Wheatpaste Art Collective: Hi there! You hail from Lincoln, Nebraska, smack dab in the middle of America’s Heartland. Are you a Midwesterner by birth or by relocation?
Doe Eyed: I am a born and bred Nebraskan! I’ve shuffled around a handful of different cities, but have never lived outside this state. I’ve considered changing locales, but I’ve always been too busy and invested in too many projects to put any serious thought into it. Why move if you have more projects than you know what to do with?
WP: How does your city inspire you?
Doe Eyed: Lincoln supports me in a handful of different ways. First off, it’s absurdly cheap to live in the Midwest. If I lived in a bigger city, it would definitely be an even crazier hustle to keep afloat with my silly drawings. But luckily, in the cheap ol’ Midwest I get to cherry pick whatever jobs I want and never have to worry about takes jobs that don’t interest me creatively. Secondly, Lincoln and Omaha are surprisingly tightly knit communities of creative people. There are tons of people and organizations and blogs and nonprofits that are excited to work and promote and collaborate together.
WP: What’s your process – rather, do you tend to lean towards hand-making art or digital creation?
Doe Eyed: All of my work is a combination of handmade and digital elements. My process is a convoluted back-and-forth between pen sketches, vector drawings, photocopied shapes, scanned brush marks, photographs of vintage books, and whatever other ephemera is needed to make a piece look real and alive. I primarily use Adobe Illustrator to great the bulk of my shapes and to collage together the whole mess. Nothing is ever entirely handmade and nothing is ever entirely digital.
WP: What have some of your favorite projects been?
Doe Eyed: Two of my favorite projects were creating concert posters for Gotye and Swans.
Gotye has long been one of my favorite musicians and songwriters, so when he reached out in early 2012, I was floored. Wally (the man behind the name Gotye) couldn’t have been a better collaborator. More so than most musicians, he wanted to have his hands in the concepts and visuals of the posters that I was creating. The process took longer and we killed way more concepts than usual, but I couldn’t be more happy with the minimalistic mountain scene that we arrived at.
My late 2012 poster for Swans was another highlight of my year. Swans has always been one of my big “FAVORITE BANDS EVER” …capital letters and quotation marks and everything. A lot of people claim that working with their favorite artists or musicians is their biggest challenge, but I actually find it incredibly easy. When the Swans’ job arrived in my email inbox, I immediately knew what sort of image I wanted to create. The final poster came out exactly like what I imagined and Swans fans everywhere have responded positively.
WP: What kind of music do you like to work to?
Doe Eyed: To say that I have eclectic musical tastes would be the understatement of the century. The stereo in my studio can be find blasting anything from hipster hip hop to 90s post hardcore to crusty grind to avant card classical to folky country. It’s anyone’s guess what I’ll be listening to any point., but Ive found that ambient/drone music and hip hop are the tunes most conducive to me actually being productive.
WP: How did you get your start in the art world?
Doe Eyed: My entry into the art world came from about a bit backwards through my love of music. I planned on studying music in college but quickly found that I didn’t have the aptitude for a formal education in music. For reasons I don’t fully understand or remember, I signed up for a bunch of design and art classes instead and things just clicked from there. I immediately paired my emerging love for design with my earlier love of music by designing fliers, tshirts and record covers for my bands or my friends’ bands. Things snowballed from there and here I am!
WP: A lot of your work has a sort of psychedelic, trippy, surreal feel to it. What other artists or art
movements have inspired your work?
Doe Eyed: As far as artists and graphic designers, my inspiration is equally split between my close friends and the design masters. I’m lucky enough to have a roster of some outrageously talented friends including Doublenaut, Youngmonster Nick, Zach Hobbs, Webuyyourkids, The Silent Giants and Raymond Biesinger. Most of these folks traffic in a similar realm of modernism meets psych.
I’m also a huge fan of graphic design masters such as Herb Lubalin, Paul Rand and Saul Bass.
WP: What advice would you give to aspiring artists or designers?
Doe Eyed: My advice is to ignore all the trends and the blogs and the fads of the internet design world. Make something YOU like and then try to make more stuff like that. Make things that make YOU happy rather than things that get “likes” on Facebook.
Check out all of our artwork by Doe Eyed to find even more inspiration!