Yr02, Ep16 :: Terry Marks on Impending Good

Terry Marks

by This is Design School

On this episode, Terry Marks, a Seattle-based designer and AIGA Fellow, talks about finding his way to design, balancing work to eat with work for good, and what we need to survive as designers today.


CHAD:

Terry Marks, thank you for joining us on This is Design School, today. We’re really excited to have you.

JP:

Yes, thank you!

TERRY:

I’m excited to be here, because I didn’t go to design school. So…

JP:

Well, think of this as your chance to graduate within 40 minutes.

ALL:

(laugh)

TERRY:

You could sell a lot of those.

CHAD:

One thing we wanted to start out with is where did you start? How did you find design?

TERRY:

It’s really a corny story, a completely corny story. When I went to PLU, I went for a few reasons. I knew it was a good school. I knew the liberal arts education was interesting to me. I ignored art, for the most part, in college taking things that I thought would be more important; English, Chemistry, all of that good stuff. So, I was taking live drawing and all of these things. And, I thought I was going to be an Art major. And, my first meeting with my advisor—you know, I’m a freshman, I don’t know what I’m doing—and he says, “So what do you want to do?” And, I knew I wanted to do something with art, but I also wanted to eat. And, the only words I could conjure to come out of my mouth were, “Commercial Art?” And he goes, “Oh, okay. One: that’s not art. Two: you’re going to starve.” And so, immediately I thought, “Okay, I’ll go pre-med.” And, I was there for about a year and half. But, I ended up taking art classes.

And, I walked onto the football team—which is another reason I went to PLU [Pacific Lutheran University] was because I thought, “I’m not done playing sports.” And, because this massive height I have at 5-7, on a good day, I thought football would be a good application of it. So, I ended up playing there. I ended up playing red-shirted, played my five years. And, I could’ve graduated.

I ended up getting a degree in Communication emphasizing in PR. And, mostly because my fourth year, the admin office called me and told me if I don’t declare a major, I’m getting kicked out of school. So… (laughs) I thought, “Okay, I can do that.” But, I looked at everything and I realized that if I stayed an extra semester, I could also get a B.A. in Art. And, I was really interested in that. While doing some PR projects, I was always the guy who was like, “Oh, I’ll take care of the brochures, and the logo for the PLUM Commission,” or whatever we were. So, I just hand drew them and, you know, the teacher was blown away. And, one of my buddies said, “You should look at graphic design.” I didn’t even know what it was.

“I picked it up and I was just blown away. I was like, “Oh my god.” I was just compelled…So, I stuffed it in my backpack, I walked up to the scanners, I threw it outside the scanners to hit the door upfront, picked it up on the way out and brought it back the next day. I’m a bad man.”

 

Fast-forward a couple of months later, I’m in the library studying. I’m bored. It’s too hot in there. So, I’m walking around looking at magazines and I ran across Communication Arts magazine. And, it happened to be the design annual. And, if you know Communication Arts, and everyone listening does, it’s the tome of the industry. I picked it up and I was just blown away. I was like, “Oh my god.” I was just compelled. I thought, “That’s fantastic!” It just made sense to me. And, I wanted to look at them.

And, this is a bad thing to say to PLU students, but you can’t check those out; those stay in the library. So, I stuffed it in my backpack, I walked up to the scanners, I threw it outside the scanners to hit the door upfront, picked it up on the way out and brought it back the next day. I’m a bad man.

JP:

(laughs)

CHAD:

Yeah well, but you brought it back. So…

TERRY:

That’s what I’m saying now… No, I brought it back.

ALL:

(laugh)

TERRY:

But, that was the introduction to design. And, all of the while, I had done things in the realm of graphic design and I thought, “I need to do something about this.” So, I substituted a sculpture class for my Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, for the upper-level graphic design class. Through the course of that, I actually did okay in it, I think we did like one paste up. A paste up. And, I got recommended for an internship at a design studio in downtown Tacoma. And, before I graduated they offered me a job. And I thought, “How do I say no?”

CHAD:

Wow. You make it sound so easy.

JP:

It is easy!

JP & CHAD:

(laugh)

TERRY:

Yeah, cause I didn’t try or do anything…

CHAD:

Well, yeah. There’s a lot of work in between all of those sentences that happened I’m sure.

JP:

That’s the, uh, 30-second version of a long history of design. So, where are you now?

