We’re excited to introduce you to Jarrett Beeler, creative director and owner of Sway Creative Labs in Downtown Norfolk.
He will be presenting “Slashing Your Title” today, November 16th, at Hatch in Norfolk. “Slashing Your Title” will offer tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of skill set stunting, how to sell yourself as multidimensional to hiring managers, and how to best to translate your versatility into value..
Here is an insight on Jarrett’s path to where he is now and where he is going, both personally and in his work.
Hampton Roads AIGA: What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in design?
Jarret Beeler: I’d probably be teaching. I’ve had a couple amazing teachers and professors that have had a profound effect on my writing, my work, and my life. I just don’t think there’s a more honorable profession, and there’s something about helping someone realize their talent that’s really inspiring. If not teaching, I dunno — perhaps professional pinball circuit. If that’s a thing?
Who was your mentor and what was the most important thing they taught you?
I’ve got a few. Dave Iwans over at DIA gave me my first job in advertising and taught me so much about how to effectively engage people and audiences with concise cleverness.
Drew Ungvarsky has been someone I’ve envied and respected for a long time too — doing amazing things for these massive brands and agencies in a relatively small market, and at a relatively young age. Though it wasn’t until I spent a few years working with him over at Grow that I learned just how hard that dude works to ensure that shop’s success and its people’s success.
Finally, my dad. I’ve learned from him that garnering respect requires giving it, and that working hard is a virtue.
How do you spend your time when not working?
My two-year old keeps me pretty busy these days. My wife and I are still “recovering teenagers,” so we spend the rare date night out going to shows and enjoying all Norfolk / VA Beach has to offer. I’m also a pretty big sports fan with a pretty nonsensical quiver of favorite teams — Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Cubs. There’s also always a civic project in the mix too. We’re working on a really ambitious one in the NEON District right now that if green lit will excite a lot of people, I think.
What do you look for in new hires?
Well, versatility, as I’ll discuss in the presentation. But it’s also so dependent on the position as well. First thing is always, “how’s this person going to fit in the dynamic of the shop.” It’s great to see candidates who have done their research too; who know a bit about the shop. Obviously the work is paramount, but confidence in the presentation of it and the thought process behind the concept and approach are too. For junior designers, I love to see that they’ve courted actual clients in their books. So often we see portfolios that are beautiful, but they’re all so comprised of student projects with no client feedback, brief, or timeline. Even if it’s not the “sexiest” of clientele, the fact that you’ve been able to interface with a client from ideation to execution is impressive.
some clips from the offices of Sway:
What do you hope attendees will take away from your presentation?
A few things. First, that being “T-Shaped” is advantageous to your creativity, career and employer, and if you are in fact “wired that way” you should find a gig that appreciates and encourages it. Secondly, how to sell and concentrate your versatility without sounding or performing like a Jack or Jane of all trades and a master of none. And finally, how learning other facets of the business that may not even be in your interest sphere can make you unbelievably valuable, relatable and a better creative.
How can we follow your work and get in touch with you?
Slashing Your Title: How Being T-shpaed Can Reshape Your Creativity and career takes place today, Wednesday, November 16th, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, at The Hatch, which is located at 111 Grandy St in Norfolk. There are still a few spots left – so register this morning. For more info or to register, click here.