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Gettin’ to the Good Stuff with Timothy Goodman

We love making friends, and friends of friends are our favorite… and that’s exactly how we came to chat with Timothy Goodman, New York City heart breaker and graphic designer. After interviewing his friend and fellow designer, Dan Cassaro, we got a little love letter, or rather a love marathon, from Mr. Goodman and decided that anyone with this much Sharpie love deserved to be more than just our valentine.

The heart breaker, in the flesh... or at least in black and white.

Lock up your hearts ladies, he already stole ours and we cant be held responsible for your newest raging crush.  

Let’s get to the good stuff… 

Tell me about yourself! Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves?

I jokingly like to call myself the “Kid from Cleveland.” In the 1930s, there was a group of teenage actors who were called the “Dead End Kids.” They were wisearse street kids who always wore newsboy hats, and usually had some dirt on their face. I was sort of a 1980s version of that. Growing up in Cleveland from a family a modest means, I learned how to be scrappy as a youngster. My friends and I were always up to no good: smoking cigs, playing street ball, stealing baseball cards, running from dogs, jumping neighbor’s fences, throwing eggs at cars. My sweet mother had her hands full! When I was a kid, I was proud to have bruises and scars on my body after playing outside. Having bruises and scars meant I was having fun.

What inspires you and your work?

I’ve watched Winnie-the-Pooh about 10 times in the last year. Christopher Robin says, “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” What an idea! I’m currently trying to be more naive with my work. Graphic design books and blogs will only get me so far. We should be inspired by other mediums, but more importantly, we should be in touch with an openness in life that has nothing to do with information, language, “success,” or dollars.

How would you describe your style? 


I work hard to get my voice and my humor in my work. As my old boss Brian Collins says, we’re not in the ‘kind of nice business.’ Meaning, we’re here to be provocative, to be memorable, and to tell great stories. Even though I’ve adopted a drawing style, if you look at my body of work you’ll see that I generally work in many mediums across branding, identity, and editorial. I have no interest in making work for solely aesthetic reasons. If we ask questions, and think like storytellers, then we can have a larger dialogue with our clients and ourselves.

You seem to be quite the jack-of-all-trades; working as a designer, art director, and illustrator, what IS it about your work that gets you goin’?

I used to paint homes, hang wallpaper and drywall for 4 1/2 years before going to design school in NYC. I was a horrible high school student and I needed time to figure out what I wanted. In the beginning, I was a laborer, hauling buckets of wallpaper glue up ladders for 12-15 hours a day. That taught me an unruly work ethic. Later, it showed me how fortunate I am to be doing what I love, and how lucky I am to do it in New York. I try not to take any of it for granted. The way I see it right now, being a designer is a duty, not a career choice.

How did you get started? 


Having mentors and constantly making things. My old creative director, John Fulbrook, hired me right out of school as a book jacket designer for Simon & Schuster. Soon after that, he left the publishing world to become a creative director in branding, and he took me with him. I will forever be indebted to him for helping my career blossom. I think it’s paramount to find someone that will help guide you, beyond design, in a way that teaches you more about life. I remind my students about this often. As for the illustration stuff, it came as a result of wanting to explore different things, and to get my name in the Times so I could impress girls. Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?

Worked for us...


How did you come up with your Valentine’s Tweet-a-thon?


After leaving Apple (yes, THAT Apple) in October, I promised myself that I would make more time for personal projects. I started thinking about how much time I spend on Twitter, and how I don’t know most of the people I chat with. So I wondered how I could honor these virtual relationships? However, as many of us do, I beat myself up with doubt and fear: How could I possibly draw a valentine for every single one of my Twitter followers? Why would it matter? Who would care? Einstein famously said, “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” I tried convincing myself NOT to do it. Luckily, my good buddy Erik Marinovich encouraged me to follow through with it. In the end, it was extremely rewarding on many levels, and I was very touched to see how much it resonated with people.

One look, a flutter, and some eyelash batting/tweeting and we knew...

...this was a Sharpie match made in heaven.

You have been a part of some pretty incredible stuff; your work at Apple, the Ace Hotel, features in the New York Times, Wired and Time magazine, JUST to name a few, what accomplishment do you wish you could have unlimited bragging rights on about?


I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to do, and I feel fortunate to have so many inspiring and encouraging friends, mentors, and colleagues around me. Nothing is done without them. While I leave the bragging on the resume, I do pull out the Apple card a lot. They’re the most successful and innovative company in the world, everything they touch is a smash, the whole world watches them, and every client wants to be them. And besides the fact that my mother questions me at least once a week with that Are you sure you didn’t make the biggest mistake of your life by quitting? tone in her voice, I’m happy with my decision to quit and move back to NYC.

How did you come to contribute to the Art Director’s Club (ADC) bathroom ?


The wonderful people at the ADC asked four of us (Mikey Burton, Chris Rubino, Rich Tu, and myself) to create a mural in their ladies room. With only one Saturday to do it, we had to think fast and act quick—and luckily we came to an easy agreement on concept and execution. And let me tell you, there’s nothing like four dudes sweating in a bathroom all day! After some initial emails during the weeks before, we decided to shower the walls with compliments and an array of ‘lady etiquette.’ After all, shouldn’t all respectable ladies know that a beautiful dress can be ruined by wearing lumpy, baggy underwear?


