Beyond the greeting card: A visual interview

By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor  |  Sep 1, 2016

The creativity bunker of Jodi Wing, design director here at Ready State, is stuffed with a cityscape’s worth of whirring, sparking, and futuristic technology. Her tools range from a CAT scanner to a 3D printer to an Occulus to a homemade Matrioshka brain.

Tech aside, Jodi has retained one tool from the beginning of her professional life, as a greeting-card illustrator: freehand drawing. 

Taking a new approach to an interview, we asked her the following questions using our persistent tool (our babble hole) and received these visual responses via hers (a pen and a sketchbook).

1. What does drawing freehand communicate that no other visual means of communication can?

The fastest way to get your ideas out of your head.

2. What is the most common mistake that agencies and companies make when trying to employ those who draw or illustrate?

They try to provide solutions instead of articulating the problem they want to solve.

3. Which of your professional drawings is your favorite?

Nerdy notebook illustrations with HPE.

4. Which of your professional drawings has been the most successful?

Concept illustration for a Coke can featuring Pharell's Happy lyrics.

5. What was the first drawing you ever got paid to make?

Probably a greeting card. 

Topics: design, creativity, visual interview, freehand, Jodi Wing, graphic design, illustration

Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor

Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor

Curt Hopkins has written about punks in Berlin, gypsies in Granada, and nerds in Nairobi for Newsweek, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times,, the San Francisco Chronicle, New Times, and others. He was the founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, the first nonprofit dedicated to the liberty and safety of bloggers worldwide. Curt was the social-media manager for InterActive Corp's InstantAction gaming platform and an early hire at, where he took responsibility for tanking its stock. His poems, essays, and plays have been respectively published and performed in a variety of publications and venues throughout the United States.