Friday Fives: Joanna Papaleo

November 16, 2018

Every Friday we give #highfives to a different designer from our extended family of PNCA students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturers. 🙌🙌🙌 We ask them five questions. They send us five images. Joanna Papaleo teaches Design Studio I: Signs and Symbols. In addition to teaching at PNCA, Joanna is a Designer and has worked at Struck, R/GA, & Nike.

Follow the series @pncadesign.

Fitness App Concept for R/GA.

Q: Is there anything you wish you had known just starting out, that you know now?

A: Never be afraid to ask questions; no one is expecting you to know everything.

If you don't know how to do something, ask! It shows that you want to grow and improve your skill set and there's no shame in it.

Left: "Who is Joanna?" I'm still working that out. Right: Nike Sustainability Website.

Never be afraid to ask questions; no one is expecting you to know everything.

Joanna Papaleo

Q: What do you do to get “unstuck?”

A: Honestly, there is something to be said about putting [a project] down or walking away from it for a while. I hear the suggestion to look at something with 'fresh eyes' a lot at my job. And it honestly does help: if I give myself a break or the space to think about it, generally solutions will come to me. I often wake up in the middle of the night with a solution and have to write it down and force myself to go back to bed, because getting up at 2am to go back to work isn't that great either.

There is also a really great book if you are feeling stuck creatively called Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa. I've found it helpful to get me out of a lot of ruts. It's always nice to read a book that knows exactly what you are feeling and helps you get through it.

Q: What are you reading right now?

A: I love books! They allow me to really unplug and escape reality for a bit. I really like fiction, YA fiction, sci-fi, and mysteries. My guilty pleasure is listening to celebrity autobiographies on tape, but only if they are read by the actual celebrity themselves. I always feel like I'm reading like 5 things at a time and have about 10 books to read on my shelf at all times!

I just finished Paper Girls Vol 4 by Bryan Vaughan, which is my favorite comic. It's part suburban drama and part supernatural mystery, about 4 newspaper delivery girls in the 1980s. It's illustrated by Cliff Chiang, who also worked on Wonder Woman. I highly recommend the entire series!

Left: Nike+ Just Do It, Summer Editorial. Right: #fbf to how I ended up in Portland. :)

I will admit I've cried during one or more episodes of World of Dance.

Q: What do you geek out about?

A: Dance. All forms of it! I'm so fascinated by the art form and what people do with it.

I used to dance when I was younger and the pure expression of emotions through movement is the most amazing feeling. These days you can occasionally find me taking a dance class somewhere or just dancing around my house (also another great trick for getting unstuck is to dance around the house).

My guilty pleasure is dance competition shows! I will admit I've cried during one or more episodes of World of Dance; I just watch and rewatch and try to learn how they move like that, I'm a total geek.

Q: What is your favorite trick for “keeping it all together”?

A: Lists, lots and lots of lists.

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