On this fine Tuesday, we have an interview with Ryan Hamrick. Ryan is a designer who focuses on among other things, branding. I really loved Ryan's work when I started to look at it so I popped him an email and sure enough an interview was born.
How/why/when did you get into design?
I've always been interested in design-like things. I loved to draw as a kid, and was pretty obsessed with logos early on. I didn't know this at the time, of course, but thinking back, I used to try to redraw the logos of my favorite sports teams, rap groups, you name it. If I remember right, it was to eventually hang them up in my room or something. It's funny now, because I was fortunate enough to have a family more than capable of buying me posters, or whatever else I would've wanted to put up, but for some reason, I wanted to make them myself. I get that a lot more now. :)
That said, I didn't really start taking design seriously in regards to it being a career until about a year and a half ago when I left my job, started an LLC, and made it official. Even then, I didn't start playing with lettering and typography until almost exactly a year ago, which is almost exclusively what I do these days. I've taken a few wild turns along the way.
What does your workspace look like?
It looks a lot like most other designers' workspaces, I suppose. Maybe a bit more budget-oriented, but the basics are there. I use an early 2010 15" MacBook Pro as my only machine, hooked up to a simple 21" Samsung TV as an external monitor. I'd love to eventually invest in a nice iMac of course, but I think I'm going to have to draw a lot more letters to get there, and my current setup has been pretty good to me so far. One of my favorite parts of my studio is my drafting table. I made it from a simple $20 tabletop and two $30 wood trestles, all from IKEA. Might have been the best $80 I've ever spent.
What is the one thing in life you couldn't live without?
Do we mean things-things or anything-things? Obviously, my family is the only thing I really couldn't live without. My wife, two kids and Shiba Inu puppy (soon to be two!), are simply amazing. Everything else is just tools. If we are talking about things-things, I suppose I'm pretty attached to my iPhone.
Define what you think success is in one sentence.
Can it be a run-on sentence? Okay, okay.
Success to me is being in a position to do what I love every single day and somehow have that provide for a happy and comfortable life for a family that loves and supports me.
I consider myself pretty successful.
What advice would you give to your ninth grade self?
Wow, great question. I think for me, some good advice to have had as a ninth grader, would be to stop thinking that I have everything all figured out for my future, or even thinking I should. I was certain I was going to be playing football for a living (seriously), and that I was going to marry the girl I was dating at the time, and pretty much any other far-fetched immature thing you can think of. Even if those things didn't happen, my rap career was happening either way, so it didn't really matter much.
I wish I could tell my ninth grade self to try more things, have more varied experiences, and really "play the field" so-to-speak to see what I was really into earlier on. I'm 28 years old, and only a year ago did I stumble upon what I feel is my true passion. I often wonder how different things might be had I discovered it sooner.
Here is Ryan's desktop wallpaper: (Click the button to buy)