Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]visual.ly.
Name: Michael Jeter
On Visually: ishothim
In Design: 5 years
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
How did I get into design? Well, in elementary school I used to get really bored after I finished my work. I used to draw Bugs Bunny, the Tasmanian devil and shit like that. I would dress them up in funny clothes and give them to people to make them laugh. Even the pretty girls would laugh, and at that moment the value of being an artist became very clear.
Fast forward a bunch of years and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to start a studio almost five years ago with a few talented people while in grad school, and I have been loving life ever since.
We’ve been able to carve out a path in the design field that has allowed us to work primarily on social and civic issues.
2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.
always evolving, never enough
3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
I’m going to be greedy and pick two. Milton Glaser and Maurice Sendak. Without those two individuals I would not be who I am today. Their impact on design and illustration, in my opinion, is greater than anyone else’s.
4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
I’m not sure I have favorite color. But now that I think about it, green is a pretty prominent color in my life. I have a green bike, green bag, green pants, etc. However, green is not really a prominent color in my work. As far as my work goes, I love black. If I’m feeling lazy, black always works for just about anything.
5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
I’m awful at proofreading. I’ve had two major fuck-ups with typos. It’s cost me money and time and stress and sleep. It’s also wildly embarrassing. I’ve learned to always have someone read everything twice and then ask someone else to read it three times.
6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
I don’t really think in those terms. I believe you are only ever as good as your next project. As soon as I finish a project, I’m super critical of it and can only think of the millions of things that I have learned and will use in the next project. That being said, I really had fun creating http://www.nycreadinesschallenge.org, New York City’s disaster preparedness education tool.
It was the first time that I was able to fully integrate my illustration style in a user interface and experience. That project was a stake in the ground for me. I want to do that sort of stuff all of the time.
As I get older, I realize that I get way more stressed out on projects that don’t include illustrations.
7. Who should we feature in this space next?
This one is tough, because there are so many inspirational people out there. Three people come to mind. Erik Marinovich, Celeste Prevost, and Scott Hill of Foundry Co. These three people make me love being in the design field. Erik is an aspirational person on so many levels. He’s one of the kindest human beings ever, and a master at his craft. He is always testing his boundaries and daring to try something just for the experience. Celeste exists in so many realms of design and all of it seems so damn effortless. She is also on the hunt for continuous challenge in her work life and that is inspiring. Scott, I only know through chats online, but I really love every single thing he does. There are very few designers out there that can do it all and do it all well, and Scott is always outdoing himself.