(Funny story.. this is the same place that hosted the TED award ceremony for the Ads Worth Spreading, so  you may have seen a tweet or two from @Sharpie about this beauty–and that was BEFORE we knew Tim was the man behind the mirror err… bathroom! Some things are just meant to be)

 Any cool new projects you can tell us about?

I have a weird superstition when it comes to talking publicly about work that hasn’t happened yet. I will say that I have a great new rep/studio manager, and I’m very excited about the future.

Your designs have a cool edginess to them; how do you come up with new ideas?


Ideas are totally disposable and constantly in flux for me. I learned that while being in branding. Anything can spark an idea, and you better have at least 100 of them. However, some of my favorite ideas have come while I’m flying. Which is ironic, because I used to be horribly afraid to fly and I couldn’t step foot on an airplane for 3 years during college. I learned to overcome that fear, and I have flown over 25 times in the last year and a half. Now I absolutely love flying! I can’t wait to get in the air, put my headphones on, and get my sketchbook out.

Do you have a soft spot for one of your designs in particular?
My friend William Morrisey always says, “If you want to change your look, change your tool.” About 2 years ago I made a conscience effort to get my hand involved in my work more. I had the perfect opportunity to make that effort sing when I was asked to do a mural for the Ace Hotel. That project opened up an entirely different creative avenue for myself. A healthy amount of work I’m currently doing is hand-drawn, and it all stems from that project.

Where the magic happened... The ACE is what brought us all together!

The common thread between Tim, Dan and all this Sharpie love

 How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?
With immediacy and with mistakes! I’m a big NBA basketball fan. I love the New York Knicks, and I hate to miss a game. I like to drink a beer soda.. (right, Tim?) (note: mistakes), watch the Knicks, and draw draw draw.

 Favorite Sharpie?  Why?
The Sharpie paint markers! I love the way they spread, the way they adhere, the way they smell, the way you have to shake them to get the ink flowing. It’s a very sensual process, which is probably why I dig it so much.

 Best part of your “day job” and if you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
It’s been six months since I left Apple, and I’m very excited about my newfound self-employment. My favorite part is the flexibility. I can take a 3 hour lunch; I can skip town whenever I want; I can choose my clients, or work on personal stuff anytime. Right now I’m on the path of the unknown, doing everything I should be doing.

If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
I hate poverty, and I hate that so many kids have to grow up in poverty. There are over 16 million children living in poverty in the United States alone. I wish I could make poor kids live like rich kids and rich kids live like poor kids for one week.

 What trends do you see making it big in 2012/ what are you pumped about in 2012?
One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Mission Chinese, is coming to NYC!

Want to pick up some Chinese with Tim? Well, we can’t promise that (heck, we are still working on our own date), BUT you can follow him on Twitter- you may even get your own Valentine out of the deal!  Check out more of his amazing accomplishments by visiting his website, and trust us, there is A LOT more where this came from. 

And as always, share the love and leave a comment– we want to know what you think! 

 

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YoungJerks’ Dan Cassaro Shows Off His Sharpie Stuff

New Yorkers are just cool; especially when they can list designer, animator and illustrator on their resume, work from a camper while travelling across the country with their main squeeze and oh yeah, paint a mural in a New York hotel using none other than Sharpie Paint Markers. Oh, so maybe it’s not ALL New Yorkers (althoughhhhhh it is one sweet city) but Dan Cassaro is definitely one of the coolest guys I have had the chance to interview for this humble blog.

Keep on scrollin’ to see what Dan has to say about his life in the design world and his AWESOME Sharpie chart…( it may have been the best thing to happen to my week)

ENJOY!

Sharpie Artist Interview– Dan Cassaro

WHAT. A. STUD. Dan Cassaro, Sharpie world.

Tell me about yourself! Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves?

I’m a designer, animator and illustrator living and working in Brooklyn. I live in the adorable Italian section of Williamsburg and I love it. The area seems to have acclimated to the gentrification more organically than other parts of Williamsburg. There are tons of great old butcher shops and old neighborhood mainstays that seem to exist pretty harmoniously with the new restaurants and bad art school haircuts. I grew up in Long Island and still have complicated feelings about the mall because of that. 

Instead of typing out a list of my likes/dislikes I decided to make a little chart for you (using a Sharpie, natch). 

 

 What inspires you and your work?

 Powerful rock and roll music, old train cars, Dads, the bric-a-brac section at the thrift store and various other ephemera. I think it’s important to try and pull from things that go deeper than a aesthetic level. Bruce Springsteen’s music is good because it sounds great and is fun to sing along to but there is something happening on a much more visceral level. I think it’s good to try to create work from that angle instead of just trying to make visually pleasing images. You don’t want to be making graphic design elevator music you know? 

How would you describe your style?

