Meet The Talented Graphic Designer Jerry Jones
You ever picture something in your head and wanted to bring it the life so the world could enjoy. Well, Jerry Jones has that amazing talent. He is a graphic designer/artist that hails from Linden New Jersey and currently works for the MLB.
A graduate from Morgan State University, Jones has a superb vision and makes his designs come to life. Whether its sports, cartoons or just him having himself in the design you will be amazed at his work.
Graphic designers are a dime a dozen, but Jones is different. I had the opportunity to do a Q&A with him so please take some time and get to know who he is. I promise you will not forget his work!
First please give the readers an introduction and a short bio of yourself!
Hi, my name is Jerry Jones, a graphic designer/artist from Linden New Jersey. I am a graduate from Morgan State University (Class of 2013) Being an athlete all my life, my dream was to play professional football or basketball. I was able to receive a scholarship to play football for New Mexico State after high school. There I studied computer science. It wasn’t until I realized that I was terrible at math, but loved computers and art, that I needed to switch my major to graphic design. I had also been into art all my life, so the transition was not hard. After a year in New Mexico, I was able to transfer to Morgan State where I finished my football career and graduated as a designer.
When did you first get into graphic designing? Do you remember what first caught your interest in it?
I first got into graphic designing when I knew I could take my own high school football pictures and edit them. I would put myself in terrible looking backgrounds (haha) Overtime I got better obviously, but that’s how I started. Plus I always loved computers. So my love for art mixed with my love for computers made it easy to chose graphic design as a career path.
You’re an alum from Morgan State. How good is their college for graphic designing? How hard would you say the courses were?
I won’t speak too much on the program as of now. I graduated in 2013, so things may be different. I will say though, I wish at the time I had more guidance and support when it came to pursuing design as a career. So many students took those classes just because they needed them and the teachers would give that same energy back, which affected students like myself who were serious about the career path.
What are a lot of misconceptions that you feel graphic designers face? Also, are there a lot of black graphic designers out there?
I will start this answer off by saying, if there are a lot of black designers out there, I do not know of them. I know a select few, but the majority are of other races. I’ve worked for several companies with many designers as coworkers and I have never worked with another black designer. Many designers that I follow on social media, as well as art community websites, are also not black. I would love to connect with more though.
If I were to point out any misconceptions, it would be the fact that many people do not respect graphic design as true art. They only see the end product and they know that the bulk of the work was done on the computer. So the worth of the work is actually devalued in the minds of those outsiders because they do not know all that goes into the whole creative process. Graphic design can involve photography, drawing, painting, illustrating, photo manipulation, layout building and much more. We live in a world where if it’s not seen, then it’s not being done. In conclusion to that subject, I wish designers were more appreciated on all levels, from corporate to freelance.
When pursuing your degree did you get any hate or doubt from others that this wouldn’t be a successful career? At any point were you discouraged about being a graphic designer.
For the most part, I’ve always received a tremendous amount of support from my peers, my family, and even my superiors at jobs I’ve had. I’d say about 3 people have “hated” on my career choice that I know of. They know who they are! (HAHA) Also, one way to answer both questions, I doubted myself for a long time. This career field like many others is overly saturated. There are a ton of great designers and also a ton of terrible designers.
When you start to compare yourself to other artists is when you start to doubt yourself. For example, one artist in Germany may be a crazy talented designer. He can illustrate, photo edit, design layouts, web design and everything else. The stuff that he would post on social media is the best you’ve ever seen. Then, on the other hand, you have “John” in Connecticut. The stuff he creates looks terrible. No sense in design and charges $20.00 for a logo. The thing that is discouraging about this is, most people will go to the cheap designer despite how bad the work is. This will leave you wondering if you should lower your expectations or continue on your path. There are many other situations that have lead to me feeling discouraged in this design field. One of the biggest discouragements in my life has been finding a decent paying job. You just have to know that if you stay consistent and hardworking, eventually something will happen.
I saw you did a flyer for your alma mater last fall for the Hunger Games party. Is it easy to reach out to you when it comes to doing flyers for your school or just in general? How available are you?
To be completely honest, it’s harder to do party flyers now, only because of my workload. Since working for Major League Baseball, my days have become longer and more focused on baseball designs and just growing as a designer in the field of sports.
What are the longest time and shortest time that you spent on a design? What would you say is the average time for you on a design?
The longest time: 3 Months (Depending on the client and or what you’re doing it for. Shortest time: 5 Minutes (Sometimes the most simple designs work the best. Again depending on what the design is needed for and what type of design it is.)
What advice would you give upcoming graphic designers?
Design every single day. Even if you think the design is coming out bad. If your idea flat out sucks. Just design something. Don’t stick to one type of designing. Do all kinds of design work. Web design, Editorial, sports, music, packaging design, etc. You can always blend all of those design skills at one point or another to create something dope.
Do you have any specific influencers in the graphic designer community or would you say you created your own specific style?
Honestly, it wasn’t until I started working for Major League Baseball that I found my own style. Before I would just mimic a bunch of designers I would see on Instagram or Behance. I now have now been developing my own ideas while still being able to grab ideas from things around me. A few designers I like: Jerk Face, King Saladeen, Tyson Beck, @PVTSO, @Cole, and @TruthByNature
How did you end up working for the Major League Baseball Organization? What has it been like so far working for a professional league? How much pressure do you feel when making the designs?
Instagram is a gift and a curse. Of course, you have people that use it for the wrong reasons, but for me, it has been so beneficial for my growth in my career. To make a long story short, I was tagged in an Instagram post by a good friend of mine. It was a post by an artist in LA that was looking for designers. My manager that I now work under for Major League Baseball, came across the tag and viewed my work on my Instagram.
He followed me and after a while, the opportunity opened up for a designer and I was able to get the position. At first, it was a lot of pressure, especially since you only get 3 months to prove that you belong working for such a company. Now I can say it’s all second nature at this point. I’m doing what I love with some talented and cool artists at MLB.
What have been the hardest challenges of being a graphic designer for the MLB?
There are only two real challenges that come to mind. One, the commute from NJ to NY. My second challenge is keeping my ideas fresh. Sometimes it’s easy to copy or be so influenced by what’s around you, you start to make something that looks like somebody else’s work. So I like to challenge myself to be as different as possible.
What kind of feedback have you gotten from the MLB players or people in the organization? Has it been surreal to hear from MLB players about the designs you’ve made for them?
My coworkers love my work. I’m grateful for that. I often help as much as I can around the office, so I think they trust my judgment and creative sense. I’ve gotten quite a few MLB players to respond to my artwork. I am definitely excited about that because it’s only the beginning. I’m only 5 months in and so much has happened.
What are some of your favorite designs you have done in your career? Why are they your favorite?
I have one favorite and that’s only because I hardly like what I create. I always feel like I could have done better. The only piece that stands out to me is one that I did of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays. It was featured all over the Internet and even on TV.
What is your ultimate goal of being a graphic designer? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 – 10 years?
In the next 5 to 10 years I see myself in the prime of my career. I see myself being an Art Director and a staple in the design community. I love to mentor and help people, especially the younger generation. Wherever I am, I just want to keep having fun with this work I do. Sports will always do that for me and design is a plus.
Last but not least please give your shoutouts and tell the readers where they can follow you and how they can contact you for designs or other inquiries!
Shoutout to all young artists that work hard to achieve success in this creative field. Special shoutout to all the young black artists fighting for a position to be noticed. Keep creating! My Instagram is @MookJonesJr and that is the best way for the public to get in contact with me. From there you can view my work and just engage with me overall.
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