MEET #4356 JORDAN METCALF
Designer • Cape Town, South Africa
WNW Member #4356 Jordan Metcalf works out of Cape Town, South Africa for clients all over the world including Nike, The New York Times Magazine, Adobe, Wired, Adidas, ESPN, and The Times (UK). Jordan is also an ADC Young Gun. Jordan offers some advice to attaining freelancer bliss: "Think about it in stages: the first stage is hustling to figure out who you are, what kind of work you love making and what you want to say. The second is figuring out how to make a sustainable living off that. You’ll end up resenting your job if you’re always living hand to mouth, and it’s too difficult to be creative and resentful at the same time. Work hard, be honest and get paid."
1. How long have you been freelancing?
Close on 6 years now.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
Probably when I’m most under pressure to be creative, or when I’m travelling. New places and people always help shift paradigms and spark new ideas but so does the panic of a looming deadline.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
50/50. My ideal is to try have a life that gets me excited and inspired to make new work, but also makes me excited to leave the studio.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
I think they have a fairly good idea, they may just be hazy on the specifics. But they’re incredibly supportive which is great. I recently went up to visit them in Uganda, and discovered a bunch of my work up on their walls all the way from embarrassing college work to stuff that I’d either given them to stuff they’ve bought at shows over the years. It was really touching to see just how much they’d collected over time and that they’re proud enough to hang it all up.
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
Unless the sites could could get me off the island, I’d happily accept Internetlessness.
7. What do you do when Not Working?
Travel if and when I can, hang out with my wife and friends, try to get some exercise. Normal human stuff I guess.
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I can remember the lyrics to pretty much any song released in the '90s and early 2000’s.
9. Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
Think about it in stages: the first stage is hustling to figure out who you are, what kind of work you love making and what you want to say. The second is figuring out how to make a sustainable living off that. You’ll end up resenting your job if you’re always living hand to mouth, and it’s too difficult to be creative and resentful at the same time. Work hard, be honest and get paid.
10. What's your favorite thing on the internet this week?
The recent Humans of New York story with the fundraiser for a middle school and everything that came after it was one of the most universally positive things to come from the Internet that I've seen in a long time. This crab eating noodles is also pretty great though.
11. Who are some other WNW members whose work you admire, and why?
There are so many great people on WNW that it’s hard to narrow down a list, but I’d probably say New York based, South African export Richard Hart stands out for me as someone whose work and career I admire. He’s been in the industry for ages, helped start up and run one of South Africa’s top creative studios, built up this incredible portfolio of exciting and diverse commercial and collaborative work, and has successfully managed to merge his painting skills, production know-how and graphic designer's eye into an experimental, beautiful and unique fine art focus in the last few years. I’d be happy to retire with a bio like his, and the guy’s not even close to being done yet.