Tell us about the book covers you created for Pelican's Shakespeare series...
The story starts when I scheduled a student portfolio review with Jessica Hische—she gave me honest feedback on my portfolio, and also gave me the contact details of some of the best art directors. I emailed Paul Buckley, VP Executive Creative Director of Penguin US, a link to my (terribly amateur) student portfolio after the review. He kindly took the time to look at it, and replied that he'd like to explore the idea of doing Shakespeare covers in the style of my Daily Icon project. Not just any Shakespeare editions, but the Penguin Classics range! I cannot be more thankful or thrilled, and try to do my very best with each title.
In conclusion, doing personal projects always pays off and leads to the most interesting commercial work. Does a stand-up comedian only perform exclusively at SNL? No, they work on their material constantly, practice their delivery, and relentlessly train. We have to create work, for people to know we can do it.
The other important thing is having positive, empowering people around you, who will cheer you on and, more importantly, push you when needed.