Three creatives. Three interviews. Three perspectives.
Part Three / Interview from October 2015
How did you get started with design?
Design was my major and Communications was my minor in college. I started out with print design and had a short career in that, but have slowly moved to web development. I consider myself part designer & ux ( user experience ) developer. I like working with technical stuff, it’s pretty cool.
I’ve always been interested in design of all forms – fashion, architecture, industrial, etc. I wanted to study architecture in college, but quickly changed to graphic design. I started designing magazine layouts, logos, brochures, printed posters, but found that a lot of clients wanted more web work. I realised that was a useful skill to have + the industry was moving away from print. I will always love print because it’s beautiful, but web design is where the market is. You can do cool stuff on the web, you can make flashy websites. With web, you focus on making the viewer part of the process.
When did you move to New York?
I grew up right outside of D.C., so New York has always been only four hours away which was a plus. I became the AIGA chapter president at Virginia Tech when I was there and began making trips to New York. I knew there were lots of galleries there, lots of design firms, my design idols ... New York just kept coming up. However, I knew I couldn’t afford it – so I took a design job at a government agency straight out of college, planning to make enough money to move to NYC. I realised I was missing so much not being in New York!
How has New York shaped you as a designer?
That’s a hard one. I guess, you’re never aware if you would be doing the same work / be in the same mentality somewhere else. In D.C., my inspiration came from online blogs, I had to seek it out. New York is a readily available wellspring of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Bushwick ( where I live ) has nerds, parties, and so much diversity – something I didn’t really experience in D.C.
New York has shaped me and broadened my creative outlook. There’s so much here! I love New York because there’s always something to do, whether it be new galleries, art functions, etc. There’s a continual option to do something different and new each day.
Gotham, but essentially whatever works for the situation. There’s this quote by Jessica Hische that states “you can’t have a favourite font, fronts are supposed to be uniquely sorted for each purpose and situation.”
What are you passionate about?
We have this blog at my company, and I always make sure to contribute to it. It’s very open ended, and my last post was about the connection between development and design – that’s what I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about the connection between science and art. I like the idea that there’s no left brain or right brain, I like when artists use science. Being able to make something beautiful and functional is something I absolutely love. Also, behavior economics.
How we make decisions, how our brain works, I’m really fascinated by that! As a designer we want to know where people’s eye goes first and how decisions are made through design. Everything is purposeful. Behavioral economics can save your life.
How do you define success?
If you’re proud of your work and happy with what you do, if you’ve grown, then that’s success for me. If you can put yourself in a situation in which you are challenged and include people that are better than you, then you’re winning. It’s about making progress, and all that.
Advice for a young designer like myself?
Don’t take advice. Do it for yourself. A lot of people give bad advice, take it with a grain of salt. Try everything out and come to your own conclusions, do it many times. If you’re going to do a logo, do it 100 times. Take notes along the way! I keep a visual journal that I bring with me wherever I go.