Vaughn Fender


"Winter Blues" - 2/2009

"Slow Motion" - 3/2009

"Eyes" - 5/2009

"Laugh About it" - 6/2009

"Must Keep Drawing" - 5/2010

Words of Wisdom - "Hustle Hard" - 10/2010

"Special Pie" - 5/2011

"Try Again" - 8/2011

"Eating Wack Rappers Alive, Spitting Out Chains" - 8/2011

"Food with Legs - No. 3" - 8/2011

"Alphabet Poster" - 9/2011

"Highs and Lows" - 9/2011

"Im Good. Fine. Yes. OK! Epic! Lovely." - 12/2011

"Bacon & Beer Poster" - 1/2013

"OOPS" - 6/2013

"Trill" - 8/2013

"Embarassing" - 9/2013

"Always" - 12/2013

"Goodnight" - 2/2014

"Good As" - 4/2014

"All the Feels" - 5/2014

"That WORK" - 9/2014

"Progress Not Perfection" - 1/2015

"Nice quotable from a man on the street." - 6/2015

How would you describe your graphic design practice? How long have you been doing it?

I am a designer/illustrator and I have been working full-time and freelancing part time for about a decade. When I do create the time for personal work, I tend to practice or learn new skills. Overall, I do my best to apply creative solutions to solve client issues.

For my full-time gig, I work on marketing materials for colleges, small businesses and corporations, all of which in primarily print work. My freelance projects tend to revolve around lettering and illustration with a focus on editorial, poster design and infographics.

Often students get discouraged after receiving negative feedback. Can you share a time when you were given negative feedback, and how you learned from it?

Over the years of working with clients, I have gotten all sorts of feedback and what I’ve learned from it is that it’s all relative. Art is objective, and negative feedback to one can be positive to another. The value in the feedback you receive is how you reframe it to make it work for your client.

On the surface, you may have exercised all the proper design principles and done your best to solve the problem at hand. But a lot of times what it comes down to is asking the right questions. Sometimes you have to get to the core of the negative feedback and find a way to use that to gain a positive result.

It's very hard to take criticism when you have poured so much into the work, but at the end of the day, you are working to please the client and learning to be an effective listener takes time and patience.

What is the best advice you have for young designers to boost their productivity?

Staying motivated is hard. If you love design and want to pursue it full-time, you have to immerse yourself and stay very curious. Make time to read, learn skills and practice constantly. Create challenges for yourself and give yourself deadlines to accomplish each new goal.

Are there any unventured territories of design that you would like to explore?

I’ve worked on a variety of projects over the years, but I would love to illustrate and publish a children’s book.

Are you working on any personal projects right now?

I have a few zine ideas outstanding, but have been too busy lately. Because. Life.