Juan Carlos Pagan
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
Like many young designers I struggled with finding what made my work uniquely mine. Fortunately I worked with, and was mentored by some truly amazing people who helped guide me through those introspective years. I also had a hard time accepting the fact that how I speak about my work is just as important as making the work. I still struggle with this from time to time.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
I’m sure there are a host of things that could prevent someone from getting hired. One could start by being rude, entitled, and unopened to critical feedback. That will most certainly label someone unemployable to me.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I could fill an entire book with the things I wish I knew in the beginning of my career. I suppose I wish someone would have sat me down and said this to me: don’t wait for permission, a client, or a brief, and most certainly don’t make any excuses. Just start making the work you’ve always wanted to make now. Not tomorrow, or next week. Start right now.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
I make lists and stick to them. I also go for walks when I’m trying to work something out. It helps.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance  by Robert M. Pirsig, The Unbearable Lightness of Being  by Milan Kundera, Self-Reliance  by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Carlos answered the questions on July 18, 2014.
The answers were published on July 25, 2014.