#JXTASquad: DJ Bryant

Two people standing in front of a number of stuffed dogs

DJ & his supervisor, Senior Textile Designer in Cat & Jack (boy) Tommy Hatfield

Earlier this summer, we sat down with Graphic Design Lab Junior Art Director DJ Bryant to talk about his experience as an intern at Target Corp.

Name: DJ Bryant
Age: 18
Lab: Graphic Design
Title: Junior Art Director

How long have you been in the Graphic Design Lab at JXTA?
I’ve been in Graphics for three and a half years.

When did you complete VALT [Visual Art Literacy Training]?
I went through VALT when I was thirteen; I actually started here through Free Wall [intro to aerosol course] and through Free Wall I learned about VALT.

What brought you to JXTA?
The thing that brought me to JXTA was my interest in community development. And my mom’s friend is a friend of Roger’s, so she put me in touch with this diverse and community-driven program, and I said “hey that sounds pretty cool, let’s do that.”

What’s your favorite part about working at JXTA?
I really like the collaboration aspect. When I first started my art career, I wanted to be a freelancer, but being in a studio space has shifted that to a more collaborative path where I can talk to artists, get feedback, and instantly have conversations with other artists.

Tell me about a project you’ve worked on.
I recently finished the Morrie’s Subaru project. It was a vinyl mural to jive up their kids room. The mural spans an approximately 9 foot x 8 foot wall; don’t quote me on that, but it’s pretty big. It was a lot of illustrative work, so it was definitely a really fun project because I do kids stuff at Target, too. I do designs for the youth brand Cat & Jack.

What do you think is the most important thing you’ve learned in your time at JXTA?
I’ve learned a lot of important stuff, but I’d probably say collaborating and communicating with clients in a professional manner and not underselling my skills when it comes to client projects. Also, doing business with clients in general as an artist because it’s very different than doing business with another business when you’re already a business.

Now I want to talk about Target!
Yes I was working in product design and development as a Design Intern.

How did you land this internship?
Jared [Hanks, Head of Business Development] put me into contact, submitted my portfolio, and put a good word in for me at Target. Jared came through.

Have you worked with Target [through JXTA] in the past?
No, the biggest client I’d worked with before Target was 3M. I worked on their sustainability report cover. [Check out that project here.]

So tell me a little bit of what you’ve worked on at Target.
I’ve worked on graphic illustrations for the 2019 summer line for Cat & Jack. I can’t say much about it—you know, NDAs, I don’t wanna get hit with a lawsuit.

How has your time at JXTA helped you prepare for this internship?
I think it’s prepared me in terms of teaching me how to conduct myself professionally in a studio space and not act like a complete fool; to act like I know what I’m doing, which questions to ask, and to know how to respond to feedback and critique appropriately. And also how to ask my higher-ups questions if I am lost or need assistance.

Anything else we should know?
I just want people to know that Target is a really good company to work for and work with; even if you’re not at the headquarters, Target is really about inclusivity and pushing for diversity. They really encourage individuality in the workplace so you don’t have to come all dressed up every day; you bring yourself how you are and you’ll be treated well because Target is full of great people. They even have a training where they teach you how to go about interacting with a coworker that’s more introverted than extroverted. They try to cater to your personality type which is very interesting in the workplace.

What’s next?
Next I’m going to college at Hamline, double-majoring in drawing in digital media arts so I get the best of both worlds.

Follow DJ on Instagram @forever_strong_arts

Someone standing and pointing to their nametag lanyard