Notebook

Creative Works Memphis – My Take.

The heavy pistons that were pounding in my soul have subsided to a gentle hum. The chaos that has been hindering every thought is now still.

Clarity.

My chin comes back up, and I can finally see the path in front of me. That season, whatever it was, is over.

This past weekend, a humble design conference in Memphis was the first time I found myself truly experiencing Church. While there was no mention of a defined higher power, the conference represented and shed light on every aspect of what we truly believe, and what truly fills our souls.

Creative Works Memphis was founded and executed by my friend, Josh Horton. His love for Memphis was quite evident, and filled an intimate room full of 200 creatives. Artists eager for inspiration and insight into their diverse creative careers, sat upright in their chairs, extracting every ounce of hope, encouragement, and inspiration from each unique story.

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Visible Music College. Memphis.

There are conferences that people arrive ready to impress and network. Unlike those events, Creative Works was full of artists open to vulnerability. It was a room full of talent, all doing big things, and we just wanted to…

Exhale.

Miraculous things happen when artists open up and tell their story. These seemingly well-adjusted and established creatives open their souls wide enough to let the listeners right in. These esteemed professionals let their guard down, and assure their congregation that they have the same pain, the same doubt, and the same insecurities as them.

Events like this stretch a safety net right under the tightropes that we all walk on a daily basis. We suddenly allow ourselves freedom to take a new path, to push harder, to pull back, to change perspective, and to make leaps without the fear that we once had. Creative Works Memphis made us realize that someone is cheering us along, but also there to catch us if we fall.

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Work in the creative field long enough, and you’ll soon realize how important it is to connect with a creative community. Work in the field even longer, and you may muster up the courage to foster that community. Josh, with his heart, coupled with his tenacity and attention to detail, managed to wrap his arms around the attendees and speakers of a sold-out event. His undying conviction and love for his city made a mark large enough for the rest of the creative world to take notice.

Creative Works is one big group hug that the whole creative world needs to get in on.

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For me, it was a time to tell my own story, and to bear my own soul. I arrived broken, jaded, and exhausted in my own day to day operation. Speaking for thirty minutes was only a to-do item on an event that I attended in hopes of having a good conversation or two.

I got so much more than what I came for. I was lucky enough to see every speaker, and hear every story. I couldn’t help but to think of all of the ways that I could change and improve upon the approach that I take to my work. With every speaker was a new way that I envisioned stretching my business.

But then there were the conversations. There’s something that happens when the people who inspire us tell us how inspirational we are to them. Our whole perception of life flips around, and we suddenly allow ourselves to see something new in the mirror. We see someone who is inspirational, capable, and more powerful than we ever realized. Not only did I get pulled up off the ground this past weekend, but this community also dusted me off, straightened my collar, and hoisted me up upon their shoulders.

Thank you, Josh. Thank you, Yellow Shirts. Thank you, Memphis. Thank you, Creative Works. I am fully restored.

 

New Work Added

If I could update my site on a weekly basis, I would.

But, for whatever reason – I can’t. However,  I can give you a huge update once in a blue moon, and that’s what I managed to do this morning.

Just added a ton of new work to the portfolio. To be exact, 129 new pieces spread across 9 new pages. Check it out.

The new updates include work for Twenty One Pilots, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Clark Jr, Fall Out Boy, Christina Perri, Pharrell Williams, Paramore, Panic! At The Disco, Rage Against The Machine, Paul McCartney, Neon Trees, Iggy Azalea, Ed Sheeran, Britney Spears, Pearl Jam, Blink-182, Alice In Chains, The Fray, One Republic, Billy Joel, Korn, KISS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, Michael Buble, and Deftones, and a few others. Whew.

Samples

Radio Silence

Photo by David Sherry

Photo by David Sherry

I tend to disappear for extended periods of time. At first, it was a trait that wasn’t as glaringly obvious as it has become today, but slowly my friends and colleagues began to recognize that I tend to fall off the face of the earth quite frequently.

Obviously, I still feel fully present in my own day-to-day, but the idea of “keeping my head down” and grinding through my work feels quite literal. The ability to isolate and churn out unbelievable amounts of work has been the very attribute that has led to my success in my niche of the design world. While I can recognize and sympathize with the benefits of a more extroverted lifestyle, the nature of my work has forced me into an intensely introverted state. People who know me well would never characterize me as an introvert, and it feels like a blatant lie when I describe myself as such. But, the reality of my current operation shows all of the tell-tale signs of a chronic shut-in. Continue reading 

Miller High Life x Harley – Artist Series

Every now and then, crazy awesome projects come along. Very happy to have been able to be a part of Miller High Life x Harley Davidson Artist Series limited edition cans. Here’s the can that I designed – in stores now.

