Amy Pastre
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I moved to Charleston right out of school. There were only a handful of places to work and I ended up in a job that was not quite what I was hoping for. I had dreams of moving to New York and working for someone, everyone ‘knew’ .  I didn’t have a mentor at my first job and had to spend extra time (on my own time) “figuring it out”.  It turned out to be a good thing but was a struggle as a young designer to have the confidence to push myself. I had to work that much harder to prove to myself and others that I could do the kind of work that I knew I wanted to do.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Do drop in unexpectedly to the studio. You never know what deadlines or meetings the designers have going on that day and it’s extremely disruptive to just pop in to say hello. While we love the idea of that, it always makes for an awkward exchange. The merit of your work will get you the meeting with the studio.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I think one of the hardest things to learn as a young designer is how to listen to your client. How to remove yourself from the process and to truly hear your client. When you learn how to listen carefully finding a solution that you and the client are happy with is much more achievable. It is hard to remember that it’s not your logo but your clients. Finding a way to listen and translate their wishes into a good design solution is always possible. It takes practice to find the path of true collaboration between designer and client.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Deadlines help me be more efficient. Knowing when I have to have something ready to share and sticking to that deadline helps me to be focused and efficient with my time.
I always make myself stop and ‘look’ before beginning the design process. It helps me re-open my thoughts and make sure I am thinking about the possibilities and not what just pops up in my head.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters  by Chip Kidd, The Shape of Design  by Frank Chimero.
Amy answered the questions on September 8, 2014.
The answers were published on September 12, 2014.