Jason Craig has been someone that people can relate to. He has fun with design, is an amazing illustrator and designer but can also loosen up and not take things so serious. In this episode we will look at how and what he has been doing since going on his own. I believe he has been on his own for 4 years now.
If you aren’t familiar with Jason’s work, get ready for some eye candy. He works across multiple disciplines within our industry and does them VERY WELL, from brands and murals to posters and packaging, and so much more. He creates a graphic style, believes in giving back and giving back and giving back. Seriously inspring.
He has done a lot of work in the time he has been on his own. He has tried new things, working part time for one client half of his work week to then going full time on his own. He enjoys cruises and has been on many since we last spoke and your adventures have been endless. I am excited to see what he has learned and what advice he would give his younger self.
I hope you will join me for Episode 444, LIVE on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm BST / 8:30am in Hawaii
You can be part of the conversation live with us. Simply join the Creatives Ignite Family by giving me your email and get a reminder email 30 min before the show: https://creativesignite.com/signup
You can also add it to your calendar so you don’t miss it. (Those links are in the emails). See you there, then you can type in the chat and ask questions live.
- Jason, can you tell everybody a little background about you, who you are, where you are, and what you do?
- You’ve been on the show two times, first on the show back in 2015, then in 2017. How has life and business changed since last time we talked?
- What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve faced in regards to your business?
- Has staying creative been a challenge for you? How do you come up with new ideas?
- Do you struggle with time management? Marketing yourself?
- How do you get your name out there? Agent? Groups? Conferences?
- How do you go about learning new skills? When is it important to sharpen skills you have already and what have you done to do that?
- Do you have any systems or processes that has helped you develop new skills? What types of business skills and creative skills have you had to learn?
- Looking back, have you found or realized a new superpower you weren’t aware of before?
- Do you ever deal with being overwhelmed? If so how have you dealt with that?
- Do you have any creative outlets or non creative outlets that you do regularly to keep you balanced?
- Have you avoided burning out?
- Do you collaborate with others? What elements make up a perfect collaborative project for you?
- What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last year, that has been most impactful to your life or freelance business?
- What’s one piece of advice you would tell your past self 8 years ago?
- What is next?
Connect with Jason
[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Creatives Ignite and Maija is in Norway. I don’t know why I keep wanting her to move to another, um, another country in the Netherlands, I guess. Um, but still in Norway. Thank you. And we got a lot of other people here. Ben Pavy just came. So Ben, it’s good to have you back.
[00:00:23] Um, and I am excited because we’re doing this series and we only have a few more people left and I had [00:00:30] asked Jason at Creative South, I was there for a day and I asked Jason, I said, Hey, I wanna have you on because you’re always doing such really cool things. And it always seems like he’s like living the, the life that.
[00:00:45] All of us would want. He’s taking the people that we want, the, the clients that we want. He’s getting the clients that we want. He takes risks. He makes products for himself and sells them. He, you’ve sold some weird [00:01:00] things at Creative Sound. Oh, yeah. Just weird things that you’ve found when you were junking or whatever.
[00:01:05] Right. But I’m excited because we’re gonna get to un uh, peel back and see kinda what you’ve been doing. You’ve almost been, is, has it been five years or it’s, or four years. Four years. Okay. So yeah. Not good with math and clearly can’t remember. We’ve got a lot of other PE people here now. And if you want, we’d love to see what you are saying in the chat.
[00:01:27] Just make sure you say to your [00:01:30] little two thing instead of host and panelists, make sure it says to everyone. So, and tell us where you’re popping in from. We’d love to know. So, I’m Diane Gibbs. This is Jason Craig. Jason has been on, uh, I think I met you my first time just meeting you in person. Was at, uh, creative South.
[00:01:50] Yeah. And I don’t remember where, but you’ve always been to me connected there. And I said in the um, In the newsletter this week that you al you feel [00:02:00] like family because you’ve, you remind me of my cousin Scott, which is great. Like he’s a great person to remind, be reminded, I mean, I love all my cousins, but like Scott is, has a special place.
[00:02:12] So you remind me of Scott. And so it always just feels like I’m talking to family. You are, um, I always think of you as maybe, uh, there was a underdog, but then you’ve just blown up. Like you blew people’s minds. They [00:02:30] never maybe expected you to do or to learn or to be who you are or, or what they were expecting.
[00:02:37] What they got wasn’t what they were thinking they were gonna get. Right. And maybe that’s not the case now because people know who you are and what you do and they do expect you to do something off the wall or be really creative. Um, but you were telling me the story and I’d love to. I’m gonna pull up some of these images after we, I’m gonna want you to first quick tell [00:03:00] people who you are, where you are, and, um, a little bit of your background, and then I’m gonna jump into the Banjo bq.
[00:03:09] Jason Craig: Okay. Um, well first thanks for having me on. Uh, this is gonna be cool. Um, so yeah, Jason Craig, I am a graphic designer, illustrator, muralist, and I guess speaker. And I’m in Augusta, Georgia. I’m originally from Illinois. Uh, I moved here in 98 to pursue [00:03:30] my dreams of being a creative of some kind, and that’s all I’ve ever done.
[00:03:34] I’ve been, I’ve been in this field for 25 years, so, After 25 years, if I haven’t figured something out, then I, it’s time to do something different, I guess. Go, go deliver mail or clean gutters or something.
[00:03:51] diane: But it’s still fun for you. You’re still doing new things, you’re figuring things out and you community’s [00:04:00] important to you helping people.
[00:04:01] Maybe, um, you’ve done a lot of mentoring and work with, um, people that maybe were in high school or people again, maybe some of those people that were the unexpected. You, you, maybe nobody thought that they could do something or they didn’t even think they could do anything with their art and now you give, you show them, you open the doors and say, Hey, there’s actually stuff you can do and make a living at.
[00:04:25] Jason Craig: Right? Yeah. Uh, sure. Well, I think part of it is that [00:04:30] I grew up in a real rural area. There wasn’t a lot of encouragement for dudes doing art or being creative. There, there, there just wasn’t the opportunities. And it wasn’t exactly, you know, your parents dream for you to come home and say that you wanted to be an artist when you grow up.
[00:04:47] And so for me, I, all I do, I try to do the things that nobody did for me. And if that’s empowering younger people or young designers and, and [00:05:00] you know, just kind of getting them through it, uh, then it really feels like I’m doing more than what is expected. That it’s, it’s what really makes me sleep good at night.
[00:05:08] Because I think that whenever I was younger, the only pressure I had was from my family being disappointed, which that’s fine and I can live with that, but now I feel like. Everybody has a lot more pressure on ’em with social media, with, you know, oh conferences, with everything, with, with the comparison problems.
[00:05:28] And you can see [00:05:30] everybody’s work now. I mean, whenever I started like once a year, you got a big catalog full of illustration or something and it was crazy stuff that nobody could do anyway. And so it didn’t bother you. But now it’s like people that you know are doing amazing stuff and it, and it really, I think, makes younger people it, it doesn’t give ’em a chance to build up their confidence.
[00:05:51] diane: Absolutely. So Tim Frame also said, can you impact power old people? And I said, yeah. Mm-hmm. I say, yes, I absolutely, it doesn’t matter. But I think [00:06:00] sometimes students or younger people don’t know there is ever another outlet they haven’t been to. I mean, nobody in my family knew you can make money at art.
[00:06:10] And I really do think that my dad thought. He was gonna have to pay for me forever, you know? Right, right. Yeah. He’s like, oh, well you’re gonna do business and art, Diane, you’re not gonna just do art. And then when I got two Ds, he’s like, you can drop the business.
[00:06:26] Jason Craig: You know? Yeah. And I mean, I think for the first maybe [00:06:30] 10 years of my career, I was just a, a head down, sitting in a cubicle designer that, I mean, I might’ve made like $10 an hour maybe, and I always paid my bills.
[00:06:42] But I, I wasn’t trying to, you know, I wasn’t trying to change anybody’s life with design. I was making newsletters that were left justified in spell check. I wasn’t, I wasn’t trying to, to get my name on anything. And, and at that point I didn’t even think it was appropriate for a designer to have their name on anything.
