What we do isn’t about following the rules. It’s not about playing it safe. It’s about who we are – and you don’t need auto-tune when you’ve got genuine, rock star talent (but without the attitude, infighting and bad fashion sense). Every person at The James Agency brings his or her own unique genius and personality to every project we do. When you put us all together, you have pure awesomeness.
Get to know TJA’s newest graphic designer, Ina Lee!
What college did you graduate from? Major?
The University of Arizona, BFA in visual communications with an emphasis in design.
Where did you grow up?
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Spent few years growing up in South Korea.
What got you interested in the marketing/advertising agency?
One memorable design project I did during school was a semester long branding project for a beverage company. I started with a concept, then created a logo, print advertisement, business collaterals, billboards, monumental signage, bottle packaging and website. It was a whole shebang of design, and had to spend weeks after weeks of pulling all nighters. I remember it as being one of the most stressful project during my school year, but it was also one of the most valuable project that I cherish till now. It was a process that made me realize that I love designing, and that I had picked a right path for my future. And from then on, I was committed to becoming a designer and I knew my first step was to put myself into the world of advertising agencies.
What are some challenges you face in your role at TJA?
I face challenges every day working at TJA. It may be smaller challenges such as making sure I communicate clearly with the clients, to bigger challenges like learning a complete new design application in just few hours. However, I feel it’s important to accept these challenges because it drives you to work harder and keeps you skills and creativity fresh.
What success have you had in your role at TJA?
I consider taking a stab at After Effects and creating contents through Adobe Premier as one of my few success and accomplishments I’ve had in these few couple months since working at TJA.
What is your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job is that I’m not doing it alone, that I have a team I can count on and ask for help. At times, work can drain my energy and lack motivation. But having fun, talented, and genuine people around during work helps me get through the day and even give me inspiration.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?
That I should never stop learning even after school and even after you’re a full time designer. Always stay inspired and be curious, never settle.
What are some tools you use everyday that are specific to your role at TJA?
The main tools I use for my role at TJA are definitely the adobe creative suite, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. But as of lately, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and horn skill in two other applications, Premiere and After effects.
What’s trending now in your department? What do you see happening in the future?
Digital world has grown even bigger than just in the past one year. People have an urge or need to use their phones to see, buy, manage financial, edit photos, and read news etc, on this tiny device in your hand. The contents we create and build have to accommodate to this need, and it has to interesting to read and aesthetically pleasing for people to decide in a split second if they want to continue to stay and view. To be able to provide this service to our clients, our department needs to stay up to date with new technology, and trends.
What kind of work were you doing prior to TJA?
Before coming to TJA I worked as a graphic designer for two and a half years at another digital marketing agency in Oldtown, Scottsdale.
What would you tell someone who wants to start a career as a graphic designer?
Be passionate about designing, and have the will to learn continuously. Being a graphic designer doesn’t mean you can just be creative, you need to have a set of certain skills, and these skills are built from learning and practicing. You need to exercise your creative muscles daily whether that’s through surfing through Pinterest, becoming a subscriber to Wire/How/Fast co. magazines, or watching vine videos or observing billboards you see driving on the I-10. Immerse yourself into creative contents and creative people, these will help you bring out your innermost creative side.