Jasper Kange
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Graphic Design Certificate
2015
Art Director and Junior Designer at Greenspring Media

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is being able to be creative and solve problems through this outlet of design. Within a year I was given the responsibility of art direction for some of Greenspring's custom publications and redesigning the branding for some of our biggest events. Taking everything that I've learned in school and applying it is really fulfilling. Designing for an actual audience and seeing your work exist in the world is a feeling like no other. To look at something sitting on a shelf and say to yourself "I designed that" and see your name in the table of contents . . . it's dope.

How do you find inspiration when you are feeling stuck?

Some advice I got from one of my favorite professors was to look at 100 different images because there is no way you could look at 100 different images and not see something that sparked an idea. Otherwise taking a break and walking outside is another great way to find inspiration. I think we forget about how impactful our environment is and how many small details there are in the outside world.

Why did you choose to get a certificate in graphic design?

After I graduated from Luther College I spent some time at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco studying 3D animation. The program wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be so I decided to move back to Minnesota. After seeing the movie Friends with Benefits I learned about art direction and it seemed like a really cool career and something I could transition into having a fine arts background, but first I had to get design experience. I contacted some of my professors from Luther and they told me about MCAD's certificate program and the rest is history.  

What was it like working in a hybrid on-campus/online program?

It was interesting because the program was evolving as we were moving along. I preferred being on campus because it gave me the ability to actually engage with my classmates and the professors in person as opposed to writing on a discussion board.

Did you have a job while completing the program? Was it stressful balancing work and school?

I did. I was working a few different jobs at the beginning of the program and then landed an internship at Greenspring and was eventually hired on full-time as a junior designer after a few months into the program. It wasn't really stressful. There were days when I'd have no energy or desire to design because that's what I was doing every day at work and that could be tough, but if the projects you're doing in school are in areas that really interest you or the subject matter is your passion, it is easy to kinda get reenergized and excited about getting into it.

How has your certificate enhanced your career?

It has given me the skills to succeed and break into the field. MCAD is a very respected school and the networking is unbelievable. I have been able to travel to other states and contact alumni to talk design and network with, which is really valuable in this field. I'm not sure where I'd be without it.

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD?

I'm not sure how my work has evolved but I think my ability in defending my work and being confident in myself as a designer has changed the most. I think people have forgotten that all of this is subjective. Yes, there are those that have more experience in the field than you and could have been exposed to many different areas of design but ultimately it's up to you the designer on how your work is presented. Being able to talk about your work confidently and having reasoning behind the design choices you make are some of the most important aspects to your overall design.

What advice do you have for art/design students?

I'd say be open to everything and trying new things. We sometimes get stuck in our ways of doing things because that's what we are good at or used to. School is the time to become comfortable being uncomfortable and trying things that you've never tried before and trying things you know you might not be good at. It's those experiences that make you a better artist or designer.