How is designing on Barkley’s flow team different than previous design roles?
Most advertising takes lots of time and money to produce. Once all that hard work is finished, you send your baby out into the world and hope that people will love it. If they hate it? Well, there are many months worth of content about to roll out that they’ll probably hate, too. Flow teams aim to produce content based on what works–instead of what might work–in a way that invites consumers in to join the conversation. We tap into what people are saying and find a way to produce content–quick and dirty–so that it aligns with the brand. If it works, we get to keep doing it. What I think I love most about the flow team model is the ability to produce content immediately. I get to make crazy-fun-pretty-playful-collaborative things all day long and send them off into the real world. There’s a foundation of client trust and consumer understanding that’s totally immersive. Different than anything I’ve done before, for sure.
I’ll take a wild guess chalk is one of your favorite mediums. Why chalk?
Chalk is incredibly temporary. The ability to move past whatever you’ve just created in order to do something even better is immeasurably helpful when it comes to learning new things, and there’s so much that I want to learn. The Creation of Barkley piece was washed away three days after it was finished, which caused some confusion for people who thought it was a permanent installation. But for me, the destruction of a piece is the most exciting moment because it means that something fun and new is about to be made.
Your Creation of Barkley was pretty bad ass. That’s not really a question, just wanted to say that.
Ha. I actually hadn’t met two of the guys in that piece before I chalked it. And, having only worked at Barkley for nine days, I was terrified that I would miss the mark entirely on their culture (can you even call your few days on a job working? I mean, one of them was spent building a playground). Jeff King was happy that I got his abs right, so I think I did ok.
What draws people to hand lettering and illustration work? Other than we see so little of it.
I think everyone can appreciate that lettering and illustration are clearly hand-made. There is something incredibly genuine about hand made goods, so when that can be woven into graphic design, the authenticity of a piece just goes through the roof. Lettering and illustration say “someone made this, for you”. They’re like a magnet that pulls you into a piece, which is a wonderful tool for an inherently synthetic industry like advertising.
By the way, you’ve also worked as a copywriter which seems sorta crazy. Are there aspects of writing you’ve been able to use as a designer?
My degree is in Advertising Design, which is 50/50 copywriting and art direction. I got a job in copywriting when I graduated, but I have more fun when it comes to design. I think the best copywriters are skilled at two things: comedy and communication. So hopefully I am able to use a little bit of each when it comes to my work now. Or at least come across as mildly witty in my Instagram posts.
What is your latest epiphany?
I recently re-watched This is Water and I’ve been thinking about it daily. So a re-epiphany?
It basically boils down to how every human being is the main character in the movie that is their life. So you’re probably just a non-speaking role, tucked away in the corner of most people’s movies. When this video pops into my head during the day, everything that I thought was significant or daunting becomes itty bitty. It’s a pretty incredible mindset to float around in.