I just turned 30 this past March, and for the last decade of my life, I’ve done quite a bit of growing.
Ten years ago, my girlfriend (and very soon-to-be wife) and I lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Ft. Wayne, IN that we paid about $500/mo. for, if I remember correctly.
I couldn’t usually keep a job for too long back then, but at the time, I was working as a “canvasser” for a windows and siding company. That meant that I rolled around in a van with a team of people every day, and went door-to-door, trying to set appointments for the sales people to come back and swindle them into paying way too much for home improvements.
I ate nothing but shitty food all the time, smoked way too many cigarettes, and most days, hated my job.
Today, I live pretty comfortably with my amazing wife, our two beautiful and brilliant children, and even a few (okay, a small stable) of pretty awesome animals.
I get up at 4AM every weekday morning to take advantage of the only real quiet time in the house and get some good work in. When my iPhone alarm goes off every morning, I practically jump out of bed and hustle downstairs to my studio because I literally can hardly wait to get back to whatever projects I’m working on at any given time. I couldn’t imagine enjoying what I do for a living any more than I do now.
The joys, the struggles and other experiences that I’ve gone through with work, my family, etc. over these past 10 years have not only shaped, but in a lot of ways, completely changed who I am today.
I think a lot about how experiences like these would’ve shaped my little sister. What kind of woman would she have grown to be? My kid sister Lindsay was killed in a car accident 10 years ago today. She would have been 26 years old by now.
I wonder some times whether she’d be proud of her big brother today. When I land an exciting new client or something, I often think about what she would’ve said if I called or texted her to tell her about it. Knowing her, she’d probably be doing things so much cooler or more important that they’d completely dwarf whatever I was doing.
For almost all of her 16 years up until I moved out, we were together nearly every single day. And sure, we had our occasional sibling arguments, but we were very close, and we were great friends.
We found out about a month after she died that we would be having our son the following March. It was something that I know helped me tremendously to pull through that insanely hard time, but that also means that my kids never got to meet her. She would’ve been the best and most fun aunt a kid could ever ask for.
I have no idea what happens to us after we die, of course. I’m not really the type to believe that we get to see the people we’ve lost “on the other side”, among other things.
But Lindsay’s one of the things that makes me wish I did believe stuff like that.
I think we’re all a product of the people around us, at least in some way. In my case, I like to think that maybe we’re also a product of those not around, too.
Anyway, that’s all. I couldn’t seem to bring myself to focus on much of anything so far today, and I thought some writing and a couple tears might be healthy.
If you’ve got people in this life, be good to them. Short or long, there’s no reason that your time with them shouldn’t be great.
So honored to be leading off for the brand-new interview series from some of my best friends in the world over at Cotton Bureau called “Freshly Laundered”.
Go read about my interests from fire all the way to German rap music.
Since CB opened our doors a little over a year ago, letterer and designer (and our good friend) Ryan Hamrick has quickly become one of our more prolific designers. In the past twelve months he’s had six different tees for sale on the site, with five of them successfully going to print. We chatted with Ryan briefly last week to get the inside scoop on his new adventure in Austin and what keeps him going while he’s hard at work. Interview after the break.
Below is an interview I conducted with gifted American designer and letterer Ryan Hamrick ( hmrck ). The interview was part of a body of research and content for my final university project; A zine based on the subject of letterforms - ‘Handtype/issue one’. Enjoy, and in the words of Mr Hamrick ”Speak Softly & Hustle Hard”.
Q: For those not familiar with yourself or your work, would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
A: Sure! I’m Ryan Hamrick, and I’m a 30 year-old independent lettering artist and designer based in Pittsburgh, PA. I have a son and daughter, a beautiful wife, two Shiba Inus, and a cat named Vector that all just so happen to live in the extension of my home studio.