Irons in the Fire—An interview with Lloyd Winter IV

Sitting on a roof top of Wieden & Kennedy, drinking a beer one late Friday afternoon, I got a little glimpse into the world of Lloyd Winter IV. It was all very casual and listening to him I had this sense that even though he has so many irons in the fire (an always had), this guy clearly knows what he wants and what he’s doing, while always staying true to who he is.

His story is a colorful one, where the road is lined with punk rock, skateboards, gig posters, a silkscreening lab, playing in multiple bands, late nights working in clubs, meeting his wife in one, running one with a partner, teaching, corporate jobs in Beaverton, getting married, having three kids, design collaboration, working full time as a designer in one of the most respected agencies in the nation (without the graphic design degree) and then continuing his side projects in the evening.

“I want to try everything–I need to be alway’s doing shit and I’m not happy unless I’m doing design and illustration.”

As the evening approached we skimmed many topics…

We talked a little about how so much is available for creatives.

“The information is out there. Coming from a background in fine art and art education, I taught myself a lot about graphic design. Sometimes I can tell that there are technical things missing. I try to just focus on the concepts and connecting the solutions. Now a days everything is so open source with our practice, everyone shares. All those gig poster guys like Mike King—they shared their knowledge with us—that was cool. I’ve learned from them.”

On balancing design with illustration- “I try to approach illustration like I do design and vise versa. Sometimes I fly by the seat of my pants—I do what I do to make shit and go with my gut. I use the basic grasp of composition when designing and I spend a lot of time with my sketchbooks. What I love about sketching is I don’t think. It’s like creating a logo, I can’t make one without sketching first.”

On working for W&K- “A friend asked me to create a poster for the Haiti relief show that W&K was putting on, so I re-used a bit of art I made for the band Fin Riggins, then collaborated with Santiago Uceda to create the poster. I pulled around 50 prints the night before the show, they all sold. When I made the poster I wasn’t really trying to make a Haiti themed poster, I just wanted it to look good and sell. The next week I had an interview and a few months or so later I was offered a job.”

So far Lloyd has created a pretty impressive body of work while at W&K—from designing logos, custom lettering, and books, to titled designs for TV spots. “All the things I do in the community is an extension of what I do here”.

On his work- “Skateboarding is a huge influence of my work, but also other counter culture like music, weird art, rock posters, and silk screening. I like to push the psychedelic weirdo and try not to be to literal, just conceptual.”

We’re honored that Lloyd will be our next guest illustrator at sketchXchange and look forward to all of his designery illustrations.

Please join us at sketchXchange for a night of inspiration and drawing with Lloyd Winter.

DATE OF THE EVENT: Friday Night, June 1 2012

TIME: 6:00-9:00 PM

PLACE: The Left Bank Project 240 N Broadway

Check-in begins at 6:00pm in The Sting Ray Cafe. Doors close at 6:45

COST: FREE, however a donation is always welcomed!

REGISTRATION BEGINS: Monday, May 28, at 10am

As always space is limited, so be sure to register early!

A NOTE ABOUT PARKING. There is free parking on Flint Street (north of the building) and paid parking in the lot in front of the building. The street parking is paid until 10pm.

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