TERRY:

Well, it’s a real interesting thing. I’ve been doing this for a while. I think, uh, for about 15 seconds I was associated with Seattle, in a greater way, with the world of graphic design. I was on the AIGA board for eight or nine years. I still advise.

For twenty years I’ve been working a project called the Link Program which is under the umbrella of AIGA Seattle, and we work with high school students from about seven or eight different high schools around Seattle. It’s about encouraging them, encouraging self esteem and inspiring them. Speaking of Communication Arts magazine, their foundation, the Coin Foundation, has given us, awarded us a grant of $50,000 a year, for the last 18 years, which allows us to award $25,000 a year in scholarships. We do portfolio workshops. It’s really a mentoring program. It’s been a fantastic thing. We’re at the point where we have former students now leading the program. So, I think we’re doing something right. So, I’m still really involved in design in a lot of ways. And, of course that’s how I eat. (laughs)

And, in addition to that there’s a thing called Design Family Reunion I’ve coordinated a couple of times with Matt Porter from Atlanta. It has really been—instead of creating yet another conference, I would say it’s for people of a certain age, or creatives of a certain age, people who have done a lot of different things and had some accomplishment, and ran into likeminded people along the way. So, instead of creating a conference to compete with conferences, we created a getaway for a couple of days. We did it in Monterey one year. We did it in Sante Fe last year. It was fantastic. We did everything from yoga to horseback riding to hikes to Aikido, to stop motion animation to painting. And, every evening a great get together, whether a party at a house with a Mariachi band and a taco truck to whatever it is. It’s great.

And, we’re talking about doing it again, not next year, but in 2017 and injecting some more purpose into it because we’re all involved in some non profit exercises and maybe turning it into an incubator for a specific project. Be it supporting a non profit with our talents and using that as a two-day charrette and then creating some things. Or, maybe supporting the Link Program and seeing if it’s time to expand that. How do we inject more cash into it so we can create some longevity? How do we create some more structure so it reaches more students? We’ll figure that out.

But, as far as professionally, I’ve always had full-time employees and for the last year I haven’t. And, it’s really weird. I thought I’d do this when I was old. Me and my office manager. You know. Everyone has a network. So, just like everybody you have coders and developers and shooters and production people and more designers when you need them. But, I got to a point where I honestly had a couple clients one year say, “In the contract, I’d like you to state that if you get sick or die, our contract is null.” And, I was shocked. But, it told me what I suspected all along, is that it’s a boutique, even when there was six or seven people it was a boutique firm. And they were coming because of me.

And, if that’s the case when things had changed, I’d leaned in with a client a couple of years ago, they gave me an equity position. I was a partner. And, it just wasn’t a fit for me. So, I decided to leave. And, everything is good with them. But, I decided to maybe keep it simple because I think that opens up other opportunities.

This is a long story. I haven’t figured out how to tell people this. “What are you doing now?” Well, I’m still consulting, doing graphic design, we do a lot of online, we do film projects when it makes sense, we end up doing a lot of writing. There’s one client where before they sent anything out it was like, “Will you rewrite this?” I don’t want to write it, I want you to rewrite this because for whatever reason, they like the flavor that I do it. Fine. I don’t want to write client copy. I want to write my own copy. But, I’m in a weird place because we have—I have—some history, some chutzpah from past things we’ve done. And, mostly relationships and connections with people who really understand what we can do.

There are clients and people you work with who will forever think of you as the guy who makes pretty little things that do X; a really small portion of what you’re really capable of. And, other people who really understand the breadth of what you can do. Those are your clients. And, thankfully I’ve got a number of those.

“There are clients and people you work with who will forever think of you as the guy who makes pretty little things that do X; a really small portion of what you’re really capable of. And, other people who really understand the breadth of what you can do. Those are your clients.”

 

JP:

And do you… Have you found yourself lately gravitating to finding more of those clients? Or, keeping that pool smaller now that you have the chutzpah, now that you have the notoriety?

TERRY:

Well, notoriety is a funny thing. Everyone is familiar with the idea of 15 minutes—everyone is going to have 15 minutes of fame. The backside of that is when you’re not in the cusp of that, you might have nothing.

And so, there’s the idea of relevancy, a word that was mentioned earlier. I think relevancy has two faces. One is really knowing what you’re doing in a way that fits with the world today. Be it as it may, design is a service business—it really is. There are some superstar designers who say, “You have to wait six months and I’d like to take out a second mortgage on your home so you can pay for this.” You know, that sort of thing. And, the other is you need to be responsive. You need to be nimble. And, you have to be able to execute things in a way that is meaningful in the world today and really meaningful for the client to connect to who they have to connect to. So, those are the two points of relevancy. If you live in a bubble, and so many people who are truly artists want to go to their studio and want to get to their place and just make things. Fantastic. It’s beautiful. But, if you’re not connecting with the people, you’ll lose relevancy regardless of how many skills you have.

