4xForth: Margot Harrington of Pitch Design Union / by Clare Johnson

It's 4xForth Friday and today we're talking to Margot Harrington, the communication designer, head honcho, and brains behind Pitch Design Studio. Margot fearlessly began Pitch Design Union in 2008 after being laid off from her job and she's been running an incredibly successful website, brand, and custom lettering company ever since. Did we mention she also teaches? That's right! She's currently offering a wonderful class on Skillshare titled Freelancing for Creatives: Kickstart your Independence.

Today, we're talking to Margot about her favorite things: bites, websites, podcasts, and what she's looking forward to this winter. Read all about this amazing woman and take note of her recommendations; they're top notch!

Best bites in Chicago:


Mana Food Bar

in Wicker Park: I love all their dishes, and I don't feel weighed down after having eaten so many of them. I have a come to Jesus moment with their veggie sliders.

2. Go to

Pleasant House Bakery

for the perfectly flakey savory pot pies, follow by a nightcap at


, and take in an art show at

Co-Prosperity Sphere

. This venue is one of my favorites for bringing in a diverse crowd. Art never fails to surprise me in some way, you just never know what you're gonna get.


Currency Exchange Cafe

: Comfort food and its finest, and I love to be able to support this neighborhood and

The Arts Incubator

next door. Worth the drive!

4. I don't have the patience to try and get into the trendy spots, so I like cooking at home. It's healthier and saves the dough for other things like travel. I've recently joined

Blue Apron

and have been enjoying more variety in meals. Equal parts convenient, delicious, and healthy. It's definitely limited extra trips to the grocery store for that one missing ingredient, or impulse buying a frozen pizza out of last minute starvation.

Websites you love:

1. The Pattern Base Tumblr: Love this graphic resource, and it's run by two local Chicago designers I hope to meet one day! 2. Unsplash: 10 free new stock photos every 10 days. Yes, free! They're beautiful shots, that I like to look at purely for aesthetic and travel ideas. 3. Ann Friedman: My favorite journalist's weekly newsletter is PACKED with goodness. Look no further than this for your weekend reads. 4. Lillie Carré Tumblr: Chicago artist Lilli Carré's tumblr of animated. gifs. I mean, shut up with this nonsense. So gorgeous and clever!

Things you're looking forward to this winter:

1. One of my tasks this winter is to complete The Artist's Way, which is a 12 week course for self-reflection to grow creatively. Aside from daily writing, one of the assignments is to go on "artist dates" once a week. One of them will be at the Ryerson & Burnham Library at the Art Institute for a study day. The rest of the 11 I haven't decided yet, but I'm looking forward to finding new perches around town. 2. Yoga! I'm a devotee, as it were. Hoping to get into one of Natalie's Yoga+ events. 3. I'm going to be near Joshua Tree for a weekend in January, and will be hiking!

Podcasts you love:

1. Put your Hands Together: I love this podcast because it's a stand-up comedy show right on my computer. I'm smitten with the host, Cameron Esposito, who is a Chicago native. 2. Call your Girlfriend: co-hosted by the aforementioned Ann Friedman and bestie Aminatou Sow, it's a twice monthly review of the world in ladytimes, as well as advice for besties and complicated friendships. 4. Radiolab: Cause, of course. Forever and always. 5. Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: My favorite for car trips.

List the four ladies you'd love to have dinner with (borrowing from Katie Kenney:

1. Roxane Gay: She's having a real moment in the literary world and just had one of her books on several bestseller lists. My favorite from her this year is Bad Feminist. She strikes me as a person who is equal parts insight and wit. 2. Björk: I want to see if she's a delightfully weird IRL as she is as her performance self. 3. Tammy Taylor from Friday Night Lights: Doesn't she seem like she'd be the best, best friend? She could pep talk anything out of a paper bag. 4. Laverne Cox: I could listen to this lady talk for ages and still not get enough.

Thank you for sharing, Margot!

I will be checking out all of your recommended websites, podcasts and Chicago bites. No doubt about it. Good luck with your journey with The Artist's Way! We'll be curious to hear what new creative insight you discovered after your experience.

Follow Margot and Pitch Design Union on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dribble, and on the website.