Award-winning art director/graphic designer Monte Beauchamp lives and works in Chicago.
He is the founder and editor of the graphics-illustration-comics annual BLAB! and the editor, designer and founder of the BLAB! Picto-Novelettes, a series of books presented in a faux-children’s-book format for adults (Sheep of Fools by Sue Coe and Judith Brody; Old Jewish Comedians by Drew Friedman; The Magic Bottle by Camille Rose Garcia; Struwwelpeter by Bob Staake; An Alphabetical Ballad of Carnality by David Sandlin, and SHAG: A to Z).
Monte's work has appeared in Graphis, Communication Arts, SPDA, Print, American Illustration, and The Society of Illustrators Annual.
Cooking Without A Recipe
If you have a degree in what field is it? A BA in graphic design from Southern Illinois University.
Which designer(s) do you most admire? Louise Fili and Milton Glaser.
What’s the strangest request you've received from a client? To not use the color orange because of personal reasons.
If you weren’t working as a designer what would you be doing? Either working as a director in film or professional songwriting. I have a deep hankering to do both.
What well-known identity is most desperately in need of a redesign? The Presidential Seal.
From where do your best ideas originate? Many come about while hanging out with people I feel a real kinship with. Walking around outside generally gets the ideas rolling as does doodling on cocktail napkins in old-time Chicago bars—a New York Festival award for my first TV commercial was the result of working that way.
How do you overcome a creative block? Uhmmmm.... uuuhhhhmmmm... eerrrrrrrrr... Can I get back to you?
What’s your dream project (not client, but project)? To make a feature-length film.
Do you have creative outlets other than graphic design? Cooking without recipes and experimenting with different foods, spices and herbs. Songwriting. Creative writing. Painting on six-inch squares of Masonite with no preliminary ideas.
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Exercise, eating 75 percent natural foods, having hobbies and being outside.
What product/gadget can you not live without? A blender—I use it a lot to make soup.
What’s your favorite quote? “It takes a long time to grow young” —Pablo Picasso
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? I’m riffing off of Lewis Carroll here, but start believing impossible things. Practice for five minutes a day, then ten minutes a day, then fifteen... until you get to 30 minutes a day.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? The immense benefit to be had from the daily practice of believing in the impossible.