“I think relevancy has two faces. One is really knowing what you’re doing in a way that fits with the world today… And, the other is you need to be responsive. You need to be nimble. And, you have to be able to execute things in a way that is meaningful in the world today…”

 

CHAD:

Have you found, now that you’re working more independently and with a lot less structure, has that become more challenging? Or, has it been easier?

TERRY:

I’d say both in different ways. There are things that I get to do now that I never used to get to do that I’d really rather not. But, that doesn’t compare with the number of things that I… I get to spend more time on the things I think are valuable. It seems like every client we work with where we’re talking about, I don’t care if it’s about developing a new brand for them, or just merely a logo, or their mission statement, almost all of them say, “I feel like I’m in counseling and that you’re my counselor.” Because, you have to get under their skin in a way that really invokes trust and gets to truth. And, for whatever reason I seem to be able to have a really easy time doing that. And, I get to spend time making those connections and that makes the relationships strong and I think it really helps the product. I get to spend more time doing that.

And, I get to be a little more picky. I don’t have to say, “You know what, that might make me want to jab a fork into my eye, but the studio needs the revenue.” I don’t really have to do that anymore. I really get to work with people we like and it’s a luxury.

JP:

I’m thinking about, at PLU at least, the students having to do a capstone presentation. And part of the capstone presentation is explaining how they got to the project that they ended up doing. And then, at the end, defending any sort of decisions that they had to make. Have you found, throughout the years, that working with younger designers, that that work that we do in the classroom with teaching them how to handle a critique, how to give a critique, how to speak to a client. Has that been useful? Or, are we still lacking in preparing them, toughening them up, or what have you?

TERRY:

Well, you know, that’s an interesting thing because there are fair critiques and there are non-fair critiques. And, we’ve all been subject to and participated in both. And, there’s weird esoteric ones. Isn’t it funny always in a critique somebody always says juxtaposition. That just kills me. When that word comes, I check out. But…

JP:

I prefer dichotomy. (laughs)

TERRY:

Well, the dichotomy of what we’re seeing here is some people have a natural ability to speak. And, they’re able to remove their personal self-worth being at threat, or being threatened by the situation. That’s when someone can talk about their work and evaluate work more effectively. It’s never purely objective because it’s still your work. Those who let themselves be too close to this thing they’ve created have a more difficult time. And, I think it’s the same as being able to speak in public, is that you look at what is necessary to the situation, rather than, I spent 400 hours on this and this is my baby and I love it.

And, we all know that the sad, sad truth is sometimes someones spends 400 hours on something, and somebody else spends five minutes, and the five minute one was somehow better. And, it might have been that they’d been incubating this subconsciously and just have laser vision as to what the important, most cogent things were, and executed it well and very fast. And, the 400 hours, they got so in the weeds and so muddy, they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. So, there is two things at play there. That’s the dichotomy.

“Having skills to discuss your work in a way that matters to the audience, it not only helps you sell your work, it helps you advance in your career and be able to win a seat at the right firms that you're looking at.”

 

Anyway, having skills to discuss your work in a way that matters to the audience, it not only helps you sell your work, it helps you advance in your career and be able to win a seat at the right firms that you’re looking at. I think it’s vital. There are so many incredibly talented people in the design world who will go to any length to not to have to get up in front of people. And, that creates a ceiling for them. And, it’s too bad if they want to advance. And, it’s okay if they want to be able to do what they’re doing at the moment.

CHAD:

I remember at least when I was in undergrad especially, there was often a conversation at the table that was feeling we needed to find a specific style, or something we could hang our hat on that would give us some consistency when we were going out to find employment. Is that something you feel something young designers need to do?

TERRY:

I feel the most important thing young designers need to do is show they can deliver work that is at a professional or even enterprise level. Every client is different. If you’re doing Beneful dog food, or whatever that company is, versus the new Verizon logo; very different challenges.

CHAD:

Yeah.

