S2 E1: JOYCE HESSELBERTH – ILLUSTRATOR, APP CREATOR, AUTHOR
This interview with Joyce Hesselberth, co-founder of Spur Design, is possibly our most How-centic episode so far. Maybe that’s because of Joyce’s insightful approach and her experience as a professor, or maybe it’s because of her multifaceted skills and multi-word title: illustrator/designer/author/app developer/animator/who knows what’s next.
She’s the author and illustrator of two children’s books Mapping Sam and Shape Shift, along with being the creator of two apps, PrestoBingo Shapes and PrestoBingo Colors. These projects encourage conceptual learning through creative play, but they also have that timeless, memorable quality of the children’s books you’ll always remember from your youth.
Joyce originally had the vision to create children’s books when she was in college. Back then, she didn’t feel she had the skill set to do it. She set out on a career in graphic design, found a deep interest in illustration, and then combined the two disciplines. Having worked for multiple design agencies and in freelance, Joyce became more and more versatile and skilled. She and her husband, David Plunkert, opened up Spur Design in 1995 and continue to work with clients on everything from brand campaigns to rock videos to brand identity.
Once Joyce delved into the world of books, she realized the “super power” of being able to solve problems with pictures and words. Even more impressive, she began to develop apps herself…learning the technical skills to bring her art to life in a brand new space. This level of ingenuity was incredibly inspiring to us, but it seemed like second nature to Joyce. Her Three Big How’s will give you some insights into things YOU can do to channel Joyce’s approach and learn from a pure and true creator:
THREE BIG HOW’S
PERSISTENCE. PERSISTENCE. PERSISTENCE.
Push at least one thing forward every day. Joyce reinforced a common How that we’ve heard from other successful creatives. You’ve got to have that discipline to make progress each and every day. Joyce says this trait is actually more important than being good.
FIND YOUR COMMUNITY.
Surround yourself with the most creative people you can find. This community will act as a source of help, inspiration, energy, advice, and much more. Joyce has found her community at various places throughout her career—at school, at multiple jobs, and as a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
IT’S YOUR JOB TO MAKE IT INTERESTING.
If you get a job/project that you don’t think is exciting, that’s exactly what your job is. The client needs someone to help them bring life and resonance to their idea or product. If they can make it interesting themselves, why do they need you?
Hopefully you already listened to this episode and you’re just using the show notes as a refresher. If not, do yourself a favor and listen to Joyce. Great story with actionable insights that will help you be a better creative.