Hi! I'm Alaina. I am located in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where I was born and raised. I've spent short stints in LA and Austin, but, though the traffic is enough to make me want to cry, the rolling golden hills of Point Reyes, the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite, the crashing surf of Big Sur, and the crisp air among the redwoods always call me home. Oh, and the sourdough bread bowls.

Heading up to Yosemite to stargaze with my camera, tripod, dog, and an audiobook is one of my favorite things to do on a weekend

          I started my career in high-end visual effects work at The Mill, an award-winning production house in Los Angeles, CA. Within a six-month period, I came to be part of a blur of different projects for clients like Audi, Gatorade, Comcast, Activision, EA, and Nike. Yes, I am name-dropping. No, I don't have any shame. During my time with The Mill, I developed a strong sense of camaraderie; when the right team comes together, magic happens. Really. When the guy sitting to your right was a senior matte painter on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the guy to your left developed the feather dynamics system at Dreamworks, you learn that you have so much to learn and the incredible opportunity to do so sitting right beside you. While I have always loved working as an individual, I found collaborative success to be immensely rewarding. 

The super fabulous ground that this CG moose is standing on was all me. Impressed? Yeah, I thought so.

          Outside of the office, I am a hobbyist photographer, avid traveler, occasional illustrator, lover of dragons, pony tamer (as a child I was Tina Belcher), and incurable dog person. I have two pups, a border collie named Jazzy and a tulip hound mix named Loki. If you'd like to chat, feel free to shoot me an email at alaina@alainahower.com.

        As I grew, I became interested in pushing the boundaries of what I knew. While the film industry was dazzling, I felt hungry for a different kind of purpose in my work. I joined the team at HeartFlow, a highly innovative, Bay Area-based startup in the business of the noninvasive diagnostics and treatment of heart disease. At Heartflow, I applied my background to the 3D visualization of CT imaging data. Over time, I settled into product design, tackling workflow challenges, performing UX research, strengthening the brand, defining effective UI kits, and bettering the experience of both our internal users as well as our customers. As a designer, I aim to be:

  • an observer who strives to watch, listen, and empathize

  • a storyteller who believes that showing is the best way to tell

  • an innovator who knows that a good idea can come from anywhere

  • a creator who holds a fierce passion for the functional and beautiful

© 2018 by Alaina Hower. All rights reserved.