TERRY:

Right? So, very different voices. But, like you said, being able to employ something… you know, stylistically, the biggest trap that designers have is to do the flavor of the day. Because as an experience designer you go, “That’s well executed, and it looks like everything in last year’s design annual.” And, show me something that shows some thought. Show me something that tells me your radar is up and you’ve seen the world and interpreted it through your own lens with really good typography, a good understanding of how to communicate, and hierarchy; you know how to deal with photos and illustration. That’s much more compelling than, “Wow, look at that really set style.” Because actually, depending on what that is, it’s either really great, or that scares me because they look like a one-trick pony.

JP:

So, when you are… because I’ve seen you do Reality Check, when you do see people with that talent or expertise that is potential, how do you cultivate it? How do you encourage them? What is it that you give to them?

TERRY:

In that short instance of Reality Check?

JP:

Sure, as an example.

TERRY:

Uhh, as an example there, I would probably make the most succinct and fine point comments that I could, because it seems they covered all of the big bases already. And, I would probably encourage them and tell them truthfully if, because I know I’ve said this, “You know what, you’ve got it. You just need to keep doing what you’re doing and you will find a job.” And, I would probably tell them the same thing somebody once told me: Don’t ever get jaded. Because, the minute you start letting a little bile into your work practice, it sullies everything, and I think that’s true for anybody.

JP:

I have a colleague that says, “It only takes one apple to rotten the rest.”

TERRY:

It’s true. And so, there’s an amount of maybe a small degree of… we always think we get smarter as we go along. I just think we get hit with new stuff, you know, learn new lessons and that’s fine. But, once you think you’ve arrived, you’re done. It’s over. You might as well get a new career.

“Once you think you’ve arrived, you’re done. It’s over. You might as well get a new career.”

 

JP:

So, have you arrived?

TERRY:

Uh, gosh no. I was just telling… I feel like I’m trying to position myself, and this is part of the reason why I’m flying quite nearly solo right now (I still have my office manager), but it creates new opportunity. I’m trying to figure out what the next act is. I have this… there’s a phrase I use: Impending good. And, I have this sense of impending good. I feel like something is about to pop. And, in the meantime, I feel like I’m enjoying the work and it’s good.

JP:

So thinking about second act… What about another book?

TERRY:

Umm, I always said I’d never write another design book. Because there are people who are better at it than me. I’ve written a couple; two, three, something like that. I’ve never really said what I’ve wanted to say about design. I think one of the most important things I could say is there’s so much important stuff going, “What do you think about the new Verizon logo? What do you think about the new Google logo?” And, to me that’s great, fine. It’s important to have those conversations. Pentagram does great work. People have good reasons for what they do.

I would say that the emperor has no clothes. He is butt naked, sir. Because we get so self-involved in design, which is, any industry can do that. And, I think it always has to make a difference to people. It has to positively affect life, you know? And, that’s where my interest lies. I might write more about that. And, I might write more narrative stuff about that, too.

Probably, the book I’m most pleased with, and actually a director and a DP [Director of Photography] are working on a short film version of it, is Mr. Crumbly Dreams a Tiger, which is an allegory about fear and desire that was inspired by me reading some C.S. Lewis quote. Lewis says that if we consider the unblushing promises of heaven, I would submit that our desires are not too great, but too weak. And, we like children playing with mud pies in a slum do so, because we can’t understand the offer of a holiday at sea, we desire too little. And Mr. Crumbly is a story about a guy who leads a very simple life and then it’s kind of invaded by bad dreams and fears. It’s his, kind of, figuring it out. And, it looks like a children’s book, everyone thinks it’s a children’s book, children love it, but it’s really written to adults. I’m really please, looking back, I think it’s about 10 years old now. And, I’m thinking about maybe writing another one or redesigning it myself and doing a second edition. But, that kind of stuff is compelling to me, too.

CHAD:

One thing I’m interested in is, it sounds like you do a lot of, volunteering isn’t the word, but using your skills for causes. Especially it sounds like you work a lot with kids, or organizations that are focused on children.

TERRY:

I like to work with people who are shorter than me, so it tends to be kids for the most part.

ALL:

(laugh)

CHAD:

Yeah. I guess one thing I’ve always been curious about is how do you balance that, working with clients, working for causes, and then doing all of these projects on the side and home life. You know? How do you feel like that’s worked for you?

TERRY:

That’s a really good question. When I was single it was easy. I just never slept. And, we did everything, it was fun. It was great. Umm. Now that I’m married and have a couple of kids, it’s about how you slice the time and there’s a season for everything. I’m fortunate because my wife is a painter. She’s a fine artist. And, I introduced her to the Link Program and she got interested, became a volunteer and she’s currently the administrator. So, I kind of get a free pass to spend as much time as possible, because that actually supports her.

