Will Phillips Artist Interview

October 08, 2013

Where do you get your ideas for making your art?
I try to find inspiration naturally. Life itself is a piece of art in a relative sense - and if you just pay attention to the nuances of it's beauty, you can't help but be inspired. Goes with the old "stop and smell the roses" idea. I know that's kind of cliché, but considering how our society is in such a rush to get everywhere, having that perspective on things seems to hold more value. I tend to draw from personal experiences, things I encounter, places I visit. In this jewel of a planet that we live in, you really don't have to go far to find something that sparks something creative in you. 
More specifically, I love spending time fining and admiring the work of other artists. There's more creativity out there than you can deal with sometimes. But I love it. Chilling at a bookstore thumbing through illustration books and searching through galleries online are great sources. I tend to go beyond that sometimes. For instance, if I come across an artist or a designer online, say through twitter or an article, I'll follow their link to their website and review their work, make my own opinions on it, try to figure out how or why they did something a certain way, or how I would have handled a creative challenge like that. I admit that I kind of make a pasttime of finding artists and designers online. It's fun to stumble across the unbeaten path and find a designer who may not have a lot of recognition, but still shows amazing talent. Finding artists and designers that do for the sake of doing - and not for the money or the noteriety - inspires me a lot. Reading artists interviews, and hearing their stories and the stories behind the work, not just admiring the work itself, tends to be very inspiring as well.
What type of work do you prefer doing?
If I had to choose one thing I had to do for the rest of my life, and didn't have to worry about anything else, I would say illustration work. It's actually not my strongest skill either, but it's really what I enjoy the most. Illustration often feels much more personal, something you can connect with more than other things - like web design or branding projects for instance. I love those types of projects too, and in fact that's pays the bills mostly, but I'm still drawn to illustration work the most.
Which internet sites do you go every day?
There's not sites I visit everyday, but ones that I frequent a lot are sites like apeonthemoonabduzeeedothegreatdiscontentdesign inspirationsite inspire. I absolutley love VSco's journal (blog) site. They have some of the best photograhpy and photographer stories. I'm a big fan of DKNG's work, so I check their site every so often. Layer Vault (a version control service for design files) has a fantastic news feed of design stuff around the web. Great way to keep up with things there. I pass through Dribbble occasionally, that's all about building a nice feed of people you like. You'll find me on twitter andinstagram a lot too.
What did your drawings look like when you were a kid?
They were very colorful, very free-handed, very sporadic. My folks say I've always had a way with colors as a kid. You could tell a lot of my stuff from my childhood shot out of whatever I was into at the moment. For example, my grandma has an old drawing I did of Godzilla, cause at the time I thought it was the coolest movie when it came out. I think that says a lot about how I draw on my present experiences for inspiration though. Strike the iron while it's hot right? You've got to learn to execute and take advantage of the motivation when you have it. Sometimes you can force it, but why wait to do something when you have to. Do it when you want to.
Does your family enjoy your work?
Yes. They're all very proud of me. None of them have any idea where I got my artistic ability, but they're not complaining. For a while I would send my grandma every poster I designed. She has a room in her house with all the pieces I sent her. Nice to have fans that love you like they do. They don't always understand what I'm doing - but they still give me their support, and that means a lot to me.
What would be your last meal?
A shrimp po-boy from DiMartino's. It's a kind of seafood sandwich indigenous to the Gulf Coast, usually with some sort seafood (although the roast beef is extremely popular), dressing, and on french bread. I'm from New Orleans originally and would die a happy man if that was my last meal.
What kind of books you read?
I enjoy books on design, typography, illustration books, books that keep the mind sharp. I know it's kind of lame, because design books are picture books in essence. But that's where I find a lot of inspiration. I admit that I enjoy reading more stuff online now than anything. There's lots of great content out there as publishing and expressing your own opinions of things becomes easier all the time. But there will always be a place for a good book. I'm a pretty spiritual person too, so I love reading a lot into the Bible as well. You can't learn enough about that book.
Just want to close with a special thank you for inviting me to be interviewed on your site. I'm very greatful for the opportunity. Please feel to plug in any of my social info in case any readers wish to reach out to me.
twitter: @nola_will
instagram: @nola_will

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