Holstee is so excited to continue on our collaborative adventure with yet another talented artist, Pittsburgh-based illustrator and designer, Ryan Hamrick.
The third installment in our Manifesto Artist Series, Hamrick’s obvious knack for original design and obvious ability to work with type and lettering can still be labeled as a semi-recent endeavor. When we asked him how he first began his artistic lifestyle, Hamrick told us that his interest in design began back in high school: “Just teaching myself the software, throwing little logos together for friends and family. Stuff like that.” It wasn’t until a year and a half ago, however, that Hamrick decided to pursue illustration as a career: “I decided to leave my day job … and never looked back!” Amazing! (Seems the next line we should have Hamrick illustrate is “If you don’t like your job, quit,” as he has a first-hand experience on how rewarding that simple move can be!)
“It wasn’t until late last year that I started dabbling in the lettering stuff,” Hamrick told us. “I had previously done a lot of work with branding and UI design, but this was new to me.” Hamrick admits to the initial challenge he experienced when beginning his journey as a typographic artist: “It was rough at first, but through a ton of research, and an unreasonable amount of practice, I was able to get better.” This humble admittance is more than obvious when you look at Hamrick’s amazing body of work! “I’m still learning every day,” he said, “but I’ve never had so much fun learning anything in my life.”
When we asked Hamrick about any personal favorite pieces or projects, he confessed that his work on the Share Your Passion poster was “definitely, I feel, my best work to date.” Though his other works are definitely awesome in their own respects, we admit we’re a little biased, too. “I tried a lot of new techniques and styles that I really hadn’t attempted before, so that’s always a blast,” Hamrick said. He explained how the process of trying something new is what really led him to appreciate this piece so much; the challenge is what makes it so rewarding!
Another project Hamrick really enjoyed participating in was the Wander Postcard Project. Hamrick worked with a great quote from who he labeled the “incomparable Steve McQueen” and transformed those words into a “fun and playful” set of wallpapers. Hamrick described the honor and thrill that it was to work alongside some of his biggest design and lettering influences, which always makes for an incredibly memorable experience.
One of our favorite questions to ask those who are succeeding at sharing their passion is: What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Hamrick’s honest and thought-provoking response caused us to sit back and wait for more: “On several occasions, from completely unrelated people, oddly enough: ‘It’s not that good.’” Though it’s hard to imagine anyone critiquing Hamrick in such blunt terms, Hamrick’s acceptance of this statement, as well as his diligence for improvement, proves that he hasn’t gotten ahead of himself and is always prepared to face facts, dig deep, and work hard. “A few times,” he said, “it’s actually been verbalized. Others, it’s just been apparent in the absence of any positive response.” “In my experience,” he continued, “knowing when something just plain sucks has been the most helpful and motivating push to try harder, learn, and improve.” A truly fantastic attitude from someone in the art world, to be sure, and one that can inspire any of us to do the same.
It seems that every artist has their dream team in mind, or a certain individual or group with which they hope to eventually collaborate. Evidently, Hamrick is no different: “Oh man,” he said. “Sure!” While he admits that his favorites are current and have changed often in the last year, he told us that “most or all of my design crushes are of the lettering variety these days.” He mentions, at the top of his list, could be the designers that make up Title Case, Jessica Hische and Erik Marinovich. “Both of these guys exude the spirit and intensity of today’s young lettering scene.” He described Hische’s work as “insanely clean” and her “expert vector skills” as “so motivational,” while Marinovich’s “creativity and incredible use of color” have always made him stand out as a designer. Another collaboration Hamrick hopes for is with letterer and illustrator Dan Cassaro: “Dan’s work is always very fresh and crazy original,” Hamrick said. “Each piece seems to be extremely different from the last, which can be tough.”
We are so grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Hamrick, and believe that his obvious talent for his craft is more than evident in his beautifully inspiring take on the Manifesto through the Share Your Passion poster. Prints are available here!
Follow Ryan Hamrick on Twitter.
by Helen Papadopoulos