Will Bryant: Artist, Illustrator
Creative Consumption is an interview series chronicling the consumption habits and trends that creators, entrepreneurs, and all-around strivers are prioritizing to enhance their lives.
Working across a variety of formats - full-on activation installations, apparel, artwork, logos, and animation, Will Bryant is an Austin TX based artist creating evocatively nostalgic zigs and zags (think, 90's TV), and playful shapes benefitting from a modern color palette and a keen eye towards retrofitting his unique style into the identifies of some of the world's most recognizable brands (Nike, Jordan Brand, Facebook, Coca Cola...).
As Will's aesthetic is close to New Library's artistic inclinations, we were eager to get into his mind to explore what he consumes to fuel his experimental and boundary-less style...
One of my favorite albums of 2017 was Clear Language by Balmorhea. I’m a fan of their entire discography, but have obsessively connected with the textures and tones of this record. I’ve had it on repeat in the studio and at home on vinyl! You have to check out the track “Slow Stone,” it cruises along like a jazz session in the woods and swells into this really sick fuzzed out static guitar session. It’s beautiful. Bonus, they’re really wonderful humans that live in Austin.
That’s the deep dive, but I also have a solid podcast rotation for my commute that typically starts with NPR's Up First. I also dive into other ones from the NPR fam: NPR Politics, All Songs Considered, Embedded, and On Point. S-Town, Radiolab, More Perfect, and My Dad Wrote A Porno (omg this one is hilarious) are other favorites. Currently giving Limetown a shot.
I do A LOT more listening than I do reading, but I spend way too much time reading about Mississippi State sports (my alma mater). I also keep up with whatever Shaun King is writing about and enjoy reading artist interviews.
The next book I plan to pick up and hope to finish is the Hillbilly Elegy. My wife just cruised through it on vacation and said I would really enjoy it.
My wife and I just returned from a vacation in Florence, Italy. I proposed to her 10 years ago near the Ponte Vecchio and we’ve been trying to get back ever since. We spent an incredible two weeks away from the kiddo walking, drinking, and eating our way around town. It was incredible.
Also worth mentioning, I ran my first ever race this year. I spent several months training for the Big Bend 30K out in west Texas. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but so rewarding and now I’m hooked on trail running.
The break from a screen and connecting with nature has had a huge impact on my overall well being. My favorite spot to run in Austin is the Violet Crown Trail in the Barton Creek Wilderness Park.
The Austin food scene is pretty on point, but if black beans, avocado, and fresh jalapeños are involved, then I’m going to be really excited about whatever it is I’m eating.
I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to food, and lately I’ve been eating the avocado toast from Rosen’s Bagels at Brew & Brew weekly. The pomegranate seeds are a really nice touch!
Last fall I purchased an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. It took me several months to figure out its place in my workflow, but now I’m all about drawing in Procreate. It’s a pretty fluid experience and great for working on comp studies.
In the past few years I’ve started to notice more brands (big brands even) supporting artists. It seems like more and more companies are taking risks on collaborating with artists and giving them a fair amount of creative freedom.
I know this has probably been happening for awhile, but it does appear like more people I’m into are popping up with large scale projects. Maybe that’s just social media at work?
Don’t get me wrong, I still see plenty of examples where brands are ripping off people right and left, but at least now the internet exists in a way where that gets called out.
I’ve really been into everything Nina Chanel Abney has been releasing. I love her layering and how she integrates figures, iconography, and typography. It feels so natural. Stuart Davis is often mentioned with her aesthetic, but the content of her work seems so culturally important (police brutality, social justice, equality, and toss in some basketball!). I love that she’s getting so much recognition right now!