I grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire. My parents have run the Chabad Jewish Community center there for the past thirty years. My mom was in charge of publishing the quarterly Jewish paper. As a kid, I would watch her work for hours on the layouts and Paste-up. She had to take the printed materials and with an exacto knife, roller, and hot hand-held waxing machine, lay it out by hand on 11x17 “Mechanical” vertical boards which would be the final art that got sent to the printing press. A few years later she transitioned to desktop software so we had the very early versions of Adobe software.
At around 13 years old I started fiddling with it myself and helped her create flyers for community events.
I went to a Hebrew academy and Yeshiva (Jewish study school) growing up. I didn’t attend any art or design school. I saved up and bought my first Toshiba computer when I was 15 and spent thousands of hours in front of it teaching myself what I could. Like I had mentioned earlier I had a head start creating flyers and posters for my parent’s community. The Chabad movement is a large network with over 4,500+ centers around the world. In a sense, I created my first job. I used the flyers that I designed for my parents and would re-sell them with edited content to other Jewish centers doing similar programs around the world. As the years went on I went from working with small communities with small budgets to larger projects for centers in New York and Los Angeles. From there I started working with business clients.
I manage and run Krinsky Design. We are an independent branding and design studio in Los Angeles. We work with clients primarily in the lifestyle and architectural markets. Our client list ranges from developing design for established well-known brands and agencies to new start-ups, fashion brands or business who are just starting out and need to build and brand from the ground up. We offer naming, brand identity design, web design and development as well as packaging, print and digital marketing collateral.
I have two little boys, ages 4 and 1, so my day starts at dawn, around 5 AM. I hang out with the kids for a few hours and get them fed and ready for school. At 8:30 we hustle out and I drop them off at school. I get into the office by 9 AM. Running an independent studio means I wear many hats. There are new client pitches and follow-ups, invoicing and proposals that need to be prepared as well as actual design work that needs to get done.
I am lucky to work with many international and east- coast based clients so I typically start off by going through those emails and then I tackle whatever is next on the to-do list. I try to wrap up by 5:30- 6pm to help my wife with bedtime (our boys are rambunctious!) and then I go back to work for another hour or two before retiring for the evening. As a single man I spent many all-nighters but I’ve come to realize that a good night sleep and some down time makes for much more productive working hours.
A great client is someone who wants to work with me because they value what I am offering, appreciate my strengths and skillset and are able trust me. If you’re just starting out you don’t always have the luxury to be picky with clients since the bills need to get paid but as you grow I would definitely suggest a filter-like system of questions you should have in your arsenal that you can use to help make sure everyone is on the same page before taking on a project. That way you can see any red flags before you begin.
I believe the 10,000 hour rule is real and it takes a very long time to master a skill.
Focus on a specific category of work and become the best in that field. Have patience and be kind to everyone. You never know where your next project or opportunity is going to come from.