Eric Lish

Graphic Designer
New York
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My name is Eric Lish; I am a New York based designer and recent graduate from Parsons School of Design, with a Bachelors in Communication Design. I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky and came to Parsons to pursue an education in graphic design as a foundation to my career. I would describe myself as a learner 􀃕rst because I am continually looking for avenues of improvement. I'm an avid fan of music, 􀃕lm, books, language, and of course, design and their variance as pathways of expression. As a designer, I'm very interested in communication and how we meet at points of universal communication while retaining our cultural identities. I’m a self-motivated, accountable, individual who 􀃕nds ful􀃕llment in continuing to explore my passions.

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Work Experience
The Phaistos Project
Research Assistant
Feb 2019 – Present
New York, NY
Printed Matter
Aug 2018 – Dec 2018
New York, NY
Parsons AMT
Assistant Program Administrator
Feb 2019 – Present
New York, NY
Parsons School of Design
Adobe Creative Suite, After Effects, Cinema4D, CSS & HTML, Risograph Printing
Vouched by
Featured work
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I feel that I am the best candidate for the World's Greatest Internship because the perspective I bring to the room is one which is humble, ready to listen, learn, and get things done. I believe that my skillset is important, not only because of my design sensibility, which demonstrates my understanding for digital media and printed media to be successful, but also because of my soft skills. While in school I had three jobs; Resident Advisor for New School Housing, Designer for Parsons Art, Media, and Technology, and a Research Assistant for Pascal Glissmann's Phaistos Project. I worked with Parsons for more than half of my college education as a designer and was an Resident Advisor for three years. These two positions alone have given me invaluable skills which would be very beneficial to the companies I will be collaborating with while I am a part of the World's Greatest Internship. As an RA, I gained the abilities to be flexible with situations and be assertive in group settings. The RA position was very uncertain as to what may happen day to day, things were always changing and coming up so I had to learn to be flexible. So whether I was working on programming for an event with a co-RA, responding to concerns from residents, scheduling meetings, there were always multiple tasks in rotation. The RA position invited me to learn a lot and to utilize many different skillsets. I used my design sensibility for flyers for programming, became more team player oriented through program collaboration, and become proficient in conflict management through roommate conflict mediation. I feel that my experience has seasoned me for the challenge that is ahead of me should I be selected for WIG. I continually go back to calling myself a learner and think that someone who has the skills & experiences, yet is hungry to continue growing would be refreshing for all the companies I will work with during WGI.

1. Why are you interested in wgi?

I am interested in the World's Greatest Internship because I'm eager to go on this adventure that the World's Greatest Internship has to offer. When I say adventure I don't mean something that is all fun and clear skies, I mean Lord of the Rings epic adventure. To me, the journey of the World's Greatest Internship is paved with hardships and lessons in self discovery. I am looking for an experience that will help me grow and create connections with the people I will work with during the World’s Greatest Internship. In addition to the experience, I am seeking opportunity to work in design settings with fast passed work that is exciting and pressing. I know that those kind of experiences are not easy which attracts me even more to the World's Greatest Internship. Hard work pays off, and as a self described learner, I am drawn to this opportunity to expand my horizons.

2. What are you looking to gain from an experience such as WGI?

The experience I am hoping to gain from the World's Greatest Internship is one that contributes profoundly to not only my design sensibility but to my ability to create with others. I enjoy collaboration and find that these experiences stimulate growth. As a designer and working for top companies, I hope to learn as much as I can. I want to learn something from each of these companies and apply that to my practice. I hope to gain insight to the roles that designers play on teams for different companies and find where my strengths/weaknesses are. The World's Greatest Internship has written in their *about* section they they want interns to "leave with a powerful well-rounded experience that will accelerate their careers", and I want that!

3. What would be your goals after completing WGI if you were selected?

If I were selcted for the World's Greatest Internship, and completed it, my first goal would be to reflect on the experience I just had. Find what I did successfully and what I didn't do so successfully, moments where I felt pretty low maybe because I made a mistake that dissapointed the standard I hold myself to. From this reflection, I would see how I've grown since starting the internship and after finishing it, then find where else I can grow to start mapping out a plan for that. After working with different companies through WGI I'd have a good idea as to what I do like to do as a designer, and what I do not. From this knowledge, I would begin looking for where I could begin my career doing what I am best applied for, while in the meantime doing what I do now (freelance). I like to stay busy, so I foresee myself jumping right into the next chapter of my life right after WGI and riding the momentum that WGI would give me to take on the world.

4. How did you hear about wgi?

I first heard about WGI when I first met Whitney Badge who was selected last year for WGI. I became interested in her experience and sought to learn more about the program which led me to reading through the website. Upon reading through the website, I became convinced that this is an opportunity I should put my best forward to apply for.

