Jesse is the other half of Man Man Van. (You can find the first half of MMV, Elliott's interview here.) I haven't yet met Jesse in person but upon hearing about The Creative Unconscious, he was game to participate. Over the course of our email correspondence, Jesse inspired me more and more with his drive and desire to create, to continue learning and developing new skills, and to explore and expand his knowledge of the world we occupy. He is incredibly passionate about what he does and that really resonated with me. I hope that he inspires you as much as he inspired me.
The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Jesse Morrow: Hello! My name is Jesse Morrow, I'm 27 years old and I consider myself an independent graphic designer and photographer.
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
JM: It's a bit odd to think about my hobbies outside of my profession because both graphic design and photography started out as curiosities and hobbies for me. Aside from actually working on designs or taking photos, I love to hike, write songs, read books, journal, design jewelry, and most of all, travel. I think that having these elements in my life help keep my brain moving and active and over time develop new curiosities and broaden my sense of design and photography.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
JM: There are certainly battles that I fight along these lines. I think it's important for me to dedicate time to personal work which can ebb and flow depending on how busy I am with paid work. My hope is that personal projects and interests of mine will someday turn into paid projects and assignments. In the meantime, I try to utilize any down time I may have during the week to do things like write travel stories, edit personal photos, and a year ago I even started a jewelry company! These are all things that aren't necessarily contributing to a salary but are fun and make me feel productive even when I don't have paid projects to work on.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
JM: Over the past couple of years, I've been traveling as often as I can and working while traveling. This can create an odd routine and most of the time means I have to be ready to buckle down and work any chance I get --even if I'm tired or don't feel creative. Usually if I don't feel creative I default to answering emails for a bit, then browse a design or photo site and try to get the juices flowing. I guess this goes hand in hand with feeling productive and sometimes it just has to be forced!
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
JM: Recently I've been thinking a lot about a longer term photo project that is really focused on one subject or concept. I think that is one of my biggest goals. Other than that, I'm trying to gain the dedication and motivation to blog once per week about current travels, projects, or things I'm learning.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
JM: Right now my biggest personal projects are writing photo stories. Basically I write about the photos I'm taking while traveling and publish them on a platform called exposure --you can see some of my stories at photo.mrrw.co. When I first started I sort of just lobbed photos together and quickly wrote captions of sorts. In order to try to take the stories to the next level I've been working on my writing skills with my sister and a couple of friends with the hope these pieces will be more reader friendly. It's odd because I never thought I'd spend so much time writing! I'm still pretty bad and my grammar is pathetic but it's important to me so I keep working at it.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
JM: Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about what I’m up to! I’d love to note that I’m currently traveling across the US in a minivan with two small motorbikes packed inside - check out manmanvan.com and let me know if we’re coming to your area!
(side note) 3 people who inspire me: