Artist Kevin Lucius has walked an interesting path as a designer, segueing from visual communication to graphic art and web design, with influence from nature and architecture. His life experiences correlate to the various textures featured in his works, giving them a dynamic appeal. We had the pleasure of an interview with Lucius to learn more about his processes and inspirations.
1. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for House Press! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Kevin Lucius and I’m a Graphic Designer from Chicago. I tend to wear many hats when it comes to designing, and it seems that just about everything I do revolves around design in one way or another. For instance, I am the Creative Director at a startup company called Contactability.com, in addition to being Co-owner of a handcrafted Jewelry line with my wife Christy called www.LuciusJewelry.com. In 2010 I opened up an Etsy shop to sell prints and wood blocks of my personal artwork, and things began getting even more exciting from there.
2. Your logos and personal art seem to share a similar tongue-in-cheek style. From logos and custom signs to your graphic art, how has your work evolved?
I think as a Graphic Designer I took a somewhat different path than a lot of other designers do. I studied Visual Communication in college, and after graduation I took a job as a Graphic Artist at a commercial sign company. It was a great experience because not only did I get to do design work, but I learned a lot about engineering and architecture as well. From there I got into web design and did my graphic art in my spare time. I began to really develop my style with the freedom that comes with doing ‘my own work’ rather than just something a client wants. I think my work evolves with time, and I’d like to believe that I continue to grow as a designer. I never want to be satisfied. I always want to keep learning and get better.
3. We love “Don Draper Cat” and “Susan Gets a Call”. What inspired the human-animal mash-ups?
Animals seem to make their way into my work quite a bit. It probably stems from being a nature lover when I was a kid…I spent entire summers in the woods behind my house. I just try to have fun with my work, that’s how it all started. Don Draper Cat was inspired by watching Mad Men with my wife and my cat was hanging out in the room with us. I thought it would be interesting to take such a classy persona, and add something as silly as my cat’s face. So I took a photo of my cat with a really serious expression, and the rest is history. I think it’s his expression that makes it funny. The idea for Susan Gets a call came to me back in 2006. I was messing around in Photoshop with some old photos and textures, and it just sort of came together. Usually I have a clear idea for a design in my head before I start, but that particular time I didn’t. That is the great thing about art, sometimes you can just let your imagination run wild and be pleasantly surprised with the results!
4. Can you describe your design process?
I primarily work in Illustrator and Photoshop. Typically, I will get an idea for a new design and sketch it out on paper first. When I feel it’s ready, I will jump on the computer and start working. I use a combination of old photos, patterns, and textures in my art. I keep working on it until I am happy with the results. There have been several times when I’ve left a half-finished design that I was not completely happy with and picked it up a year later to complete it. Sometimes it just takes time to see something in a different light.
5. Do you do all of your work in Chicago? Do your surroundings affect your work?
Yes, all of my work is done in Chicago. I am originally from Ohio and moved here about 3 years ago. I think the city has a great work ethic, and people seem to really be open to new ideas. I find that very inspiring, and I love that Chicago is so supportive of artists. My wife and I hand-make each wood block. There probably is an easier way to do it, but I believe it would lose its handmade feel. That is what makes it special, and it’s important to me that it retains that handmade quality.
6. What’s your favorite getaway destination?
My wife and I enjoy traveling very much, so we have a good time anywhere we go. If I had to pick a favorite though, it’d probably be Mexico. It’s hard to beat tacos, beer, and a beach.