5. Share an example of a time you were most motivated and a time you were most demotivated.

—— A time I was most motivated to achieve was during my final semester at Parsons when I took the course Typeface Design with James Montalbano from Terminal Design. James’ course was the hardest lesson I've yet to have. Every week when I submitted design iterations for my typeface, I was crushed with the feedback. However, I did not let this discourage me from creating what would become my typeface *Sentinel*. I asked James to meet with me via skype every week for the first month so I could have an understanding of how to use Fontlab, which we were using to make our typefaces. After reading his comments from my assignments, I would approach him before class and ask him to clarify anything that I did not fully understand. This feeling that I was really struggling with my lack of technical skills and type design sensibility lasted for the majority of the semester. Throughout the semester I was wrestling with this voice that was discouraging me and questioning why I was trying so hard to grab the reigns on type design. I really had to dig deep to grasp my love for type design and felt that I needed to prove that I could do this, because I knew I would want to do it again throughout my life. After months of revisions and numerous changes I finally felt the tension disappear. I saw all the glyphs together and could use Sentinel to write things without cringing over the spacing or because a glyph looked weird in comparison to the others. I'm very proud of *Sentinel* and am happy that I stayed self-motivated in order to supply support to my ambition. This was one of the first times that I had to be the main sense of encouragement for a project I was working on which has helped me grow tremendously as a designer. A time when I was most demotivated was as a member of a band. I felt very demotivated in this situation because of the work dynamic between myself and the others. I was responsible for the visuals and writing the music, when the task to manage the band was given to me, I felt spread thin. When I communicated that I wanted others to take some of the responsibility, there was often a pushback which I knew was unfair. A band to me is a collaborative effort and in order for it to be successful as a creative outlet, everyone should be involved and have accountability. The fun part died and my friendships with the members began to deteriorate as I felt rather disposable even though I was keeping the wheels turning. I am enthusiastic about making music, performing live, and creating visuals for music but in an environment where you do not feel valued, it takes away the motivation to contribute. I eventually left the band because the situation did not change and couldn’t bring myself to remain in a collaborative effort which was not equally distributed. This situation was a lesson in self worth, accountability, and collaboration as actions speak louder than words, always. What I've taken away from this situation is to read the signs early and to trust my gut if something doesn't feel right about the environment I am in. This was a major learning experience for but what I took most importantly from this situation was to advocate for myself.

6. In your opinion, what creates a great culture at a company?

I believe that great culture at a company is stimulated by communication. A company, to me, is like an ecosystem, all the different departments are dependent upon one another. Communication between departments, the individuals within the company, all help to make the culture so rich. I firmly believe that voices and representation stimulate great culture. When more backgrounds, people of different identities are all in the same environment, there is a phenomenal growth curve. My Resident Advisor team was very diverse and were nominated for the most awards out of the other residence halls which I feel was because we had a strong team dynamic. This strong team dynamic helped motivate us to be highly proficient to serve our residence hall. This is rather microscopic in comparison as a team of 14 to a company but I can see that the same situation could be applied to small studios or teams. Companies are built by the stacking of these smaller teams and if each of the teams are healthy and have a healthy line of communication with other teams within a company then the company itself will have a great culture.

7. What brands and companies do you admire and why?

Brands and companies I admire are ones that standout from others usually through their foundation, whether it is material use or goal for their company to solve a problem. One of my favorite brands is called Native Shoes, which refer to themselves as "Beast Free" In their words: "Beast Free has been an integral part of our DNA since day one. Not a hair nor hide on any animal, anywhere, has been used in the creation of our product. We’ve even been certified by PETA as an approved vegan brand". I find this understanding of the impact that a company has on the world through their material usage impressive as it reveals a connection to the world in a time when companies are not taking responsibility for their contribution to the world. Another company I admire is (or was) The Red Bull Music Academy. The Red Bull Music Academy was a very interesting brand extension from Red Bull because Red Bull was investing so much money into electronic music. The Red Bull Music Academy also supplied an awesome online presence with lectures from musicians that attended the Academy to speak; from Jlin, to Holly Herndon, to Brian Eno, the academy was celebrating musicians who were pushing boundaries. This backing from a very big brand towards a craft which is constantly trying to push the envelope on live and audio experience has helped to stimulate the growth of music as an indust.

8. What do you do to stay sharp and improve your craft?

To stay sharp and improve my craft I'm doing daily tasks to keep me intrigued with design, exciting that feeling I love to get from my craft. Reading from different sources such as Eye on Design or It's Nice That, and reputable books. Currently I'm re-reading Emil Ruder's Typographie: A Manual of Design which was one of the first books I read when I came to Parsons. In addition to this, I have a mix of self imposed and freelance projects. The freelance projects are an exercise in what I am proficient in; type design, posters, album covers. The self imposed projects are reserved for things I either want to continue exploring or improve: legibility in type design, motion graphics, 3D rendering. I've stated multiple times that I am a self-motivated learner; continual improving my craft as a designer through learning is the best way to fulfill my ambition to learn.

9. What’s your favorite quote?

One of my favorite writers is Kurt Vonnegut as Slaughter House Five is one of my favorite books. While I heavily debated saying that "So it Goes" is my favorite quote, I would say that another quote by Vonnegut is my favorite. *New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.* I believe this is more inline with my motivations to learn and grow. We are all searching for a meaning in this world, something to give purpose to what we do as worthwhile. Every event that happens in our life is a learning experience. I believe that self fulfillment can be found in knowledge as the gift that keeps on giving. Knowledge isn't tangible and takes hard work to obtain, but it stays with you forever.

10. If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

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