About Me

Hello, I'm Keira Hickey

I am an aspiring User Experience Designer from Chicago with added focuses in Graphic Design and Social Media Marketing. I graduated from Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago and am currently studying at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. I am planning on graduating with a BA in User Experience Design and dual minors in Graphic Design and Social Media Marketing in 2026.

Design Origins

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Early Childhood

My love of art and being creative has been always been a part of me. I began to find my preference of art over other subjects in elementary school. 

I loved my art teacher  and would stay in her class with a couple other students during reccess and after school to create artwork and hang out. She was the first teacher to inspire my love for art and she was not the last. In middle school I realized I excelled in math and logical thinking compared to my peers. 

I was also knowledgable in technology due to growing up with a dad who worked in a technology-based field. I realized this when I was recruited by one of the administrators of my middle school to help set up and maintain the computer lab for classes. During this time, I also learned more about technology through the Girls Who Code and Robotics clubs that I was a part of. 

In 8th grade, when we were supposed to start thinking of what we wanted to do when we were older my dad took my skills into account and suggested that I look into being a graphic designer. Thus, my goal for my future was mostly set.

 

Lane Tech: High School

For high school, I was accepted into one of the top selective enrollment schools in Chicago, Lane Tech College Prep, due to my excellent grades and test scores. In high school, I followed the art concentration track and took art classes along with my academic classes. My high school art teachers are the ones who truly cultivated my passion and grow as a designer, both in confidence and skill. 

My teacher in my first two years of high school helped me gain confidence in my artistic ability by choosing to highlight and display several of my pieces at showcases. However, it was my art teacher senior year that truly set me on my current path. 

Senior year I decided to take the Digital Imaging class at Lane Tech since I knew it would teach Adobe products which would be helpful in my career. My teacher always seemed to marvel at and show off my work which really helped me since I had low self-esteem. One day she pulled me aside and told me of a high school student design competition for an event the Chicago Park District was holding. She decided to tell me first because she thought I had the best chance, so I took it. I designed several logo options later that day and submitted it into the competition. Luckily, I ended up winning and got the experience collaborating with graphic designers at the Chicago Park district and seeing my design in use. 

Since then my experiences took off. That logo inspired other people to reach out to me asking to design their logo because they loved my work. That one competition set me my path by giving me several design experience opportunities.

Bradley University: College

I chose to attend Bradley University to recieve my Bachelors in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design. I loved the way they set up their curriculum and fell in love with the small campus so I knew it was the place for me. 

I went into my first year of college in the honors program with the plan to major in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing, however, that would eventually change a bit. 

While in the graphic design program, one of my professors recommended me to some friends to help them with some designs and marketing materials for a not-for-profit they were starting. I ended up continuing to work for them throughout my sophmore year as well doing everything from flyers to designing their website. 

During my second semester of my first year I felt like I was missing something. The honors student in me that valued organization, logical thinking, and academics felt very neglected. I began to figure out that I didn’t feel as if I completely belonged in the graphic design major program. 

During this time I learned about the exceptional UI/UX Design department at Bradley. After extensive research and conversations with User Experience designers in the field I decided that it was exactly what I was looking for. I got to use both my creative and academic sides in this field. I switched to a User Experience Design major with minors in Graphic Design and Social Media Marketing.

My connections and professor recommendations ended up getting me two jobs on campus as a sophmore. One being a Graphic Design Internship with Bradley’s Athletic Marketing Department, the other working as an student User Experience Designer for the Turner Business College at Bradley.

Interests

I had a very busy and active childhood. I started swim lessons at a young age and joined my local YMCA’s swim team when I was 9 years old. I continued with competitive swimmimg throughout middle school and high school. I swam competitively on on my high school swim team where we were able to make it to city and state competitions several times. Lane Tech was awarded first in girls swimming at city competitions several times. I ended up deciding not to continue swimming in college, but the experiences I had during my 10 years of competitive swimming were priceless.

My grandparents passed their piano down to us and this lead to my parents signing me up for piano lessons. My first piano recital was in 2011 and I contined learning and playing piano for over 10 years until my last recital in 2022 before I went off to college. Even though I no longer take piano lessons, I occassionally get in the mood to play.

My family has always loved to travel. My dad worked at several airlines so we would travel outside the country every chance we got. So far I have been to 22 countries at 20 years old. My favorite place to go is Paris, France. This began my obsession with France and french culture, dedicating myself to take french for all 4 years in highschool. I was even awarded a seal of commendation in French when I took a biliteracy test in French. I love Paris and hope to live there one day.

I am very much a cat person. I grew up with cats so naturally I feel more comfortable around them. I currently have two cats. The small brown one’s name is Bengal, we named him after a Bengal tiger because of his defined stripes. He is the youngest of the two. The gray and fat one’s name is Bolt. He’s older and has a very affectionate attitude. He can be a bully to Bengal sometimes but they get along pretty well. Not to pick favorites, but Bolt is my favorite. He will always be my buddy. 🙂

Let's Work Together!

Reach out and contact me to start a project today!