[00:06:59] I [00:07:00] thought that the less that they could see your work, the better. And it wasn’t until I got into my mid thirties that I was like, oh crap, I better start getting out here and showing people what I could do because otherwise, so
[00:07:12] diane: like when, like what, how many years ago? Um, I guess I’m asking you how
[00:07:15] Jason Craig: old you are, but that would’ve been, that would’ve been, um, maybe 10 years ago.
[00:07:21] Okay. You know, uh, 10 years ago, I think, well, it, it might’ve been a little bit longer than that, but it was probably around that time. That [00:07:30] I didn’t have any social media. I didn’t have a website, I didn’t have anything. I just did my job and went to the bank and went on vacation. And that was pretty, I was fine with
[00:07:39] diane: that.
[00:07:39] But you had four kids. You were also, uh, married, had four kids. So it’s not like you’re doing nothing. But I have a poster in my office at, at school and ’cause you had this, um, have a theory. I don’t know if you still live by that theory, but you could actually save time. I can’t remember exactly. A whole hour or 24 hours in a [00:08:00] year or something.
[00:08:00] Yeah, if you don’t put, if you just drink your coffee black, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But you would get up when you, maybe you were just working. Um, at a design firm, you would get up, you would get to work super early, like at six or six 30, and you would read before Yeah. Your colleagues came in and it, at that place you were in kind of a, I don’t think you had a Cuba, you, you were like on a big long table at that point, right?
[00:08:27] Yeah. Where your ears are, you know, you have your [00:08:30] headphones in and y’all are all like back to forth. There’s somebody next to you and somebody across from you. Yeah. And, but I think you, and before that, I, you had worked at a tiny little, um, you were designing like a hundred business cards and then a day, you know, it was like, yeah, just grind, grind, grind.
[00:08:49] Right. Just working. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But some people get to that point and they’re like, I just want. To get out. I, you have ground [00:09:00] me down. And that didn’t happen to you. You actually saw another option, I
[00:09:05] Jason Craig: think. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think it was, well there was, there was like really two phases to, to my whole career, my attitude around my career and there’s, there’s been several smaller phases, but two big turning points in, I think it was 2008 and I’d been doing it for 10 years at that point that I actually started to care about it a little bit because I’d done my job just fine and I was supervising other [00:09:30] designers, but I didn’t really, I didn’t think about it after work, I clocked out and I was fine.
[00:09:36] It didn’t, I just went to work. I had an easier job than most people. It didn’t bother me a bit. And so, uh, that was making all the business cards, that was making all the newspaper ads, all that stuff, because I was not trying to be Saul Bass. I was not trying to be. So yeah, I just wasn’t that it was a jump.
[00:09:56] Were you
[00:09:57] diane: enjoying it? Were you in enjoying,
[00:09:59] Jason Craig: enjoy as much as [00:10:00] anybody enjoys their
[00:10:00] diane: job? I mean, okay, so it was just, it
[00:10:02] Jason Craig: was, yeah. I think it was more about, yeah, I think it was more about, I would see a guy dig in a ditch and I was like, well, at least I don’t have to do that. And it was something that I could do.
[00:10:11] It was something I was good at, good at. And I know that 99% of dude designers that you ask them be like, oh, oh, I love drawing skateboard designs. And I was none of that. I wanted to be a fine artist. That job did not exist in the newspaper. The newspaper had graphic designer wanted. [00:10:30] And so that’s the job that I got.
[00:10:31] And like you said, I had, I had people to feed. And so that’s what I did. I did, I did the job I could get and I had some pretty decent jobs, but like I said, like it was just a job. I went home and did other stuff that I was more passionate about. But then somewhere around 2008, I was the creative director at a newspaper or like a weekly, all weekly magazine newspaper.
[00:10:57] And when I became creative director, I [00:11:00] didn’t get to design anymore. I was just in meetings all day and I was like, man, I really missed that design portion of what I do. And even though this was a promotion and more money and more responsibility, I was a manager. I was just spending my time managing. And so I spent a lot of time in my spare time, like watching design documentaries and the Helvetica documentary.
[00:11:23] And I remember watching, that’s a good one. Documentary. That’s, well, I remember thinking that, uh, I was like, these people are full of crap. Like, [00:11:30] there, there’s so much more than this, this one true font, you know? And so, uh, that’s whenever it kind of clicked that I did care a little bit more and that I was in that managerial position, now I could start to get some of my ideas into the design.
[00:11:46] ’cause I would do the covers and I would see people across the country that were doing really in interesting coverage for newspapers and magazines. And that’s kind of where I, I saw that I did have an outlet [00:12:00] to sort of get my style and develop that into something other than just making sure everything was lined up with every paragraph ended with a period and all that stuff.
[00:12:10] Uh, And once I did that, that kind of set me on this path where I got involved with the roller derby team and started doing all of their stuff and illustrating everything and kind of guiding them on how to do their marketing and their PR and everything. And that led me to having a good enough portfolio that I went [00:12:30] to an agency, became a senior designer there.
[00:12:32] And that’s whenever, a few years after that, whenever I realized that at a certain age it’s gonna be tougher to get a job if you lose your job. And so I just, the newspaper was a corporate, real corporate place. They were laying everybody off. And so my lifelong thought that if you had a corporate job, you’re safe.
[00:12:54] You can just do it forever. That belief was gone. And so [00:13:00] went to the agency and at a certain point I was like, I need to make sure that people know who I am, not just the name of this company. And so I reached out to some people that I had kind of met and I said, I’m gonna start putting my work out there.
[00:13:16] I’m gonna start getting social media, I’m gonna start doing some stuff. And they had a lot of advice for me that seemed kind of farfetched at the time, and it all kind of came true. It’s like, well, when you’re a creative working for other [00:13:30] creatives, they don’t want you to get bigger than them. I. And I was like, oh, that would never happen.
[00:13:34] We’re all a team here. Well, that happened, you know, there was resentment and there was, I was getting asked to speak at conferences and I was getting big jobs outside of my regular work.
[00:13:46] diane: And Well, and that was one of the things where, at that agency, which is a very standard thing, which I love this about your story.
[00:13:52] Yeah. And I’m super thankful that God gave me a really good memory because, and I remember things that you’ve told me, you said, well, um, [00:14:00] I could do freelance at that agency. Um, but I had, it had to be out of our, outside of our region. So you were getting work in New York in, because this is in Augusta, Georgia.
[00:14:13] Um, yeah. And like right on the South Carolina kind of border. Um, you’re getting work out way outside, but it kind of is. I’m sure that that agency would’ve loved to have gotten that, but they weren’t doing that outside work marketing themselves, so, right. [00:14:30] Maybe that does lead to some resentment, but,
[00:14:33] Jason Craig: well, I think part of it too is it’s like maybe because I, I stay so focused on the task that I’m asked to do that people don’t realize that I have very good communication skills and I have very good outreach skills, and if I want to work for Nike, I can make that happen.
[00:14:51] And that’s part of it is that sometimes the company is like, well, we wouldn’t even know how to begin to do that. I’m like, well, I could figure that out. I have the time to figure out who [00:15:00] to talk to and who to rub elbows with to figure out how to get this job. And I think that that’s where. All those skills that I was never allowed to use at any other job I’ve ever had.
[00:15:11] That’s why I’m able to be successful on my own, is because I know how to get in front of Atlanta Braves. I know how to get in front of Atlanta, United. I know how to get in front of all these people because I don’t have to spend all my time worrying about how am I gonna pay all these employees, or how am I gonna pay for [00:15:30] whatever excess that everybody has?
[00:15:32] I don’t have to buy a pinging pong table to keep somebody happy. Right? And so I can spend that time reaching out to other people. And, uh, and, and it’s one of those things and it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s like as long as I have my bills paid and I’m my only employee, as long as my salary is paid, which I pay myself a salary, um, then everything else is just extra.
[00:15:55] And so it’s, it’s a lot easier to say, okay, well I’ve got the jobs for the month that I need. [00:16:00] I can spend two weeks this month going after something I really want to do. And so I spend more time figuring out what kind of stuff I would like to do than I do, worrying about what I’m not
[00:16:10] diane: doing. Okay, so let’s dive into that.
