We're back from a great week in Denver! Beau and I were able to spend time with great friends, eat way too much food, and find a good balance of adventure and relaxation. And my ski game went from cautious to a little less cautious, which I'll count as a win.
Today I'm absolutely thrilled to share an interview with one of the most ridiculous guys I know. And by "ridiculous" I mean total goofball, but I also mean ridiculously talented. But let's back up for a second.
Last summer, I met Will and his lovely wife Sally on a rowboat in the middle of Lost Lake. Which basically makes for the best "how we met" story, ever. My friends and I rowed over and asked if Sally and Will could take our picture, because how could you be on a rowboat without obnoxiously posting about it on instagram? We got to talking, made an SEC football connection, and the rest is history.
Will's kindness, sincerity and humility is immediately evident. He's a big-time illustrator and his work is just as fun and clever and impressive as he is. My only problem with him is that he moved his family to Austin and broke our hearts forever.
I'm not bitter, Will. Not bitter at all.
Give us a quick background on who you are and what you do for work.
My whole extended family is from Mississippi, but I grew up in Texarkana, TX with both my parents and two older siblings. Sports, Boy Scouts, youth group, and goofing off made up my childhood. Undergrad at Mississippi State was a lot of neon, ridiculous dance parties, lots of drawing, and hours on the road to see my childhood sweetheart, now bride. We just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary (18 years together) and we have an adorable 19 month old baby girl.
For the past 8 years (Starkville, MS 2008, Austin 2009-2011, Portland 2011-2015, Austin 2016) I have been working as an independent illustrator/artist/graphic designer. I work with brands, small and large, to create fun-filled projects that are often colorful, positive, and exuberant. Some clients I have had the honor to work with include AT&T, Converse, Facebook, Google, NIKE, Nickelodeon, New York Times Magazine, and The White House. In addition to working with clients, I also create gallery work and collaborate with other creatives on weirdo projects. I really enjoy people, and developing relationships through collaboration is both intriguing and challenging.
What about your work brings you the most joy and fulfillment?
Great question. I think the initial excitement about a new idea and the problem solving during the process of a project is the thing that keeps me interested. The joy is in the productivity. The fulfillment comes from completing it and moving onto the next thing. Somewhere in between the joy and fulfillment there is a goopy mess of narcissism associated with sharing the whole process with people (the internet). Ew. That part is weird and hard to navigate sometimes. Most days I think my work is dumb, but as long as I keep working there’s a chance that I will like it (my life pursuit). Also, it should be relatively obvious by now that a large part of my art practice, and the way I live life in general, is not taking myself too seriously.
Who or what is inspiring you right now?
I think the most inspiring thing right now is being in a new city. I say new, but Austin is familiar as we lived here before. I am very excited about being back around some old studio mates, finding my place in the community here, and taking in a familiar place with new eyes. Since I left Austin, I have changed nearly as much as this city has.
What has been difficult lately?
Finding the time to get in solid work! The big move across country, holidays, family visits, moving into the new house in Austin has made the past 2 months pretty hectic and hard on a sticking to a daily routine. The next few weeks should be really productive.
What makes you different from everyone else in the world and how does that uniqueness manifest itself in your work and life?
BRB, need to ask my mom what makes me special :P