Why a Podcast?

At Portfolio Creative we have been placing creative people into roles and helping our clients find the perfect person for well over a decade.

Even before this all started, we were creative people, hiring people, interviewing people, or being interviewed ourselves. With all of that life experience, we’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about how the job market works (and how it doesn’t work).

  • We have learned what makes a successful interview from both sides of the table.

  • We have learned how to present ourselves and how we wanted to be presented to.

  • We have learned how to find a job you love or an employee that you would soon love.

  • We have learned a lot–but what good does all that knowledge do if it’s trapped inside our heads?

So we decided to start the Illumination Bureau podcast to share all of that information. To help candidates get hired and for clients to find success in hiring the right person. Everyone is making a first impression at one time or another; this podcast will share information about putting your best foot forward. And, sometimes, it is just not a fit. We’ll also help you move on and find the job or candidate that is.

We’ll talk about finding the right job, moving up the ladder, mentoring employees for leadership, side hustles, contract employees, and so much more. There is a wealth of topics we can cover and, if we don’t know, we’ll bring in an expert.

We hope that you will learn a little something as you listen and share these podcasts with those that you think could use some help. Together, we can build a stronger creative community.

We’ll be talking to you soon,

Catherine & Kristen

We Find A+ Talent

By Kristen Harris

We are all about talent. Whether you write impactful copy, design beautiful graphics, create amazing physical or digital spaces, take stunning photos, or manage a project to the nth degree, you have creative talent. And we believe in the power of your talent to impact business and change our community, maybe even the world. Yes, I went there...your creative talent can change the world.

Catherine and I are creatives at heart, with BFAs and entire first careers as artists, designers, art directors, and creative managers. Now, through Portfolio Creative, we get to help other creatives bring their own talents to the world. When our clients are looking for just the right person and creative people are looking for their next opportunity, they come to us. Why?

We find A+ talent.

It’s our business and mission to connect great creative talent with companies who need their skills and talents. New ideas, innovation, and fresh perspectives are inherently creative and increasingly important to business success. It’s possible to sell practically any product or service anywhere in the world, but think about how much creativity it takes for that to happen. Someone has to think of and create an amazing new thing, and then it has to be shared with others who may need or want it. Every step of that journey requires A+ talent. Companies need great people–to find the right person at the right time–and we do that.

Our team works hard every day to find and connect with top creative talent with a wide variety of skills. We want to work with the best of the best, and that goes way beyond just finding a great person. Because we truly care about the people we work with, celebrating their successes and cheering them on throughout their career, we build genuine long-term relationships.

“We find A+ talent” is one of the things that makes us unique. And having that reputation means we are constantly reaching, setting the bar higher, and expecting more of ourselves. Because like attracts like: A+ Players want to work with other A+ Players. To earn the right to work with the best, we have to be the best.

We Value Creativity

By Catherine Lang-Cline

One of the main reasons we started this business is because we value creativity. It was not necessarily to start a staffing business, but that was the closest model. And, I had gained a bit of knowledge of the basics of a staffing company as a freelancer because I had used companies in the past to help me find work while I also found my own projects. I was registered with a few companies at the time but my best jobs came from the company that specialized in creative. Knowing staffing is important, being connected, but by valuing the creativity, you can offer more.

Tell me if you see yourself here. Growing up I remember valuing my Spirograph®, sketch pads, new crayons with the pencil sharpener in the back. I would spend hours on someone else’s Etch-A-Sketch® because we couldn’t afford to buy one. Easy Bake Oven® led to decorating cakes, graph paper allowed me to draw out layouts for homes, doodles on my school paper contained little outfits I would design and the complete love affair that I had with photography.

My career started by getting a BFA and getting a job with an agency. Commercial art is creative from the problem solving to the finished deliverable. There is also no end to possibilities; headlines, copy, content, images, and format. I appreciate all of it like a symphony that comes together and makes something lovely. Don’t get me started on my love for music.

What else? I travel to see exhibits and art museums. I read great books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, and see speakers just because I love a great story. How about you?

I tell you this because creative people are a special breed. It a talent to visualize and create something out of nothing. Starting a business is also creative and this brings us full circle. Why do we do this? Why does Portfolio Creative exist? Why have we never taken on anything other than the creative space?

