You might be familiar with the shirts he’s designed for Wire and Twine, a design firm that happens to own screen-printing equipment. He is currently on a year-long civic sabbatical with People’s Liberty to explore photography as encouragement for being a tourist in your own city — the new project is called PhotoCorps. He shares a sunny loft apartment in an old factory in Cincinnati with his sassy cat, Edie.
How would you describe your work to someone who isn’t familiar with it?
Simple designs with a bit of tongue in cheek. I’ve made things from websites to T-shirts and logos and records and a bunch of other corporate stuff like banner stands for trade shows. I also take photographs from time to time, mostly for fun, but sometimes they end up in books for cats on the internet. I like to think it all comes from the same hand.
What inspires you?
Everything that Jim Henson did. Mister Rogers philosophy on life. Ed Emberley’s drawing books for kids that work great for adults. Charley Harper’s geometric awesomeness. I love the joy magnet that is Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka SwissMiss) and her ability to bring people together in the name of creativity. Finding new music to play while working or relaxing. Traveling to new places, revisiting favorites. Going off the grid.
What one thing in your life could you absolutely get rid of?
Links in my social media feeds. Especially 30-second recipe videos that showcase how you can make dishes with canned refrigerated biscuits.
What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?
Not being a slave to the cost of living. The four seasons. Elbow room. Wait, that’s three things…
What are your pro tips for people going to a creative conference?
Say Hi. Pace yourself: Have a water between each stiff drink.
What would you be if you weren’t an artist?
I’d love to understand programming better. To develop things that work and rely on stuff like databases.
What will you (likely) talk about in your keynote?
How design can fix your life.
What three things would you recommend to makers?
You can meet Chris and many other creative entrepreneurs at Midwest Craft Con in February 2017 — tickets are on sale now!