To be perfectly honest, I did not know what I would be getting myself into with this internship at Jackson Fish Market. When I read the job listing, it sounded somewhat off-putting relative to what I thought I wanted to do. My hope was to get an internship that bolstered my experience in the programs that I use, and also gain some names on a sheet of paper that I could tote around and show to bigwigs to further my life as a designer. Even when I agreed to take the job, I was full of doubt. I was leaving so many things behind to take on an endeavor that I questioned at times. My motives were childish and opinionated, but I understand why I had those thoughts. The kind of designer that I wanted to become did not match with the description of JFM, but that was because they didn’t seem right in the traditional sense.
My discussions with friends and family (and even strangers) about what I do as a designer are often times a thing shrouded in mystery. Sometimes it’s a talk about logos, brand, and the importance of a name. Other times it’s a cool t-shirt or sneaker. My perception of who a designer is was based on what he/she did. Though I don’t believe that’s a flawed way of understanding more about designers, I don’t believe that it even scratches the surface of what a designer does, and what we are capable of.
In the process of shipping Elmore City Dance Club, I have learned several things, one of the most important being that designers should not get stuck in the mindset that their work is not multi-faceted. That is the reason I was hung up before I even accepted the job. I was entrenched in the mentality that there are few areas left that could be covered by the reaches of design. I was, of course, wrong. Jackson Fish Market seems very impervious to this “Nothing New Under the Sun” school of thought. Their passion and enthusiasm for what they do sets them apart. They are like the three fairy godmothers in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, flitting around the internet waving their wands at things to make them prettier and more inventive, all the while looking after the lovely Briar Rose (the interns). But my JFM fairy godmothers are completing a lot more than a makeover. They are creating an experience that can be shared with others on a level that’s more personal and thoughtful than what you see out there. They care for their designs and they want others to realize that, and coupling those designs with the Internet, they are able to accomplish this goal in spades.
So at the end of my time here, I ask myself, how much do I care about what I put into my design? How does my work reach beyond my previous perception of what I thought design was and who I wanted to become as a designer? Those questions, like my JFM fairy godmothers will be floating around in my head for quite some time, pushing me to design with thought and innovation.