Early last year I jumped out of my full-time job and into art directing, designing and illustrating on my own. It was exciting, occasionally grueling and sometimes terrifying. Over the past year I also made an intentional effort to shift the focus of my work. Encouraged by Ben Pieratt, I (mostly) stopped working on print projects and starting creating solely for the web. Ben states,
The internet, at this time in history, is the greatest client assignment of all time. The Western world is porting itself over to the web in mind and deed and is looking to make itself comfortable and productive. It’s every person in the world, connected to every other person in the world, and no one fully understands how to make best use of this new reality because no one has seen anything like it before. The internet wants to hire you to build stuff for it because its’ trying to figure out what it can do. It’s offering you a blank check and asking you to come up with something fascinating and useful that it can embrace en masse, to the benefit of everyone.
This change in focus has led to some really exciting places. I was able to connect with some fantastic people and work on some really great projects (even win a few awards, and more importantly, make enough money to get by).
Most of these projects involve data visualization, adding context and meaning to the exponentially growing world of data around us. This has been a fairly seamless evolution of my focus, using design thinking to tackle visual solutions to problems. (This goes much deeper than aesthetics.)
Today is special for me, because I’m teaming up, full-time, as a Creative Director at Visually. Visually is a data visualization agency and community which is helping redefine the ways we get information and insight from our data. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working at the intersection of creativity and technology, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next.