MEET #1348 DAN BLACKMAN
Designer • Brooklyn, NY
WNW Member #1348 Dan Blackman is an award-winning graphic designer and director, currently working full-time at Tictail in Brooklyn. The ADC Young Gun has also created stunning work with such companies as VSA Partners, FWIS, Sapient, Sagmeister & Walsh, and Mother New York. Dan spoke to WNW about the benefits of both freelancing and full-time.
1. How long have you been full-time? How do you weigh the benefits of freelancing and full-timing?
I've been full-time on and off my entire career but this latest stint about a year and a half. Between Tumblr and now Tictail. Which for me is weird since I never imagined working in the tech industry. But here I am, learning more than ever.
Both full-time and freelance have their ups and downs. Throughout my career I've been between the two and and have found satisfaction in both. When freelancing I have had the freedom to take on what I want, when I want. Which wasn't always the case. I used to spend most of my freelance time jumping from agency to agency working on branding projects.
When working full-time (especially in-house) I've found that it's really rewarding to concentrate on one brand and a bigger long-term goal. With freelance it was typically project to project without a lot of time to spend on one thing.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
I find being alone for a couple hours in the morning before all the meetings start tends to be my most productive. Typically between 7am and 10am
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
Working 90% of the time, all the time.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
They try their hardest. Luckily "Graphic designer" is usually enough for them.
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
Shit that's a tough question. The "Jobin" quote in I Love You Man used to get me.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
7. What do you do when Not Working?
Drinking, socializing, traveling, and hanging out with my lovely girlfriend.
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I really enjoy photography in my off time. A talent that I hope one day to make more use of.
9. Do you have any tips for freelancers and fellow full-timers?
Get as much experience as you can. If you aren't happy, change it.
10. What's your favorite thing on the internet this week?
The last couple episodes of Radiolab were pretty amazing. Boston Big Picture is always fun to explore and Tim Goodman and Jessica Walsh's book release antics have been fun to follow.
11. Who are some other WNW members whose work you admire, and why?
That's such an unfair question haha. I really believe that everyone on WNW is insanely talented, that's what makes WNW what it is.
If I had to name a few though they would be Skip Hursh who I was lucky enough to hire when I was at Tumblr. The guy is super-conceptual and seems to be capable of doing anything. Another guy that I really respect is Derrick Lee who I worked with at Mother NY and is now at Nike in Portland. Last would probably be Brent Couchman who in the last year opened up his own shop in SF, the guy's a monster. Oh and Mike Burton, because the dude is Mikey Burton.