I’ve tried to pull back my role in Link. I’m the old guy in the room. It’s so weird. It went overnight from being the youngest guy in the room to the oldest guy in the room. And, since we do have some incredibly intelligent, smart and decisive volunteers who have a lot of skill, not just as artists, but as organizers in their own right. I’m trying to help… I’m trying to take a role where it’s really about maintaining the spirit and the vision. And, trying not to occupy too much space about the specifics. Because we have a network, if something falls through, yes we can find an artist, we can figure out a workshop, we can get that done overnight if we have to. But, I’m trying to give other people the stage so that gives me a little bit more room.

As far as the other volunteerism thing, it’s making it work. I, this is so bizarre I can’t believe I’m this guy, I try to get to work by six. Not only because it allows me to leave really early and see my kids for dinner, and you know be there for bathtub and story time. But, I also miss all of the traffic, which is huge. Because instead of a 12 minute commute, it could be an hour coming in in the morning, depending on the time. I’m going to go for the 15 minutes in the morning. That’s much better. And, I leave early before it gets thick. So, that fits my level of impatience behind the wheel and also opens up more time. I’ve done this strange thing. If I’m too busy, or if I have extra things to do, I get up early instead of staying late because nobody calls you at three in the morning.

“I think the best things blindside you when you’re in the midst of doing what you think is the right thing at the time.”

 

JP:

So, thinking about, what I like to call it, your third act, what are you hoping for in regards to either career-wise, or work wise, art wise. What is it you’re hoping for?

TERRY:

You know, that’s the most difficult question. I was telling Chad, I think the best things blindside you when you’re in the midst of doing what you think is the right thing at the time. I heard this great definition. Someone was talking about, “Oh, he’s just blessed with whatever.” And, I thought, “What does that mean?” You know? You just got all of the goods and now you’re Superman. I don’t know what that means. Then I heard this idea that the word blessed in, I think it’s Hebrew, is a Shar. And, the specific meaning is, “To be on the right road.” That is, to be walking the passed you’re supposed to. That makes total sense to me.

I think I’m on the right path right now. I feel like I’m doing what I should be doing. The hopes would be that I get to something that is more of an expressive art. And, I don’t know if that is visual, or verbal, or both. I think it could take a lot of forms. And, I also want to build something. For years it was always me with my studio. I’ve never been interested in creating a giant firm on my own. I think it’s going to be an interesting ten or fifteen years coming up.

CHAD:

I think it’s interesting. A lot of what you’ve been talking about, or talking about lately, is how everything is going so well, and how optimistic you are for the future.

TERRY:

It’s because I’m a sucker.

CHAD:

You’re a sucker. Well, I’m curious, as you look back on your career, I’m curious to know what the most challenging time was and what that looked like, and how you got through it?

“That’s part of being younger. I knew we were winning work on momentum and probably charm and personality. Fine if you’re winning it. Not great in the long run.”

 

TERRY:

Probably the most challenging time was after the dot-bomb after 2001—when you went back to grad school, Jp. I mean, it was crazy. We… Things were so great. I was having so much fun. What I realized, and I knew it brought light to a couple of things. One: we were winning work, winning a lot of work. I don’t think I was strategic enough about who we were approaching, how we were winning the work or how we were charging for it. That’s part of being younger. I knew we were winning work on momentum and probably charm and personality. Fine if you’re winning it. Not great in the long run. I knew that. I was hearing the footsteps of that. Then, everything just hit the fans. I mean, clients we’d done a ton of work with, work we’d completed, you know, had done the work. I think we probably lost between, you know, at least about six figures in earned income in a quarter.

CHAD:

Wow.

TERRY:

Yeah. It was interesting. And, because we were such a family as a firm, I didn’t let people go quickly enough. This is me critiquing myself from a business standpoint. And, quite honestly, we went out and won probably $150,000 worth of new work. I mean we were just on the train. And, very little of it materialized. Because, if you were practicing, so many companies know that they needed to do things, but were too afraid to spend the money.

JP:

Yeah.

TERRY:

And so, we got caught in this really weird place. That was probably the most difficult time because we had, “done everything right.” Accountants. Advisors. Everyone said, “No, there’s nothing else you should be doing. Within the next year or two, this is what’s going to happen. And, then the world changed. And, you’re not in control of that. And, that was probably the most difficult time.

