Derilyn is a visual communication designer and adjunct professor in design. After receiving praise in the third grade for her realistic rendering of an elephant, art was always in the back of her mind as a career aspiration. She went on to college, avoiding the art degree—since it wasn't supposed to be a lucrative career—and earned her B.A. degree in English Arts and minoring in Mass Media from Hampton University. After a few years of working odd jobs that had little to do with a degree in English or Mass Media, she was invited to take a course in Copywriting under the direction of Coz Cotzias at VCU. It was supposed to be the perfect career marriage, English and business, but it wasn't quite right. It was close, but not on the mark. Cotzias' advice would direct her to Atlanta to check out the Portfolio Center.
After visiting the Portfolio Center and meeting Hank Richardson, that sealed the deal. she was on her way. She later graduated with a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Design from the Portfolio Center. After graduation, she was hired as a Designer in the seasonal greetings division at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. As much as she loved the creative process at Hallmark, her husband was accepted into an internship in Boston. A move to Beantown would have her working as a packaging designer for an innovative product development and consumer goods firm where she created internal package identity systems as well as packaging and licensing products for external as well as internal retail clients. After a couple of Boston winters, a move to Chicago would be in order, where Derilyn would work again as a designer in the retail sector as well as non-profit and financial services.
In April 2005, she created, curated, and edited Treat, a design/lifestyle blog that was created to inform, inspire, and nurture a lifestyle of creativity through design, art, health, and literature in Chicago and beyond and reached tens of thousands of visitors each year. As much as she loves design, what she discovered was an interest in its academic side. After seven years as a print and packaging designer, she went back to school to earn an M.F.A. in Visual Communication Design at SAIC. After six years, she retired her blog Treat to focus on graduate school.
As a visual communication designer—including graphic and digital design—she enjoys watching documentary films, listening to NPR Podcasts, and catching a little bit of First Take on ESPN. She love great stories, admires great writing, and admits to being a cookie snob. She lives in Evanston, IL with her husband and daughter whose creative ways of viewing the world inspire her every day.