Friday, February 27, 2015

Meet Designer Nathan Godding


Meet San Francisco designer Nathan Godding. His passion for typography and photography shines in his work. I'm excited for you to read his story! Here's our conversation: 

Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you tick? 

I’m a designer and illustrator working at Evernote. I have a sweet tooth and a little terrier named after Buster from Arrested Development. 

How did your journey as an artist begin?

I think my first memory involving design was at my elementary school. We had a sort of publishing department in the library where kids could write stories, bind them into cute little books, and then design the covers with those markers that smell like fruit. 

When did you find your style? How did it evolve? 

My initial attraction to typography has had a big influence on my work. Lately, I’ve been diving into illustration, which is fun. Regardless of the visual execution, I strive for honesty and clarity. 

What's your favorite design you've created? Why? 

I had fun making a set of foil stamped invitations for a fancy black tie New Year's Eve party. So class. Very luxury.

How do you come up with new ideas when you're in a creative rut? 

I like to go for a walk. Clears my mind and gets the blood pumping. 

What are five things that are inspiring your work right now? 

Chocolate almond crush Pocky, one-line ASCII art, RuPaul's Drag Race, desktop organization, and surfing the world wide web. 

What's the best part about your job?  

Being a part of a company that I believe in. 

What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them? How do you navigate the art world? 

I think one of the biggest challenges for artists and designers alike is staying informed of the current art/design scene, both locally and globally. There are so many amazing creators in the world today. It can be both paralyzing and inspiring to think about. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to a beginning artist, what might you say? 

Be open to opportunities when they present themselves. Things don’t always happen when we plan for them to, but sometimes that’s for the best. 

What's on your horizon? Do you have any exciting projects coming up or goals for the future? 

 Lot's of fun stuff coming up at Evernote! I have a couple side projects simmering, and I'm also going to do more traveling this year.

Thanks so much, Nathan!

To connect with Nathan, visit:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Part Two // Meet Photographer Jason Lucas

Welcome back for part two of my interview with photographer Jason Lucas. If you missed the first section of our conversation, you may read it here. Enjoy! 
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How much of your photography is instinctual, rather than planned? 
First starting out, I planned everything. I wrote down poses on sticky notes and stuck them in my pocket. Then, in between each pose I'd look at them. I've since learned that candid is the way to go. Not only is it easier on me, but it allows me to capture my clients and not my representation of them. So now it's strictly instinctual—especially during weddings.
In one sentence, why do you take photos?  
I take photos, because I can't help but capture moments that are important. 



If you could offer one piece of advice to a younger artist, what would you say?
Simply put: all of your answers are found by doing one thing—shoot as much as you possibly can...build a huge volume of work. 

On your website, you mention that your clients often become friends. Would you share about that?

I mainly build relationships with my clients by asking questions about them. I want to know their story, their passions, their aspirations. What makes them laugh? What could they spend hours talking about? After figuring that out, I talk about those things. Not because I want them to like me, but because I care about human connection. That's more important to me than any photo I've taken. 

How do you balance work and personal life? 
Balance is important in everything you do. I make sure that my focus is on my family first, and then on my career. If I need to take a break and do some prayerful meditation, I allow myself to. I think about photography a lot, but try not to let it consume me. We all need a break, even from our passions. Work-life balance is something I am constantly trying to improve. 


What is the craziest thing you have done to get a good shot?
At a wedding or engagement shoot, you’ll likely see me balancing on something incredibly unstable, laying in wet grass, or climbing a tree in order to get a shot. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.

Do you have any religious beliefs or life philosophies? If so, how do they impact you as a photographer?
I’m LDS (commonly known as Mormon). Religion and spirituality is important to me in that it helps center me and balance my life. Progression and moderation in everything we do is so important and my beliefs have helped fortify that mantra.

Jason, thank you so much for sharing your story on Project Paperie! 
***
To connect with Jason, visit: 

Instagram/Twitter: @jason_lucas


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Part One // Meet Photographer Jason Lucas

Meet Jason Lucas, a photographer from Seattle, Washington.  The stunning colors and lighting in Jason's work inspire me. His passion for capturing life's big moments is evident in both his photos and words. I'm so excited to share part one of our conversation. Enjoy!


Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m the first photographer in my family and because of that it’s given me a unique perspective on life. I grew up in a family full of musicians, so naturally I picked music up myself as well. It was my first love, but photography has stolen my heart. I still play music (guitar and singing) while I wait for my photos to download and/or process. Other than that, I’m a connoisseur of good vibes and insights that push my current way of thinking.
 
How did your journey as a photographer begin?
One thing you need to know about me before telling this is that I’m a “jump-with-both-feet” kind of guy. When I decide on something, I go full force until I realize it wasn’t the right decision. I first noticed my love for photography when I caught myself looking at beautiful photographs and thinking, “I want to capture that so badly. What a beautiful way to showcase art.” So, I researched hundreds of cameras and lenses, I asked my most influential and expert photographer friends at the time what I should be looking for and then dropped $800 on my first camera and lens—a Canon T1i and a 50mm f/1.4. Then, I just started capturing everything I couldn’t help but take pictures of.

Did you go to school to study photography? If not, what resources prepared you for your career?
I did not. I took a few digital imaging courses, but nothing extensive. Making friends with photographers, asking lots of questions, analyzing photos and how they were accomplished, and trying out every idea I had was what got me started.

What words would you use to describe your photography style?
I generally explain my style as candid and creative. Everything you see on my website is done in-camera, which allows me to continually stay creative.

What is a favorite image you have shot recently? What does it mean to you?
I’m proud of this photo of Jared and Chelsea (above) because it symbolizes everything I strive to accomplish. Every effect you see here was done in-camera! No Photoshop. This is how I hope to always blend my creativity with the candid feel.

What do you think makes a memorable photograph?
It might sound cheesy, but in the end people just want to remember their weddings how they felt it. So I try to recreate that feeling. I want someone to look at their photos 10 years from now and say, “That’s exactly how I remember that day.”

What do you hope viewers take away from your work?
I hope that people can see my passion through my work. I hope they smile when they see a candid shot. I hope they imagine themselves in that photo, feeling what the image portrays.

Who are some of your favorite artist? How have they inspired you? 
Jeff Newsom, Sam Hurd, Wyn Wiley, Dylan and Sara, Benj Haisch and Matt Stuart are some of my favorite photographers who constantly inspire me. Album covers and movies inspire me a lot too. These guys taught me how to stay creative and do every one of my photos in-camera. It makes me proud to be able to say I haven’t touched any of my photos with Photoshop.

Want to read more of Jason's story? Visit Project Paperie this Wednesday for part two of our interview! 

To connect with Jason, visit: 



Instagram/Twitter: @jason_lucas

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet Illustrator and Designer Mikey Burton

 

Meet Mikey Burton, illustrator and designer. I recently discovered his work while reading a 2012 magazine article from my university's library archives. Curious about how Mikey's story ended up, I visited his website and was impressed by his illustrations and designs. When I asked Mikey to share more about his journey as an artist, I was delighted by his honesty and humor. I hope you enjoy Mikey's story as much as I do! 

***

Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you tick? 

I'm a designy Illustrator. I had a dream last night that I had to get a job at Dunkin' Donuts. I was really bummed at first, but they had a wrapped muffin waiting for me on my first day with my name handwritten on it. I thought, "This won't be so bad."

How did your journey as an artist begin? 

As far back as I can remember, I've always enjoyed drawing. When I went to college, I didn't want to be a starving artist, so I picked Graphic Design. I really didn't know what that meant at the time. I thought I might get to design a jewel case insert for a compact disk. :)

  

When did you find your style? How did it evolve? 

While in college, my friends and I started doing screen printed posters for local bands. The process of restraining the design of a poster down to one or two colors (mainly for cost reasons) had a real effect on how I approached design and illustration. I also had a love of letterpress, and loved to emulate those textures in my work. My illustration work today is still heavily influenced by these things.

 

What's the craziest project you've been asked to do by a client? 

Last year Converse asked me to draw on 30+ pairs of shoes (60 shoes total) in seven days. Process wise, it was one of the funnest commercial jobs I've ever done. 

How do you come up with new ideas when you're in a creative rut? 

I usually go to bed. If I've been working on something all day and just haven't got anywhere, I always find it's best just to sleep on it and start new the next day. I've been working professionally for over 10 years now, and I know a good night sleep is the best thing for my brain. I've also found that if I read an article for an editorial illustration before I go to bed, I'll usually wake up with ideas for it in the morning.

 

What are five things that are inspiring your work right now?

Exile on Main St., Food, Uhh Yeah Dude, Beverages, and Broad City.

What's the best part about your job?  

The fact that I don't have to wear pants (but I still choose to). 

What's the worst/most challenging part about your job? 

Staying focused an motivated while working out of my apartment. It's surprisingly hard.