We value creativity.

Creative people speak a different language. (Sometimes no language, as for us, it is just sometimes easier to draw a picture.) Our favorite people to work with are the ones that understand us and our vision. The ones that want to turn us loose and see what we can do because they value the talent we possess. The ones that see what we do as having value, not something to be handed out for free. My business partner, Kristen Harris, also believes in the value of creativity and our first conversation in starting this company was, “We want this to be about making the right match, finding the right person for the job, making sure the talent gets paid what they are worth.” (Let’s face it, as artists, we are always asked to do something for free.)

“We value creativity” is one of the very unique things about us. Artists are unique. Creativity is unique. People that value creativity are unique. We exist for all of you.

How To Love Your Job (or at least make the most of it)

By Catherine Lang-Cline

Believe it or not, many, many people do love their job. The stars aligned and they found their calling in the field that they love with the team that works wonderfully together. It is actually possible that you can achieve this, too. It may require a few adjustments or it may require you getting what you need right now and then strategizing for your next move.

If you already love your job with no issues, congratulations! You are one of the lucky few and you may be able to guide others in making it a great job for them, too. Bear in mind, you can’t fix everyone and some people are just in the wrong place but you may be able to help. If you see coworkers struggling maybe offer them some thoughts on why you love your job. Maybe it is the flexibility or the opportunity. Sometimes it is a conversation about how what you do is helping people.

If you love your job except for maybe just one person that is also employed there, you might have to dig deep and be direct. Sometimes having a conversation with a person can fix a lot of things. If someone talks over you, constantly is late, is never accountable, etc., you will get better results if you approach that person and tell them how their action makes you feel or how it affects the team. The idea of this is not to lecture them, but rather see the results of their action. Going to HR could be a choice if you feel that it is beyond what you can handle but sometimes people are not self-aware and if a few small things can be rectified, you might have a little more love for your workplace.

Finally, you might just not be in the right place. The culture of the company may not match yours or the work style or the people. You can make the most of your situation by transferring to a new area or figuring out what you can add to your skill sets at this job to prepare you for the next. Can you take on new responsibilities? Can you work on leadership skills? Can you learn some new software or skill that might expand your career? It will definitely help the company you're currently working for and you all may like this change. You could possibly love your job! If all of that does not work, you have set the stage for the next step in your career. Don’t forget while you have a job you can work on passion projects or activities outside of work that can lead you in a new direction.

The point is if you are not in love with your job:

  1. Talk to someone at the company that is and find out why

  2. See if you can change things in your environment, you may need to speak up,

  3. Start looking at opportunities within the company to make a change or gather more experience for the next step in your career.

You spend more time at work than at home or with your family. You might as well spend that time at a place you like going to and being with people you like.

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Ceci Clark


I am Ceci Clark! I am a photographer, designer, but most importantly, a creative. I was born and raised in northern central Ohio by a family of creatives. My Dad is an executive chef and my Mother redesigns dilapidated houses. This sprouted my own passions and led me to be able to be unique with my methods in my art. I currently live in Delaware, Ohio and travel frequently.



I am constantly asking friends if they’d like to grab brunch with me so that I can connect with people first thing. What’s better than getting breakfast food with friends! I know I should be getting my coffee from local roasters, but I’m guilty of getting Starbucks almost every day. Mornings are also my time for discovering new music and make new playlists on Spotify often. Find one of my playlists!


My goal is to go on at least one photoshoot a day, so a lot of my planned shoots are in the afternoon! I spend most of my days in Columbus usually because I’m taking photos or at an event, so I spend a lot of time driving to the city. I am consistently with people and working with them to make something beautiful! I love that my job and my lifestyle go hand in hand.

I love to shoot at one time events like parties or special places like the Chinese Lantern Festival. I adore taking photos of people in environments where they thrive like their homes or their favorite coffee shop! I mainly look for spots with lots of character and color.

Ceci Clark Photo.jpg


I spend a lot of nights taking photos at concerts, editing pictures, or writing + recording my own music. You may catch me at Philco in the Short North or at a show sometime!

Check out more of Ceci’s work here!

Hey, We're Portfolio Creative!