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Honored to be in such good company, alongside Derrick Castle, Jon Contino, Hydro74 and Roland Sands.

Good Reviews

The first week of my online class on Lettering has been great. Lots of students submitting great work, and giving great feedback. If you haven’t checked it out, take a look at Lettering Made Simple: Efficient Methods for Custom Type.

My main goal in the class is to help designers to not be intimidated by lettering projects. There is a vast world of lettering styles, and you can use simple methods to help you find your unique aesthetic.

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Here is some of the feedback of from the course:

“This class is great for anyone who wants to learn more about type and manipulating an existing font. It is also perfect for beginners and professionals. I know personally from working in the field of merch design that Brandon Rike is in a class of his own amongst designers, and this class helps prove that. I believe you can always learn something new and after taking this class I can honestly say that I learned several new things. I look forward to learning much more from Brandon Rike in his future classes if he chooses to do more!
-
Corey Thomas



Continue reading 

Opinions on a Career In Graphic Design

A few months ago, a high school senior, Samantha Cleveland, sent me a list of interview questions. Samantha is interested in a career in graphic design, and I answered as honestly as I could. I wrote quite a bit, so I figured that I would share. Enjoy.


Why did you decide on a career in graphic design?

I can’t recall any moment when I made a “decision” to have a career in graphic design. My parents recognized that I was artistic as soon as I was old enough to color and draw. Art was just always “my thing,” and it was only natural for me to assume that I would be an artist for the rest of my life. I think we often get side-tracked into thinking that we need to pursue the occupation that makes us the most money. I got good grades in school, and I knew there was an option to pursue a career in something like medicine, or law, or those other seemingly high-paying careers. But those options were never really options for me. I viewed them as boring, and I viewed art as fun. So I naturally kept art as my main priority, and always have. I think part of our purpose is to spend our time doing what we are best at. I was lucky that I found a way to make a living at doing art projects all day. Continue reading 

My Skillshare Lettering Class

I had a blast on my first Skillshare class, and I was happy to put together a new one. Today I’m launching a new class entitled “Lettering Made Simple: Efficient Methods for Custom Type”

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My class will roll out with the new Skillshare Subscription Model. This means that you can now purchase a subscription to Skillshare for $10/month, and gain access to their entire library of 150+ classes.

So you have the option to buy the class a la carte for $19, or get a membership for $10/month.

My class teaches you efficient methods to create beautiful lettering pieces. The reality of a the fast-paced design world of insane deadlines is that we need to make good work, and good work quickly. I take use of the resources available, including Lost Type Co-Op, and show you the steps to creating great work.

So, please do me the huge favor of enrolling in my class, and starting your Skillshare subscription today! Go check it out!

Simplicity Tee

I used the phrase “Simplicity Takes Courage” in a recent talk. The fine folks at Cotton Bureau have printed it on a t-shirt. Buy one for you and your boo, or your bae, or whatever you call that other person you hang out with. Only available until March 20th. Act quick!
Buy the shirt at Cotton Bureau>>

Class is Open!

Today is a big day for me. I’ve worked very hard on putting together a Skillshare class to show people my real process and workflow for making band tees.

Enroll in the class!Class Announcement

It was a lot of fun putting this together. I sit down with Tyler Joseph, from the band Twenty One Pilots, and hear his direction for the merchandise. You get to watch my entire process, including the interview, brainstorming, sketches, Illustrator, Photoshop, and mock ups. I talk you along the entire process.

I’m so happy with how it turned out. Do me a huge favor, and use this link to spread the word! http://skl.sh/1cH0ttA

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My Skillshare Class

Skillshare Class

Skillshare came to me recently, asking if I was interested in teaching an online course with them. After trying my hand at a few process videos, here and there, this looked like the perfect chance to put something together that showed my honest process for most of the band tees that I create.

One of the bands that I design for, Twenty One Pilots, offered to get involved, and take part in a real-life interview. I’m pretty stoked with how it all turned out.

You can enroll in the Skillshare class here: http://skl.sh/1iwvTuQ.

Please spread the word!

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