[00:16:12] ’cause so some people might be listening and they might be like, damn, he’s cocky. Right? Um, and damn is a safe word, but I actually don’t think so. I think you’re very approachable. You’re very warm, you’re very willing to help people or tell people how to [00:16:30] do this. You mentor people. Yeah. I mean, so to me cocky would be like, well, I can do it and I’m never gonna tell you anything of how I’ve done this, but it, you’re an open book, but what it is is that you are like, maybe nobody told you, but you’ve seen other people do this and you actually can see them for them who they are instead of, yeah, your internal.
[00:16:53] Do you never worry or do you, when you’re going after something, do you ever have [00:17:00] a internal self-talk that’s not a cheerleader?
[00:17:04] Jason Craig: No. Um, so I have, I can, I have this ability to kind of, and you, you’ve seen me talk and you’ve seen me do ink wars and all these things. Like I have this ability to sort of set my anxiety and my fears and all that aside for after that’s over.
[00:17:19] And so a lot of times, like I can go into a meeting and be very confident and, you know, self assuring, but then once it’s over, then [00:17:30] typically like all that normal stuff comes flooding back in. And that always happens. So I’m not immune to having just unlimited confidence and zero fear. I can just set it aside until later and I can be like, all right, we’re gonna get through this thing right here.
[00:17:45] And we’re, we’re, you know, there’s just gonna be nothing that’s gonna bother us or anything. But truth is, I’m a very emotional person. Like, I cry at every single movie. I watched Hustle and Flow last night and cried like 10 times, you know? And so I cried at the Barbie movie. [00:18:00] Uh, But whenever I’m getting down to business and trying to talk to a client, I have to go in there with enough confidence that, you know, I can have tattoos and great big holes in my ears, and them not think that I’m a fool.
[00:18:14] Because that’s the other part of it is the, to wear a t-shirt to work, you have to be able to do your job well. And I think that that’s a big part of it. There is a hesitancy to hire me, especially if it’s a [00:18:30] like, like for instance, the local symphony just hired me to do their next year’s gala stuff, and that’s a really big job.
[00:18:36] And they’re not gonna hire me to do that if I couldn’t do the work well because they’re not gonna see me at church, they’re not gonna see me at the country club. I don’t hang out with people socially. And so it all comes down to the work and I have to, I have to overdeliver, I have to over promise, but then over deliver a lot of the time.
[00:18:56] And so if I wasn’t doing good enough work, then. [00:19:00] We wouldn’t even be here talking I’d, I would be cleaning gutters or, or something else, but I, ’cause I wouldn’t have made it through. But there’s
[00:19:06] diane: humility. So there’s confidence in your ability to figure stuff out. That’s what I think. You can figure it out.
[00:19:12] And you definitely are talented. Yeah. You know, like if they’re like, can you draw this? Whatever, but it’s the people who are coming to you and saying, I, it’s, this is the trust I think that you’ve built and this is the record. If, if I’m looking at your record, it’s like, right. They didn’t have anything and I took this and [00:19:30] I saw an idea of something and I made this neat connection that’s super memorable that not a lot of people do.
[00:19:36] But I think what you do for me is you, um, when. I’ve seen you talk to really famous people, and then I’ve seen you talk to me, and so I’m like, um, nobody, you know, but you treat us all the same. Yeah. And I think that that’s when you go into a meeting, you remember some of us would get, um, in our head like, oh my [00:20:00] gosh, oh my gosh.
[00:20:00] They could make or break me. They could. This could be. And you’re like, no, this is just one job. If not, I’m gonna go clean gutters. You know, like if yeah, I’m not too good for something, but I, you also see things. And if they see that you could help them or they wanna trust, then you know you can, but I don’t, I don’t think you come.
[00:20:22] You’re super humble. Like, you know, you can do stuff, um, and you can do it well. You don’t maybe know [00:20:30] exactly how you’ll solve these problems, but you Right. Are like a dog with a bone and you’re not gonna give up. And I think that, yeah. But you see people that they poop and they pee and they put their pants on the same way.
[00:20:42] Right. There’s not, yeah. I think you see people on a kind of more even level than they can kind of drop their, uh,
[00:20:53] Jason Craig: walls. Well, it, it, but it goes, it’s, it’s a, it’s kind of a good and a bad because for some people [00:21:00] I’m bringing them up to a level they don’t think they’re at. Right. But then for other people, I’m bringing them down to a level they don’t think they should be at.
[00:21:07] Hmm. And so there are plenty of people that I rubbed the wrong way because I don’t care that they made a hang tag for Nike this one time. It doesn’t, it doesn’t impress me a lot. Because people quit that job every day. And, and I, I also don’t think that your job necessarily defined you as a person. Hmm.
[00:21:26] And I meet a lot of really great people, [00:21:30] and I meet people. It, it’s, it, it is crazy to walk up to Creative South, or, or a conference where I feel like I’m just, any other attendee I had, I had, um, um, on the Tism, Dominic told me a great story that she thought I was the doorman at one of the bars that we were going to.
[00:21:50] And, and she thought that would be like a horrible story or something. And to me, that that means that what I’m doing is, is [00:22:00] accurate because I don’t wanna walk around acting like I’m a big somebody. I wanna, I want to be able to go and just chill out. Yeah. And, and have a good time and hang out with everybody.
[00:22:11] I. And I’ve been to conferences where the speakers and all the famous people were off in some green room all by themselves. And I was like, that is a really lonely place. Yeah. I would rather be out there with the, with the 7,000 people than in there with the seven people. And, um, on the [00:22:30] occasion that they let me get up and, and run my mouth on stage.
[00:22:34] I, I really like that people come up and say that I might’ve said something that mattered to ’em. And that means a lot. And we just did this, we did the, uh, poster show in Augusta here, and one of the artists posted this really long emotional thing about how they had moved back to Augusta in January, didn’t really feel like home here and didn’t feel accepted.
[00:22:56] And the, that this. Poster show really [00:23:00] changed our life. And for me, I get to do these things all the time. I get to be in poster shows. I get to do those things so much that I’ve taken for granted. Don’t even show up to the event anymore. And for somebody else to say that this was something that really meant something to ’em, I think that’s the stuff we gotta remember as, as we progress.
[00:23:18] If you’re a, if you’re a junior designer making five k t-shirts, and then all of a sudden you’re making brands and then all of a sudden you’re making bigger brands, you can’t forget about the, the, the five k [00:23:30] t-shirts. You can’t forget about that stuff because that was really important to you at some point.
[00:23:34] And it’s really important to them. And I think that I see a lot of people and they get up on this big perch and they’re like, oh, I’m in, I’m in Cupertino now. I’m a, I’m a, I’m an illustrator in San Francisco making $300,000 a year, and they don’t even make it a year. I was like, you’re not making $300,000 ’cause you only worked there for six weeks and now you’re looking for seven more roommates.
[00:23:55] It’s like, that sounds like a crappy situation. Yeah. Whereas, [00:24:00] whereas I’m sitting here working for Mom and Pops and I got season tickets to the baseball game that’s right next to my house that I want to every night. And so, uh, I look at people like Bob Ewing and I look at people like Matt Dawson and, and Ashley Jones.
[00:24:17] Just people that, that, that are very low key, but very talented and have taken care of themselves and taken care of their family and developed their skills to a point where they can work anywhere for anybody. And [00:24:30] I see other people that chase this idea of, I’m gonna work for a startup and, and I’m going to illustrate the 17th webpage for, you know, some, hey for some financial tech company.
[00:24:47] And it’s like, man, When the power goes out, all those websites are gonna be gone. And, and all you’re gonna have is all the stuff that’s sitting around you. And so I like designing the stuff that’s sitting around me for the people that are around me. Yeah. So [00:25:00] I don’t know.
[00:25:00] diane: Okay. So, so, um, I just love how you, how you do your business and maybe it’s also that you live within your means and you’re really good with your
[00:25:11] Jason Craig: money.
[00:25:11] That’s a big part of it. Um, that’s a big part of it. Yeah.
