Meet Spoonflower: Introducing Jesse, our vegan shutter-bug
As a child I most wanted to be an artist, like my mother, and grew up in a household where I had an almost infinite supply of art supplies and artistic support at my disposal. Three years ago I was living in Asheville, NC and finishing up my studies at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, a small liberal arts college in the mountains, earning bachelor degrees in both Health and Wellness Promotion and Psychology. I went on to work at a psychology practice for two years, before deciding that I wanted to find a job that would mesh well with my creative roots.
A little more than a year ago I moved to Durham and joined Spoonflower. I was specifically searching for a position in the printing industry, and Spoonflower’s friendly, creative work environment was a perfect match for me. At the time, I worked as a junior printer operator and helped with cutting, packing, and shipping orders as well. I feel like I “got” Spoonflower immediately. Its creative, casual DIY ethos really appealed to me. However, now I feel like I “get” it every time I see something we’ve printed as a finished product. It’s so fun to be reading a blog randomly and recognize a print from one of our designers! Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to grow with Spoonflower and have worked every shift possible, including weekends and nights. Now I’m practically an old timer around here and am in charge of overseeing the weekday print shifts.
At the moment I am enjoying a short break from the bustling print room and am sitting at my desk. I’m a major fan of music and am almost always listening to my headphones at work. I also collect records and cassette tapes. Currently I’m listening to Wild Flag’s self-titled album, released by Merge Records this year. Merge is one of my favorite record labels and, like Spoonflower, they also happen to be located in Durham, NC. I’m also an avid reader and for the last year I’ve slowly been chipping away at Random House’s “100 Best Novels” list. I hope to eventually read all one hundred, but I’m mostly interested in 20th-century American novels. Charles Bukowski, J.D. Salinger, and John Steinbeck are some of my favorite authors.
I have the distinction of being Spoonflower’s only vegan employee, so when it comes to non-fiction I usually lean toward books related to that interest. It’s a personal choice and I respect everyone’s opinion on the topic, but I recommend reading The Food Revolution by John Robbins if you’re interested in learning more about why I choose to be vegan. I suggested it to my dad and accidentally turned him vegan too! Whoops...
Movies are another of my main interests. Stanley Kubrick is my all time favorite director. I’m also a big Woody Allen fan, and “Annie Hall” is one of my favorite films. Right now I have “The Work of Director Spike Jonze” at home and am looking forward to watching all of his awesome music videos and short films when I find the time. My favorite fabric designs tend to be on the minimalistic side of things. I’ve used “Rain On Blue” by Feathered Nest Studio and “Lemon Squares” by The Bline for projects around my apartment.
My favorite Spoonflower-related activity is shooting photos for the blog. I’m in charge of taking all of the photos of the contest fabric and occasionally get the chance to shoot other assignments. Photography has been my favorite creative outlet and main hobby for the last ten years, so it’s great to incorporate that into my professional life. However, the type of photos I take for Spoonflower are extremely different than what I do on my own. Here I shoot very composed shots digitally with studio lighting, whereas I use film and point and shoot cameras to take quick artistic snapshots for my personal work.
Probably the most frustrating day I’ve had at Spoonflower involved working for fourteen hours and canceling a date, in order to finish an order that needed to be rushed immediately. On the other hand, a gourmet ice cream truck recently visited the office, which was a special treat. When I’m anxious it’s usually related to not having enough hours in the day to do everything I’d like to. Spoonflower’s been so busy lately that it can be hard to complete everything that needs to be done in a given day. I also worry about the quality assurance team rejecting everything that I’ve worked hard to print.
I’ve become very interested in modern architecture and furniture over the last few years, so I would enjoy someday living in a house that reflected that interest. I also loved living in the mountains and miss being in that environment. I think my dream would be to live on a piece of property with a mountain view, in an A-frame or other modern house that had lots of windows and natural light. Ideally it would be filled with lots of vintage mid century modern furniture, while still only being a short drive away from the city. In fact, if I could have any superpower, I would choose teleportation. I travel a lot outside of work and it would save me a ton of time and money spent on gas and plane tickets.