Member Spotlight: Jessie Sturgeon and Zac Sturgeon

Jessie Sturgeon
Title/Company: Designer & Photographer at The Sturgeon’s
Number of Years in design: 3
Past Companies: Steelcase, VSA Partners
Education: Kendall College of Art and Design
Member since: 2014

Zac Sturgeon
Title/Company: Interactive Designer at GTB, Designer & Photographer at The Sturgeon’s
Number of Years in design: 6
Past Companies: Apple, R/GA
Education: Kendall College of Art and Design
Member since: 2014

Who has been the most influential person in your career?
Z: Tobias VanSchneider: Through my college years I subscribed to everything he had to offer. He showed me that as a designer there are so many areas to explore and that we should push ourselves. There’s no right way to be a designer and no one has to follow the same path, but he was able to offer a lot of public advice that helped pave the way in my career so far.
J: Although cliche, Zac has been one of the most influential people in my career. He always pushes me to learn more and strive to make better work. He is so driven and I am honestly inspired by him.

What is your favorite thing about design?
Z: Influence; from business objectives, to making someones daily life better, to making the complex digestible, design has the power to influence in countless ways.
J: The power you have to make the ordinary extraordinary completely due to design. No one wants to read an employee handbook, but if you design it well, it suddenly becomes an interesting and inviting piece to read.

What advice would you give to someone just getting started in the design world?
Z: The more you know, the more valuable you become. Don’t let anyone undervalue what you provide and always keep learning.
J: Ask questions! It’s never bad to ask a question and it will always save time and effort for you and your colleagues.

What inspires you as a designer?
Z: It’s honestly so hard to pick, but I’m most inspired by other creators. Designers, photographers, videographers, Youtubers, architects, it doesn’t matter. Other people who fall in love with their work and just go for it always inspire me.
J: Honestly, photography. The work of Stephen Shore and Dorothea Lange, for example, always inspire me to create.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a designer and how have you handled them?
Z: I have a tendency to take on more work than I can handle solely on my own, so I have had to learn to delegate more than I was originally comfortable with. But in the end, you get even better results the more you collaborate.
J: I have a hard time letting go. I will sit there and fart around with one paragraph for hours trying to get the type hierarchy right and the layout right. It’s just not efficient or worth it. I don’t know when to say “this is done.” Getting fresh eyes on a piece has helped a lot. Having Zac just take a quick look to help me see what is feeling right and what is off. So just learning to not sit there alone and instead collaborate has helped me a lot.

What are you excited to learn or work on next?
Z: Videography is an area I have been trying learn a lot about. I haven’t put it into practice as much as I’d like yet, but it is definitely going to be an area of growth for me over the next year.
J: We have a project coming up that is going to push our interior design skills, and I’m really excited for it! We have the challenge to bring the brand into the environment, which is currently a blank canvas, so we’re brainstorming creative ways to show off the brand in ways I haven’t been able to in the past.

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By Kimmie Parker
Published May 23, 2018
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