One day about a year ago, my friend Jason asked me if I’d be interested in interning for MailChimp. At the time, I was working long hours, and my routine didn’t leave a lot of room for creative exploration. I must have been really itching to let my brain run loose, because without much thought, I happily agreed. A few weeks into my first semester as an intern, I got a taste of how far my imagination could take me.
Creative freedom was something I’d always hoped for, and I was finally able to work on projects with excitement and confidence. I was creating and accomplishing more than I had in months. My school work was better, my personal work was expanding, and my attitude had improved. I found myself putting great effort into seemingly crazy ideas.
The more I worked here, the more in touch I became with my analog design skills. After experimenting with different materials, I began to understand the importance of tangible, meaningful work. I was also reminded of a feeling I’d had as a child. In kindergarten, when it was time to fingerpaint, draw, build towers out of legos, or make crafts with paper, glitter, and glue, my eyes would open wide with excitement.
After experimenting with different materials, I began to understand the importance of tangible, meaningful work.
So far, I haven’t outgrown this creative impulse, and my favorite projects are those I make by hand. I love to use ink, watercolors, balsa wood, glass, house paint, paper, glitter, foil—anything I can get my hands on. In my time at MailChimp, I’ve helped to design many things, including a Peter Max-inspired mural, a bacon watch, a set of posters for the office, two billboards, a new editor graphic for mobile editing, and a miniature set depicting a scene from The Thing. I even set something on fire.
While it’s been fun working on these projects, I’ve also learned more about my artistic process. Namely, that when I allow my mind to wander, creativity comes naturally. And once I’ve got that mindset in place, I’ve found that it’s my main motivation to make the results contagious.