June 6, 2019

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Designer Sarah Jackson’s Animated GIFs of Crime, Philosophy of Design and More

What are you working on—on the side?

Everything I do feels like a side project! What makes them “side projects” might vary, depending on what I consider to be that day’s “main project.” For example, I was working on my Master of Design full-time for the past two years which made my design work the side-project, perhaps?

Former side-projects include (but are not limited to): competitive salsa dancing, building a series of children’s books about jam, and creating/hosting monthly Philosophic Salons on a variety of topics. But right now, I guess I have three side projects on the go:

The ABCs of Crime
A series of GIFs that I’m illustrating and animating to go through each letter of the alphabet as applied to crime: A is for Arson, B is for Burglary, C is for Corruption, etc. You can find them on my Instagram (currently working on K!).

Philosophy of Design
This ties into my design-thesis work, but I’m very interested in the philosophy of design—why we do what we do and how we understand it. Furthermore, I’m interested if we can change what we like: how do you change designer’s tastes, aesthetics, what we define as “good” design? This side project currently doesn’t amount to much besides thinking about it, but I wholeheartedly believe it counts!

Can sleeping be a side project? I have a serious goal to get at least nine hours of sleep every night and not ever wake up before 10am. Ongoing endeavour.

I’m planning on starting a project about whales, because I think they are beautiful and majestic, and I’m worried about our oceans.

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

With great enthusiasm! LOL. I am a master procrastinator, and these are the projects that I fill my time with when I need a break from my client-design work.

Why have a side project?

I’ve never had a side project for the sake of having a side project. I’ve spent my life pursuing things that stimulate my creative heart, things that bring me delight. Sometimes that’s design, sometimes it’s training as a competitive salsa dancer, sometimes it’s building GIFs about crime.

• • •

Portrait and animation courtesy of Sarah Jackson.

This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.

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