We’re the stellar team that makes up Portfolio Creative. Since it’s a new year and we have a lot of new followers, we wanted to take a minute to reintroduce ourselves. Our company was founded in 2005 by Catherine and Kristen, who met while working as Graphic Designers at L Brands.

We’re focused on connecting clients with exceptional creative talent. We’re experts in creative and we understand the competitiveness in the creative marketplace. We love getting involved in our community and we’re all personally invested in making sure that this creative community thrives.

What makes us unique?

  1. We find A+ talent

  2. We value creativity

  3. We are good humans

How To Love A Job Search

By Catherine Lang-Cline

I know what you are thinking, is it even possible to love a job search? I’m here to say that it can be. That is because with every change there comes opportunity, so if you look at it with those glasses on you will see the possibilities.

Let’s get really real for a moment. If you are laid off or if you are fired you can feel a bit scared or hopeless. You might also feel very relieved. Regardless of what brought you here, you need to get past the mourning process as quickly as you can and get busy with your new job of finding a job. Gather up all that you know about you;

  • What are you good at?

  • What do you want to do next?

  • What specific skills do you have?

  • What did you learn in your last job?

Look at it. Look at it again. You are a pretty awesome candidate for someone.

Now what?

  • All of that goes into a resume update.

    • Really focus on your strengths,

    • Customize your resume for the job that you want putting those skills first

  • Send your resume in for job postings.

    • Job boards are not my favorite thing as they can be a bit of a black hole, but if you get no response you at least know what kind of roles they have

  • Make a friend with a recruiter.

    • Find and work with a recruiter that you can trust and really wants to help you

    • Be open to a temporary job that leads to full time

    • Temp jobs are a great way for YOU to try a company out.

  • Send your resume to any company that you would like to work at

  • Now is your chance to get into that company of your dreams

    • Find out who the hiring manager is and send your resume directly

  • Tell everyone you know that you are looking for your next opportunity

    • The more people that know that your skills are available, the more connections you will have for that dream job

    • If someone can recommend you, that is gold

  • Get ready to talk about YOU

    • This can be hard sometimes

    • Own what you have accomplished and tell them how YOU can help them.

This is where the love comes in. You have a great history of work. You have probably worked for some great companies and learned a lot of things that will benefit your next employer. Be proud of that, really proud. You are in a position to choose where YOU want to work now, maybe get that salary you deserve. The possibilities are endless but your job search doesn’t have to be if you have a resume that says what you can do and when you interview you can really sell you. Embrace the change and love you and what you can do.

Grab the cocktail sauce, the world is your oyster.

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Alexa Sison

I am a Filipina originally from Cleveland, Ohio but I’ve been living in Columbus for 9 years now—currently living in Italian Village. I am a plant lover and sustainability activist. By day, I am fortunate to being doing something I really love and have fun as a Graphic Designer at Green Growth Brands.


Though I work in an office full-time, my mornings are always a little different. I like to check in with my body to see what it needs every day so some mornings, I need to stretch and do yoga before sitting down (or standing) to work at my desk, other days I go to the gym, do a guided meditation, or write in my gratitude journal. I like to ease into my day every morning reading emails and organize my tasks with a hot cup of lemon water or herbal tea.


Every day is always so different. We have a lot of exciting things happening and a lot of different types of projects so I never get bored! We’re always challenging what we can do with our designs and rooting each other on which I think helps us all to do our best work. Some days I work on analog projects like hand-lettering for a t-shirt or blog concepts. Other days, I’m grinding away on product labels for Meri + Jayne water bottles or our recently launched CBD-infused beauty products for Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy. CBD is something I personally really believe in, and I’m so thankful to get to work and live in this world every day. I’m so happy that Katie at Portfolio Creative connected me with such a great team of people.


I’m a hugeee foodie. My partner and I cook together at home a lot, but we also love going out to restaurants. My favorite places in Columbus are Comune and Alchemy. I have a lot of food restrictions, but those places always have options for me that make me feel good and taste amazing.

How Columbus Captured My Heart

By Catherine Lang-Cline

When I first came to Columbus it was anything but a love affair. 20+ years ago I left my home in the Chicago suburbs for what was referred to as a “flyover city”. No family, no friends, and I didn’t have a job but quickly got into Bath & Body Works as a freelance designer.

