Our creative community is the soul of Designity. Their unique skills, raw talent, and open mindedness create a supportive and inspiring community that makes communal work in a virtual environment possible.
Today, we’re highlighting one of our star New York-based designers, George Mott. From the colorful shores of New Jersey to the glittering lights of New York City, George has taken what it means to be creative to new heights, living his life’s mission in everything he does.
“ I can wear anything because I choose to wear everything.”
Q: What made you decide to become a designer?
A: I’ve always been an artist and have always been creative, so I don’t know exactly when. I wanted to be a fine artist for a really long time, especially coming out of college, but I realized that I didn’t have that kind of hustle.
I really thrive under getting assignments and having objectives and posing challenges to myself. I think becoming a designer almost came out of a need to have those assignments.
I wanted to do something where people had a concept and needed a solution, so I pivoted a bit more, sort of doing little design projects, and realized that it’s something that I could bring to work that seemed to be successful for most people.
Q: When did you start designing? Were you a freelancer first, or how did you break into the space?
A: That’s a great question! The turning point that really convinced me that I could do this happened during college. I had gotten a lot of jobs working at big work fairs but on the operations side. It was very much about managing timelines and making sure things were built, people were on time, and everything looked right.
I met someone who had worked at one of the galleries, and we just made a friendship that eventually became a business collaboration. He had graduated from Harvard, and the point of going to Harvard for him was to build connections.
He had all of these opportunities and liked my artwork. I guess because I have a pretty specific style or sense of branding, he saw that and was like “I think you can do some really good work for us.”
He started putting me on little projects doing a logo here, a brochure, and a presentation dec there. Ironically, the only class I ever dropped in college was graphic design! I followed my curriculum to a ‘T’, other than dropping that class. I think it was the teacher who made me feel like graphic design just wasn’t for me.
But working with my friend, I almost saw a spark in myself. I realized that I had a knack for layout and composition and color, and I realized that I could be more successful in graphic design than my teacher led me to believe.
Q: Would you say that all graphic designers have their own ‘brand’?
A: I think that it’s what makes all graphic designers successful, but I wouldn’t fully bank on it. For example, my friend is an architect, and I’ve gone to functions with him. He has a personal brand, very visual, and his style really translates into his work. We’ll go to an event, and it could be the most casual person that he works with who makes incredibly visionary things.
I’m not saying that’s not a brand, but I’m saying that it’s not the extreme version that I do. I’ve always been a little bit of a character and flamboyant, and I like to stick out. So, I think it’s a skill that I’ve used to succeed.
Q: What is the biggest advice that you would give to the ten-year-old version of yourself?
A: Oh interesting. I honestly think I would tell myself to be a little bit less lazy. I think emotionally and creatively, I always felt like I was on the right path, but I just kind of always wanted to be leisurely and not do many things. Like taking a class or jumping at opportunities for example.
I feel like at a young age, I would have loved it if I had gotten into some of the skills that I picked up later, earlier. At least started crafting them because the few that I did start engaging in, I’m very strong in now.
I always see people who start ballet when they’re really young or figure skating and you can’t compare someone who starts at that age to someone who started at twenty. It’s just like, an innate thing; your brain is formed with that thought process or that motor skill. I wish I had gotten into oil painting or a lot of these other skills when I was really young.
For example, I see now all of these motion graphics and video work and I’m doing well picking it up, but I sometimes think about how much better my brain would have been if I had started as early as high school.
Q: What gets you excited when working with clients?
A: I really like a trusting client. Because my vision isn’t always immediately recognized as corporate, having a trusting client allows me to be more myself. Nothing wears me down more than when someone always just wants to go with the safe option.
There’s so much innovation that could happen if certain companies just pulled themselves a little bit farther toward a new realm or a new avenue.
Q: What is your favorite industry to work in?
A: I really like events. Before doing this, I worked in the events industry, and that was the first time in my whole life that I was in a job where people recognized that I could be successful. I was almost transforming in the role, and so since then, I have been able to blend the graphic design and events world.
I like industries that are very public-facing that interact with many people and offer experiences or a change of environment. I like to work on sort of that “Aha!” moment when people enter a space and look at a product or interact with a product in a space. That’s where I get the most excitement.
Q: What is a fun fact about you?
A: I was born left-handed like my mother was. Her parents trained her to become right-handed and when I was really little, she did the same thing with me. She just put everything in my right hand, and it was only when I got to middle school when I started doing more active activities like playing the guitar, for example, that I would pick up everything left handed.
She eventually told me that I was born left-handed. I had to go to handwriting classes when I was growing up, my handwriting was so bad. But it was because I was writing with my non-dominant hand!
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: I hate people who are like “I’m just honest, I’m just mean because that’s who I am,” I don’t like people who don’t live with empathy or choose to be above it because it’s like, active work for them. I just think everyone should be human and present and responsive to other people.
I like people who lead with kindness and compassion. I want to adapt to the people I’m around and the challenges that they face.