Today we’d like to introduce you to Sterling Bartlett.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up skateboarding in the 1990s. Skating through downtown areas with their various architectural expressions and street signage lead to an early appreciation for form, and design. Throughout my teen years I kept a sketchbook, copying comic book art, or skate graphics. This eventually lead to a short stint at an art trade school. I dropped out in 2001 when an opportunity arose to take part in a live/work social incubator & gallery for young artists. It was there that the idea of art-as-lifestyle really took hold. Living and working alongside older, more established artists was invaluable in showing me other paths to carve for myself. In some form or another, I have been working as an artist/designer/creative type ever since. I work in graphic design, illustration, art direction, apparel, as well as hold my own fine art practice.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Pursuing passion doesn’t always pay the bills. Working for one’s self takes a great deal of discipline, and a willingness to pivot when things get strained.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I work as a designer, and an art director in a freelance capacity. This means that I partner with apparel companies, and record labels to create graphics for t-shirts, album covers, etc. Sometimes it entails consultations with brands to create special product capsules, or brand experiences. I also have a personal practice making paintings, prints, and limited apparel editions. I’m currently gearing up for an art show next year in Oregon. I take pride in moving seamlessly between the worlds of fine art, design, and craft.
What were you like growing up?
I was a bit of a know-it-all, occasionally got into trouble, but nothing too crazy. I am proud to say that I retained a curiosity about the world around me which continues to serve me well.