Where Personal Passions Meet Project Work

Rabbit Fuel

It’s no secret that finding inspiration for your creative work can be tough. Sometimes you have to look hard for it, and sometimes it comes from the most unexpected places. For us rabbits, one of those places is our personal passions. Working on something you’re really drawn to can bring new inspiration for client work. In this post, rabbits will share a few ways that our personal passions have fed into client work (and vice versa)!

Ben – Web Designer & Developer

When I’m not working, I practice creativity in many forms. Sketching, journaling, interior design, and fashion are all hobbies of mine. But the medium that helps me in my professional life the most is street photography. I enjoy exploring cities and capturing the essence of urban life.

I’ll find interesting compositions wherever I go, and I always have my camera with me.

City street at night. Photo by Ben Borodawka

Exploring the night

City street from above. Photo by Ben Borodawka

Looking down

Photo by Ben Borodawka

Waking up early

Tree from ground view. Photo by Ben Borodawka

Looking up

These skills apply to my daily client work. Quite often, clients need us to source images for them. Whether our photographers do a full photoshoot, or the designers find applicable stock imagery, the Jackrabbit team needs to critically apply photo/imagery skills to our designs.

Here are a couple of examples of high-quality stock images applied to designs.

This client works with small-medium businesses to fund via credit and private equity opportunities. A low-to-the-ground shot showcasing bustling business people is the imagery I was looking for. For color, having a lot of neutral/cool tones accentuates the brand’s message, and a splash of orange for the brand identity completes the aesthetic.

This award-winning financial services company works with individuals to help plan for and fund their future for generations. They’re a home-grown Boston-based company and needed a shot of the city that was more intimate and warm than the typical downtown shots we see more often. The brand has tones of black and burgundy which are seen in the image as well.

Kaplan Financial website homepage banner

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Sometimes, clients provide stellar images for our designs. In these (rare) cases, a designer must sift through the catalog to find applicable images for each use case. Oftentimes, these images require some retouching or color correcting to help fit them into the design more seamlessly.

Modular Mechanical Solutions homepage

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Will – Animator & Illustrator

As an illustrator and a long-time graffiti artist, I have spent years developing my craft. From marker drawings to painting walls, it is all rooted in the fundamental design process of creating an organic art form from words.

Graffiti artwork by Will Samatis

It’s always cool when I’m presented with an opportunity to draw directly from my personal experience to provide a piece that works well in a client project. A recent example of this is a snowboard design for Day Chaser Canned Cocktails, where we used wording on the board that lined up with the street art aesthetic drawing directly from my outside experience.

Snowboard design for DayChaser Canned Cocktails by Will Samatis

We can’t wait to see this custom snowboard hit the powder!

Another example where I brought this style into the office was doing a fun piece on the side for a co-worker as a gift to celebrate their 10-year tenure with the studio. In this case, I tried to incorporate some cues from their own personality.

Graffiti logo designed by Will to celebrate CK's 10th anniversary at JRD

Celebrating our senior developer CK’s 10th anniversary at Jackrabbit.

Liz – Project Manager

Surrounded by fabulous creatives (see above), I have no lack of inspiration. I am lucky enough to see these people work their magic on a daily basis. My role is to make sure they have the time and information they need to do so. Keeping all the ducks in a row is the name of the game.

I’m going to flip this blog on its head for a moment and talk about how I leverage work skills and tools in my personal life.

Today, we use Mavenlink as our project management software and rely heavily on project-specific templates that we custom created based on common project types.

The same tools that I use for task management and scheduling in client projects, make perfect replacements for the many wall calendars, handwritten to-do lists, and household binders I’ve tried over the years. A discovery I first made back when I was planning my wedding in 2015, an undertaking with a lot of moving parts! I set up a Basecamp project (our project management software at the time) and never looked back.

  • Easily remember one-off tasks
  • Create an annual household calendar
  • Meal plan
Screenshot of the Mavenlink interface

Example: Mavenlink for professional use

There are plenty of Project Management Tools with FREE versions that you can use for “life management”:

  • Trello: Trello has a free version for individual use.
  • this tool’s free tier includes two users so you can invite a partner or roommate. The free tier also includes templates, which are handy for the likes of the household calendar above.
  • Asana: also allows multiple users in the free tier.

We hope you’ve found inspiration in these stories of creatives using their personal pursuits to fuel their professional work. What are some of your own hobbies or interests? How could you use them to enhance your work, whether it be finding new sources of inspiration or developing new skills? Share with us in the comments – we’d love to hear what gets you excited and motivated.

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