(Na)Tasha Iwalani Hicks McCray.
Aloha! Here is a little info about who I am and how I started dabbling in graphic design. I am married to Glenn McCray, and am the daughter of Calvin and Diana Hicks, the sister of Josh and Derek and the privileged aunty of Chanteya, Shaughnessi, Kalea Mae, Jordan, Eliana, Kanani, and Kelani. I have been deeply shaped by my multicultural upbringing, being Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Irish, German, Dutch, Welsh, and growing up on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation.
As a kid, I had a dream of playing college basketball, so I would often find myself drawing the logos of different schools and brands. I am grateful to have had the chance to play college basketball on a full-ride scholarship, but my passions in life began to shift significantly when I had the opportunity to travel. I lived in Bucharest, Romania for a year working with youth. During that time, I became intrigued by the friends I was meeting and their amazing stories of compassion, resilience, creativity, courage, faith, and hope. However, when I returned to the United States, the stories that I would often hear about Romania were degrading to the dignity of the people I had met. The pictures being shown and the words selected showed weakness, dependency, and a lack of hope. This was so far from what I had experienced. Inspired by the friends I had met and rooted in my faith in Jesus Christ, my desire for graphic design and storytelling began to emerge, with the hope of honoring the stories and dignity of all people.
I began sitting at the feet of some very talented graphic designers and storytellers. I started reading and studying. I started collecting stories, images, and designs that captured my mind and heart. I invested in Adobe Creative Suite and started playing around. I had my first "real" opportunity to create marketing materials for a nonprofit organization in Hawaii, helping to raise over $20,000 to serve children of incarcerated parents in our first fundraiser, and my passion to design for the common good was ignited.
I have no formal training, I simply have a love and curiosity for the world and the people in it, and an eagerness to learn. I believe in the beauty and grace that surrounds us, even amidst very dark and difficult places. I value simplicity and I appreciate organization as way of cultivating clarity.
All of these things inform the ways in which I approach design.
In addition to graphic design, I also serve as the pastor of Mt. View Presbyterian Church and the Head Coach for Varsity Girls Basketball at Evergreen High School.