Student Interview Resources
Hey there! You’re probably here because you need to interview a creative or designer for your class. We feel you. Unfortunately, sometimes our schedules are a little too stacked to do every interview. So we’ve gathered some answers and videos that cover common questions we receive. We’re so honored you reached out to us. And we wish you the best with your project and school!
All the best,
The Hoodzpah Team
PS – More fun stuff and livestreams on our Youtube here
Student Interview Youtube Livestream
Graphic design student Oliver Lindrose asks us all the hard hitting questions about life after design school, getting his first job, sweet potatoes vs yams, and more!
Office Hours with Hoodzpah
Andrew Hochradel and Nick Longo host us on their Adobe show to talk common design and freelance questions! They’ve both taught (Nick still teaches) creatives students at the college level, and their weekly show is such a great resource and fun community. Highly recommended tuning in and joining their student Slack channel.
Side Hustler’s Perspective with Hoodzpah and Josh Ariza
We join our friends Josh Ariza and Scotty Russell to talk carving your path, thriving in your career, working for yourself, and more. Subscribe to Scotty’s channel for tons of great resources on being a creative, freelancing, and leveling up your soft skills.
Our Origin Story and Advice for Creatives: an Interview with This Design Life
We talk how we started, how we grew and got better, and our tips for making a go of it as a creative professional. Read it here.
Student Interview Answers to Common Questions:
What products and/or services do you provide?
We are a brand identity studio specializing in typography so companies mainly hire us to brand them if they’re new, or rebrand them if they have been around for a while. We also are contracted to do fun things like movie logos for people like Disney and 20th Century Fox. We also sell our own products: an assortment of fonts, templates, and our book we wrote called “Freelance, and Business and Stuff”
How long have you been in business?
Since 2011! 10 years and going strong.
How did you choose the name for your business?
We grew up for a time in NY where there is a large Jewish population and yiddish is common vernacular. We grew up hearing the word Chutzpah (pronounced “hood-zpah”) which means bold, brazen. And when we started our company this is the kind of work we wanted to do. So we put our last name in there (designers love puns) and Hoodzpah was born!
What was the most difficult aspect of opening your business?
Probably developing a trusted name in our industry and with bigger clients. We were very young when we started Hoodzpah. Only 24. So people thought we were green know-nothings. We had to do the extra research and go the extra mile to prove that we did know what we were doing and to make clients feel like they could trust us with big value projects. After a few years our portfolio began to speak for itself, but in the beginning we didn’t have that work to show.
What is the biggest day-to-day challenge in operating your business?
For me it can be knowing when to step away and let something marinate. I get really obsessive about figuring something out, but sometimes if you’re having an issue or can’t figure out how to make a design work, the best thing you can do is walk away. Open another project, take a walk, come back with fresh eyes.
What is your biggest reward in operating your own business?
Helping people create cool things for their audience and business. Seeing how excited our clients get about a new logo or brand campaign or project, or seeing how it helps them connect with the right audience is so rewarding. It’s all about the people at the end of the day. Working with good people is the best feeling. And with our book being able to help designers and creatives figure out the business side of things and how to present work and get the rates they deserve, that feels so good.
How do you decide what projects to work on?
We have a scale of all these things that Hoodzpah values, but the short answer is the 3 Ps. I don’t know who originally said this but think about People, Project, and Pay. If 2 out of 3 of those qualifiers is there on a project, it’s a good project.
What are the major advantages or disadvantages of being self employed?
Advantages are you really do have autonomy to steer your own ship. You can pivot quickly. And you know exactly how business is going and don’t have to just hope your bosses have it in hand. The downside can be isolationism if you don’t get hooked into a community. We are a small remote studio so we don’t see eachother often, and it can be lonely. So I’m on text threads with tons of designer friends to just talk, get feedback, and compare war stories.
What tools would you say are the most helpful when trying to promote yourself as a freelance designer?
It’s not quite a tool per se, but community is the biggest thing. And it’s not something that you just jump into and immediately get jobs out of. It’s something you invest in and you get what you put into it. So invest in others and they will be there for you when you need help. Tell them what you’re working on and what your dreams are and you never know who they might know or what advice/tips they may have about that.
What project are you most proud of and why?
My favorite project is our book. It’s been so helpful to so many and we’ve made so many great relationships because of it. It lead to us getting to speak at conferences and on podcasts. It’s just been such a unifier for us and our community.
What is something you recently designed that you can’t stop thinking about? Why?
It has to be our fonts. We’ve been known as a brand design studio for pretty much as long as we’ve been around since 2011. But about 3 years ago we really dived into typography and lettering. It started as creating custom type solutions for our logo and branding clients, and then moved into us building our own full fledged typefaces and fonts. It’s been so rewarding to make something that other creatives can take and use and make something new with. They use it in ways we’d never expect or we’d never dream up. It’s so cool to see.
Where do you go when you need to spark creativity?
It can be really hard! l run errands when I need a bit of a pick me up; and I’ll just turn off a road I don’t know and see where it goes. See what’s there that I haven’t seen before. Get a little lost in my own neighborhood and find something unfamiliar that delights me. It’s weirdly so inspiring. Seeing the different signage and houses and people gets your synapses firing in a new way and receiving new info.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Just start saying yes to the opportunities that you do have, instead of wishing for the opportunities that you don’t. Optimize them to work for you and your goals and make the most of them. If you’re just waiting for the perfect situation to come along, you might miss out on something really cool just because it’s not exactly what you wanted. Say yes, be ready to optimize and pivot. You’ll end up surprised at what you can do, what you can learn, and where you can get.