Interview with Rand J. Hunt(@randyjhunt)...
Randy J. Hunt is the Creative Director at Etsy! He is also a very talented designer and is a leader in his field. Randy is very dedicated to what he does and he has great work ethic. Here you go...
Q. How/Why/When did you get into designing?
A. I used to play in bands starting around high-school and through college. I designed fliers, posters, CD covers, and websites to promote the bands I was in and friends' bands. I'd been designing for a small record label I'd co-founded, but never really thought of design as a discipline or career. I went to college to study sound design, because I wanted to make software instruments or do audio production. This seemed like a natural extension of all of the music I was into. The program I enrolled in was brand new – a collaboration between the Computer Science department and the Art department – and ended up taking many art courses. I fell in love with print-making techniques like screen printing and letterpress, and I also found book-making quite therapeutic. All of these projects I'd end up treating like design projects, and that's when I realized I was getting my kicks as much from design as I was from making music. My sophomore year of college I knocked on the door of my favorite design studio in town (Orlando, FL), and got a job there. I ended up working there for most of my remaining time in college. I've realized that this idea of art and computer science has been around me for a long time. My father is a programmer and a musician. We had computers around the house as a kid, and he's a tinkerer with all sorts of things. I definitely soaked this up, and technology and tools were always familiar to me. So being creative and experimental in technical environments has been second nature for me. Designing for a website, designing a book, designing a conversation – these all feel equally familiar to me as design projects.
Q. What is the key to a great design/being a great designer?
A. Great design is difficult to pin down, but for me, it solves a problem in an engaging way. I like to think that designing is going from where you are to somewhere better. So design, for me, must inherently attempt to improve a situation and make something better be that a communication need, a business initiative, or a personal experience. If that's design, then I'd say great design does all of that in a way that also pushes the design discipline forward and deeply resonates with people. The keys to being a great designer? Empathy, curiosity, and hard work. I almost said "hard work". It's not about "hard" as in difficult, it's more about rigorous thinking, thoughtfulness and thoroughness. That's what I mean by "hard work".
Q. How would an eighth grader get involved with Etsy?
A. Make something! In fact, make several somethings, then head over to etsy.com and set up shop. You'll learn so much! If you're looking for inspiration and motivation, take the Etsy Taste Test. Being a member of an Etsy team is a great way to meet people and get advice about making and selling. If a person is interested in experimenting with fun technology, the Etsy API is also a great resource to build on top of.
Q. What would you like your last words to be?
A. I'd hope my last words would be "thank you". I'm extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I've had and the wonderful people in my life.
Q. What can we expect from you in the future?
A. That's a hard one. Expect to have your mind blown! I'm kidding. One of my mentors gave me good advice about talking about the future. He didn't like to over-talk about things before they happened, because by the time they really do happen he felt as if he'd already experienced all of the feelings and emotions that would have come with it.
That is a great Monday interview, if I do say so myself! Here is a little something-soemthing I cooked up for Mr. Hunt. Purchase this bad boy here.
Many thanks to Randy! instantbight