Duration: Four years.
Location: New York, New York.
Education: BFA in graphic design from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, and the School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York.
Career path: In 2013, I moved to New York to attend SVA. I had a number of great teachers who introduced me to the field of graphic design. Shortly after graduation, I was hired as a designer at book publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where I fully dove into book cover design. In late 2016, I met a few art directors from the New York Times Opinion page who gave me a shot at editorial illustration. Now by day, I design book covers at Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House; by night (and on weekends) I occupy a desk in a small studio where I take on illustration commissions and other design work.
Artistic influences: Book cover designers have to adapt to many styles since every book demands a different solution, both stylistically and conceptually. This forced me to take a problem-solving approach to design that can incorporate almost any style. My influences can come from anything—from an old unfinished painting to a piece of contemporary sculpture. Or a piece of ephemera. Or a friend’s Instagram photo. You learn to keep your eyes open.
Favorite project: Collaborating with the folks at the New York Times Magazine on their “Payday Loans” cover and interior spread. It was fun to work with such a talented team.
Work environment: Physically, I work in a cubicle on the 12th floor of a dark office building in midtown Manhattan. Culturally, I’m surrounded by a wonderful group of people who champion creativity and trust the designers in the art department to do their jobs well, so it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Approach: Whether it’s illustration, photography or typography, I like to have a hand in everything I do. It’s important that it’s personal to me.