[00:25:14] diane: Because you’ve al that’s been something that is important for you for a long time. So how have you kept that when your friends were doing these other things and. Um, was it just that you had kids early and you couldn’t [00:25:30] do those things
[00:25:31] Jason Craig: or, well, that’s, no, it’s part of it.
[00:25:32] I, and, and again, like I grew up in the Midwest on like farms and so nobody had money where I’m from, like nobody had money. And so I remember whenever I turned 17 and the day I turned 17, this would be in like 1996 or seven, and I started getting like pre-approved credit cards and it’s just like credit cards.
[00:25:57] Like here’s $5,000, here’s $5,000. And it was [00:26:00] from every company and they just send you pre-approved credit cards. And I remember watching all of my friends just go out and they would buy crazy amounts of, they’d buy clothes and CDs and all kinds of stuff. And I was like, yeah, this doesn’t seem like a good idea.
[00:26:14] And I would just cut ’em all up, cut ’em all up and just go to work. And I, I just kind of got used to doing without. Even though I see other people having a lot of different stuff, I see people buying the newest phone, and I see people buying the new, uh, getting a new [00:26:30] computer every year. And it’s like, well, I don’t need all that, but I have art on my walls that cost more than a PlayStation.
[00:26:36] So I, I do spend money, but I just don’t, I don’t try to, I don’t worry about what other people have. I bought my first brand new car last year, and it’s the first brand new car I’ve ever had. And I’m not like, I’m not like Warren Buffett or somebody that sits around eating beans and mending my socks. I still, I go on vacations, I do stuff.
[00:26:55] I have things I, I, I have, I spend more money on books than most people spend on [00:27:00] groceries. And, uh, and I go to restaurants a lot. I mean, so I’m not, not living like a popper, just a, just a inch by, you know, but I don’t have any debt. I don’t buy anything I can’t afford. Um, so if you see me doing something cool, then you should know that I must have made a logo or done a job, but paid for that and, and.
[00:27:20] Even that you’re like, well, he must be paying himself that much. ’cause I don’t, I don’t, like, I get a salary, I don’t get more money. If I make more money, I just get the same amount.
[00:27:29] diane: [00:27:30] Alright. So you’ve said this kind of twice what you just said, and then you said it in a different way. You said earlier you didn’t get value from the title or what you did.
[00:27:39] Thank um, and this also comes back to money and having to have the right clothes or the right, uh, tech items or whatever it is. Um, so you weren’t also getting value from those things either. So was that something that was just instilled to you in you as a kid or is that something you kind of developed as you [00:28:00] went?
[00:28:01] Jason Craig: Again, it’s just, I just grew up not having anything
[00:28:04] diane: and I that Yeah. But every, but there were tons of other people that you were saying they also didn’t have anything and then they were trying to fill that void. Yeah. And they were doing something you weren’t doing.
[00:28:15] Jason Craig: I guess, I guess, ’cause my, I, I had more of a drive to do this, to be a creative than I did to have stuff.
[00:28:22] And I think that that was the thing, I think that, that I felt like I was being kinda limited in my ability to do what I love to [00:28:30] do, not limited in my ability to have stuff. And so I think that, um, that was more of it, like I had to move away from where I lived to be able to have this profession. And that’s still a fact.
[00:28:41] That’s still, I, I didn’t know that phrase. The best decision I ever made was to move away from home. Um, and, and it’s funny because I had to move to the south to have more opportunity and, uh, and I’ve had plenty here. And, and that’s part of why I get involved with my community. And it’s because I want to shape the [00:29:00] things that are around me.
[00:29:01] And I deal with my business too. So one of the things that, I don’t wanna work for another agency, but agencies have a lot to offer. So I give myself the things that somebody else might offer me. So I have a phone, I have a brand new computer, I have a. Beautiful desk. I have all the things that somebody might try to tempt to me with to come work for them.
[00:29:19] And I have the money part of it. I make more money than I made at an agency, so there’s really not a lot of temptation for me to go out and work for somebody else because I, they don’t really have anything [00:29:30] o to offer me other than a commute.
[00:29:31] diane: Well, and the other, the other thing that, uh, agency might have is that we have this event, or we do these clients.
[00:29:39] Yeah, yeah. And you’ve actually been able to make relationships and then get these clients. It, it doesn’t necessarily happen just right away, but you see this as it’s a long game for you, which I
[00:29:50] Jason Craig: think is, it is a, it is a long game.
[00:29:52] diane: So how do you have a positive so for somebody else out there? So if, um, say Doc one time he [00:30:00] said that he wanted to work, do something with Red Bull.
[00:30:03] I don’t know if he still does or not, but there’s the it out in the real world there for him. But if he wanted to do that, like if you, you would be like, okay, well how do you like hold onto that bone and not give up?
[00:30:15] Jason Craig: So that one think, I
[00:30:19] diane: mean, you don’t have to use Red Bull, I’m just saying Right, right.
[00:30:21] You’ve had certain things that you
[00:30:23] Jason Craig: wanted to do. There’s a lot of those, there’s a lot of those, those mountains that you want to climb. There’s bands that I would love to work with and there’s [00:30:30] there all kinds of different opportunities that I would love to do that I continuously chip away at. And one day I hope that they’ll call.
[00:30:38] But I think also the d the really difficult part is whenever those dream jobs come up and then it doesn’t fit your business model. Like personally, I would do this for free. I would. I spend all my time doing this. But then you have to come back and as a responsible business person and be like, well, they don’t have the budget.
[00:30:59] [00:31:00] You really don’t have the time to do this for nothing. And so you’re gonna have to let it go. And that happens a lot more than you would think. So when Red Bull does call and they say, okay, we don’t have your dream job, but we have this little thing that you can do for nothing. You can’t put it on your socials.
[00:31:14] And then you’re like, well, I guess I’m gonna have to pass. Because a lot of times we get fixated on things. We don’t really know what they are. And it seems like it’s a cool job, but they’re all the same. Yeah. And that’s, that’s, they really are all the same. And the only [00:31:30] difference between most jobs, I feel like the bigger the budget something is, the less revisions there are.
[00:31:36] Hmm. But other than that, I think that they’re all pretty much the same. If somebody’s paying you almost nothing, they’re gonna work you to death. If they’re paying you a lot, they’ll, they’ll just be like, approved on the first go. Thanks. Well, but you know, and they pay you. Um, but other than that, the work’s pretty much all the same.
[00:31:51] diane: Okay. So I wanna show about this, um, banjo b cue. So Ban you set it up and then I’m gonna play the one with the voiceover, so you’ll see what I’m about to [00:32:00] hit play, but set it up for them of, um, that this is a, uh, banjo B Q’s been going on for how many 10 years
[00:32:09] Jason Craig: or something? 10 years. Got it. So Banjo BQ is a bluegrass and barbecue festival in Augusta.
[00:32:17] It’s, it’s owned by, um, AB Beverage, which is basically Budweiser and, um, one a, a different agency, not the one I used to work for had done their stuff for 10 years and their imprint [00:32:30] was all over it. I mean, their style was what this was. Oops. And, oh, sorry. Go ahead. They hired me, they hired me to do last year and it was one of those deals where I get, I get approached a lot and sometimes it’s just some people are just price shopping or they’re doing due diligence and getting bids or whatever, and I’ll ask them if that’s what it is.
[00:32:51] ’cause I don’t care if that’s what it is. I’ll send a price and, and that’s fine. I won’t get too excited about it. But, um, they showed me they were serious. And so I had the [00:33:00] task of taking this whole festival in a new direction and part of that was marketing it and social and the content creation and a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily think that I would have to do, but I ended up having to do.
[00:33:15] And so, uh, if you’ve ever seen me at Creative South, that you’ve probably met my friend Justin, that does a lot of filming and is always following me around to the camera. And, uh, I’ve always got him to rely on. And we decided we were [00:33:30] gonna start doing a lot of video content. And among like the, in the discovery process of this, I found this giant fiberglass pig in the back of a warehouse that had came from a old Piggly Wiggly.
