Meet the Mentor: Chris Jarvis
ASOS’s Senior Creative tells us why he decided to become a mentor and what it’s like working for one of the web’s most successful retailers
If you’re looking to take the next step in your career or find out about new opportunities, Connect Mentors is here to put you in touch with the brightest and best. Their range of mentors is diverse, so as part of a new series, we’ve been chatting to a few of them to find out more about their career journey and any tips and advice they can pass on to others in their field. This week, we met Chris Jarvis, Senior Creative at online retail giant ASOS to find more about his role, how he got there and the advantages of working for a ‘young’ company.
Describe a typical day in your role.
My day varies depending on what stage of the process we’re at with projects — it can go from brainstorming and putting together pitch documents; to presenting to clients or wire-framing microsites and prototypes; to pulling together references for photo and video shoots.
How did you get into your chosen career — was your path straightforward?
It feels like it’s been pretty straightforward. I started out in print, then moved into digital design and with each new role I adopted new skills, such as UX [user experience] and art direction.
What made you want to work for a company like ASOS?
I started out at ASOS as a Creative Technologist, so the possibilities of creating new tech products in such a fast moving environment was a big draw for me. Plus it’s such a young and forward-thinking company with very little legacy holding it back — I’ve never worked anywhere that is purposefully ahead of the curve as ASOS.
Who were your biggest inspirations growing up, career-wise?
I started out doing a lot of music artwork so I always admired quite graphic/illustrative design studios like Vault49, Chuck Anderson and The Designers Republic.
What made you decide to become a mentor?
I think it’s great to pass on knowledge and teach each other — especially within design, as there’s so much to learn. Plus, I always used to get in contact with designers when I started out and it was amazing when people responded. Being in contact with other creatives is so important.
You didn’t have a degree when you started out on your chosen career path — what advice would you give others who have decided not to take the university route?
Just keep getting your work out there. You get better with every brief, no matter how small or difficult it is — it’s all a learning curve.
Do you wish to see more diversity in your workforce?
I think ASOS is pretty on the ball when it comes to diversity and I’ve never seen design as a typically gendered career path.
What are the main qualities you would like in a potential “mentee”?
Someone open to criticism and with a passion for all aspects of the creative process
And finally what is the one piece of advice you wish you’d been told when you started out?
Surround yourself with, and learn from, other creative professionals.
Take the plunge and get linked up with fantastic mentors like Chris by visiting connectmentors.com