A Kirk Wallace Recap
Photo Credit Monica Justesen
Let’s take a step back to CreativeMornings/Boston June edition. It was a lovely Friday morning, the theme of the month was minimalism, and we had the talented illustrator/designer, Kirk Wallace, as our speaker. Dan and Rich from Dribbble came out to join the fun and a glorious morning was had by all.
To follow up Kirk’s talk, we wanted to give a little more insight into his process and workflow. The first thing Kirk will tell you is that he does what he does because it works for him. Take it or leave it, he’s not here to preach, but rather to share what has worked for him - a process which he says is always evolving. One thing Kirk stressed is to always keep the ball rolling. Don’t let it [your work, ideas, skills] get stale.
Process from start to finish of an illustration, from sketch to digital, textures to lighting and color correction.
With a degree in computer science, Kirk has always been meticulous and detail oriented. He looks not just at the final product, but the intricacies of what went into creating the final piece. His workflow is actually quite simple. He starts with a “horrible sketch.” The best medium for getting ideas out is pencil and paper. Although he’s drawn to fancy sketchbooks and pens, he says he usually ends up using some crappy pencil and whatever paper is around. Once he gets the idea on paper, he snaps a photo with his phone and brings the image into Photoshop to play with the levels. From there he takes the image into Illustrator to create a vector drawing. Then it’s back to Photoshop to add that gritty, organic, handmade feel. The entire process is very organized, efficient, and logical - his technology background plays a huge role in this. Design relates directly to computer science because it is all logic and solving problems. There are infinite solutions, but the skill comes in finding the best, most efficient one that cuts out the unneccesary and leaves you with a clean, seemingly effortless end product. The key to his workflow is to keep it non-destructive - to use the computer as a limitless tool. For example, using smart layers from Illustrator to Photoshop and using masks instead of erasing. Always be able to edit, know that any problem has an easy solution. Basically, he says, “you can make your computer your bitch.” Wise words, Kirk, very wise.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Well, it’s looking like the next logical step in the Kirk Wallace journey is animation. Pretty sweet, right? His work is rooted in storytelling (if you were at the June talk, you know what I’m talking about, if you weren’t, that’s cool, check out the story behind his “minimal” tattoo, here.) Kirk is driven by intrinsic motivation, always learning and evolving his craft. He is fascinated with the idea of bringing his illustrations to life with the inherent storyline that animation creates. As a self-taught designer/illustrator, he knows the process by which learning this new skill will take. Finding the time to learn with the detail and precision required to really hone the craft, is really the barrier to entry at this point - not to worry though, Kirk has a brute force work ethic, so I’m sure he’ll make the time. For now, he’s having fun collaborating with animators, and when the time is right, we can expect to see some Kirk Wallace original animations. And I bet they’re going to be pretty amazing. When he’s not working on commissions, working as creative director of Wagepoint, or teaching himself animation, he works on the prints for his online shop - trzown.me/store. This is what he is passionate about, this is what he makes him happy, check out the store and see for yourself.
Photo credit Zac Wolf
A brief recap on how Kirk feels a month after his talk.
The talk was awesome! Response was insane. People actually cared, they actually looked me in the eye. The fear almost instantly went away after Keith introduced me. I locked eyes with a few people in the audience and felt relieved. It felt like we were all talking together. People were nodding their heads in agreement, that validation was so important for me. It was the right demographic. The people willing to get up and come to a lecture at 8:30am on a Friday means they actually wanted to be there - to learn, listen and be inspired. It was a touching experience, everyone was on my side, it was humbling. I was surprised how interested people were in talking shop and hearing about my process. I loved using my tattoo as a catalyst for teaching a different lesson - looking at the bigger picture, it’s all about doing what you love and living the experience.
A FEW TAKEAWAYS.
Interpret these how you wish:
• Have a spine, but always be open.
• Be yourself, for yourself.
• Be human. Don’t preach. Don’t come off as more than you are. We are all amateurs. No one knows exactly what they are doing.
• The design industry shits on itself. Stay humble.
This month we have the talented Richie Stewart, of Commoner, Inc, speaking on the theme of heritage. I had the chance to sit down with Richie, and let me tell you, this guy is a treasure trove of passion and creativity. Not only is he extremely skilled at his craft, he is one of the most personable, humble, genuine guys I have ever met.
Make things look less shitty.
