As a graphic designer for Audigy, Miranda Embrey has a passion for creativity. Whether it’s coming up with a creative solution for member training or the skill she puts into her digital artistry, Miranda Embrey is always drawing up new ideas.
Miranda’s working hours never quite look the same. For example, she is currently designing the materials for a management course the HR team is putting together. Within that project, each day looks different, because Monday will have her using Adobe Illustrator to create icons and portrait illustrations, while Tuesday requires PowerPoint to put together the deck. “Every once in a while, I even get video projects like the e-patient® tutorials,” she adds.
Once the courses are done, she uploads them to Audigy Academy for our members. While each day is something new, the only thing that really differs from her original job description is the Audigy Academy website itself: “Web design was not part of my job description, but it was part of my education, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to put some extra skills of mine to use in order to help make e-learning more accessible,” she says.
The Small Things
Miranda credits everyone at Audigy with being very friendly. She revealed that she struggles with anxiety, especially socially, so it can be difficult for her to start conversations or reach out to people.
“Sometimes when I’m at the office, I’ll be in the kitchen refilling my water bottle or getting coffee, and someone I don’t even know will start a conversation with me, which is always delightful since I’ve never been good at that kind of thing,” she muses.
As a graphic designer, Miranda relies on thorough and honest feedback. She was pleasantly surprised to find that, at Audigy, being polite doesn’t hinder the ability to give that raw feedback. “I really enjoy working on the [People & Organizational Development] team; everyone is very nice but also honest.” Miranda smiles and continues, “The people are kind, funny, fun, and great at what they do. They work really hard creating content to coach members and putting together events. I feel that if making things aesthetically pleasing and easier to access can make their jobs easier, then I’m all the more happy to do it!” she exclaims.
A Dream Deferred
Miranda has always loved art and dreamed of being an artist. Inspired by the art of Disney in the U.S. and Studio Ghibli in Japan, she began drawing, painting, and creating as soon as she could walk. As with all the best things in life, her path toward graphic design didn’t come easily. “When I was 17, graduating high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do — but I knew that it needed to be creative,” she says.
She looked into how she could be creative and successful, and landed on graphic design. At that point, whether it was an actual critique of her work or simply caring parents trying to save their daughter from a life of artistic poverty, “I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I would never be a good enough artist to make a living out of it.” Though crushing words for anyone to hear, Miranda made a snap decision. Completely contrary to her creative goals, she joined the Marine Corps.
“I initially joined because I was at an impasse with my parents about college majors, and shortly after my dad suggested joining the Air Force, the local Marine Corps recruiter knocked on my door,” explains Miranda.
Next thing she knew, she was an aircraft electrician on the EA-6B Prowler. It’s an electronic warfare jet responsible for the cutting of electronic signals, to prevent things like IEDs (improvised explosive devices) from exploding during missions. “It’s a pretty cool jet,” she laughs.
Before she had the chance to be there for very long, she faced a life-altering issue. “I passed out on the flight line, which resulted in a lot of medical testing,” she recounts. The testing led to a diagnosis of neurocardiogenic syncope — and this required Miranda to leave the Marine Corps.
“Neurocardiogenic syncope causes people to pass out. It’s a type of dysautonomia, which is an umbrella term used to describe several different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system,” Miranda explains. “You can find out more on the web page for Dysautonomia International.” Miranda was ultimately relieved to receive a diagnosis and move forward to the next chapter of her life.
Finding Courage & Inspiration
Miranda’s enduring love of art made the next step an easy one. In an effort to combine her love of art with a career path offered at colleges nearby, she returned to her original idea of getting into graphic design. She worked up the courage to enroll as a web and graphic design student at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash.
Next, she attended Washington State University in Vancouver and earned her B.A. in digital technology and culture. She worked for the city of Camas and then landed her dream job as a graphic designer at Audigy. “You could say that where I am today was a twisty 10 years in the making,” Miranda smiles, clearly happy about the way things have turned out.
In her off time, Miranda enjoys attending Portland Thorns games, hiking, reading, gaming (especially Genshin Impact), and exploring donghua — which are Chinese animated shows. She says her biggest influences are Walt Disney and his Imagineers. Her eyes light up when talking about them: “Walt Disney’s advancements and general influence in the animation industry are profound, and he is a large part of how animation became what it is.” She then speaks of the Imagineers, who are responsible for many things, including the Disney parks. “They really bring to life the notion that if you can dream it, you can do it.”
Miranda feels strongly that just having the audacity to try something out — combining interests and creating something new — can be very rewarding, even if it ultimately ends in failure. Though, in her experience, she says it’s usually not failure, just a different conclusion than originally intended. Miranda smiles, “Sometimes you make the art, and sometimes the art makes itself through you.”
Miranda’s career path has been an incredible journey. Her unique blend of creativity, technical expertise, and a natural flair for process development has made her a valuable asset to the Audigy team.