[00:33:42] Oh. And, um, what I wanted to do was I wanted to kinda leverage their position as sponsors of another festival, the arts festival, to let us paint on this pig in the middle of their festival to promote Man Jovi. Cute. And what we did is, while we were painting [00:34:00] live, which I’ve done a lot, we put QR codes in places where anytime anybody’s wanted to take a picture of us painting, that QR code would pop up to the v i p ticket sales.
[00:34:10] And so, so let, so let me,
[00:34:12] diane: let me play this real quick.
[00:34:16] Jason Craig: During Arts in the Heart of Augusta, a large arts festival that draws a hundred thousand people annually, we set up two artists right in front of the main stage for a live painting exhibition. Unbeknownst to Arts [00:34:30] in the Heart organizers, the exhibition would feature a large fiberglass pig that would be painted in promotion of Banjo bq, a music festival happening later that month.
[00:34:40] Posters for the event surrounded the exhibition and everything was branded, including the drop cloths and the tent QR codes took viewers to a link for V I P tickets. This stunt created a ton of awareness of banjo. Bq, drove traffic to the website, created content for social media, and was responsible for [00:35:00] selling out every V I P ticket, all for the cost of a fiberglass pig we found in the back of a warehouse.
[00:35:10] diane: So one thing I love is that you did something and I wanna just show, um, I think there’s, uh, oh, this is you creating that. You can talk over this one. I think. Um, let’s see. Yeah. Okay. This is your office, right?
[00:35:24] Jason Craig: That’s where I’m sitting right now.
[00:35:27] diane: I love that cup.[00:35:30]
[00:35:37] So this is your normal process starting with pencil?
[00:35:42] Jason Craig: Yeah, always. This is actually really my process. This isn’t, um, Hollywood magic. This is actually how I made this poster,
[00:35:53] and part of it is, I mean, when I say Bluegrass and barbecue festival, you don’t think [00:36:00] me and. Yeah, so,
[00:36:07] diane: but there was another poster as well, so I’m gonna show that poster.
[00:36:12] Jason Craig: Yeah, so this was like a, this was like a, i, I, I had this one made just for the video, so it was like a prop poster. And then, um, the final posters, Tim Styles, and Harry actually printed it native in Orlando.
[00:36:24] That’s for the, that’s the promo for the live painting thing. That was the flyer I put out. Um, [00:36:30] which actually ended up looking a lot like the actual event. Um, so a, a big one of the issues that they had with that particular festival. I’m a downtown person and so downtown Augusta is basically seven blocks and two streets, and that’s pretty much where I’m at most of the time is where most of my work happens.
[00:36:51] But Augusta’s a huge place, and so they wanted to kinda like, like one of the headliners was St. Paul in the broken bones. [00:37:00] From your neck of the woods. Um, and the other, like, it was Tanya Tucker and some jam band type stuff, but it wasn’t necessarily a bluegrass festival. And so I wanted to be able, well, one, I couldn’t just illustrate every bit of content they put out on social media because this, it was a lot.
[00:37:19] And so I knew that I couldn’t do that. We’re gonna need some video. So one of the rules that I had for Justin was that, that the reels had to look like you could have filmed him on a phone. So there couldn’t be any [00:37:30] transitions, there couldn’t be any like title writing. There couldn’t be anything that couldn’t have been done on somebody’s iPhone.
[00:37:35] And I wanted it to show that people from downtown, So that the downtown people would, would pay attention and be like, oh wait, you know, this is downtown influencers, this is Jason. This is not Hicks out there sitting on hay bales. This is actually something cool. And the same thing with the arts festival.
[00:37:54] We were there in the middle of that and it’s downtown. And so we were able to get a lot of the people that pretty [00:38:00] much spend their time downtown to drive to the edge of town on the other side to something that they would’ve never went to. And, and it was really successful. And I think that that’s another thing that, that I don’t realize that not every designer can think of that stuff and implement that stuff.
[00:38:18] I just kind of assume it’s, yeah. And I just assume that if you’re a designer, that you come up with the stuff and you don’t just sit and draw shapes that are dictated to you. And so a lot of times, I don’t necessarily think I’m humble. I [00:38:30] just assume everybody knows what I meant. Yeah,
[00:38:33] diane: but you, you are making, uh, so you’re walking through this, um, Budweiser, uh, warehouse and, but you see, hey, we could do something with this.
[00:38:44] Like, what is this thing we could, could we do use this? And it’s also, um, getting people to get ready for something else. So it’s the pre-planning, there’s so much strategy that goes into you and [00:39:00] what you do for your clients, but also what you do for other events that you’re, which is a client I know. But, but it’s, it is that long term, there’s, that long game is something I think that is so prevalent in your whole life.
[00:39:13] Um, yeah. You’re, but a lot of people don’t have that. They’re real short, um, shortsighted maybe.
[00:39:21] Jason Craig: Yeah. Um, yeah. And, and I think that is something that I do have, I have, I have infinite patience. I don’t, I don’t get frustrated very quickly. Um, [00:39:30] I mean, I’ll get mad, I’ll get aggravated, I’ll get over it plenty, but a lot of times I just, I can, I can just see further down the road a little bit.
[00:39:39] Yeah. And that’s why I’m able, I work eight 30 to five 30. I don’t work a lot of nights, I don’t work a lot of weekends and I really, I don’t fall into this trap of at four 30 on a Friday a client’s gonna call me and have this shapes emergency. I’m like, yeah, you do not have an emergency. You’re just trying to get, you’re just trying to get outta [00:40:00] work early and so am I, so we’ll just wor worry about this on Monday.
[00:40:04] diane: So there’s a lot of perspective that is, you’re able to kind of see it instead of getting sucked into this emergency. Dee has a question. Yeah. She says, do you ever use ideas from your childhood in your current journey or of creative life?
[00:40:18] Jason Craig: I do. And actually it’s funny because I’ve been, um, I went back home for Christmas and I hadn’t been around my family.
[00:40:27] In that kind of context in a long time and I got to see [00:40:30] all of them and, and I saw the kids that were older, I saw ’em, everybody I knew was older. And I realized that, that a lot of my perspective is from my childhood. It’s like from whatever year you start running around outside riding bikes to whenever I got a job.
[00:40:45] So it was probably like age, like six to 14 is most of my memories from a kid. And it kind of occurred to me that everybody else in my family does not have the same perspective that I do. And it kind of makes me want to, I’ve been working on it to make [00:41:00] like a sort of a autobio biographical cookbook and have like all these family stories and all these things that are in my head and use different illustration styles to, to show the different things.
[00:41:13] Because again, like I have this knowledge bias where it’s like everything that I think from my childhood, that’s what everybody thinks, but they’ve been living there for. 25 years since I left. And there’s plenty of people there that are, that don’t even know me. And so my experience is much different. So I think what [00:41:30] I mostly get from my childhood being in the Midwest is my work ethic, because Midwesterners just work all the time.
[00:41:36] We get up real early and we, we don’t ever call in sick. And so I think I got that. And then I think I got musts be a Midwest Westerner. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that, uh, I got a lot of my people skills from being in the south. Hmm. And so whenever I got here, I was kind of high strong, talked real fast, and, and was in a hurry all the time.
[00:41:56] And the, the, the living in the south, nobody’s in a [00:42:00] hurry. Uh, nobody’s worrying about it. And so it’s like combine, like working a little bit harder than most of the other people. Yeah. And you can be successful. That’s great. Okay. But yeah. Yeah. If that even answers the question.
[00:42:12] diane: It does. Um, all right. So let me just ask you a couple questions that were on the sheet, which is, um, What do you think the biggest hurdle has been in your creative life or in your creative business?
[00:42:28] So from [00:42:30] going out on your own, because I mean, are you never worried about money or never worried about having to take this client or do this thing? Or have you just gotten past that now you,
[00:42:42] Jason Craig: so this year has been really, this year has been a difficult year, and the past two years were almost, it seemed like too easy because it was like jobs came in and money came in and the work was great and it, it was like, oh my God, this is, this is the dream.
[00:42:59] So [00:43:00] coming outta Covid, it was like a slingshot and everything was just great. And it seemed like it was this never ending wave. And then the beginning of this year happened and it was just came to a screeching halt to where nobody was in a hurry. And I still have all these clients and I still have all these projects, but all of a sudden, There was no urgency whatsoever.