I asked Richie what makes him get out of bed in the morning; what makes him tick. After laughing that he had actually slept in that day and struggled to get out of bed, he tackled the question. He said there’s a lot of things that look pretty shitty in the world, his mission is to make things look, well, less shitty. He’s interested in all the details and makes sure to bring something into the world that delights the eye. You should have heard the eloquence with which he spoke about his desire for making things look better…err, “less shitty,” it was definitely inspiring.
The thing about Richie that sets him apart is that he deeply cares about making human connections. He only works with people that he jives with and throughout his process he makes sure that he understands exactly what the client wants - even when the client doesn’t know exactly what they want. He has an ability to get answers to questions that he doesn’t ask. I’m telling you, the guy has an incredible ability to understand what people want by asking, without actually asking. Crazy, I know, but it all comes down to the very real, very human, connection that he makes.
Words to live by.
Richie lives and works by his mantra of Feel strongly, Do something, Show people. When you feel strongly about something, don’t just sit on it. Go do/make/create something! And don’t keep it to yourself, show people, get the word out, get feedback. That’s pretty solid advice right there, Richie.
Richie’s talk is going to be amazing, you definitely don’t want to miss this one!
This month’s theme is Heritage, which was selected by our Cape Town chapter. The theme is presented by MailChimp who is an Official Partner of CreativeMornings. More than 6 million people use MailChimp to design and send email marketing campaigns. They support our headquarters so CM can continue to expand to new cities around the world!
We are thrilled to announce that speaking on this theme is world class graphic designer, Richie Stewart of Commoner, Inc.!
Here at CreativeMornings/Boston, we like to spread the love and give credit where credit is due. So consider this post a big, huge virtual hug to our newest sponsor - Dribbble.
We brought Dribbble on board for our June event and lets just say, sparks flew! They describe themselves as “show and tell for designers” and this couldn’t be more accurate. The Dribbble platform is a hotspot for designers to share their work and connect with the community. It’s a space to show off your best work and maybe even score a job. Concurrently, Dribbble is also a wealth of inspiration and a vat of talent. It’s a great place to go when the creative juices are running low and you need a dose of visual awesome. The talent level on Dribbble is unmatched; if you are a designer and you are not on Dribbble, drop what you are doing and check it out. Based right in Salem, MA, we are so thrilled to have them as a CreativeMornings/Boston sponsor!
Now, lets hear from Dribbble co-founder, Dan Cederholm on the matter:
We’re thrilled that CreativeMornings has been rebooted here in Boston. New England has such a widespread and diverse creative community and it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to gather some of that energy into one spot. Working with Keith Frankel, Richie Stewart, and co. has been such a pleasure and reminds us of how much talent there is right in our own backyard, and how CM and Dribbble have similar goals in connecting creative folks. Plus, who doesn’t love donuts?
Seriously, how can you not love these guys?!
After a brief pause, we are back in action and we couldn’t be more excited about it! With Keith Frankel as our awesome new host, we kicked off our Boston reentry with the theme of freedom and an amazing talk from Susan Piver. (Watch the talk here).
Big thanks to the Danger Booth for capturing our inner goofball, check out the gallery! To WeWork and General Assembly for the incredible space. To Barrington for caffeinating us. And a big huge thanks to Mailchimp and Shutterstock for sponsoring our lovely event.
We’re super excited to be teaming up with Dribbble for our next event on June 27. The theme is minimal and we have the talented designer, Mr. Kirk Wallace joining us. Snag yourself a FREE ticket and we’ll see you there!
Be sure to create your CreativeMornings profile and stay connected with our community!
We’re looking for a new organizer in Boston as well as SF and Milan (with help from MailChimp).
CreativeMornings began to spread from NYC to new cities in 2009. Among the first chapters to come on board were San Francisco, Boston, and Milan. After almost 100 free events in these cities hosted by volunteer organizers and their teams, it’s time to pass the torch.
To kick off 2014, CM is launching a search for new organizers to take charge of these three wonderful chapters.
Bonus: We’re getting some help from our friend, Freddie at MailChimp! Each new organizer will receive a $1000 (USD) starter sponsorship from MailChimp for their chapter’s first event.
Applications are due in February. To learn more, check out the original announcement here!
Welcome to the CreativeMornings/Boston city page! Check back here for upcoming events, new videos, and photos.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.