The Day Job -- by Guest Erin Jang

I work at Esquire magazine as the Associate Art Director. I design layouts for the stories in the magazine and commission artwork to accompany the articles. One of the reasons I've always admired Esquire (along with the writing) is that the design aims to be smart, conceptual and forward-thinking, and the magazine isn't afraid of evolving. You can see some of the work I've done at Esquire here.





One thing I love about every creative job I've had is that I've been able to incorporate an element of the handmade into my work. At Esquire, that happens on the Table of Contents pages where I collage together photos from different stories in the magazine and create something new. A friend recently asked me if those collages were done digitally. He looked horrified when I explained to him that I actually cut out tiny strips of paper with an X-Acto knife and glued them together, piece by piece. As so much of design is digital and on the computer, I find it satisfying to take a break and make things by hand.

One of the most satisfying jobs I had was at the Seattle Times a few years ago. I followed my husband out there for work for a year and got a position at the Times illustrating and designing the covers to their weekend going-out sections. I love incorporating different layers into my illustration (fabric, photos, vintage clip art, watercolor and gouache).






An old coworker, another art director, used to say to me, "Erin, can you believe we get paid to do the work that we love?" To be able to be creative and have fun and to make a living making things – I feel so fortunate to be able to do this.

14 comments:

Kari said...

beautiful and informative -- brava!

bubbo-tubbo said...

what a beautiful story and fantastic work! I wish I were you, Erin :)

thrilled by the thought said...

Wow! I'm so happy you shared this. I can't believe you did that contents page by hand either. I love it!

Joanna Goddard said...

you are SUCH a talent! i love love love the word you've done here. xo

Ms. Chief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
j. yoon said...

i heart your work! thank you for expressing your beauty and creativity for others to enjoy :) -jjy

i.d. said...

Erin, you're so talented! You really are lucky that you get to do what you love for a living. :)

littlebrownpen said...

Your work is stunning. So creative, fun and smart. Can't wait to read more of your posts.

Jackie said...

i'm so glad rachel has invited you to guest blog... it's such fun to see your work! and i agree it's a real treat to be able to get paid for doing what you love. looking forward to seeing what you have to share tomorrow!

Janine said...

Excellent work! It is always nice to know a bit about the people behind the design.

Elie said...

I really like Erin's work! she is sooo gifted at what she does and i can't wait to see how much more she can do! i love it

john said...

that is the greatest sucess in the world - loving what you do. kudos =)

and great designs as well.

made sweet said...

wahoo i love these! the designs for the going out sections make me so happy!!!!!!!!!

devlo said...

As a page designer, I love your portfolio and am impressed that you jumped from the Seattle Times to Esquire! Wow. Esquire's one of my favorite magazines to look for design inspiration (and I'm not a regular reader of it, I'm female!). Great work!

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