD for my Bachelors and Polimoda Institute in Florence, Italy for my Masters
LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
I used to be night owl but now I love getting up super early. I get so much done
FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
Alice from Alice in Wonderland, seeing things as they could be instead of how they are
ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR DO YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss because it reminds us to keep dreaming and trying
Don’t Laugh. Sahara (the one with Matthew McConaughey) because I bought it when I lived in Italy and it was the only English DVD I had so, of course, I watched it a million times.
FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
Tie between Cake Wars and Shark Tank
FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
I run all of our clients social media so I am on everything all day long
FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
I love all art, anything that makes me feel something when I am standing in front of it, from inexpensive to things my husband wishes I didn’t see
FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Running, I am alone with my thoughts and its good for my soul
Oddities, glass heads, shark teeth, the weird stuff
COLOR USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
I use all colors, but right now I really dig flesh tones and greens, very clean and crisp
TYPEFACE USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
I use them all! Futura mostly for my business branding
DOES PRINT HAVE A ROLE IN YOUR DESIGNS?
Half of my designs are for print, paper to DTG t-shirt printing, and everything in between
Linda Rodin, I believe you can find inspiration in anything from graphics to fashion, she is an entrepreneur who has never conformed to society norms and has become so beautiful with age, I adore her.
GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Strength is from being a professor, I can pick up mistakes with just a glance and helpful as I guide my designers; weakness is being overly meticulous
ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Some of my best work came from mistakes, so make them, step back, and roll with it
IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Welder or Graffiti Artist
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers