Can you tell me a little bit about your path to being a designer and printmaker?
Art has always been part of my life. From the time I was asked in 1st grade “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was "an artist." Drawing has always been a part of my life and I hope it only increase more in the years to come. Hours were spent with comic books and mimicking shapes, shading techniques, lines and forms from the pages of Marvel, Image and DC. It was in high school that my art teacher said “you'd make a great graphic artist one day.” I had no idea what on earth that was or meant. So I set out to figure it out. Ended up at ECU (East Carolina University) where I learned more about the world of communication arts. Design is an amazing career to work in. There are so many ways to solve the problems around us. Design allows you to figure out how to execute your solutions while interacting with people.
Reedicus started way back in middle school. One of my childhood buds, Danny Baker, called me Reedicus one afternoon as we ran through along the creek. I loved it. It's followed me since my first AOL email address. Reedicus didn’t really become my “studio” till early 2000’s. It was where I could express, explore and be curious after coming home from the day job.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
My typical work day is pretty typical. I've been an in house designer since 2003, if that gives you any idea. Reedicus work happens in the early mornings before the children are stirring and in the evenings after they are sawing logs. Being a father of three means there is never a dull moment around the house. Once the kids are down, I usually crank up the computer while trying to enjoy time with my wife while we Netflix it up. Not “Netflix and chill” cause I got to get some thing done. Well some times. I have three kids.
Was there ever a big mistake you made early in your career and were able to take something valuable from it?
Gosh, where to begin. One that really stuck with me was “don’t read your hype.” I felt I had a pretty good rep as a solid screen printer and designer in the little city of Wilmington NC. When I was invited to participate in Raleigh’s 2012 Hopscotch Fest I was stoked. We were asked to create and print a poster for the event. Thinking this was going to be a Bonnaroo or SXSW, I printed way more than I needed to. I think to date I only have sold 4 of the 100+. Very humbling to say the least. BUT, let it teach you to keep at it and not give up. Stay the course!
If you could give one piece of advice to another designer or entrepreneur starting out, what would you say?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and dont overlook people. In my experience there are so many people that have a wealth of knowledge ready to share. Sometimes it's in those we look right past for one reason or another. ASK QUESTIONS. Be curious of those around you. They have experiences that can give insight to struggles you don't have to face. Example: this one is free since you're still here reading. If you’re in school (or college), TAKE A DANG LAME BUSINESS CLASS! For real. That was a piece of wisdom someone, actually several people, shared with me. I pooped on that wisdom and have regretted it. “I’m gonna be an artist, I don’t need to take business classes!” I shouted in my post teen wisdom. Post teen wisdom has proven to not be as grand as post teen me thought. Trial and error is fine but learn from others where you can.
To Salvador Dali statement of "Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it" I say just make something.
Can you remember one of the first things you designed or created that you were proud of?
The first big project I remember being excited and proud of was my high school varsity soccer t- shirts. To see something you worked up, have it be printed and passed out to your peers was an amazing feeling. I wish i still had some of those images to share, or maybe I'm glad those are gone.
Why did you choose to make this design for The Designer Series and what does it mean to you?
Makers Gonna Make is a simple way to remember to stay at it. No matter how crummy a day was or how rusty you think you've gotten make time to create something. It doesn't matter how or what medium you use. (I've used reduced black bean water to draw with.) I love creating. It's an effort to remember to do what you love and make time for it. You're in control. You decide to make or not to make.
Can you talk a little bit about the process that you used to make this piece?
My process for this piece started with pen and ink. Just scratching out letterforms. It started there but only lived in the physical for a brief time. Then moved over to digital and put Kyle Webster’s Brushes to work. (If you haven’t seen them get over there now! Kylebrush.com) I had the basic layout and idea from the roughs. Working with digital now speeds up adjustments. Which is key to for making deadlines. Once I was happy with the lettering, I moved to illustrator. Adding some grudge specs to keep it from being to clean and hint back to the pen and ink analog beginnings.
Are you working on any new projects right now?
Am I working on anything... That's a loaded question. Always. I am working on some more mini-sketchbooks designs and hoping to land an amazing product design. It's almost in the pipeline. I can’t talk about at the moment. That aside I'm trying to focus more on art and design for me and see about building more of a following.
Design bucket list time: is there one creative experience or project you'd love to work on in the next couple years that you have never had the chance to?
As far as bucket lists go...I'd love to be able to focus more on illustration and push things more toward art. Having a galleried solo show that sold out would be amazing. I'm a long way from that but it's a project that is on my bucket list.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT