Today we expand into our interview series with the work and thoughts of Graphic Designer Ryan Geiger, a man with clear passion for the creative arts we talk to Ryan about his plans, inspirations, local creative community & more.
I’m a 24 year old graphic designer. I’m very passionate about design and can’t imagine my life without it. Fashion, music, and books are probably the three things that inspire me the most, I read about 20 books a year and my iPod is constantly playing.
I’ve always been a creative person, even when I was a kid. I was always drawing or playing outside or reading a book, sometimes all three. I think my passion for design comes from going to the mall with my family as a kid. I remember looking at the marketing for every single store we walked past and I began critiquing it even back then. I think that is what drew me to fashion and noticing the trends in design.
There are so many designers that inspire me, a few that are constants are Tes One and Ian Dodds. Some design firms I follow a lot are Manifest Digital, One Lucky Guitar, and Design Ranch. Over the past few years, my inspirations has switched from a lot of fine artists and fashion photographers to more illustration artists and design firms.
I like to keep in touch with the creative community. I’m from a relatively small town of the Midwest and the art scene is still a work in progress. I always try to make it to opening at the University of Saint Francis, the Fort Wayne Museum of art, and I always attend the local American Advertising Federation Addy Awards each year. I actually was the event photographer for this year’s Addy awards and USF invites me to submit work to many of their shows, so I take pride in showing my work locally.
I’ve been working on a lot of personal work recently, especially a continuation of my senior project of a fictional clothing store called Urban Legend. I really love working on a variety of projects but package design, posters, and identity work are probably my favorite types of projects to tackle.
My current workstation is pretty humble. Usually I have my Mac laptop and work from my kitchen table. My key tools for every project would have to be my sketchbook, Sharpies, a scanner, and my laptop. I love to thumbnail out ideas and scan partial designs in to illustrate. I keep my sketchbook and Sharpie on me at all times because inspiration can strike anywhere.
Hmm… I guess I just want to continue to grow as an artist and a designer. I see the Urban Legend project turning into something really great. I want to add more mythology and cryptology into my designs to add some unique content to my work. I’ve been working on a wide variety of projects so that I don’t get stuck working in one style. I want to work for a design firm or retail company’s design department and get some real world experience outside of my freelance work. I want to keep working on my own projects and be able to balance the fine art and design worlds, much like Tes One and Shepard Fairey.
One of my biggest goals in life is to go to grad school and then teach graphic design at a university. I think that would be the highest point of success for me, being able to pass on my knowledge and challenge the next generation of designers later in life. I’d love to turn Urban Legend into an actual brand or create a huge exhibition of work under that title for a show, that would be a major success. Another goal would be to take my designs worldwide, I’d love to work for a design firm in another country for the experience. I have always loved to travel.
Social media is a very important part of both my personal and working life. I’m constantly trying to update my website, my Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. I find it a great way to get my work out there and a great way to receive feedback. That is one thing I will always miss from college is the tough critiques that challenged you to grow and become a better designer.
LaBov & Beyond is a good one, the CEO posts thing regularly and has some great insight to the graphic design world. HOW and Print magazines are both great ones because I’m constantly checking their websites and looking for new ways to design. Tes One, One Lucky Guitar, and Ian Dodds are all on Twitter as well, but they update their websites more than their Twitter accounts, but when the do, it’s worth reading.
I’m an avid reader, I usually read 2 to 3 books a month. Right now I’m in the middle of The Count of Monte Cristo. I just bought Shepard Fairey’s new book, MAYDAY, it’s brilliant. One of my favorite authors would be Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices series. Her books were some of the biggest inspiration for my Urban Legend designs. When it comes to music, I listen to a pretty wide variety, but one artist is always on my list, Lady Gaga. Her music, lyrics, and music videos are always stunning, extremely high fashion, and just set my imagination on fire with new ideas. Bad Romance and Judas are two of the videos that I watch all the time just for inspiration.
Besides Lady Gaga, I have a few bands that I would highly recommend. The Great Flood Catastrophe is a local band that just released their first album and it is on iTunes, I’m actually working on having them perform at an art show I’m planning. The second band is U.S. Royalty, they were featured in Nylon Guys magazine and their music is totally different than most of the other albums I listen to.