As big fans of branding we were keen to interview Justin after we saw his work. We asked him to tell us a little about himself and how he got started in design.
I was born and raised in Japan because my parents were missionaries there for over two decades, so I grew up in a multicultural context and that’s really shaped the person I’ve become. I realized I wanted to pursue graphic design at the end my junior year of high school, but looking back it’s obvious it started at birth.
What do you think of your time at art school?
It’s been alright. My advice to those considering art school is to know they don’t possess a “big secret” to success that other institutions don’t have. If you work hard, are self motivated, and passionate about what you’re doing then you’ll be able to make your way wherever you go.
Can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment?
Quite a few branding projects, which are my favorite, but also an app design for both desktop and mobile that I’m pretty excited about. It’s my first time in the UI/UX realm so it’s been an adventure.
Is it difficult managing your time as a freelancer and a full time student?
It’s definitely tough. Basically it comes down to time management and planning to finish school projects in a timely manner so I can move on to client work.
How would you describe your personality (how do these characteristics help you when you meet clients / when your designing)?
I’m a really laid back guy. There’s a quote I’ve seen online (apparently from Woody Guthrie?) that says “Take it easy, but take it” and I think that’s a beautiful summation of what our attitudes should be. I also can’t stand any kind of ambiguity so I value clear communication in both client relations and in design.
Are there techniques, tools or books you favour?
I live and bleed Illustrator (until a better alternative surfaces). I’m not much of a pen and paper guy so I usually start digitally. I just read “Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age” by Marty Neumeier and it was fantastic, I’d highly recommend it.
Have you any hobbies outside of design?
Sports is a major one – I love the NBA and I’m a big NFL fan too. I take naps (I’m pretty hardcore about that), play drums, and enjoy a few different TV shows.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers?
Be relevant, constantly observe what’s happening in the creative world, market yourself for the type of work you want to do, and stretch yourself creatively – know when your work is trash and know when it’s good enough to hold its own next to similar work.
Thanks Justin, to see more examples of great branding and Justin’s other work go to http://jstnbrbr.com/