1. What’s your name and title/business name? Where are you located, city, state, country location?
Hi there, I’m Jane Wongjirad. I’m a Sr. graphic designer at one of the largest PBMs (pharmacy benefit manager) in the US. I live in Chicago, Illinois.
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
My degree is in advertising. After graduating in 2000, I began working with a few ad agencies and design firms. I had freelanced for years between those two industries. I ultimately ended up landing a job with one of my clients. I have ALWAYS found my true passion in graphic design, but specifically with typography in the past couple of years. I started to explore calligraphy, brush lettering and font making. I was all over the place. I spent a lot of time practicing and learning the basics. I watched a lot of tutorial videos, and also took online classes with Stefan Kunz, Teela (every-tuesday), Ian Bernard, Lauren Hom, etc. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I’m still trying to figure it out. This journey has been awesome from day one!
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
I love the basic tools. Just paper, pencil and eraser are good for me. I always start my work with just those tools. From time to time, I pick up a calligraphy pen because I love the sound of it when the pen hits the paper. Recently, I watched Seb Lester’s basic calligraphy class on Skillshare. Now I’m trying to learn how to use parallel pens. And who doesn’t like iPad and Procreate?! They are undoubtedly real time savers, and I find this especially true when I try to explore color combinations and new techniques.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes I walk away from it for a week or two, and then I realize how much I miss creating something. Then boom, everything is fresh again! It has been a while since I’ve last done this. I think I may save it for when I really run out of creative juice. Another way to recharge for me is talking a long hot shower. Believe it or not, many of my best ideas come while I shower or before I go to bed.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
I grew up in the northeastern part of Thailand with my grandparents. They used to run a cotton mill factory and pineapple orchard. I always appreciate how hard entrepreneurs work to keep their business running. And I never get tired of pineapple!