[00:43:22] And I kind that every month. I was a hundred percent project based for the first six months of this year. And [00:43:30] every month I had to figure out what I was gonna be working on and how I was gonna get paid and how I was gonna, you know, continue to do all my stuff. And nobody was in any rush to do anything.
[00:43:42] And it didn’t necessarily make me nervous. What it did is it made me stop and think, okay, well what did I do before? What was the plan? And it was just keep making stuff, keep working, keep putting stuff out there. Just don’t stop. Don’t, don’t let them being slow. Slow me down. And at a certain point I was like, [00:44:00] crap, this, uh, this stuff’s not gonna, it’s not changing.
[00:44:05] Well, then I got some news that, uh, the music festival, banjo BQ got canceled this year. Hmm. And so, um, uh, that was a big portion of my second half. And I knew that that was gonna be gone. And so I had to figure out how to change my attitude and change the way that I go about getting business and be a lot more assertive about it.
[00:44:29] [00:44:30] And so what I did is, well first of all, I was like, oh, I’ll make this self-promotion piece and I’ll get these really cool things printed and I’ll do all this stuff. And I think we all know that I’m never gonna do that. I make chicken bones and bull crap. You know, I don’t make any, so I don’t make business cards for myself and that ain’t gonna fly.
[00:44:48] And so what I did is I looked up all the agencies that I’ve, all the big agencies that I’ve worked for in the past couple years since Covid, and all the clients that I liked working for, and I just emailed them [00:45:00] and I, it just said, upcoming availability. And I said, I just had a client drop out. I’m gonna have some availability between July and September, and if you have any projects I can jump in on.
[00:45:10] I loved working with you in the past, and I’d like to work with you in the future. And that was pretty much it. There was no fancy nothing. I sent that to the people that needed to hear it, and honestly, within a couple weeks I had huge jobs coming back. Like, oh, as a matter of fact, we do have a bunch of stuff and they dumped a bunch of real, and, and this is cool work.
[00:45:29] They’re not [00:45:30] dumping PowerPoint presentations on me. It’s, it’s co you know, really cool stuff. And they’re just like, yeah. As a matter of fact. And what had happened was the problem to me wasn’t that I wasn’t getting work, it’s, there was no sense of urgency that I’ll always be here. And so what’s the rush?
[00:45:48] Well, I emailed ’em. I said, I’m here between July and September, so all of a sudden I created some urgency and they got urgent.
[00:45:57] diane: I love that. That’s a different tactic than what most people [00:46:00] would do. People would say, Hey, I’m available, but instead you were say giving it a, a window.
[00:46:05] Jason Craig: Yeah. That they could, they knew I was available the whole time.
[00:46:08] They’ve always known I was available, but now it’s just, I kind of kick their butts in gear a little bit because. You know, we gotta eat, we gotta do this thing. Yeah, that’s really smart. And a company can sit on their hands, the company can sit on their hands, but I can’t. And so I cre I, I created some urgency and, um, I went from being regular, busy [00:46:30] to really, really, really busy.
[00:46:33] And so, so when you
[00:46:34] diane: get really, really, really busy, you’re still getting off at five 30 or whatever, how do you speed up your process? Or do you just make decisions quicker because you have to?
[00:46:48] Jason Craig: I, I’ve always been a, a, like a zero toil type person. Like, if something isn’t click clicking, I change to something else.
[00:46:54] And being able to do different things, it, it, if, if I’m drawing one day and the, [00:47:00] and the drawing’s not looking good, then I’ll work on some true design stuff. If the design idea’s not there, I’ll draw. And what I don’t do is sit and stare at the computer and flip through fops. I don’t,
[00:47:11] diane: I don’t. So, but how have you gotten to that point?
[00:47:13] Because that’s something where I feel like I’ve always been like that. We don’t notice. We don’t. So, so if you were teaching a, a, somebody, because I wanna talk about mural camp. So you ha and they’re thinking about something, you know, you have other things to do. How long do you Yeah. [00:47:30] Or how often are you taking stock in your mind about it?
[00:47:34] Am I working on the thing I should be working on? Am I wasting time? Like, is that something that just,
[00:47:40] Jason Craig: I’ve got good at recognizing it. I’ve got good at recognizing when I suck. That’s basically all there is. It’s, it’s, it’s when I’m doing something, I was like, this is not good. I just need to do something different.
[00:47:49] And sometimes it’s, it’s get up and do it. Take a walk. It’s not necessarily do some more work. And I, one thing I, I always say eight 30 to five 30, but if at five 30 I’m, [00:48:00] I’m into something really good, I’m not gonna just be like, oh, gotta stop. I, I continue that thought. There are plenty of times I think, I think the past this week I’ve had a couple of ’em where my wife is like, yo, I let you working.
[00:48:14] And I was like, and it’s only six. And I was like, oh, I just, I just, I’m really onto something good here ’cause I’m enjoying. Mm-hmm. It’s not like, oh, uh, somebody’s on my back. I gotta finish this stuff. And even I had an idea on Saturday morning and, and during a commercial I ran in here and [00:48:30] tried this idea and sent it to somebody.
[00:48:31] I was like, yo, I thought I thought of this. And it was just a really, uh, like direction changing idea that really didn’t have to wait until Monday. ’cause I had a second. It’s not a big deal. Came in here, I did it and sent it to ’em. And I have, I, I also have like a very casual, um, communication style with clients to where we can text each other and not everything has to be a big presentation.
[00:48:52] Uh, I think that, I think that with Covid after Covid that a lot of people, they want efficiency and I [00:49:00] really offer that. In the beginning I was like, if you want big presentations for everything, if you want. Long-winded emails, I’ll give that to you, but if you just want a text back and forth, we can
[00:49:08] diane: do that too.
[00:49:09] You’ve answered tons of questions that I’ve, uh, had in there. So is systems and processes something that you’ve always worked on or is it something you’ve developed? Yeah,
[00:49:22] Jason Craig: no, I’m, I’m, I’m always a, I’m, I’m always a repeat, repeat, repeat the same thing type like, uh, [00:49:30] if you watch that, uh, that hero dreams of sushi where he does the same thing every day, like, I, I don’t, I do not believe that design is lightning bolts hitting you in the shower or great ideas hitting you while you’re mowing the yard.
[00:49:43] That, that’s, that was like the, what was the show? Be witch. That’s what happened on Bewitch. That’s not what happens in real life. Real life is process. And if you can repeat a process, um, you might not always love all the work you do. I have a couple logo Pro projects and I’ve [00:50:00] drawn like 20 versions of it.
[00:50:01] And at a certain point you just have to send it to the client and let them pick. And it’s just not gonna be your favorite thing. It’s not gonna win you a trophy. And you have to accept that that’s part of the process, that sometimes it’s gonna be better than others. But we all know how to do our job. And our job is not to sit around playing a guitar until we think of something.
[00:50:20] It’s not to sit around and play pinging pong until we think of something. It’s to do your job and to get it done in a good amount of time. And so that takes process and I’ve always refined that process. For [00:50:30] me, it starts out with drawing or writing. It doesn’t start on a computer, it ends on a computer, but it doesn’t start on one.
[00:50:37] Um, even the stuff I do in procreate, I draw on paper first. So, um, process to me, and I finally found a process working for myself that I could teach other people, and I talked about it at Creative South and I showed it. And it’s, and it’s these really crummy sketches and almost the worst, the better. And it’s, and it’s, and it’s really funny ’cause [00:51:00] it’s the, it’s my favorite part because if you can get these really bad sketches approved, then what you’re gonna send them in the final is gonna blow them away.
[00:51:09] And I can teach that process to anybody now, because it’s not, oh, lightning will strike you. You’ll just have this magical moment where this epiphany will hit you. And then you’re just, we’re all able to make what’s in our head translate to our fingertips, to our computer and everybody’s happy. It’s, it’s, if that’s how you’re operating, then you’re gonna have some bad days.
