Today we’d like to introduce you to Macoe Swett.
Macoe, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a kid, I loved to draw, but even at a young age, I knew I didn’t want to become a starving artist. In high school, I took all my electives in Fine Arts and I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who suggested I go into graphic design. The more I learned about design, the more I fell in love with it and its seemingly paradoxical blend of logic and aesthetics, beauty and strategy, research and intuition, intellectualism and emotion.
The longer I practiced design, the more I realized that in design, these aspects are not paradoxes at all, but integral parts of a complex system, all working together to produce a unique experience.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yes and no. I think one of my struggles is that I want to do everything! So I can be easily distracted. I have been a bartender, a shoe salesman (literally), a yoga teacher, a college professor, a DJ, a jewelry maker, a marketing coordinator, a restaurant floor manager, and I am currently a designer, illustrator, art director and design manager. I like trying new things, but the one passion that has never died for me is design and all things design related. I’ve learned that I need to pick and choose what I give my energy to carefully. I’d rather be really skilled in a few key areas than a jack of all trades.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Urban Legend Design – what should we know?
I started Urban Legend Design back in 2003. It’s a sole proprietorship; I have no employees and never planned to. I always wanted to be my own boss, but I’m not really interested in telling others what to do. I don’t even use contractors, except for web development. Every project I take on is in my hands from start to finish. So my clients get my > 20 years of expertise.
I specialize in data visualization/infographics, iconography, custom typography, patterns, illustration, and integrated branding solutions. One of my favorite things is when I create an identity system for a new business. The client’s reaction when they see what is often the first tangible element of their passion project is my greatest reward!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Back when I had recently graduated with my BFA, I was unsure of myself and my work. It was hard to know when something was finished. So I challenged myself to not consider something as done until I loved it. I would tell myself at the beginning of a project that it was going in my portfolio no matter what. That pushed me to dive deeper, spend a little more time, and not settle for “pretty good.” I’m not sure what you would call that quality! Pickiness? Haha…
The other thing that I think is really important is a good life/work balance. When I was entering my MFA program while also running my business and teaching full-time, I decided no matter what I would allow myself 8 hours sleep. I had been running on about 6 hours a night previously. I was shocked at what a difference it made. It turns out, I was walking around vaguely tired for about a decade before that. For me, being well-rested and spending time with friends and family as well as self-care is essential for my creative process.
- Website: www.urbanlegenddesign.com
- Phone: 619-807-9342
- Email: email@example.com