Jason Travis has served as a photographer/designer at MailChimp in the past – these days working as a freelancer in L.A., having his hands in a bunch of creative outlets, which he tells us they all help compliment each other and make each piece stronger. He goes on to tell us the importance of being honest with his work has helped him be more original with each design and has helped structured his life.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started? I began falling in love with design during my time at Georgia State. I made life long friends and had inspiring professors. After graduation I found community around Atlanta splitting my time at different agencies and companies learning from those around me and also challenging myself. I definitely had some hardships finding the right fit after design school. That was a tough growth period. I think some people fall into that more easily than others but I’ve always known I wanted a career in design and I’ve never given up.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
I’m a photographer, designer, videographer, illustrator, and musician. I approach every project in the most creative way possible, and by any means possible. My time spent working with design influences my photographs, and my love of illustration influences my design. My love of music and art influence how I spend my day to day life. It all goes hand in hand. I try to keep an open mind and approach every project with a fresh pair of eyes. Creating gives me the means to express a wide array of emotions and ideas. Its an endless exploration.
What does a typical working day include for you right now?
Since I moved to Los Angeles earlier this year I’ve been busy working freelance. I’ve shot numerous campaigns for different companies, painted a 60 ft mural, and spent time on a few personal projects. Every day has been a new adventure and a learning experience. For the prior 3.5 years, I served as a photographer/designer on the MailChimp marketing team. There, I applied a wide variety of skills to help build the company’s reputation as a creative company to watch. I enjoyed spending time at the Atlanta office and being part of a dynamite team.
How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?
I’ve always wanted my style to be honest and reflect who I am and what I enjoy. My illustration style has evolved over the years but I’ve never wanted to be a copy of anyone else. I stick to what I like. Thin lines, simplicity, contrast, humor, strangeness. I emphasize “the idea” and I think that’s where my inner designer emerges. Taking everything I’ve learned from childhood through college and beyond.
What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?
I would tell myself “You have a lot to learn but keep doing what you are doing and stay true to your vision and path.” I’ve definitely had a few obstacles along the way but I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences and growing from them. The digital landscape has changed vastly since I was in school. I feel that everyone must continue to adapt and grow with the world around them. However, I still embrace timeless and classic influences, even looking inward at my former self when I was motivated by the simple urge to create for the sheer love of it. As I grow older I never want to forget that feeling.
What has been your highlights since you started out?
I’ve had a lot of highlights and been very thankful for all of them. It hasn’t all been a piece of cake. There’s no way it can be – that’s not realistic. My Persona series, which I started right out of college and features over 450 individuals from all walks of life, has been featured by CNN, USA Today, Yahoo, and I’ve appeared multiple times on HLN. I was recently published in the book Things Organized Neatly. I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the most talented photographers, illustrators, and designers out there. I’ve been able to investigate, discover, document, explore, travel, and work on some very excited projects that have shaped me as a person and I consider the journey itself to be a highlight.