Art Director, Chay Land, and Creative Director, Randy Lewis, speak about the ins-and-outs of working in a field of visual expression. Read on to learn about what it takes to be a top innovator.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give a designer?
A: In order to be a successful designer, you have to live and breathe design. Passion must run through your veins. You have to want to be exceptional. It’s a vicious field of competition, and if you’re just an average creator, you will likely face a number of disappointments in your career development. Start at the bottom–that’s okay. The vast majority of us started there. Work your way up to create more fulfilling work with better pay. Regardless of your specific circumstances, always let your work speak for itself.
Q: What has your favorite moment been as a designer thus far?
A: As a creative, it’s critical that you take the time to explore your own artistic interests. We both have personal projects that we work on when time permits. One late night at the studio, we were feeling especially innovative and decided to do a photoshoot with peanut butter and jelly, in which we covered each half of our faces with the two products. The janitor ended up walking in on us…and it was just so awkward. “We’re making art” was the only explanation we could provide, to which he responded, “Carry on then.” Such good times!
Q: What are the perks of being a designer?
A: You get to play all day and get paid doing it. Often a client will have an idea that he or she is unable to articulate, and you have the pleasure of doing that for him or her. You are able to solve real marketing problems through design when there isn’t a solution in sight.
Q: What are the challenges of being a designer?
A: Over time, you naturally become an introvert because you’re always at your computer. You beat yourself up over typos, spacing, and font. You are always your own worst critic. Some of the most famous creatives in history actually suffered from Imposter syndrome, as they never attributed their success to their obvious talent and always owed it to “luck.” Every extraordinary designer inevitably becomes a perfectionist.
Q: Any websites you would recommend a new designer check out?
A: Behance is a portfolio-based website that features the best of the best. Take a peek at CSS Design Awards and Product Hunt. Themeforest also has thousands of templates that are great to build off of.
Q: What has your greatest success been as a designer?
A: For one of us, it was leaving a really prestigious, but stale company to work at Devise (a start-up). While I was initially apprehensive about making the big shift, moving on to work that is fulfilling and meaningful was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. For the other, rebranding YMCA’s multimillion dollar company was super exciting.