Jordan Dale Young
I love to mix the perfection of geometry with loosely arranged shapes. My style tends to be either clean and simple, or busy and explosive with shapes and color. As a graphic designer I work in both print and web, primarily with branding, illustration, advertising, packaging, and websites.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
After graduating university, I started freelancing, and there was a snowball effect as new clients heard about me from current clients. The main thing I did was just try to make the most impressive work I could that would stand out in its context. I'm a firm believer in forcing yourself to be creative even when I don't feel like it. Creativity is a muscle to be worked out, so I especially like seeing what kind of art comes out when I don't feel particularly inspired.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Artists and designers get too attached to their work, and that causes all sorts of problems. First of all, clients will always ask for things that you don't like, so your vision is already imperfect. Additionally, you keep getting better, so what you made yesterday is not as good a representation as what you make today. I think you're only as good as what you can make, not what you have made. You have to be able to move on, whether what you made sucks or is your pinnacle creation.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I'm intently exploring my illustrative art, usually abstractions of bodies, movement, fashion, and architecture. I'm also wrapping up a branding packaging project for a new upcycled whey beverage. There are also some longterm website projects I'm working on.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I've already touched on some of my visual style, with geometry and minimalism, that spans my art and design projects. A good example of this is a mural I got to do for a juice company, Raleigh Raw. One thing I haven't mentioned is that I have a kind of liberal arts philosophy, which allows me to benefit from work I don't necessarily like. I believe that everything I do can be used in some way in the future. Every project I approach is a culmination of all my experiences up to that point. It's like when people think it's pointless to learn calculus. Maybe you'll never use calculus, but the more important part is how it taught you to think. For that, the possibilities are endless — especially with art.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I'd love to do more art installation work. The mural I recently made for Raleigh Raw was very stressful, because I really wanted it to be amazing, but I'm so proud of it. It's really great to take graphic design from a computer screen to a physical space.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Over the past few years, I've developed a fairly distinct style, and I struggle with what to do with that. Am I happy working in that space? Where else can I go with it? Do I feel pigeon-holed? It's just a mix of questions that will hopefully get sorted out as time goes by.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would definitely have them streamline and organize new clients. The business/email side of self-employment can feel like it makes more time than the actual creating art part. It would be lovely to have someone filter through new clients and just give me bullet points of emails.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would've told myself to take some business classes in college. Business is necessary for art to support itself, so a little bit of training probably could've gone a long way, rather than piecing everything together as a freelancer.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I'm definitely interested in representation with an agent to manage a lot of what I mentioned above. I'm just now starting the process of seeing what that would look like to do that, and learning from people who have already gone through that process would be helpful.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Websites, branding, logos, packaging, illustration, artwork, magazine covers, album art, event posters
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I love a job where the client trusts me to make the best decisions, but isn't shy about providing their own ideas. It's great to collaborate with someone I've never worked with before, but also have the freedom to go in a different direction than they came up with.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
I work with flat fees based on the project. Typical budgets range from $2,000-$25,000. I don't like using hourly rates, but if I have to, it's usually between $75-$125.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Never stop making stuff
This member profile was originally published in October 2016.