[00:51:28] diane: Okay. So tell us [00:51:30] about, I’m gonna share my screen so they can see some of this. Um, and I’m sorry, I’m just sharing my, whatever. It’s all good. Uh, my art board thing. So, um, so talk us what this is, when this started and, um, because I really love this, why you started this, and I’m gonna flip through some
[00:51:48] Jason Craig: images.
[00:51:49] The, the Morris Museum of Art is an art museum here in Augusta. It’s a very big southern art. I think it might be the biggest southern art museum dedicated to southern artists, which they have a [00:52:00] library. And every time that I’m in any publication, I mean, not just me, but any artist, they, they clip out the page and they have it in their archives.
[00:52:08] And so they have this big folder of, of stuff. It’s, it’s kind of wild. But, um, anyway, they had approached me looking for programs and they said that could they do this teenager, teen mural camp where, um, By the way, every time I say the word mural, it gets harder and harder to say to where it’s just like this mural.
[00:52:27] It’s like a sound. [00:52:30] Um, but they wanted to see if they could do this camp where I take out a bunch of teenagers and we paint on a wall. Well, the first one, it sold out in like two hours. It sold out really fast. And then we were sneaking kids in and we ended up with, I think 18 kids that we had. And this is over five days.
[00:52:49] And so, um, the first one we did, they got to, that’s, that’s the first one there. So I, day one we kind of designed a [00:53:00] mural. We talk about what we’re gonna do. I show ’em the location and, and I teach ’em about the difference between a mural and street art and graffiti and corporate art and public art and all the different nuances of putting paint on walls.
[00:53:12] And then they go out and they, they paint this themselves. And, and I show ’em how the many ways they can transfer a design onto a wall. And then I make ’em hand draw it, because that’s my favorite way to do it. And so this particular group, on day one, they came out and they drew this whole thing they designed, and [00:53:30] middle of the day it started raining.
[00:53:32] And I was like, there’s no way the rain is gonna hit this wall. I mean, we’re in like a little alley. The rain can’t hit this wall. The rain did hit the wall and washed everything off. So the, the camp is Monday to Friday. This is Tuesday afternoon and their progress is gone. So, um, I went back that night and, and we could still kind of faintly see their chalk and I painted their outlines, backed up their for ’em, uh, but it was very successful.
[00:53:58] So this year we decided we’d do [00:54:00] two back to back. And so it was the first week of July and the second week of July. And, um, or no, it might’ve been the first and second week of June. It was June. And so, um, we did this wall first and they wanted to do this peace, love James Brown thing, because James Brown is from Augusta and we all love James Brown here.
[00:54:18] And it was on James Brown Boulevard, on the side of the barber shop. So we felt that it was appropriate to do this. Um, and then the backside, the building owner owner, the [00:54:30] only request that they had is that we did something Instagramable. Mm-hmm. And so they, they had come up with this. I told ’em they couldn’t do we?
[00:54:37] This was awesome. Couldn’t do this was a and incredible. They have so many people do it. Well, it was the, the coolest thing is they did all this with spray paint. Like I show ’em how to, I show ’em how to spray. Like, like I have, I, I give ’em, like, what I do is I give ’em all different caps of like for spray paint, I.
[00:54:58] And that [00:55:00] figures out what group they’re gonna be in. So they just kind of randomly draw, and that’s their group for the week. And then at the end of the camp, I hand them a whole fistful of, of those caps and I challenge ’em. I’m like, look, go to your church. Go to your pool. Ask your parents, your dad’s shed like somewhere there’s a wall that somebody’s gonna let you paint.
[00:55:20] And I was like, and it’s gonna be way smaller than what you just did, and you can show ’em what you’re capable of and I want you to design and paint your own mural somewhere else. And a few of ’em [00:55:30] have, and I mean, these kids are from 13 to 17 years old, and some of ’em are using this as to put on their resume for, to apply to scad.
[00:55:38] And um, it’s just really cool because you would think, like, my first thought was, I’m gonna get canceled. I’m gonna say the wrong thing to these kids. I’m gonna call ’em by the wrong name or something. And, and I’m gonna end up having to write this big apology and never be able to work again. But what I didn’t expect is that all of these kids [00:56:00] are those same like bad kids in art class that I was like getting D’s in art class and just mad all the time.
[00:56:06] And they’re, they, they have, they don’t know each other and so they have nothing but confidence. And so I was like worried that I was gonna encourage ’em to paint. And these kids, if you had one can, they would all want it. And so that’s how it went the whole week. Like you actually had to reign them back a little bit because if it were up to them, they’d finish the mural on day one and it’s like, settle down a little bit, take your [00:56:30] time.
[00:56:30] And, and it, it’s, it’s, it’s just a really cool, very fulfilling experience because you see these kids on day one, they don’t hardly talk to each other. They’re all looking at their phones. And then on Friday when the parents are coming to pick ’em up, the parents are like blowing the horn. They’re like, come on.
[00:56:46] And the kids don’t wanna leave because they’ve like bonded with these other kids. ’cause one of the things like. When they’re on a ladder, somebody has to be holding the ladder. And so if somebody does want to jump up there and paint something, they have to go find somebody to [00:57:00] come and help them. And so everything is a team effort.
[00:57:03] All the decisions are made as in, in smaller, like kind of micro groups. So not every, it’s not a full democracy where everybody has to like vote on everything, but if there’s something that’s gonna be done, it’s like, well, what is, what do the other people in your little pod think about it? And, and I have ’em talk about it.
[00:57:19] And they figure it out. And it’s so cool to sit and watch this thing develop and the challenges that are involved and we’ll show up on day one. There will be [00:57:30] anything painted and then by the end of the day, they can’t even believe how much they’ve done. And it’s cool. And again, it goes back to, to the opportunities that were not there for me.
[00:57:39] No, no adult had a spray can in my hand and said, go paint this wall. And for me to be able to do that for other people’s kids, for any kids. Um, to me that’s, that’s probably the most fulfilling thing that I’ve ever done. Yeah,
[00:57:54] diane: I love that. Well, you’ve done a lot of things for, um, kids that are, uh, in [00:58:00] high school, kids that are in college.
[00:58:01] You really believe in giving back. And I do think you get Yeah, twice as much as they get because when we give back, we get more. Uh, you don’t, if you have haven’t ever given back, then it, you’ll understand when you do it actually. But, um, I want everybody to be able to know how to contact you. So I’m putting it in the chat.
[00:58:23] It’s down below if you’re watching on YouTube. Um, it, or if you’re listening on wherever you get your podcasts, it’s the [00:58:30] very top, the links here. So on Instagram, you are Jason, the. Two nine t h So the 29th. That’s right. And then, um, his website is Jason the 20 ninth.com. Not spelled out. Yeah, it’s just two nine t.com.
[00:58:49] Yeah. So tell them if you can, what the 29th is. ’cause this has been something that you’ve had for a long
[00:58:56] Jason Craig: time. It’s just, I I, here’s the thing too, [00:59:00] is the do not get some weird thing for your U R L or handle that you have to explain to clients and spell out on the phone. It’s such a nightmare. Um, but I’ll, I’ll keep this really short.
[00:59:11] Like I to tell a story all the time in high school, in like 10th grade, they showed us the internet. They’re like, this is this thing called the worldwide web, and you can make websites on it. And we’re able to just make our own websites at the time. Like you could just make a website, I guess. I don’t know how that works, but you just make a website.
[00:59:28] And so the teacher was like, [00:59:30] everybody just use your name. Make www.jasoncraig.com. Well, I was like, no, I, I don’t plan on being this person. I don’t plan on being a dumb 10th grader forever. I plan on being somebody and I might want Jason craig.com. Later on in life, I’d better come up with something different.
[00:59:49] And so it was the nineties and people had like pseudonyms or whatever, uh, monikers. And so basically 29 was my sports number. ’cause I played every [01:00:00] sport. And it was like Friday the 13th. It was Jason. So it was like this hybrid of Jason the 29th, which was really just some nonsense. I mean, it could have easily been like a random name generator that I did Jason the 29th as my like Hotmail address or, or all that.
