Studio Tour #006 - Will Bryant
Studio Tour #006 - Will Bryant
The beautiful man you see pictured above is Will Bryant. He is magnificent. Sam and I were lucky enough to meet Will when we were down at SXSW and we hit if off. Unfortunately we got to his place after dark so the photos are not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen but the interview makes up for it. Anyway... let's cut to the chase. Y'all ready? I now present to you Sir William "Fancy Pants" Byant.
Chad Kouri: Give us a little background. favorite popsicle flavor. what was one childhood trend that you were obsessed with (for example, mine would be POGS or maybe Warhead candies).
Will Bryant: Well I was born in Murfreesboro, TN and moved to Texarkana, TX when I was 3. Grew up playing with Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joes, Lazer Challenge, Golden Eye, basketball, baseball, football, and even climbed the boy scout trail to Eagle. YES, I totally had a killer POG collection. You better believe there was an entire Michael Jordan POG collection with some sweet slammers! On several occasions I ate plenty of Warheads to make my tongue bleed.
CK: Microns or Rapidiographs?
WB: Prismacolor Premier! I think I scratch too much with microns and I've never used rapidiographs. They sound fancy!
CK: Yeah, they kinda are. They are the fancy drafting markers that were used before microns. Super nice. No felt tip or anything just a steel tube that the ink pours out of.
You've been getting quiet the hype in print and on the web lately. Do you spend a lot of time emailing people you don't know for press and such or do you just happen to be in the right place at the right time?
WB: I certainly used to. Lately and graciously I've been busy with client work. But I still have my blogosphere obligations and I always love sending out e-mails to artists I admire. As far as the dream jobs I've been blessed with....they have found their way to me. It's really remarkable, and I've enjoyed working with a lot of fantastic people.
CK: You've said that you were lucky enough to be a student of Kate Bingaman-Burt as well as work under her. In what ways was this beneficial other than the obvious "She's a bad ass" answer? In was ways did it hinder your development?
WB: Kate is a HUGE mentor to me. Her and Clifton both continue to contribute/support my creative development. We bounce ideas off of each other, share secret findings, and offer loads of encouragement. She's like my big sister in design or something disney like that.
CK: I'm always curious how you get your lines soooooo clean in your illustrations. Do you do a lot of touchup on the computer after scanning? Do you have an ideal drawing utensil and paper combo that you swear by? What's the secrete!
WB: HARRY POTTER. I've been experimenting with the accio charm, which everyone knows, on various drawing pens. I pair it with tarantallegra spell that causes "said" pen to dance. When this fails me I just spend a few moments in photoshop. Spending time cleaning it up really increased my vector results. For the past 4 months I've been drawing on crappy printer paper that I buy in bulk and using .08 Prismacolor Premier pens.
CK: Why are collages so fun?
WB: I blame it on freedom. There's no commitment to paper. Plus it's like the analogue version of photoshop! I enjoy having this cut out that I really like for some reason or another. So then it becomes a problem to solve...spatially and conceptually.
CK: Tell us about Public School and how rad it is. How did you ganging up with them come about? Was there initiation? Did you get hazed?
WB: Public School is RAD! It's a diverse group of young creatives that I just kept e-mailing and dropping in on. I'm the only member in which there was a vote. Public School came to exist mostly by circumstances rather than selection. I've certainly taken my fair share of jokes and teasing, but there was not a full blown initiation.
CK: Why is the internet so dang sweet?
WB: It makes "it" possible. Whatever you want "it" to be, you can make "it" happen with rad people that don't live near you or even smell like you.
CK: Your work is almost always fun a humorous. I've found that this is a whole different skill set than the work itself. Did you grow into a more humorous vibe in your work? was it alway there? Did that little kid in you just never leave?
