Q&A SETS WITH WILL BRYANT, ILLUSTRATOR

General Intro/Info Set:

Name:
Will Bryant

Company Name:
Member of Public School

Education Background:
BFA (Graphic Design) from Mississippi State University (2008). I plan on getting my MFA in the next few years!

First Real Job Ever:
Define “real.” haha, I’ve never worked on salary. In high school I worked at this hip shoe store, the Gap one summer, and random jobs for family friends. I had a student design job for a semester and an internship for a year during college. Straight out of college I just kept freelancing.

First Real Job That Racks Up Social Security Miles:
uhhhhh, I’m an Eagle Scout.

First Design Job:
During college I was a student graphic designer for the Carl Small Town Center for a semester, and then a graphic design intern for the Public Design Center for a year. At the PDC I worked for Clifton Burt & Kate Bingaman-Burt. I learned a lot a lot and made loads of stuff. Definitely a defining moment in my career to be surrounded by learning opportunities, thinkers, and makers.

Favorite book ever:
I wish I knew how to read good. haha, but seriously. My attention span just kills my ability to enjoy a book. My brain and eyes jump between the lines and through the pages. However, my favorite book would have to be The Great Divorce. It sutras up a lot of bizarre imagery and textures for me.

Favorite book design/illustration related:
“This Is…” series by M. Sasek, Hand Job: A Catalogue of Type, Beautiful Losers

Recommended design / thinking / creativity / illustration book/mag/blog(s):
Frank Chimero’s blog, Grain Edit, Good Magazine

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The Introspective / Inspiration Set:

1. What made you decide to do what you do?
I never really decided, I honestly feel like this is what I’m supposed to do and every life experience was designed to lead up to my current state. It’s a blessing to be called to make stuff that leads to engaging with people from around the world.

2. What’s your process for conceiving new designs/projects?
Unfortunately, a lot of times the idea just falls on my head or stirs me in my sleep. Too often I think of something in the shower and forget it before I can jot it down in my scout book. Once I recall an idea I pick up a drawing pen and paper. Most of the time new designs/projects are pieced together by stream of consciousness drawing sessions. After these are scanned in I make more critical thinking decisions and try to make sense of the nonsense.

3. What do you regret not learning while you were in school?
Learning & retaining web/code, american history, geography, among other general subjects.

4. What’s your most valuable ability?
Connecting with people.

5. What, in your opinion, is the most exciting aspect of the art/design world right now?
Collaborating!

6. If you could move anywhere right now, in consideration of the art/design scene, where would you go?
First off, I LOVE Austin. Especially where the art/design scene is. It’s at an exciting state. The obvious place I’d like to head to is Portland! I hope to spend some time there at some point. Either for school or work or both!

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7. What’s your daily/weekly routine?
I like to start my day by going for a run or working out. I often do some chores around the house before heading to the studio around 8 or 9. Spend the day making stuff, blogging, and fighting the email dragon. I try to have lunch with my wife a couple times a week. The afternoon usually turns into a scramble and head home around 6. Sally and I play wii, cook dinner, watch a movie or just do something together. I often do some blogging or emailing in the evenings and sometimes some drawing before bed.

8. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you, regarding design? work? life?
Don’t wait for permission. Honor your mother and father. Do a good turn daily.

9. Who would you call a mentor / attribute as someone who’s inspired you most / influenced how you work / do things?
Kate Bingaman-Burt, Frank Chimero, and fellow members of Public School.

10. If you had just one piece of advice for students / new grads, what would it be?
Be honest; with yourself and with others.

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The Will Bryant Set:

1. Most fun project you’ve gotten to do in the last year.
2010 has been incredibly good to me! Working at the SXSW Fader Fort for Converse was a lot of fun! Working with Mark Menjivar for TRLA has been really rad too.

2. Project you’ve learned the most from. What’d you learn?
Every project is a learning experience. Especially on the business side of things. Estimates, invoices, write offs, time management, and being organized are things I’m constantly trying to learn more about.

3. Public School: how long have you been involved w/ Public School, how’d you get into it, do you plan on building tenure?
I’ve been a member of Public School since June 2009. I got in by handing out free stuff and hanging around their old studio. We’re just enjoying the ride right now!

4. Projects for clients. Projects on the side for fun. What’s the ratio for you at any given time?
For me…i have my peanut butter and my jelly. I prefer to mix the two. Sometimes I add honey. I try to apply this to work and so far a lot of the client work as been fun. :)

5. Do you have a favorite Will Bryant activity? What are your top 3 favorite mediums in order.
#1.Stuff
#2.The internet
#3.1990s basketball players

6. If you had to pick any other job you’d do – that had nothing to do w/ illustration / design / art… what would it be?
I hope to someday get my MFA and become a professsssor, but aside from that I’d probably be a bicycle cop or a high school basketball coach.

You can see Will’s contribution to Winners Press’s Winners Winning amongst lots of other releases (subscribe to GOOD mag? If not, you should…). For even more Will Bryant, visit will-bryant.com which should lead you to even more Will Bryant (like twitter, etsy, etc).