Associate Creative Director
Nothing is more fun than meeting someone who is where you want to be in life.
Nothing is more fun than meeting someone who is where you want to be in life. I had the opportunity to meet Bryan Sedey the Associate Creative Director of the company C3. There they design toys, family, and kid programs for the hospitality and restaurant industry; such as Arby’s, Sonic, Raising Canes, and more. In the following interview Mr. Sedey gives us a peek at who he is and shares some of the best advice I have heard for any creative working in the industry.
Bryan was twenty-seven when he started college at Johnson County. Before he was living in Dallas, Texas with a career as a traveling musician for fifteen years. “I played bass in a harder rock band called The Feds. So, I was on the road quite a lot and recording albums. We’d done the U.K. and the majority of the U.S.,” Bryan said in the interview.
I just knew how to draw, I had done it since I was a little kid.
Kat Foster: Did you know what you wanted to do when you started school?Bryan Sedey: Yes. Our band’s manager owned a design company that catered to the music industry in Dallas, where I lived. He gave me a job as an intern. I was doodling at work one day and he learned that I could illustrate. So, he put me on a limited edition silk screen poster project where I illustrated this big pink gorilla with Baby New Year sitting on his hand screaming. But, I didn’t know any typography at that time or anything, I just knew how to draw, I had done it since I was a little kid. I got to see first-hand some of the stuff that they put out. I mean, it’s kind of a dream. I realized that I wanted to do what my boss was doing. Not being an intern who just filled print orders and answered the phones. Luckily, I got enough exposure that I when I got tired of the touring life I thought ‘now is the perfect time to go for an education in design and see what happens from there’.
KF: Why Johnson County Community College?
BS: I’m from here, originally. Johnson County was the first college that popped into my mind when I was thinking about moving back here; there really was no rhyme or reason. It turned out they had this incredible program that competes with other great schools, so I lucked out there. But, when I started I was poised to do very well, it wasn’t the kind of thing where I guessed myself into the program. It was very, very clearly what I wanted to do. KF: What are qualities of a good designer? BS: Maybe not so much what qualities, but what the best practices are. Working in a team is a must. Being able to communicate and hold your own in a team meeting. Know how much to contribute and when it’s time to get in there. Being dependable is a huge thing. Someone who is not married to their work and can take constructive criticism or even take negative criticism and turn that into a positive outcome is a real asset. Use the criticism and your team involvement to your benefit and make it better.
KF: What is an average workday like? Is there an average workday? That’s a better question!
BS: I wouldn’t say there is. In my experience where I work, an average day is busy. That’s about as boring an answer as I can give you. But, the diversity of the stuff you are working on at a place like C3 is huge. One day you are developing for an app or you are designing a character set, sometimes you are coming up with games, other times it is all brainstorming together as a group to come up with ideas. At times you have to put on your headphones, find a quiet spot in the building and go to town and not be interrupted. If the juices are not flowing and you can’t get past a block of some sort, you just have to get out of the building and go outside to work. Go to a coffee shop, a museum, or get inspiration from the field in a store or someplace relative to what you are doing. One great thing about C3 and probably a lot of creative companies is that they want to get the best work out of their people and know that the creative process is not always contrived. You know what I mean? There is a little more mystery to it.
KF: Do you have a dream job or client?
BS: Kind of what I’m doing is my dream job. I love doing what I’m doing. I think a dream client, the easy answer would be a client that respects and values your expertise. That doesn’t mean a client who just lets you do whatever you want, it means one who will engage in valuable conversation about what you are doing and respect your expertise in it, and their feedback is constructive and useful. Sometimes you can get pigeon-holed in a project, but it is really nice to work for clients that go “We want to let you dream as big as you possibly can.” That’s kind of the most fun, I think, when they let you get super creative.
KF: Do you have a favorite or most memorable project or client?
BS: A few years ago I used to work at Brockton Creative Group and one of our clients was Allegiant Air. They needed a pocket folder to give to investors or to potential partners. It was one of those projects where they said, “Run with it, go! Be creative!” The only stipulation was that it was an outside, heavy stock folder with two pockets and room for a business card. So, we were able to develop a pocket folder that ended up looking exactly like a piece of luggage. They loved it and we were able to produce it. It was a really fun and probably my first big, larger scale, passion project. It’s not the quantity, it’s just the polish on it that someone was willing to spend the money on that to produce that and let us be who we really are with it, which is zany and weird and fun, and it totally reflected in the end product. It’s something I will always be proud of. So, thank you Allegiant, because it was so cool they were so open to it.
KF: How do you work with difficult clients?
BS: I would say the best answer I could give you to that is you have to be able to efficiently communicate your idea to a difficult client. I think sometimes the difficulty may be a lack of understanding where you are coming from. When you use the term communication design, it didn’t make a lick of sense to me in college, but it makes sense now, because all we are doing is communicating. Most importantly, it’s knowing how to speak to their customers because, really, that’s the bottom line. They want to be able to communicate with their customers. That is what they are relying on you to do. So, if you can have the research and the foresight of who they are speaking to, it is a lot easier to sell your vision to a client who has those peoples’ personalities in mind.