Jordan Dale Young
Artist / Graphic Designer / Web Developer
I love to mix the perfection of geometry with more fluid images, like a painting or photograph. As a graphic designer, I work in everything from print to web, primarily event graphics, packaging, and branding. My style is minimalist with pops of extreme colorful interest, largely drawing from my artistic interests.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
After graduating university, I started freelancing and there was just a snowball effect as new client heard about me from other 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 you 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 working on new art for a show that will take place in a few months. I've been working a lot with geometric portraits as well as pure abstraction, so I'm experimenting with direction and whether or not I combine the styles. I'm also working on some websites and branding projects.
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?
I'm not a fan of seeking out clients. I love the proposal process though. In general, I just want to spend more time doing what I do, and if I'm frank, I'm an artist, not a business person.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Work on getting new clients and organizing the information that I receive from clients. I always want to have what I need to do in lists and printed out. So taking an email from a client and turning it into a task list would be great.
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?
How to get an agent — ha. I'd love for someone else to do the on-boarding process, but I don't really know how it works for what I do specifically.
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?
Just email me at email@example.com - Include as much info as you can and definitely be upfront about the budget. It's way easier to figure out what I can do for you if I understand the budget.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Never stop making stuff
Last one, Who's in your go-to squad?
Mike and Megan Gilger are my main mates when it comes to this kind of work. They run The Fresh Exchange blog and are great at managing larger projects.
This member profile was originally published in October 2016.