The wonderful thing about working in a small, creative environment is that everyone in the shop is extremely integral. So when Tom’s wife, Katie, was the grand prize winner of a scholarship from the Opera Foundation and accepted a 10-month contract to study and perform with the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and Tom told me he would be accompanying her for the duration, I cried — feeling like I was losing a limb. After I stopped wallowing in self-pity and started to see this was an amazing opportunity for Tom and KRD and all of our clients, I posted an ad for a graphic designer to fill his seat. Well, 270-odd resumes and portfolios later, we found James MacWhirter. We really like his work…it has that creative, quirky, out-of-the box thinking approach we love at KRD. And he was willing to work with us. Now, we’ve not only got a designer in our German “office” who will be reporting regularly on the cultural and design goings-on in Berlin, and working with us on all of our big projects; but we have a great new designer who’s been working over Tom’s shoulder for awhile now and is raring to roll up his sleeves and get going. We’ll miss seeing Tom but he’s promised to be slightly bi-timezonal and video chat for office meetings. Auf Wiedersehen, Tom… see you in ten months. Welcome James.
With an introduction like that, I feel even more pressured to write something fantastic now. I suppose the best course would be to give you some general information and go from there. My name is James MacWhirter, and I am a graphic designer. I am a product of the graphic design program at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove Pennsylvania and a lifetime of being up to my elbows in coloring, sculpting, painting and pouring over magazines and anything visual. Actually, it seemed only natural to become a graphic designer so that I could have an impact on the world of design. I am one of those people who analyses package design and layouts wherever I go, and am guilty of buying lots of things just because I really like the way they look…. whether I need them or not. After being at KRD for only a few days, and looking over Tom’s shoulders while he worked, I feel as though I have already learned so much! I look forward to what I can learn from each project and client, and look forward to what I can bring to these projects. I’m really excited about starting a new journey here at KRD!
I must say, I’ve been feeling a range of emotions this week while preparing to leave the country — thrilled to experience the sights, sounds, and especially tastes of Germany, not to mention that everyone I’ve talked to says that Berlin is “THE place to be” for the arts. My wife and I are especially looking forward to exploring the great parks with our pint-sized Papillon, Noir. I have even heard we can bring him into the shops and restaurants since it’s such a dog-friendly city.
On the other hand, it’s also been difficult to leave such an amazing creative team at KRD, but having worked with James during our “orientation” here over the past few days, I can already tell he’ll fit right in with our crew and not miss a beat.
During my time there, I’ll be taking a gazillion photos and blogging about my experience as a Berliner… coming back with a completely-refreshed and inspired set of design chops to bring to the table!