I don’t know, this is hard. As a designer I’d like to think that style is adapted and applied depending on the project. The illustrator part of me definitely has a common thread that runs through all my work though. I’ve been thinking that “clumsy modernism” is a pretty good way of explaining what I’d like to achieve with my work. I like the economy and boldness of modernism but all the pretentiousness surrounding it makes me want to barf a little. I want my work to be succinct but just “off” enough to give it charm and approachability. I spent a lot of time in college learning how to kern a headline and now I feel like maybe I’ll earned the right to intentionally UN-kern it. A little wonk goes a long way. 

 You seem to be quite the jack-of-all-trades; working as a designer, animator, and illustrator, what IS it about your work that gets you goin’?

 It’s a gift to be able to do this for a living. To be able to explore a bunch of different things and put them all under one roof. I’m kind of a poster child of a very non-committal ADD generation and it’s a real stroke of luck that I found a career that allows and often rewards that sort of eclecticism. Honestly, I am equal parts overachiever and lazy teenager. Doing something that I love for a living helps me bridge that gap I think and find a middle ground between the two. 

 How did you get started?

 I went to School of Visual Arts when I was a bit older (23) because as I mentioned before, I am a really non-committal person. I fell in love with design because it was so open ended. After school I started freelancing right away. I didn’t make a ton of “connections” at school (read: smooching your famous design teacher’s butt) but the Internet is the most democratic tool we have and I just tried to get a lot of my personal work out there. I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of that personal work eventually turn into a paycheck. That sounds too romantic though. I have also taken tons of s****ty ( gotta keep it PG, here folks) soul-sucking jobs and made tons of things I am not proud of just to pay the bills. A little bit of both.

How did you come to contribute to the ACE Hotel’s (NYC) décor?

That place is so cool. I had worked on a project called 50 and 50 and had been talking to some people there about having an opening to showcase all the pieces. They invited me to work on a piece for one of the rooms because of that. It was a really fun project for me. I got to stay at the hotel for a couple of nights and draw all over their walls with Sharpie Oil based paint markers. They last time I got to draw on someones wall was at my friend Dan Volpe’s house when I was 16. That was mostly inappropriate reference drawings though. (sorry for the edits… This is a family establishment!)

 

 Any cool new projects you can tell us about?

This is a dream project but I really want to do it. I want to put on a classic rock laser light show. Like rent out the planetarium and serve beer and blast some Zeppelin while watching some amazing animated horses or something. Wouldn’t that be great? I think that there are a lot of outdated but brilliant art forms out their that are just waiting to be brought into a more modern context. These are the kind of projects that I dream about. 

 Your designs are have a cool edginess to them; how do you come up with new ideas?

 I try to stay open to things just happening. Too many people treat design like an assembly line and it makes for a lot of visually acceptable, but flaccid design. I’d like to treat it more like an adventure, more like fine art. I don’t stay too married to the sketches that I do (if I sketch at all) and that lets me discover new ways of working. I like having that moment when you discover that you can create something that you didn’t know you were capable of before and have it happen almost by accident. My end results often looks very different from my original intentions. That system isn’t really conducive to the standard system of client approvals but it’s a very exciting way to work. Adventure! 

How do you use Sharpie markers in your work? Favorite Sharpie? Why?

I do a lot of my pen work and doodling with Sharpe Fine Point. I usually like using cheap paper and letting the ink pool up in the edges and bleed a bit. It’s nice to take those drawings that show a human hand and bring them into the computer and add that dimension. Using pen on paper helps keep me tied to the physical which is something I never want to lose touch with. I used Sharpie paint markers for the mural at the Ace Hotel. It was all kind of fancy type work so I wanted to keep the line work loose and fun. I made sure to only use really wide tip pens for this to keep myself from getting too fussy. 

Mural for the Ace Hotel... I know where I WILL be staying...

 Best part of your “day job” and if you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?

The best part of my day job is that I don’t have one. It’s more of this amorphous work blob that floats around and gloms onto other parts of my life infiltrating weekends and late nights. I mean that in a really good way. I’m sure I end up working a lot more than 40 hours a week but there is nothing better than fitting your work life into your regular life and not the other way around. This summer I spent three months driving around the country in an old camper with my girlfriend and a laptop, seeing America and doing design work. It really got me excited about work in a totally new way; driving across the country is like being in the most amazing graphic design inspiration blog. I feel like I am the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do my job in my basement or on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. 

If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

To have a magic playlist that plays the right song all the time, even when you don’t know what the right song is. I am willing to accept that 90% of that playlist would be Heart’s “Crazy on You.”

 What trends do you see making it big in 2012/ what are you pumped about in 2012?

More pizza parties, true love triumphing over evil, and a renewed interest in Brenden Fraiser’s “earlier, funny films.” 

 Umm who doesnt love a solid pizza party!?! Aka count me in for Dan’s 2012 plans, FO SHO! And that, ladies and gentleman, concludes one of my favorite interviews to date; to check out more on Dan, his work and his sparkly personality- pop on over and check out his website and follow him on Twitter and tumblr!