Jessica Walsh
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I turned down a job offer at Apple to take an internship at Pentagram. After 6 months of the internship, I was hoping a position would open up at the studio and I would be offered a job, but they didn’t have any openings. I worried I wouldn’t be able to afford to live in New York much longer on an internship salary and thought about moving out of New York. I kept working my ass of for Paula’s team at Pentagram while I was applying and interviewing at other studios. I was fortunate that Paula recognized my hard work and when her friend at Print magazine asked her if she knew any good designers for an Associate Art Director position, she recommended me. Looking back I am glad I stayed persistent and didn’t give up.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Be lazy and rude, don’t have a website.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I was very lucky that early on in my life someone gave me the best piece of career advice I could get: “Fake it till you make it”. What this means (to me at least) is that if an exciting opportunity presents itself that you are not experienced in, or are not quite sure how to do it, just say yes and figure it out afterwards. If you focus all your energy to something and really put your mind to it, you can probably figure it out along the way.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Sure, the obvious answer is to-do lists and apps (evernote, clear, sparrow, text expander, ical). Most importantly though, I’d say to choose good clients and coworkers who are nice and open to interesting creative work. If you work with assholes / ego-maniacs / lazy people, no to-do list will help you work efficiently.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
Le Petit Prince, there is so much wisdom about life and creativity between the lines in this book about staying curious, open, and seeing things in new ways. If we always try to think differently about ordinary things we all see everyday, this can lead to many great ideas...
Jessica answered the questions on June 10, 2014.
The answers were published on the same day.