Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: I was an art director and designer at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. I moved out there after graduating from RISD in ’02 … Because I didn’t know anything about typography I slept my way to the top. Obviously.
Q: Wait, did you do that book about hipster foodies?
A: It’s called “Everything I Ate,” by Tucker Shaw. He photographed everything he ate in 2004 … wrote about social interactions, friends and food. I had a major crush on him. He was super fun, totally goofy and incredibly smart.
Q: How do your parents feel about you being an artist?
A: Good, but they don’t really understand what that is. They are like, “Oh, did you take these photographs?” And I’m like, “No, I did the layout.” And they are like, “So you mean you picked the photographs? What, like full page or half page?”
Q: What influences your work?
A: I really like the design of cereal boxes — a complete fantasy world. I like supermarkets too. Carnivals with black-light fun houses are amazing.
Q: What was a costume your friends at the time least expected you to wear?
A: A JonBenét Ramsey costume I wore in 2007. A friend who used to work for Pee Wee’s Playhouse in L.A. made it for me.
Q: What kind of influence did Vanilla Ice have on your haircut?
A: Absolutely none. Because I truly am the real Ice, Ice, Baby. I’m just taking back what was rightfully mine. (Jay’s concentration was lost for a bit because a hobbit walked across the street making cawing noises. He invited Jay for a drink later. Jay agreed.)
Q: Is it good to be a graduate student here?
A: I love the program. It’s all good. The 2010 Graphic Design class is the best class to come through Yale. We all meshed early on.
Q: Are you all going to get matching tattoos?
A: Matching tattoos, tongue rings, tramp stamps and probably rat-tails.
Q: Where do you see yourself going?
A: To hell.
Q: So instead of working for Chronicle again or moving, you’re going to hell?
A: I’m going to redesign hell. It is going to be colorful — a different hue of red. More psychedelic.
Q: Isn’t that more like interior design than graphic design?
A: Yes. I might have a secret passion.
Q: What about the gates?
A: Tearing them down. They just need to come down. They are not a welcome mat. They keep people out. It doesn’t say “come in.” The first thing I’m going to do when I get down there is take them out.
Q: How do you feel about three-headed dogs?
A: I tend to lean on the side of ferrets. Only ones with one head though.
Q: Did you ever get shoved into lockers in high school?
A: In the hallways or in the locker rooms?
Q: In the hallways. By bigger kids. Or were you the one doing the shoving?
A: No, I was always in the locker room.
Q: What were you doing in the locker room?
A: I can’t say