This week our agency welcomed Josey Driscoll, our new Junior Graphic Designer! We are so excited to have her and look forward to all the creativity she will bring to our clients’ design projects. Read on to learn about the latest addition to the Sweeney team!
Q: Tell us about yourself — where are you from, and what has your professional background been like so far before landing at Sweeney?
A: I’m from South Jersey, right outside of Philadelphia. Honestly though, you could probably say I live in Wawa. Prior to joining Sweeney, I worked in a lot of different creative environments. I have experience in corporate, city agency, and non-profit design, as well as in screen printing. Each position has taught me things that I never expected to learn there, giving me a really interesting (and rather unusual) mix of skills to bring to the table.
Q: Have you always been interested in graphic design? What drew you to the field?
A: Andy Warhol and the pop art movement are what initially drew me to design. I was so enchanted by the use of color and the bold, expressive typography. Warhol’s fascination with the machine and mass culture was subconsciously transferred to myself. Once I discovered his past life as a commercial artist, that was it for me: I had decided by the seventh grade that I was going to be a graphic designer. Here I am today, doing what I have loved all my life!
Q: Are the things that drew you to the field also the things that kept you here, or was anything different about it than you expected?
A: I think the fundamentals of design that I first saw in pop art are why I love design as much as I do. Using color, typography, and composition to communicate visually is kind of like magic. If you make a slight change to a color or layout, it can drastically change the message. When I started at Drexel, I didn’t realize the full extent of impact those elements have. My fascination grows with each design that I encounter or create.
Q: Do you have any other creative interests or hobbies outside of graphic design?
A: My friend and I often do virtual productive days together, where we work on (both graphic design and non-graphic design) passion projects and provide each other with company and motivation. Finding myself with lots of free hours due to the pandemic eating the small social life that I had, I’ve also picked up cross-stitching and “renovating” dollhouses. These hobbies have been great: they’re time-consuming and avenues of creativity that allow me to step away from the computer and work in the physical realm. I also really enjoy doodling and pretending I understand interior decorating!
Q: And any non-creative ones?
A: I’m trying my best to be a good plant mom and I think I’m doing pretty well now! It’s been quite a while since I’ve killed a succulent. I also really enjoy reading and I compulsively order shoes online. I think I have about 60 pairs.
Q: Where do you find creative inspiration? How do you break a creative block?
A: I receive AIGA’s “Eye On Design” emails and I get so excited when they show up in my inbox. They always feature such great articles and podcasts. I also follow a bunch of designers and illustrators on Instagram and use the “save for later” feature on the posts that really excite me. I don’t think that creative inspiration necessarily has to come from graphic design resources or other graphic designers, but I love scrolling through my feed and see something that makes me really wonder how the artist or designer created it. To deal with creative block, I’ll usually take a minute or two to screech and get out my frustrations, then will set a timer for 5 or 10-minute bursts and jot down/sketch out as many ideas as possible. Once the timer goes off, I’ll evaluate what’s on the page and see what has potential to build on. This exercise really helps to take away some of the pressure that just having creative block causes.
Q: Do you have a “dream project?”
A: I think it would be really fun to do a whole line of package design for a makeup brand, especially with the cool treatments (spot varnish, glitter, embossing, etc.) used. I’d probably want to make it Dada-inspired or something similarly quirky and outrageous. More realistically though, I’d like to actually get around to the #1 thing on my personal project: branding (but especially image-making) for a space-themed coffee shop. I have so many collages in my head for it already; I just have to put them together in real life!
Q: Favorite musician?
A: A tie between Lizzo and Childish Gambino
Q: Favorite color?
A: Black, but chartreuse is a close second
Q: Favorite place to vacation?
A: Lake George in New York. My dad’s family has been going every Summer for over 60 years.
Q: And finally, what is one thing you’re looking forward to or looking to achieve in your role at Sweeney?
A: I’m really excited to work on a variety of projects with a variety of clients and build my skills through new experiences. I love learning and trying new things and am so excited to have Sweeney’s support and encouragement to continue bettering myself, as a designer and beyond!