Monday, June 14, 2010

Profile on Eric Elms

In the life of Eric Elms, how do you usually start out a typical day?
Wake up, Shower, Tea, Walk to work, Deli coffee, Check email. That is pretty much standard everyday. After that it depends on what projects I got going on.

Is living and working in Brooklyn conducive to your creativity?
I don't think Brooklyn by itself has a big influence on my creativity. Not any different then manhattan at least. Living in NY does though. There is so much to see and do here that it is pretty hard to be bored or uninspired. Things are always changing, so its very easy to get inspired by small details of the city. I get influenced most by books, movies, old typography, and objects from the past. NYC offers all of those things 24/7.

They say print is dead, I personally disagree. And I think you would side with my opinion. I noticed you are taking vested interest in publishing. What's your take on independent publishing?
Print will never die on a small scale. The only print that will die are the types that don't matter if they are printed in the first place. Creative books and zines can't live and work in a digital world. To me the materials, design and construction of a book are just as important as the content. That is what's nice about small publishers. In general there isn't much money to be made from it, so you know that anyone doing it is there to put out nice books that they believe in and want to read themselves.

In regards to Vans, do you have any vivid memories of the brand while growing up in San Diego?
They are one of the few staples of my childhood that I am still around today. I remember wearing out the same models of Vans 20 years ago that I wear out today.

Your approach in logo design is definitely appreciated. You have a great sense of composition and areverence for typography. How do you go about in formulating ideas throughout this process?
Most of the time I get a pretty developed idea in my head before I even start. Sometimes it's a reference from some strange letterform that I have clipped out and put on by board above my desk, or maybe some small detail that reminds me of the client. Then I just go and work it out on paper. I don't do a ton of original drawing on the computer. I think it takes the soul out of it a little bit. One project might take 2 sketches and be pretty close to my original idea. Another might take a hundred sketches and have to be slowly pulled out by the process.

Tell us about your recent transition of showing your art in galleries. Did you always consider yourself an artist or a designer...and for you is there a definitive difference between the two?
I used to think about the separation of the two a lot more. I always switch back and forth between design and art, from client projects and shows. Now I tend to think about it less. I just make things that solve the problem. Obviously I'm not going to make a fine-art piece for a commercial project, but for my personal work I kind of just let the idea dictate the medium. An idea could turn out best as a logo, sculpture, zine, or painting. There is something nice about having a bunch of finished projects in different mediums and how they all relate and interact with each other.

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