Faces of SAL: Cara Sutherland
October 14, 2020
From brochures to invitations to chapbooks and more, freelance graphic designer Cara Sutherland of Running Double Creative has been the big dreamer and doer behind much of SAL’s print and digital media for the past two seasons.
We’re so happy to feature her and some of the highlights from her design life, reading life—and even a recent encounter she had with a knight—in this edition of Faces of SAL, our on-going series about the volunteers, staffers, and other behind-the-scenes folks you should know.
Tell us about the work you do for SAL!
I am a graphic designer. For the past two years, I have designed the season guide and advertising as well as invitations for special events like the Words Matter Gala and the annual WITS fundraiser. I also assist publishing the WITS anthologies.
What has been your favorite SAL design project?
It is a privilege to create the identity for the annual Words Matter Gala. I love creating a whole story and world. I love invitations that feel special and I hope that people are delighted and surprised. If you are going to get something in the mail, I want it to feel like a gift. More than anything, I want to represent the important and valuable work SAL contributes to the community.
What are you reading right now?
I have found myself reading to make sense of the world. In the past month I’ve read Masha Gessen’s Surviving Autocracy as well as Upton Sinclair’s It Can’t Happen Here. I just finished listening to a book that describes how online culture spilled into mainstream politics called, It Came From Something Awful by journalist Dale Berant. I just started a collection of speculative fiction short stories (because I was desperately in need of a little optimism) called A People’s Future of the United States.
What’s “your” local bookstore?
I should be honest: I visit Dreamstrands Comics in Greenwood with my older son at least twice a month and spoil him with comics. I love a neighborhood comics shop and the owner there has made it very welcoming for kids with a large, well-curated, all-ages comics and graphic novels section right at the front of the store.
If SAL could bring any three authors, who would you choose?
I am a big science fiction and fantasy reader. I am thrilled by authors who expand who the genre represents and the world it reflects. Lately, I have been reading everything by N.K. Jemisin. She recently became a McArthur Fellow. I am so excited for Annalee Newitz’s next book Four Lost Cities about the decline and fall of ancient cities. I have been reading New Yorker contributor Jia Tolentino since she was at Jezebel, and I loved her collection of essays from 2019, Trick Mirror.
What is bringing you joy right now?
My younger son turned 5 this week, and we threw him a “Quest.” He requested a knight costume for Halloween. I built a suit of armor out of cardboard and we set up a scavenger hunt where he visited his friends outside their houses to get a clues. We walked the neighborhood with him in his costume. We had a banner and played music from a speaker. People cheered him and wished him a happy birthday. It was wonderful. I was so grateful to our friends and neighbors for making his birthday special without a party.
When you’re not doing design work, what else do you love to do?
I am a runner! I dearly miss half-marathons. I usually run with a squad of ladies from Seattle Green Lake Running Group. I miss big Saturday morning meetups. I miss pacing races. I miss sweaty hugs. I miss race costumes, finish lines, and training routines.
Thank you, Cara!