James Casey

Junior Designer at Instrument

Personal Project

Interview by:

Whitney Mokler 

April 10, 2020

W: Historically have you found yourself feeling the most creatively fulfilled by the work you do professionally or outside of that?

 

J: I think they both feed into each other. Personal work keeps the engine going for creating client and professional work. Being your own boss is important and having your own direction is important, but I think also working with other people, whether that's clients or professionally in an office setting, feeds into personal work. I know that's how it has been from my experience. I don't find either of those to be mutually exclusive because I get inspiration from both. 

W: What types of design or art do you partake in to fuel your need for creative outlet?

J: When I was going to school I was always drawn to poster and identity work. I try to stay in touch with people from back home or people here in Portland. If they ever need flyers or images for their shows or events I try to support them through helping create those. I just enjoy the process of creating that kind of work. I think that's always the most inspiring and fun for me to work on.

W: How do you find your creative drive impacted by times of high stress? Including right now as we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

J: I think it's also important to step away from making things. We all put pressure on ourselves to always be making cool stuff and always be making work in general, but it's really important to not make things sometimes. Those breaks and not doing design stuff really inspires me to create. An example for me is recently I've been looking into synth music and how that's made.I think that especially in this time now it's important to remember you don't have to be super productive and always working on projects. For example, going outside is also really nice and can fuel creativity. Really just taking the time to not be working and experiencing other aspects of life.

W: What are tips you have for finding creative inspiration/outlet when in isolation or a high stress environment?

J: Taking walks and not looking at a screen helps a lot. Stopping what you are doing and going for a walk around the block. I think also just stepping away from what you are working on. That always helps me to generate new ideas. If I'm stuck on a project I'll try to walk away from it for a bit and focus on something else and just not look at it. Also, don't be afraid to make stuff even if you feel it's shitty. I'll sometimes be harsh on myself and will get discouraged for the rest of the day if I think it sucks. Then I think, "That was dumb" because it shot down good ideas that might have happened if I stuck with it and kept working.

"I think it's important

to step away from making things."

W: If you could create any project right now with unlimited time, energy, and resources, what would it be?

J: I would love to do any sort of design with healthcare. That could be really anything. For example,  redesigning any sort of interface for how doctors communicate with patients. I've been finding those types of projects really inspiring. Especially now as it's been proven to be really poorly done in a lot of situations. Yeah, any sort of design work that would support any part of healthcare would be really fun and inspiring to do.

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