[01:00:17] And I. That was where it started from. And then years later, Jason craig.com was a wedding singer in New York. And so my plan did not work to preserve the, the [01:00:30] prestige of Jason craig.com. And so it’s just been Jason the 29th, which usually designed, gets said out loud, right? Like it’s just, yeah, it doesn’t, but like, until, I’m having to tell to a client,
[01:00:41] diane: but like having to, um, you, you possibly could have come up with something else.
[01:00:48] Had a another name. Yeah. ’cause Jason. Craig. Well, so why, yeah. Is it just that it goes back to those roots? It does go back. I,
[01:00:56] Jason Craig: when I went out on my own, I asked several people, I asked [01:01:00] people I trust, and I mean people that know what they’re talking about, like Clark Orr and d different people that have been around.
[01:01:07] And I was like, should I come up with like Jason Craig, design co. I. Or whatever, and everybody’s like, nah, people know you for what you’ve got. Don’t change it. And it, I, I don’t, I wouldn’t know if it’s hurt me or not. I mean, if I changed the name and called it something else, maybe I’d be wildly more successful and go on more cruises or something.
[01:01:26] But maybe I’d get better seats of the movie theater. I don’t know. But, [01:01:30] um, I don’t think we’re gonna find out anytime soon.
[01:01:33] diane: Well, Jason, I, we didn’t cover many of the, um, questions, but we did actually just not in the order or anything, but I can’t tell you how much this is so much fun. But it’s also like you do have buckets of where you’re getting your money from.
[01:01:48] And I think that it’s good to know that sometimes when one of the buckets a client that is a big part of your income, it things aren’t working for them, that [01:02:00] you. Have to pivot like everybody else. And it is good to be thinking about selling chicken bones or selling all these weird things that you can do.
[01:02:10] And it’s like, yeah, employing that creative mind.
[01:02:14] Jason Craig: Yeah. And again, that’s just what makes sense. Like I can’t imagine if you’re a chef and you’re like, I only make spaghetti. And I know designers that are like, I only do this. And it’s like, well, I only don’t need that. Right. So yeah. So I, it’s, it is been fun.
[01:02:28] I’m glad we got to catch up [01:02:30] and uh, and hopefully there won’t be like six years between now and the next
[01:02:33] diane: one. No, no, for sure. For sure. And I just appreciate you being part of this series. Um, I think we have, um, Two or three more. And I just appreciate you doing the Scotty Russell is next week, and I will be at my dad’s, so I’ll be at the church and or hopefully, um, if everything goes well, they have a room for me.
[01:02:57] Um, they have better internet than my dad’s house. [01:03:00] Um, but I hope that you guys, I think you guys had a lot of stuff that you were saying over in the chat, so Jason, if you weren’t watching the chat, they were loving this. Um, but I hope it gives you an insight to what you can do. And really it’s about being a creative thinker and also you’re a creative thinker for how to promote some of these clients and, hey, we don’t have to spend money to do this.
[01:03:22] Let’s see what you got. I can work with a lot of things. I think outside of the box. Let me walk through your, your [01:03:30] warehouse, you know, and see if there’s something in there. And I think that I. It just is very hopeful. I love talking to you for that reason, but I hope you guys, uh, go and follow him and connect with him and know that he had some availability from July to September.
[01:03:46] Um, and that’s right, and sometimes we just have to ask people if they’re available, and I know you spoke at Tism last week, um, and so, you know, there are, there’s reasons for us to go and try to make a [01:04:00] name. It’s not about, um, trying to make yourself bigger or better, but it’s making sure that you can pay, uh, pay your bills and take care of yourself.
[01:04:09] Go ahead.
[01:04:10] Jason Craig: And, and honestly, like anybody, I see some people saw that, that talk that I gave, I felt completely outta my element speaking on the Tism thing. I, I mean, they asked me to do it and I was like, why? Because I see these people doing amazing things and then somebody has to like sit and me a message and, and.[01:04:30]
[01:04:30] They’re like, uh, these people are trying to do what you do all the time. And I don’t feel that way. I just, I don’t feel that way. I, I do what I do and I don’t, I don’t think that I’m better than anybody or deserve to be in any position that somebody else isn’t. But, um, but yeah, I, I felt like completely like a fish outta water doing that.
[01:04:49] Um, but, but I
[01:04:51] diane: think that’s what we need. I’ll do it. That’s what everybody here needs to hear is that maybe you, they might think, [01:05:00] uh, you know, Judy or whatever Judy might think she doesn’t have anything to offer. I, you know, that’s happens a lot. We think that everybody else has it and we really don’t, but it’s because we’ve lived with that thing our whole life and we didn’t realize that, you know, until we started talking to Judy.
[01:05:17] Judy sees things differently. Just like somebody walk you having the ability to say, Hey, can I walk through your warehouse? I may be able to find something. This way. Yeah. How many designers [01:05:30] or agencies have done that with them? Probably none.
[01:05:33] Jason Craig: I mean, a lot of designers don’t leave their desks, so I don’t know.
[01:05:37] And, and, and you told me one time we were, we were chatting and you saw behind me in my old office there was like this cubby hole of a mountain of sketchbooks and I mean, it is a mountain. And you’re like, what is that? I was like, oh, that’s just my old sketchbooks. I was like, that’s not, that’s nothing. And they’re like, you, you, you’re like, you know, people don’t just have that.
[01:05:56] And it didn’t occur to me that people just don’t have [01:06:00] a mountain this high of sketchbooks full of work and, and sketches. So I would love, sometimes you do need a perspective. I would
[01:06:06] diane: love to see an autobiography of your and your process and just as, um, like I buy, which I know people are probably like, yeah, whatever, Diane, but like for Christmas, I asked for, I think this will reach.
[01:06:22] I might have showed this one time. I know I’ve showed it to some other, uh, groups that I’m in. But this is Emma, uh, Emma Carlisle’s [01:06:30] sketchbook. This is from 2018 to 2022. And it’s just, she does landscapes and it is freaking thick. And if you need a book designer, Paul Nylander, he’ll be able to help you out.
[01:06:45] Um, but, and he’s an awesome book designer. He’s here. Um, but it’s like, I would love to see, and it’s really, she doesn’t really say anything, it’s just pictures. But I mean, there are some things where she’s talking, but I [01:07:00] would love to see some of that. And she has like four books that you can get. And to me it’s like, it’s inside.
[01:07:07] Insight into how you thought, or, and you don’t have to show every page. You could, you know, right. She’s just showing, um, the images really that she’s done. I’m sure she’s sketched bad things in there, or, um, had texts that were for a client and she couldn’t share that. You know, you just don’t share that page.
[01:07:25] But I would love, I think that would be the insights [01:07:30] on some of that stuff for you. I, I would eat it up because you do think so differently to me. It would be awesome. I would, I’d put my, uh, I’d pre-order those. Um, I. So,
[01:07:42] Jason Craig: well, I’ll just take, I’ll just get all of my stuff in my limited space and I’ll just ship it in a box to Paul in Minneapolis or wherever Pauls at.
[01:07:49] Yep. Paul’s in
[01:07:50] diane: Minneapolis. Yep.
[01:07:51] Jason Craig: Paul. Is Paul
[01:07:51] diane: really in Minneapolis? Paul is way to go on the
[01:07:54] Jason Craig: memory buddy. And it’s crazy. Um, yeah, I’ll just ship it to Paul and, uh, Paul.
[01:07:59] diane: Paul [01:08:00] would love that. Paul. Paul loves, uh, see, he’s like, way to go. Let’s go man. Uh, see, Jen close said she’d pre-order it too. I’m telling you, there is something there because we don’t think, like you, you’ve been thinking like you your whole life.
[01:08:15] But I also think all of us, this is the beauty of us being unique and different and we like to see how other people do because we are trying to find the US and I think that’s what you found. You found you and you started [01:08:30] doing you and you stopped, um, trying to. Be somebody else. And maybe it was when you moved, you know, you’re like, I’m only gonna be me from now on.
[01:08:40] Jason Craig: Yeah, it’s part of it. But yeah, it’s been
[01:08:42] diane: awesome. Thank you so much Jason and I will see you guys next week, um, with uh, Scotty Russell and I’ll Scotty. Have a great, have a great week. Remember, all the links are down below. Go give Jason some love. All right, bye y’all.[01:09:00]