All About You: Alyson Kilday

This week on All About You we’re featuring half of a top-notch graphic design firm, Alyson (Aly) Kilday of Hop & Jaunt. Aly is a dreamer, a do-er, and will draw on anything that sits still long enough.

Aly and John (the other half of Hop & Jaunt) have lived all over the world and neither of them are native New Orleanians. When they were deciding where to settle for a few years they picked New Orleans, and I’ll let Aly tell you why in her own words:

New Orleans matched up with a couple of criteria that we had when looking to relocate back to the U.S. First we had to be in a temperate climate; we had just left living in the north for a few years before spending a year in the tropics and couldn’t imagine shoveling snow for months again. Second there had to be culture and eye candy, in a city.  After traveling overseas we wanted colorful culture, and a visually pleasing city backdrop, whether that meant lots of parks or great architecture. The third factor was that my partner and I had both spent time in New Orleans before and knew that there was something about it that just gets under your skin. It’s been great so far, we’ve made this our new home and business base for a year now and we’re still fascinated by the city. The city seems to slowly but surely get a hold of your heart and imagination.

Read on for Aly’s answers to our tough All About You questions:

What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now? 

As a small creative agency we constantly have our hands in several fires at the same time. There was a travel guide we illustrated and designed for, working with former Saints player on a non-profit website, bringing and hosting a national travel conference in New Orleans, and of course the re-design of our own site….which is still waiting for one of those mythical “quiet day” for us to finish!

I’ve been fortunate that Hop & Jaunt has received such great projects and clients in the few short years since opening shop. But there are so many more dream projects that I would love Hop & Jaunt to tackle. 2012 will be the year to turn the dream projects into finished projects!

What are you most excited about happening on the Silicon Bayou that you aren’t directly involved in? 

There seems to be so much going on lately that even with all the events and happening I try to get involved with I’m just skimming the surface. I would like to get more involved with the arts communities in the city. The movie productions going on are another interest, specifically from a digital media/design perspective. GNO Inc. seems to be doing a great job of bringing bigger and better digital media companies here all the time. Another area that I would like to get more involved or learn more about is in the area of international trade and tourism for the city of New Orleans. With a couple of languages and a dozen years living overseas I’d like to see if I can’t give back to the city by sharing some insights and ideas for getting the on the international map even more.

If you see Aly around ask her about growing up in Japan - and how to play with a Kendama!

Tell us about your biggest failure. 

The biggest or most embarrassing? I’ve had plenty of both! The truth is that most events that seem like a failure when it’s happening end up making you a better person in hindsight that it’s difficult to pinpoint the “worst/biggest.” Life seems to be a series of decisions, some are bound to fail.

Thinking you have more time, being too busy, or putting off reaching out to the people you love may be the biggest unfix-able failure that I’ve come across yet.

IYO, which institution is most due for disruption?


What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

Lately it’s been fun going to Audubon park in the afternoon, grilling and hanging out with friends. Or sleeping in and working on personal projects. Maybe a movie and popcorn to wrap up the weekend.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That sounds like a horrible life….Smoothies?

If you could live in any other time period, which would you choose? 

French Polynesia before the French came.

If you could win any award in the world, which would you be most proud to possess?

Is Aly posing for her trophy-topping statue in this one?

The Alyson Sage Kilday Award: I mean, I must have managed to do something great to have a award named after me right?

The standard superpower dichotomy: Fly or Be Invisible?

Create something exactly as I imagine it.

If you were stuck on an elevator for two hours, what one person (dead or alive) would you choose to be stuck with?

Oh god! I hope they’re alive!

If you had to pick a drink to describe yourself (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) what would it be? 


If you wrote a regular column for Silicon Bayou News what would it be about and what would you name it?

“Aly in Wonderland” Random musing on life in New Orleans, the world, interesting people, creativity, design, and travel. Possibly delivered as an illustrated cartoon panel or strip?

Want to hear more from Aly? Follow @hopandjaunt on Twitter or check out their website.

Want to be featured on All About You? Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch!