Two weeks ago I was "tagged" by the lovely & fashionable blogger Robin Reetz of Second Floor Flat to participate in a blogging chain-mail of sorts. Of course I gladly accepted - but also started to get nervous. I am not much of a writer, so I felt self-conscious about how my answers would compare to the other (mostly) writers that have participated in this challenge. But once I started - it just flowed out of me. And it was really nice to take time out of my day to think deeply about who I am as a designer and what my process flow truly is.
And now, my interview with myself:
What are you working on?
Right now I am working on a bundle of client projects that range from spot illustrations to a brand book for a major retailer. I started freelancing recently, and am really enjoying the variety of things that I get to work on. I never know what kind of inquiry will come through my inbox! On the side when I have a few moments of downtime (or am ignoring other work) I have been working on designing products that I am hoping to launch in an official June Letters shop this October! While I love working with clients and being given problems to solve - it is just so much more fulfilling to work on personal projects. I am notorious for starting projects and never finishing them - but I am pretty committed to getting this shop up and running soon!
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
This is always a hard question to answer - I think over the years I have started to develop my own personal style - I guess it is a combination of organic hand-lettering & illustration mixed with clean, minimal-ish layouts. There are others that also combine illustration and design - but the great thing about hand-lettering/drawing is that no one has the exact same line-style as you do. Honestly, I am still trying to figure out how I can differentiate myself from the multitude of other designers and illustrators out there....
Why do you design/create what you do?
I think some people are just born with this innate desire to be creative and constantly making things. Sometimes I feel like I can't help it - even when I am bombarded with client projects - I have to sit down and make something for myself. Otherwise I start to go a little crazy - and even get depressed. Two years ago I was working full-time for a start-up that left no time for personal work - and I seriously got really depressed. I am not sure that I answered this question correctly, but basically - why do I create? I have to.
How does your design process work?
My process varies from project to project - but in general this is how it goes: First I always do a lot of thinking, in the shower, on my walk to work, right before bed - I start forming ideas in my head, mulling them around a bit. During the thinking stage I also start researching - Pinterest and google searches, and I start being more observant of the world around me - from the font on a truck passing by to the color of peeling paint on a building. Then I move onto paper, sketching on scrap pieces or in a notebook (whatever is handy when inspiration strikes). Sketching is such an important way for me to get my thoughts out there. Most things look like total crap - but there are usually a few gems and that is all you need. I then move on to the computer or if illustrating - get out my paints and pens. Usually by the time I get to this stage I don't need to do too many revisions because I have already done so much of the work. Then again with design work you never truly feel finished - and that is the struggle of the artist/designer/creator - knowing when you are at least done for now.