Jordan Kay | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Jordan Kay

A portrait of artist Jordan Kay.


Areas of Study
Current Career
Freelance Illustrator
Seattle, WA

Describe what you do for work and how your experience with it has been.

I'm an illustrator and illustration-focused graphic designer, who sometimes dabbles in motion for client work. I've worked with clients such as Starbucks, Disney, Target, Amazon,, IMDb, Paramount Pictures, Topo Chico, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Politico, Adweek, Vox. I've also worked in-house in the Starbucks Creative Studio. I feel that getting experience early in your career via internships, contract work in a large company, and constantly pushing your personal projects, is pivotal to creating compelling work for commercial clients and building a successful freelance business.

How did you get your job?

I worked in-house with Starbucks Creative Studio, originally through a creative placement agency, which gave me knowledge of how to work with a company as a creative, and when I left, I could use that knowledge to build and run my full-time freelance business.

Jordan Kay

 Jordan Kay

Where are you originally from and how did you hear about MCAD?

I'm from the midwest, and found out about MCAD from a friend in high school.

What was your major and how did you choose it?

Illustration—I chose illustration because I wanted to work with creative briefs and create beautiful things, making information visually compelling.

Who was your favorite faculty member and why?

Alan Brewer had my favorite class, The Illustrated Sketchbook, which led to being able to create quick from short prompts.

Describe your internship(s).

I interned at a letterpress place. That was the first space where I learned about working with outside vendors and creating quality work at scale.

Jordan Kay

Did MCAD prepare you for life after graduation? In what way?

I think the community you build while in school, and keeping those connections after graduation is key to navigating the business side of creative work, as well as the potential of collaborating in the future.

Your biggest takeaway from MCAD?

Half of learning in art school doesn't happen in class. Keep creating, collaborating and conversing about creative problem solving.

What inspires you/your work?

Movement, music and spreading joy.

How do you network yourself and your art?

Social media, 1:1 coffee meetups, virtual intros with art directors.