As part of a series, we talk with some of the professional artists, graphic designers and others who make their living in creative endeavors and have created art for a BoxUp project. In this edition, we spoke with Eric Kass, whose fine commercial art practice has ranged in clientele from boutique to blockbuster.
Q1. If/when you’re tasked with a project/commission/show and a big bunch of creative output lies ahead, where do you go for inspiration?
I start by spending a lot of time up front learning about my patron’s business and their passions, goals, hopes and fears. Then, I dive in and study all the info/history I can find related to the work at hand, as well as, the competition and target market. Finally, mixing in inspiring music of all styles continuously playing, reminding me to let go and explore new ideas.
Q2. Describe your work-space. Is it thoughtfully planned? A reflection of you or your process? Something you apologize for?
My space is filled with inspirational vintage items from my collection of ephemera, design books, my work, artwork, pottery, reference materials, vinyl records. It’s eclectic and intricate but not messy or haphazard. Everything is intentional and thoughtfully curated absorbing into the work and providing inspiration that informs everything. Oh, and there is my loyal studio mate, “Mr. Toberson,” the cockapoo.
Q3. What was it like creating custom artwork for a commercial client – in particular, a custom BoxUp box? (Any unique challenges/opportunities presented?)
It was amazing to be able to extend the brand experience all the way through to the shipping container with an abundance of possibilities. Being able to design and affordably produce an intricate full-color design as opposed to the old standard one-color kraft box is a huge advantage. With more and more online-only business selling products it’s critical to make the experience special for customers from the moment they receive their order in the mail.
Q4. Any advice for the “kitchen table entrepreneur” in terms of how they treat and value design?
There’s tons of competition in the market with lots of options and opportunities for consumers whose time and attention is stretched to the limit. It is important to create a purposeful, engaging, distinctive brand that will cut through all the noise, grabbing your audience’s attention creating a personal, emotional, relevant connection. Investing in developing a professional, authentic, unique brand right from the start will pay for itself with increased sales and enhanced engagement. People respect and appreciate well-designed, thoughtful, authentic work and love to share it online increasing a new venture’s reach immediately giving it the best chance for success.