Alex Rich

Bishop, CA |

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“I've always had a creative side to me, and design seemed to be a viable outlet. I suppose the decision wasn't necessarily to be a designer, but more of what I don't want to be or do. I mean, come on: sitting in a classroom working out calculus problems doesn't seem like a real blast to me.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a designer?

“Being able to creatively problem-solve. I like the ability to change the look of your environment. And not putting your name on everything, but being able to say, ‘I did that’.”

Do you think school has helped prepare you for entering the real world?

“There are definitely things I’ve learned from internships that class doesn’t even come close to. I think that’s been the strongest point of the education process.”

How would you describe your process when working on a project?

“When I start a project, I do a lot of brainstorming. Then, for whatever reason, it hits the back-burner: right before it’s due, I whip it out. I think the reason I procrastinate is because of the sense of urgency-- when the deadline is on, you have to sit down and work. When there’s constantly something going on, there’s no procrastination; you’re always working. If the workload is light, there will be procrastination. But if there’s a lot of stuff to do, then no. I may not be actively working on something, but I’m constantly thinking about it”

Would you say that you have a personal design "style" in your work?

“I’m definitely still developing my style, and I guess I go through different phases. Sometimes I’ll try to emulate work, and other times I try to work in a vacuum, so everything comes out completely original.”

For designers, do you believe it's more important to work on projects you're passionate about or take whatever work is available?

“I think when I work with clients or jobs that I don’t necessarily understand or enjoy, I actually do better work because I’m not as close to the project. If there’s a subject or something you’re into, and you’re trying to work on that, then you’re going to try to overwork it and make it perfect. You'll work day and night and make it how you want it, but you'll make it look like crap. When you’re working on something you’re not so personally attached to, the work can come out better. I think there’s a buffer zone: you can be way too close or way too distant from a project-- but you can come up with a better design if you’re somewhere in between. Sometimes you design better when you’re trying to describe something you don’t necessarily know about to other people who also don’t understand it.”

The graphic design industry is doing more digitally-based work these days: are you excited about the evolution of design, or do you like more traditional mediums?

“Absolutely; it’s going to influence everyone’s career options. Personally, I like to work more on the conceptual side of stuff rather than fabrication. If I could work on a digital project and not be responsible for coding it or anything, that'd be great.”

Do you have any favorite designers, artists, or resources you like to get inspiration from?

“I think Shepard Farey has been one of the most influence artists/designers for me-- what he studies is so awesome, both visually and subject-wise. I love the style; I don’t think there are a lot of artists that have the same bone-chilling or deep-cutting style that he does, because it’s so real.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Obviously, I need a paycheck-- a fat one (thank you, student loans)-- but as long as I can be creative and be entertained, I would be completely content doing just about anything.”

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