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Joshua Clancy: Hard Work’s Returns

A super-contrarian, Josh Clancy discusses disorganization and the art of the anti-process.

Josh Clancy is a freelance designer and artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His projects range from campaigns for companies like Target to magazines like Computer Arts. Most of his work is in interactive design, print, and photography, but he is known for his versatility! Behance caught up with Clancy to hear his tips and observations on the topic of productivity and, of course, making ideas happen.

To get a sense for Clancy’s work, you may want to browse Toothjuice, WishWell – a yearly collective print zine that Clancy creates with Travis Stearns, MoonGoons, or Josh Clancy’s own site for his corporate/design work. Clancy explains that, “Being exposed and working with different junctions of culture is the most inspiring thing in the world to me.””I think my most successful ideas don’t have anything to do with any part of the ‘design process.’  …Yeah, I could say my best idea came from a concept that I doodled out and worked on for two weeks but really it didn’t. My successful ideas come from my heart. The passion. The only way to keep that passion for me is to be happy. Remember, this isn’t a job for me it is my life… maybe I am just young and don’t have a wife and kids yet so my priorities are different but nonetheless, good ideas will come when you are satisfied with where the ideas are coming from.”

For me staying focused comes with being motivated and inspired.

For Clancy, staying organized and spending his time wisely is described as a “nightmare.” But perhaps his angst is the source of his motivation to push ideas forward? Clancy explains, “I have a big problem with taking on a bunch of projects until I’m completely thinned out. Don’t do that to yourself! …I like to be doing more than one project at a time to keep things fresh so I use programs like iCal that synch up to my e-mail to plan ahead and make sure things are in order. I make tentative to-do lists and it really helps spell out my tasks.”

“For me staying focused comes with being motivated and inspired. Sagmeister said it best with, ‘Everything I do always comes back to me.’ It’s true! Think about this when you’re working and pushing yourself to the edge of destruction on a project. Hard work really does pay off. Not to mention getting off your ass once in a while. Literally everything you do will come back to you. Instead of sitting on your couch drained into the TV go out into the real world. I don’t even own a TV because I know if I did a lot of hours would just be wasted. …I find most of my interesting ideas come when I am out and about. Being social will open your eyes to a lot of things you may not have noticed before…”

“Everyone has something you don’t and vice versa. My partner in crime Travis Stearns always makes me see things that I miss. Sometimes my eyes are more open when I’m looking through someone else’s.”

Comments (4)
  • 57Even

    Keep it up Josh~ best regards.

  • simonemagurno

    Josh is Midwest’s best

  • VisualMercenary

    great job keep it up!!!

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