Learning To Unlearn

Despite being viewed by many as an extremely positive person, I often find myself faced by days where creativity and excitement just stops. While yesterday may have been extremely productive and positive, today may leave me frustrated, irritable, and utterly confused about who I am as a designer, and who I am as a person. If my schedule allows, I tend to use this as a signal to get out of my office, and decompress. As projects pile up, I find my big, exciting ideas for the future often getting smashed under the more immediate tasks. It leaves me stressed, and in turn, uninspired and uncreative.

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Los Logos 6

I’m very excited to have a few logos and logotypes included in the book Los Logos 6. The book should be released in mid-September.

Interview by Freelance Unleashed

Big thanks for Chris Green for interviewing me for the Freelance Unleashed website. Go check out the interview, and some of my thoughts on freelance in general.

Dark Collar Art Co.

“Doing what you love is a fight – an ongoing battle against every influence that wants you to conform. There is no solace in the conformity, only a blurred view of what you set out to be. Spend your life creating something. Betray The Institution.”

This manifesto of mine adorns every package that ships out of Dark Collar Art Co. T-Shirts, Posters, Prints, etc — this is the best way I can assure you that what you’re getting is from me, and that you can get an idea of my general point-of-view. This manifesto is the easiest way for me to sum up who I am, and who I hope to stay. Continue reading 

Introducing The Racing Machetes

The Racing Machetes Store Is Open – Go pick up some tees!

As many can assume, I’ve been intending on putting out my own t-shirt lines for quite some time. After doing thousands of designs for bands, I’ve gotten quite antsy to roll out some labels of my own. Continue reading 

Bumps on the Freelance Road

I’m not one to sulk, and I do my best to not be one to complain. I pride myself on pushing things forward, and convince myself, regularly, that my situation is ideal. There are a lot of mind tricks one must master in order to have success in self-employment, and I’ve employed plenty of them over the course of my career.

I first started getting paid regularly to design graphic tees for bands in 2002. This year marks a decade of doing this sort of work. Early on, I ran off the sheer excitement of what I was creating, and the quest to be able to create better and better work. Around every corner, there was excitement, and my eyes were continually opened to work that other designers were doing, that completely blew me away. I couldn’t get enough, and my bag of tricks was teeming with ideas that I had that I hadn’t yet worked into a project.
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Satisfied Customer: @BrentGalloway

Big thanks to @BrentGalloway for sharing a photo of his mail-order goods. Glad they got there safely. Pick ’em up in the store.

Prices Sliced

Wow. What an amazing opening couple of days to the webstore. I was overwhelmed with the quick attention that it received. I’m happy. So happy, that I’ve sliced all of the prices. Go buy stuff.


My Store Is Open!

Finally got the Dark Collar webstore live. I have a ton of posters and prints that I’ve been working on this year stocked up and ready to sell. Spread the word, and go to the store!!

The first batch of goods include my Alpha Bravo Poster. The WMC Skull Poster. Two versions of the Pinchflat Poster, as well as the WMC Words Of Wisdom Prints.

Good Times @wmcfest

Another Weapons Of Mass Creation has come and gone, and this was, as we all expected, the best one yet. After having a table, and a small Q&A the first year, to being a featured designer again the second year, I am so grateful for the fest that I decided to be an official gold sponsor of the event this year.

My buddy Josh flew up from Memphis, and came along to Cleveland with me. We set up our monster-of-a-table in the iLTHY Workshop, and began seeing some old and new faces at Friday night’s mixer party.

Saturday and Sunday, we got in, and got to slingin’ goods alongside the likes of OKPants, Oliver Barrett, Dan Cassaro, Nate Utesch,  Rachel Novak, Brian Jasinski, Dan Christofferson, Glen Infante, and Jen K.

While I’ve been a freelance designer for a long time, this is the first time I had any product to sell. It was overwhelming to see people appreciating the work in person, and telling me so. I was humbled and excited.

Highlights that pop to mind are getting to meet and have conversation with both Johnny Cupcakes, and Jacqui Oakley. There are just too many people to list, but I had some very great conversations with so many people. My throat has been sore all week.

I guess the concept that I’m taking away from WMC 2012 is the fact that this camaraderie in the design community is rare, and this is an opportunity to connect with a bunch of creatives that spend most of the year with their heads down, grinding out great work, but can get a change to converse with other creatives who actually know what each other is talking about.

The overall theme that I kept coming back to in most of my conversations was the idea that we have to work hard to make art our living. While the image of an artist tends to convey some hippy skipping through a field, the reality is that those of us who actually make our living with our art, love making that art so much that we fully immerse ourselves in it, working longer than the majority of nine-to-fivers. We have to fight to make this our living, and as someone who IS an artist for a living, I can say that it is SO worth the fight.

My man Kevin Maestros was clutch. He shot this quick recap video below for me. Check him out here.