THE LATEST IN FREELANCER FASHION
The ultimate in freelancer fashion, Hustling Not Hustling is the second in our series of member-designed shirts and sweatshirts. We started strong with Jen Mussari's Working Not Working, so we knew the follow up also had to hit it out of the park. The mantra of many, Hustling Not Hustling is designed by master hustler and WNW Member #3096 Juan Carlos Pagan. We spoke to him to learn more about the inspiration behind the design, his career path and other hustlers he admires.
This design is only available until November 6th so don't wait, hustle over now to Cotton Bureau to snag yourself some swag.
Hey JC! Tell us about your career, how'd you get here?
I’ll try to keep this short. I interned everywhere during college. Anyplace that would have me I would work at. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2006 with a BFA in Communications Design. The gracious Kurt Haiman took a chance on me and offered me a designer position at G2 Branding & Design. I’ll forever be grateful to Kurt for that. I really cut my teeth at G2.
That lasted for about three years until I made the move over to MTV. Around the same time I found that I was lettering a lot in my freetime, and this growing obsession with typography led me to do my postgraduate studies in typeface design at The Cooper Union. Working at MTV was a really wonderful and experience. I was one of the founding members of the Scratch team, and the culture there was really great. I’m still friends with many of the people I worked with at MTV. They were super flexible with my schedule, which was important to me since I was back in school part-time.
After about 2 years I had completed my studies, and I was given an opportunity to work with Matt Eastwood and Menno Kluin. They had asked me to head up the design department at DDB New York, and I accepted. That turned out to be a very special time. No one was expecting anything out of DDB which I found liberating. Since nobody was paying attention at first, we made a ton of work. Most of which I’m really proud of. I was able to infuse a lot of the projects with custom and experimental typography. I collaborated with some of my friends, and I was able to hire Illustrators and photographers that I had admired from afar. Needless to say I was given a lot of freedom, and I really grew during that time.
I was also steadily freelancing on the side during that time. Doing a lot of design work and lettering for the New York Times magazine, ESPN Magazine, and PRINT magazine, Not to mention the occasional identity and logo projects. I even opened up a small design studio and boutique type foundry with WNW Member Lucas Sharp aptly named Pagan & Sharp while I was at DDB. Recently I’ve taken the Design Director position at 72andSunny New York which I’m very excited about. Sorry that wasn’t short. I really tried.
How would you define hustling?
I would define it simply as working very hard, and getting paid to do the thing you love, but I would be remiss if I didn't cite “Bucky D” who I think perfectly captured the notion of hustling when he published the definition back in 2005 on Urban Dictionary:
“Anythin you need to do to make money... be it sellin cars, drugs, ya booty. If you makin money, you hustlin. I been workin two jobs, tryna stay on my hustle and make this money, na mean?"
-Bucky D, December 24, 2005
What was the inspiration behind this design?
The Hustling Not Hustling lettering was directly inspired by neon signage. Working late at night is nothing new to creative folks, and the connecting monoweight neon sign look is one that is clearly representative of the late night hustle.
Which piece are you getting?
The Pullover Crewneck. Winter is coming.
Who are some fellow hustlers you admire?
I’m really fortunate in that many of my friends happen to be some of the most talented and hard working people around. Folks like WNW Members Shane Griffin, Rich Tu, Ahmed Klink, Alex Trochut, Kelsey Dake, Craig Ward, and Bruce Wayne. I admire them all for different reasons.
There are so many amazing hustling references in pop culture. Any favorites?
What do you do when you're not hustling?
Probably running, or being a wino.
Juan Carlos' greatest hits:
"Bat I designed with WNW Member Kevin Cantrell for Nike's Perfect Game, all American classic, home run king bat trophy. Inspired by old world typography that imbues the spirit of baseball, an illustrative, typographic treatment was created that envelopes the entire circumference of the bat."
"Custom numbers and poster for Print Magazine's April 2012 New Visual Artist 20 Under 30 issue. The numbers themselves needed to act as windows allowing Print magazine to showcase the work of all 20 winners on the cover at once. Each number was then designed and constructed out of 5 individual pieces. This gave them the ability to assign a section of any given number to a winner in order to highlight their work through. This solution lent itself nicely to some Op Art moments, giving the numbers dimension when used flat."
"Custom Logotype & Identity for Pinterest"
"Malleable Grotesque is a 7 weight 15 font family which explores the soft nature of metals when exposed to high temperatures."
"Designed and produced the 2014 award cube for ADC Young Guns (YG12). The cube is solid 3.5" acrylic, laser-etched on all sides. The front side of each cube carries YG12 branding, and as the cube is rotated the other sides are etched with an A, D, and C (containing ADC branding). The 31 cubes were then hand-polished before being handed out to the winners at the ADC on October 9, 2014."
"ADC 91st award Annual, Illustrated by the wonderful Rami Niemi. It was the last ever printed ADC Annual."
"Lettering for Create for a Cause. An effort to crochet scarves, gloves and sweaters for the under privileged. The lettering was made from crochet."
"New York Lottery’s 2012 out-of-home holiday poster campaign. The typography was created using real Christmas lights."
"I was asked to design a custom 200,000 to commemorate the ADC reaching 200,000 followers on Facebook."