This week I’m honored to share some thoughts and work from designer Ben Tousley. Ben is an extraordinary artist and is someone that I truly admire. His style is phenomenal and I was so excited when he agreed to participate in this series and share his work. Ben is twenty-three and resides in Bloomington, Indiana. Some of his work includes album art for Grizzly Bear, Holiday Shores, Rogue Wave, and Sondre Lerche (images below). Enjoy this interview! It is one of my favorites.
1. How long have you been designing and what are some of the most important or influential moments that have occurred since you started? I started designing in high school as an editor of our school’s news magazine. When I came to college for design I was lucky enough to have some great freelance opportunities early on which have all been really important experiences while I’ve still been in school.
2. Are you currently designing full-time? Right now, I guess I am essentially. In addition to working on freelance projects most of the time, I’m also a designer at the Indiana University Alumni Association. However, aside from that, I’m still in school until August of this year.
3. When you’re working on a project, what does your process look like? Is it different for every situation or are there components that exist throughout most of your projects? At this point, it really changes from project to project and is almost always dependent on who I’m working with. Everyone is different and I think with the type of work I’ve done so far it’s been important to feel things out at first to make sure everyone’s happy as things progress. For example, most of the time I’ve been working with bands who might not have worked with a designer before but still have a strong feeling for what they’d like. So, I’ve found it’s best to be sensitive to that at all times. It’s also been good for me because I think it’s helped me learn how to be flexible not only with the way I work but also the kind of work I’m doing. It’s no fun to do the same thing each time, in my opinion.
4. How do you stay motivated and how do you keep inspiration a part of your day-to-day life? There are so many people doing so many amazing things out there. I never feel like I need to look very long before I get that ever so inspiring “Ben, you’re worthless” feeling yet again. And for this I am thankful.
5. Are there any design trends that you’re really excited to see emerging? Are there any design trends that you wish would disappear? I’m not necessarily into any one trend over another as much as I am into people doing solid work. If anything, I think the trends get a little boring. I have some favorite artists out there, though. I could list them for days. That said, there’s nothing I’m particularly wishing would go away, either. It’s a lot more fun to just pay attention to the good stuff.
6. How do you integrate print and web design in your work? At this point most all of my projects have been for print. I’ve recently been getting more into web design with a couple projects, but print work has generally been what I’m interested in the most.
7. How do you connect, network and collaborate with others? Aside from a couple of random connections, I’m not really that good at networking and wouldn’t say I know what I’m doing. Or at least I don’t feel like I’m as good as I’m supposed to be? It’s not really something that bothers me too much either. I’ve felt very lucky to work with some wonderful people that I’ve really grown to love — I just hope to continue that.
Thanks to Ben Tousley for providing all this lovely work! Check back tomorrow for a new post in the “One Day” series.