Hey Keenan, thanks so much for joining us on The Industry. Tell us a bit about yourself and the work you’re doing.
I’m the creative director and co-founder of a startup called Wander. My role covers everything from product design, UX, UI (web + mobile), and branding. And then I pitch in on content strategy and copywriting as well. It is intense, and the most compressed and rewarding learning experience I’ve had in my career.
If you could change one thing about your career to date, what would it be?
Early on I put a lot of faith in a system that would take care of the dutiful worker. Put in the time, do good work, wait for the promotions and opportunities. I thought talent was everything, and a better career was continent on better work. I quickly realized that talent is merely a prerequisite. If you work in an industry where everyone is good, everyone cares, everyone works long hours, you can’t expect extraordinary results if your hard work is the ordinary. It was only when I started to build an entire body of work and reputation outside of my 9-5 that thing really started happening. It is almost like having two careers simultaneously, but it really is late nights and weekend projects that define you. Now I pour myself into Wander, but I make sure I make time to write, and am even working on a project to benefit the interactive design community. All of that stuff feeds into itself and makes everything better.
My advice to my freshly graduated self would be to not expect anything from the industry. Everything and anything is available, but it will not come to you. Go get it!
Where do you see yourself, and the industry, in, say, 5 or 10 years?
Our industry is ahead of the curve. People are starting to ascend Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When food and shelter, safety, community, and self-confidence are a baseline condition we can provide to everyone*, the only thing left is self actualization and creation. More and more people will become creators and makers. We will button our shirts, tie our ties, and hop in self-driving cars on our way to the office to write poetry, play games, draw and paint and shape and build.