Posts tagged illustration
Being patient & the gift of the unexpected — with Beth Stafford & Jeremy Slagle
 

“We (Ben and I) had this dream that we could be this couple team and do this, but we just kept hitting a wall. I would try to draw something and it wasn't quite right and Ben would draw something and it just wasn't clicking. We kept trying and stopping, and it was really discouraging because I knew there was potential.”

BETH STAFFORD, Author of Chin Up, Chinchilla    

“I've always wanted to write a children's book...”

Beth had a tiny, heartwarming story written on a single sheet of paper — and she had a vision of what it could become. It also would seem natural that her husband Ben, with all of his artistic capabilities, could bring her story to life visually. But here's the thing: sometimes you’re just too close to something. And sometimes you feel that there’s a different path that needs to be taken instead of the obvious one.

“I’ve always wanted to illustrate a children’s book...”

Jeremy has designed a lot of things in his career, but one opportunity in particular, a children’s book, just hadn't presented itself. After two years and no meaningful traction on the book design for Beth and Ben, a chance encounter on this podcast led to surprising collaboration. After all, the last thing Jeremy expected to do was illustrate a story written by the spouse of an already great illustrator.  

Chin Up, Chinchilla is proof that the amazing and unexpected really do happen when you least expect it, and when you're willing to be patient and open to inviting others into your joy. 

Advantages of going small & going home — with Katie & Josh Emrich
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“I feel I've found this calling working with small businesses and I don't feel like I have to make excuses for not having these big clients. I've worked with big companies and I've just found it to be a soul-swallowing process because they are so risk adverse, so many people have to sign off on the work, and you're so far removed from the decision-makers.”

JOSH EMRICH, Emrich Office

 

“Design becomes other things. It's not just on a computer or on a piece of paper. It's how you see the world.”

KATIE EMRICH, Emrich Office

 

 

 

Emrich Office is perhaps best summarized as the artistic vision of Josh and Katie Emrich that is made full with their four kids and one rather spectacular basement studio in Indianapolis. It's also a long way from Colorado and the design mountains Josh was trying to scale just a handful of years ago. But as Josh explains, summits can look awfully good from the ground, but from the summit, base camp has a genuine appeal, too.

Josh and Katie share their journey of slogging through a recession-era climate in attempt to go big,  and keep the gears cranking. What they ultimately found was a greater reward in embracing the appeal of small — both with regard to their business size and those of family-owned businesses that comprise their client list.   

We learn that behind a great designer is... another great designer. And that's what makes this duo work so well in running a successful design business and designing a deliberate way of life for their not-so-small family.

Insight, wisdom and lessons learned abound in this third installment of our "Indy or Bust" series featuring Indiana-based creatives. 

Growing one word & sketch at a time — with Bob Ewing
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“There were lots of days that it sucked or I thought (the work) looked horrible. But it didn't matter really what the outcomes was, it was more about that I did it every day. If you're going to do something new, set attainable goals.”

BOB EWING, art director/designer at Element Three, handletting artist

Want to get better? Want to develop your talent or birth a new one that's been waiting to emerge? Then show up every day and do the work. That's exactly what Bob Ewing did for more than 500 days with his self-described "daily lettering project." Each day Bob would draw a new word and post it to social media — not for the likes and love, but mainly for the discipline.

That discipline has paid dividends for Bob as a designer. It's led to new opportunities, new collaborations, and deeper connection to community — something that's every bit as essential to his growth as a designer alongside his markers or stylus.

Bob shares his journey of perseverance and how, as a creative, he's had the opportunity to design a path for himself — as well as one that others can follow on and travel as well. 

Bob is the first in a series of Indiana-based artists we're featuring on our INDY OR BUST road trip.  

bob-ewing.com

Adopting new ways to live & work — with Ben & Beth Stafford
 

“There's much to be said about investing more in people than your business; and one may directly influence the other.”

BEN STAFFORD, Foxmeadow Creative

“It's something really important to us that we prioritize, family time and work time, and that's helped us keep our sanity. We don't work all hours of the night and day, we want to make sure we have time to spend as a family outside of work.”

BETH STAFFORD, Foxmeadow Creative

 

A move. A pivot. A layoff.  And a whole lot of pursuit into the unknown.

For many of us, this kind of change, disruption and lack of clarity can be unnerving. For Ben and Beth, they are choosing to see an alternative plan for how best to approach work and the art of living a purposeful life.  

Becoming familiar with their story, one could easily be reminded of the lyrics to Divine Intervention, the opening track to Matthew Sweet's classic 1991 album, Girlfriend.

I don't know where
I'm gonna live
Don't know if I'll find a place
I'd have to think about it some
And that I do not wish to face
I guess that I'm counting on his
Divine intervention.

Hopeful, heartbreaking, funny, honest and real— these are perhaps the best ways in which to illustrate a conversation with two big-hearted creatives that are pursuing a path less traveled with no regrets. 

Foxmeadow Creative

Ben Illustrated (illustration website)

Ben Stafford: How to Become an Expert (Making Midwest Fest)

Running from boredom (part 2) — with Andy Pizza

Until you see someone like you thriving, you don't think you can.”

ANDY J. MILLER (aka Andy J. Pizza / Dr. Pizza) illustrator, instructor, speaker, and chief motivator of the Creative Pep Talk podcast.

In this episode, we continue the conversation we started with Andy and explore the importance of transitions and transformations; work vs. play and open vs. closed mode; the brilliance found in side projects; the need for space to actually be creative; and why calling yourself a “commercial artist” is more of a badge of honor and not some misguided notion of selling out.

Andy also talks about why he’s not romantic about the podcast format, and the reasons for that point of view, in spite of hosting his own wildly successful podcast.    

You can check out Andy’s illustration work on his site andy-j-miller.com and listen to his podcast at Creative Pep Talk.

Running from boredom (part 1) — with Andy Pizza

From a young age, I always felt I was doomed... because I thought there’s no way I'm going to have a job that isn't boring.

ANDY J. MILLER (aka Andy J. Pizza / Dr. Pizza) illustrator, instructor, speaker, and chief motivator of the Creative Pep Talk podcast.

It wasn’t that long ago that Andy J. Miller was in need of a pep talk specifically for himself. His so-called “beginners luck” and initial momentum as an illustrator began to evaporate and the need to fill the income void came in the form of other important, albeit less creative, roles. But as they say: once an artist, always an artist. Getting back on the horse wasn’t easy, and Andy learned a lot of things about himself and his craft along the way — things he now imparts on the Creative Pep Talk to thousands of loyal listeners who need a regular dose of creative inspiration.

The “doctor” is in for a two-part podcast where he prescribes practical ways forward for creatives and relays his insights about main gigs vs. side gigs, being entrepreneurial vs. an employee, commercial art, the need to evolve, and on being an artist with ADD. He also ends the debate, once and for all, on which pizza version is superior: thin crust or deep dish.  

You can check out Andy’s illustration work on his site andy-j-miller.com and listen to his podcast at Creative Pep Talk.