CHAD:

Was that just an instance of clients not paying the bills or was it contracts being pulled out of, or…

TERRY:

Both. Yeah. It was… I’d never seen anything like it. And, what we didn’t realize at the time was there was a lot of low hanging fruit because the economy was great.

CHAD:

Yeah.

TERRY:

And, then everybody got scared. Fact of the matter is, I don’t care if it’s the stock market or the way companies deal with their advertising, marketing and design dollars, it’s all about confidence.

CHAD:

Yeah.

JP:

That’s where I kind of slid into non-profits, smaller little odds and ends, and it’s those things that build up one brick at a time, and eventually you have a house, or eventually you have a room, and then a building. And, moving forward like that. Every career path is slightly different, but we all get to the same spot, hopefully in Communication Arts.

ALL:

(laugh)

JP:

Have you ever been in Communication Arts?

TERRY:

Yeah. I think so. Yeah.

JP:

Have you ever tried to go back to PLU and sneak a copy of it?

TERRY:

Oh. (laughs) Steal it from the library?

JP:

I was thinking of adding it to the library.

TERRY:

Oh, I should. You know, I don’t even know where my copies are, I just moved my storage unit. So, I’m sure I’ll unearth them soon. One of the people who has come to our little reunions is Patrick Coyne, who is the editor, and his family owns it. And, they’re just great people. If you’re like me, you have so many copies of Communication Arts, you’re just like, “I don’t know what to do with these.” And, I’ll give them to students, or donate them to something, or recycle some.

“It’s a completely different experience looking at this beautifully printed piece of work. It effects you differently. You memorize it differently, you intuit things differently.”

 

And, I was thinking about it, just two weeks ago I went from the digital only version back to purchasing the magazine again. Because, you know why? Because I think it’s a fantastic magazine. And, I know you can look at it online. But, I know research backs this up, it’s a completely different experience looking at this beautifully printed piece of work. It effects you differently. You memorize it differently, you intuit things differently. And, their foundation has supported Link for so long, I want to support them as best I can. So, everyone out there, subscribe to Communication Arts. It’s fantastic. It will better you. And, they do good things in the world. You should support them.

CHAD:

Is there anything else you’d recommend people to read to stay relevant or for inspiration?

TERRY:

There’s so much. I think everyone is inspired by different things. I’m kind of beyond telling people, “This is what you need to do.” I have all kinds of hubris, but not in that kind of vein. I make everyone who works with me full time read The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. Just because it blows people’s minds that… I had given up comics as a kid, then someone gave me a copy of that as an adult after I’d graduate from PLU, and I was stunned by how cinematic and compelling it was. And, people thing, “Eh, I know what comics are.” But, it blew mind mind. And, it changed the industry, obviously.

And, I usually make them read Franny and Zoey or Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger because those are terse little human stories. Actually, the core of most of the Catcher in the Rye and most J.D. Salinger things, I should say is, a hope to do something better amidst all of the rough stuff on the outside.

CHAD:

Do you feel like having the people you work with read common things like that helps center them as a team?

TERRY:

Probably. It’s probably just gives them more fodder to make fun of me. Which, you know, that’s the aim of any team that works with a boss, right?

JP:

(laughs)

CHAD:

Yeah. And, that’s one of the reasons I was asking you so much about the organizations you’ve worked with by choice is, kind of one of the things we’ve often been struggling with is trying to find what you actually care about, you know? And, how do you want to spend that time? It’s really interesting. When you get the freedom to do whatever you want all of the sudden, you know? Because when you’re working for other people it’s actually a lot more defined in some ways.

TERRY:

It’s easy. There are parameters.

CHAD:

But, as soon as you get a blank canvas, it’s…

TERRY:

Designers particularly have difficulty with that. That’s one of the reasons why I like the link program. You have an artist talk about their work for ten minutes, ten minutes to describe what students are going to do for the next three hours, and high school students are ripping it up immediately. And, all of the professional designers, if they choose to do the workshop or are looking going, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll do twenty thumbnails, then I’ll refine them.” And, then if they actually follow through they don’t even get to something to create by the time it’s done. Because there’s too much process in their way. And the naivety and enthusiasm of a high school student just starts pouring out all of this stuff. And, there is some weight and truth in that. So, it’s always a reminder and an inspiration.

CHAD:

Yeah.

JP:

Well, thank you again, Terry, for coming in and I greatly appreciate it.

TERRY:

Thank you for having me and nice to meet you, Chad. Thanks for having me in, Jp.

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