Vicki Gray-Wolfe

Go Ahead, I’m All Ears

By Vicki Gray-Wolfe


I’ve been on the shy side since I was a kid—“the quiet one.” I felt most comfortable being silent rather than calling attention to myself. Ironically, by high school, I wasn’t afraid to leave the house in combat boots, a mini-skirt, and dyed black hair. Trying to fade into the background wasn’t exactly working for me—but that’s a whole other story.

My shyness allowed me to become an expert observer and listener. I listened to my parents, teachers, friends, and even enemies. Trying to figure out the things left unsaid was what interested me most. I paid close attention to body language and the non-verbal nuances that often speak louder than words.

As I got older, listening and observing expanded not just to the people in my life, but also to music, art, and pop culture. Being an avid listener of all things creative excited and inspired me to create work of my own.

In art school I tried painting, photography, and jewelry-making. But graphic design really captured my imagination and pulled together my strengths. What I appreciated about this discipline was that it put my listening skills to the test. Integral to successful design is the ability to gain insights that will determine the path and outcome of a project. A client’s needs aren’t ones that a designer imagines. They are communicated. To understand them, you have to be listening and observing.

Luckily, I landed at Masters Group Design, where these skills are greatly valued and put into action daily. No matter how large or small a project may be, I try to pick up every detail, to really listen to who the client is, what they are looking for, and how they fit into the world around them. The best part is the opportunity to translate my observations into a unique concept that meets both their spoken and unspoken needs.