The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Jordan Stambaugh: Jordan Stambaugh, 24, hand-lettering artist & designer, Gravit Digital, Stambaugh Designs.
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?
JS: Photography. Although I consider it semi-professional since I use it so much to influence my designs, it's mainly a hobby of mine and it gets me out there exploring. Being an Eagle Scout I used to hike a lot, and I simply don't have the time to do that as much as I'd like because of work. I travel everywhere with my camera, and go hiking when I can on the weekends, I usually capture some pretty cool images that inspire me to create personal hand-lettered pieces around. Photography inspires me the most because I shoot with a designer's eye, and intentionally leave room for a design I've dreamed up in my head before it's on paper or on the computer. I get excited when I shoot a photo and know exactly how it can coexist with a design that doesn't even exist yet.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
JS: Not entirely. I put aside the time to work on personal projects at the end of a work day because I hold myself accountable. I started posting every day on my Instagram (@AntigravityGraphics) and the community there that supports my work keeps me going. Some nights I'll skip out early from time with friends to make sure I've created something for the next day's post. I don't find it hard to do that because in the end, you either show up every day to produce the work, or you don't. My friends understand that and in turn it inspires them to be the best at what they do.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
JS: I'm most creative late at night. Something about burning that midnight oil is my little creative flame. I'm most productive in the afternoon, usually between 1pm and 4pm. I reserve the mornings for writing and a nice run.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
JS: I'm a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I can seriously do it all --from print to motion graphics to web server code and maintenance. This is mainly because running my own business demands that I'm able to do so many things, and take any type of client --at least in the beginning. Without being laser focused, no one is able to become the best they can at any one thing. My passion is hand-lettering and I'm currently making moves to make it my specialty. My goal is to eventually only accept hand-lettering projects. Even though I'm capable of doing much more, I know that another specialized creative can do it better than I, and so on.
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?
JS: Right now I'm doing #36daysoftype on my Instagram. I start with 'Z' and letter all the way through the alphabet to 'A,' and then the numbers to reach day 36. I also have my design inspiration & tutorial blog, www.antigravitygraphics.com, and I plan to teach hand-lettering for free as well as premium advanced classes either on my own Antigravity Graphics ecosystem or on a site like Skillshare.
TCU: What scares you?
JS: Fear is interesting. Fear can be a hinderance to you or a tool used to do your best work. I'm afraid of anything that might come in the way of my creating my best work. This can be anything from time restraints, poor communication, to lack of resources. On the flip side, my fear of not having these lined up for a project makes sure that they are, so do the two cancel each other out?
TCU: What does success mean to you?
JS: Success means a fat paycheck; I can ball out in the Cayman Islands at the end of a project. Just kidding. I think success can come in many different forms and flavors but when it comes down to it, success to me means happiness. Happiness and satisfaction that I completed a project to the best of my abilities, happiness that I've help so many business owners succeed through my designs, and happiness that the world is a slightly better place than it was before a client came to me asking to redo their Comic Sans logo.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
JS: I'd like to say thank you for reaching out to me for this interview. I think these provide a lot of value to designers [and creatives] finding their way in this beautifully crazed world of design.