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#AlumniSpotlight – J.W. Affourtit

#AlumniSpotlight The Creative Circus graduates the most sought after creatives in the industry. Take a moment to read about the lives, careers & personal stories of some of our fantastic alumni.

Circus Alumni JW Affourtit

J.W. Affourtit

Creative Circus Alumnus – Graphic Design (2016)

Advice to the graduating class: Stay true to yourself. There will be a lot of pressure to have a job right after you graduate, and you’ll compare yourself to others and their offers constantly. Think about it like dating. When you meet the right agency there will be that magic moment where it all feels right. It may take some time but this is crucial for the work/life balance. If you hate where you go everyday, it’ll throw off your creativity.

Advice to the Incoming Class: Make circus your life. You’re going to get what you put in. Don’t be a dick. Everyone at circus ends up in agencies and when you need a job they’ll remember if you sucked to work with. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone grows at their own pace.

What do I wish I knew while at Circus: Do not be anyone but yourself. I got very caught up in trying to compete with other designers in my quarter (who happen to be incredibly talented super great people). Your book is a reflection of you and your thinking.

What does Circus mean to me: I’m a total sap when it comes to my time at Circus. It was the best years, and I’ve got lifelong friends from Circus. I’m grateful for its torture, I felt prepared for my first agency spot.

Lightbulb moment for me while in school: Something a lot of people may not know is I actually quit circus the second week of my second quarter. I had a rough first quarter (balancing a full-time job and school) I withdrew and planned on not coming back. I felt defeated and like it wasn’t for me. A circus buddy talked me back into it and I sent Sylvia an email right before the quarter started asking if she had any books or artist she recommended. She responded and at the bottom of the email it read “Glad to see someone with such potential coming back” It was that moment I felt I could actually do it. If, easily the hardest person to please, said I had potential then I was going to run with it.

Favorite project from an agency: My favorite project so far is the branding I did for the Marines on their Battles Won Academy. I got to do the branding from scratch and was the only designer/art director on the project. This year was the first year for the program so the writer and I had to figure out the experience for every day/every stop of the four days. We did everything from t-shirts to hotel signage, bus wraps, the designs on the scavenger hunt items. The creative director on Marines chose me to work on it because of my work on marines.com so it also felt great to have that acknowledgment.

Work by J.W. Affourtit:


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