WB: I was born a goober and will remain a huge dork. I am serious and reflective when I need to be, but I'm mostly a light-hearted kid. There are numerous close friends, gentlemen in my wedding party, that really shaped/contribute to my sense of humor. With that said, I've always enjoyed cutting loose in groups of people. Especially on the dance floor.
CK: How's the married life treating ya?
WB: AMAZING! I am able to see my best friend everyday. We have so much fun together and she's way too good to me.
CK: What's your favorite place in Austin?
WB: Domy Books is amazing! There are many many rad places, but Domy is my candy shop.
CK: You do a hell of a lot of collaborative work. Is this something that you go out and pursue or are people constantly coming to you about projects? What are the advantages and disadvantages of collab projects?
WB: It's both. I definitely propose several and then through e-mailing it's like, duh we should make something! The advantages = it's megafun and healthy. The disadvantages = it's not feeding my wife & kitty. I really enjoy it because I enjoy people so much. With drawings, it becomes natural dialogue composed of lines. (often wonky lines)
CK: You are one of many artists which can't really be categorized in art alone or design alone. What do you have to say about this gray area between art and design that we at The Post Family love so much?
WB: This seems to cloud my thoughts quite often. I feel as though I'm mediocre at several things. At 23 I'm really trying to find my voice and stand on my own handmade feet. I definitely like mixing things up and producing work that can be addressed by different fields, but at some point shouldn't I focus on one thing and try to become great at it? That would take a long time to really think about. So then I think of all the things I could make during that time instead of stopping to appropriately answer that question so I just keep on grooving. Perhaps graduate school will offer more direction!
CK: What turned you on to doing custom type? Was it a subconscious thing that you had in your work to create a mood and it just got better with time or did you set out to create a specific type style?
WB: Well, again here comes Miss Kate Bingaman prancing down the trail on her hand drawn horse. In 2006 she brought Mike Perry to Mississippi State and he looked at what little portfolio I had. He checked out my first ever threadless submission and was like keep doing stuff like this! Also, Kate had me obsessing over Ray Fenwick, vernacular typography and we of course talked about Ed Fella. Having an interest in typography, craftivism and celebrating the hand made reigning over america its hard not to be into hand lettering!
CK: When the hell are you gonna come see us!?
WB: SOON! I'd come today if I could. The lady and I are being very economical and saving our (pork-less) bacon. Let's get a show together! That should do the trick :)
CK: Pacisso once said "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." What the hell does that mean?
WB: No clue but Dali said "Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
CK: Who should we keep an eye on as an up and coming young talent on the scene? Who gets the general bad ass-ery award for this year?
WB: Nicole Lavelle is a gem! I think Gavin Potenza is already established, but should be showered with awards. Rand Renfrow (Test Everything) is a gentle warrior and has better craft than cats like muffins. Don't forget about Ethan Bodnar!
CK: I know you write a music blog as well but do you have any music reccomendations that we may not of heard of right off the top of your head?
WB: Heard it or not you should listen to the following much much more: Castanets, White Rainbow, Ducktails, Dent May, Junk Culture, and one of my all time favorites Why? (aka Yoni Wolf). He's got a great new record coming out this month.
CK: What the hell else is up man? Working on any cool stuff coming up? What's your next collab project? Got any long term projects you are working on personal or othewise?
WB: Mostly watching the Cosby Show and spouting off cheesy jokes in made up voices to my wife. I've currently got 9 collaborations in progress and a handful of clients hanging around. Just finished up some big time work for world class clients, but I'm afraid I can't reveal details. There's an upcoming Monster Show at Domy, The Hooded Deer returns to Mississippi deejay gig, prints with Citizen Scholar, Pinball Publishing, and Test Everything. Long term....I'd say in the next 2-3 years you'll find me in grad school and then eventually teaching somewhere!
CK: Ask yourself a question!
WB: Now what do you say, Mister?
Oh pardon me, thank you dear Post Family for having me on your lovely site. I appreciate the milk & cookies and would you like me to put my plate in the dishwasher?