Fast forward 20+ years and this has become my home. How? It was quite the evolution. A perfect storm. Let’s start with this, Les Wexner and the people at his companies delivered some of the most amazing talent from all over the country to live and work here. Many stayed long after their career ended with LBrands and they started businesses, joined the other Fortune 500 companies here and really got involved with growing the area. Many people started seeing that Columbus was something special and keeping great talent here was key.

This flux of talent started getting Columbus noticed. Starting as a test market for fast food, it quickly evolved to be a great market to open any restaurant. Now you could lose count of all of the great places to eat when before your choices were limited. Who doesn’t like a city that can provide you with a great meal?

Restaurants grow even more when there is something to do. The Greater Columbus Arts Council has increased the quality of life here by helping artists, museums, theaters, etc., with the help of City Council and the community. We have experienced huge strides by having an amazing art museum, wonderful theater, all types of music, and full arsenal of every type of talent either living here or visiting here and it can be found everywhere. The people living in Columbus welcomed all of this into the community.

What else was growing? Well, just about all businesses. The Columbus Partnership, Columbus 2020, the Columbus Chamber, NAWBO, WPO, EO, YPO, Vistage, Business First, Columbus CEO, Smart Business, and more, started or grew by really investing in making this a strong business community. Worth mentioning that at the same time Columbus had a mayor that was full of passion for the city, Mayor Michael Coleman and his team lead the charge on a lot of this change that continues today.

That perfect storm changed Columbus from a college town, a flyover town, and a cow town. Columbus rose up and began getting on many prestigious lists of why this is one of the best cities to live in or travel to. It has become a hub of craft breweries, entrepreneurs, fashion, food, and a place to raise your family. Columbus is offering so much that it won the Smart Cities competition for a grant to show how smart we actually are.

For me, in 20 years I have made many friends, grew a family, and grew a business. What’s not to love about that? Columbus, I am grateful to you and the wonderful, helpful, friendly people living here. When I arrived here I was skeptical, but you surprised me... and I am a bit dizzy from the love that I have for you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Health is Important at Any Age

By Dani Shimits

When I was 23, I got my cholesterol numbers taken for the first time. It was a service offered at work and I was like sure, why not. Although I was young and considered myself a healthy individual overall, I was shocked when my total cholesterol came back high. This is when I learned cholesterol runs in my family and these numbers are something, I need to be aware of.

Heart health is important no matter what age or how healthy you think you are. There are many factors that can affect your overall health and being aware of your risk factors can help you manage your own heart health. The higher your blood pressure is, the harder your heart must work to pump the blood throughout your body. The more plaque you have built up in your arteries (which is considered your cholesterol) the harder is it for the blood to be pumped through your arteries. This leads to your heart doing extra work which then may lead to heart health issues down the road.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in America has a coronary event every 25 seconds. Awareness is a key factor when looking at heart health. Knowing your family history and getting yourself screened on a yearly basis can prevent heart disease.

Keeping your heart healthy is also going to keep yourself healthy overall. Being mindful of your movement and how you fuel your body daily. How are you managing your stress? Taking care of your overall well-being is also going to keep your heart healthy. It is never too late to invest in yourself and your well-being. Start now by going and getting a health screening from your doctor. Look at your numbers and be aware! Your health STARTS with you!

Tips for managing heart health:

  1. Manage overall nutrition. Be mindful of your sodium and processed food intake. Limit alcohol (I did not say avoid) intake. Cook meals at home and meal plan with your family.

  2. MOVE!!! Move throughout the day. You are at home and work the majority of your day so do things to get more movement. Example, park further away from the door, make copies to the printer that is further away from your desk or use the bathroom further away from your desk.

  3. Avoid tobacco and nicotine because they can cause damage to your arteries, raise your blood pressure and make it harder to get oxygen throughout the body.

  4. Be mindful of your stress and how much sleep you are getting. These can both lead to higher blood pressure and higher blood sugar readings, which then can lead to increased risk for heart disease.

  5. Be an advocate for YOUR health. You know your body the best, be mindful of the signals your body gives you daily. For example, I get irritable and sassy if I have not slept well. Some people get headaches when they are stressed.