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-NAME
Don Clark

-WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Seattle, WA

-WHAT DOES YOUR WORK CONSIST OF?
Illustration and graphic design, mostly.

-HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I’ve been interested in art since … well, since I knew how to say “art” I guess. Our (my brother Ryan is also my partner at IC) grandfather was an extremely talented artist and illustrator who worked at NASA for many years. Our father is also a very skilled woodworker and luthier. They were both a really big influence on us as kids and definitely inspired us to take this path. We never really thought about doing anything else.

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-WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Well, getting paid for your ideas (and your interpretation of those ideas) isn’t so bad. Being able to use vintage children’s books as a tax write-off is pretty cool too.

-WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The business aspect of being self-employed can be stressful. If it weren’t for my accountant, I might be in jail. Things get confusing!

-IF YOU WEREN’T DESIGNING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
Playing music or left field for an obscure single A farm team.

-WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life around me – and that changes all the time … but more specifically I’d say Southern California mid-century modernism.

-WHERE DOES CREATIVITY COME FROM?
The Creator.

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-WHO’S WORK DO YOU LOOK UP TO? (Either currently or in the past)
Past: Alfred Paulsen, Alvin Lustig, Herbert Matter, Paul Rand, Jim Flora, Dr. Seuss, Martin & Alice Provensen, Ward Kimball (and many at Disney), Richard Scarry, Bernice Myers, J.P. Miller, etc.

Present: Chip Kidd, Stefan Sagmeister, Bob Staake, Geefwee Boedoe, Tim Biskup, Lou Romano, Teddy Newton, Ralph Eggleston, Johnny Yanok, House Industries, my brother Ryan, etc.

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-WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR YOUR INDUSTRY?
For us, “our industry” used to mean the music industry. We’ve been fortunate to branch out in new directions as a result of dwindling CD sales, piracy, etc. Lately we’ve seen a large increase in illustration projects for a variety of clients, from retail to editorial. While the music projects are still coming in, we’ve been able to be a bit more discerning with the records we work on. I think that’s been a good thing for us.

As for music, as long as people want to sell it, you’re going to need art. Yes, the budgets are shrinking, but packaging won’t go away entirely. In fact, we’re in an age where we aren’t limited to a jewel box or a CD anymore. I’m rather optimistic in terms of what kinds of packaging options might be out there in the future. Why not an Interpol book that comes with a digital download card? I think we’ll be seeing all kinds of cool things …

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-WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU NEXT?
I touched on this in the last question, but as a company (and personally), we are seeing a fairly dramatic shift from design projects to illustration projects. We obviously love doing both, but we really enjoy drawing. If people want to see more of it, we’d like to keep doing more of it.

We also have a brand new website / store / blog in the works that should launch sometime towards the end of summer.

-WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD ASPIRING TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
“Don’t try to be original, just try to be good” – Paul Rand

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-ONE DEFINING MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR.
A phone call from an extremely nice lady named Gaby who represents a band called Foo Fighters. Second on the list would be an e-mail from a man (and now friend) named Dave Cuzner who runs a website called Grain Edit.

-WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
I Am X “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction”
Silversun Pickups “Swoon”
Mastodon “Crack The Skye”
Hot Leg “Red Light Fever”
Doves “Kingdom Of Rust”