Meet Shoestring Warrior and Digital Art Director Chrissi

If you’re looking for inspiration, this creative soul’s passion for adventure, travel, and art might get your creative juices flowing! Meet Shoestring Warrior and Digital Art Director Chrissi Hernandez. When she’s not Art Directing for fashion and beauty companies, she’s out traveling the world (46 countries and counting), adding interesting stories and gorgeous photos to her travel blog, or out climbing to great heights (most recently Half Dome with Shoestring Adventures)! She lives by these words,

Travel Fashionably. Live Adventurously

Learn more about Chrissi in our interview below including advice on starting your own travel blog and how she embraces traveling mishaps. Check out her past and future adventures on her website and Instagram!

Shoestring Warrior: Chrissi Hernandez

Hometown: Ventura, CA

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

Profession: Digital Art Director

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a creative soul who loves travel and adventure. My day job consists of Art Directing for fashion and beauty ecommerce companies. This means working on concept development and design for creative campaigns that will flow into websites, email, social media, and more. Most weekends I’m exploring new places. I especially love adventure activities that involve getting out into nature.

What are your passions outside of work?

Travel, adventure and art.

How would you describe your level of camping experience?

I grew up car camping with my family. As as adult, I’ve been an avid hiker, but didn’t take my first backpacking trip until I was 28 years old. Since then I’ve done a handful of trips to the Sierras, hiked The Lost Coast, and recently reached the summit of Half Dome with Shoestring Adventures. I am comfortable on the trails but not confident in my navigating skills, which is why I prefer to go with a group of people.

This summer you joined the Shoestring Adventures Half Dome trip. What is your favorite memory from the experience?

My favorite memory from the Half Dome trip was coming up the ridge of Cloud’s Rest. It’s the point in the trip where you get a 360 degree view of all the granite mountains. It’s a stunning view and there was such a beautiful silence as we ascended to the top. Once there, you could see Half Dome in the distance.

Where do you find inspiration when it comes to your creative style?

My personal creative style is inspired by the desert, southwest, and pop culture all blended together.

When I’m creating for a brand, I try and channel that brands energy.

Is it feminine, masculine, calming, energetic, moody… I try and understand the ___ they’re trying to reach and go from there.

Do you have a favorite design project that you’ve worked on?

The Sephora Beauty Insider Program was my favorite design project. It was such a big undertaking for our small team of 5 people, and we completed it in 3 months. We elevated the aesthetic across all platforms including site, email and product photography to improve the digital experience.

The tagline at the top of your website says, “Travel Fashionably. Live Adventurously.” What’s your favorite/most fashionable travel product and why?

My favorite fashionable travel product is my Will Leather Goods Oaxacan Backpack. It’s stylish, durable, each bag is one of a kind, and it fits all my camera gear.

What goals did you have when you first started your travel blog? Have they changed over time?

When I started my travel blog, the main purpose was to create a journal for myself, and for friends who have asked me for advice about the places I’ve traveled to. I was always digging up information to share, but this way I log it when it’s fresh in my memory.

Now I can easily share links with friends, but I also have a place to go back to and reflect on previous trips.

My goals are still the same for my blog, but I’d love to monetize it at some point. For now, I’m busy Art Directing, and running a few airbnb’s. This leaves little time for understanding the very complex world of blogging, but I’m slowly getting there.

As an avid explorer and traveler you’ve seen and experienced a lot. What’s your worst travel mishap?

There have been many mishaps in my travel experiences, but the biggest one is not appropriately checking weather before planning a trip. I wish I could say this happened once and I learned my lesson, but it has happened a LOT! A rainy honeymoon in Fiji, a cold and wet New Year’s in Ireland, a blazing hot summer in India, to name a few. I’m heading to Bali for New Year’s this year, and we are facing a volcano that could soon erupt. That’s just bad luck. What I’ve learned is that the best way to travel is to roll with the punches.

Sometimes the worst scenarios make the best stories, and mishaps are just part of the adventure.

What advice do you have for explorers thinking about starting a travel blog?

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, know that it will take a lot of time and energy to get it moving forward. Be patient, and try and understand all you can about driving traffic to your site, working with brands, and creating ads. Alternatively hire someone who understands the business side of things. The other alternative, do it for fun.

You’ve visited 46 countries so far, where’s your next destination and why?

I’m heading to Bali for New Year’s with my husband and 8 friends. We’re heading to Bali to experience the beaches as well as the beautiful rainforest and terraced rice paddies. There are also countless temples to explore. As before stated, Mount Agung in Bali has been erupting and there could be a bigger eruption coming, so wish us luck!

The perfect s’more? (if you don’t like s’mores, what’s your favorite campfire dessert?)

Graham crackers with marshmallows and peanut butter cups.

Photos © 2017 Chrissi Hernandez

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