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Designer/illustrator/art director Timothy Goodman currently lives in San Francisco and works for Apple Inc. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated from the School of Visual Arts and began his career as a book jacket designer at Simon & Schuster. He was a senior designer with New York design firm COLLINS: where he worked for clients such as CNN, Motts and Microsoft. He enjoys doing a variety of illustration work which appears in the New York Times, New York Magazine and Wired. Timothy's work has been honored by most major design publications and annuals, including Print's “New Visual Artists” issue and the Art Directors Club Young Guns award.

10.04.11

Long Airplane Flights and Tight Deadlines

If you have a degree in what field is it? A BFA in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts.

Have you always been able to draw or was it a skill you learned in college? I addictively drew palm trees and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was in grade school, however, I quickly traded that hobby in for basketball. (My jump shot is so sick now!)

What was your first paid assignment? An illustration for the New York Times. Big props to John Fulbrook, my big brother and former creative director, who let me do the piece at work. Young designers... find a boss who will let you do fun freelance on the job!

Which illustrator (or fine artist) do you most admire? Red Grooms. His New York-centric installations and paintings, along with his small town story, inspired me to move to New York years ago.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an illustrator? Since I only pretend to be an illustrator at night, I’d probably be doing what I actually do during the day—design. I used to paint homes, hang wallpaper and drywall for many years in my late teens and early twenties. Sometimes I miss that.

From where do your best ideas originate? Tight deadlines, long airplane flights and staying out too late.

How do you overcome a creative block? My "blocks" only happen if I'm too tired. But if I hit one, I just turn around and go a different way.

In one word describe how you feel when beginning a new assignment? #crazyexcitedantsy.

Do you have a personal philosophy? I’ve been mentoring this wonderful young boy for about 2 1/2 years. The other day I told him it was raining in San Francisco, and he said, “That sucks for you, but it’s fun for the trees!” I like his outlook.

Do you have creative pursuits other than illustration? I’m a designer by a trade, so illustration is one of my pursuits. Also, I write quite a bit, always scribbling in my notebook or on my phone. Sometimes these thoughts make it onto Print magazine’s blog, Imprint, where I’m a contributor.

What music are you listening to right now? New albums by Toro y Moi, TV on the Radio, Dawes and James Blake.

What’s your favorite quote? I prefer a dirty joke!

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Approach graphic design and illustration as a practice, and not as a profession; “professionals” are homogenized. Remember, there are no rules to this thing.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? I wish I hadn’t been so pensive back in college. Now I do everything with play.