Duckworth Dozen Brian Steely

Tell us all about you...
I’m Brian, most of my friends just call me Steely. I run Steely Works which is a small, boutique agency in Atlanta that operates under Jackson Spalding — an agency that I’ve been working at for 25+ years. I’m married with two teenage kids. I love going to concerts, collecting records, traveling and a slew of other hobbies. 

What’s something inspiring you’ve seen this week? 
Our animator animating one of my illustrations. He’s super-talented and it’s cool to watch him take my direction and make it better. 

How do you prepare before a job? What was the process for Vocation?
Meet with the TD team. Research. Sketches. Vector work in Illustrator. Refinement. Pretty standard!

What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to create? 
I'm not sure if it's necessarily weird, but I once designed a logo for a psychedelic church that administers ayahuasca, psilocybin and peyote… not all at once of course. Having the opportunity to do something like this shows how much progress we're making in expanding our minds, versus using AI for art which is simply regurgitating what has already been created. As an artist, I feel like this is real progress. I couldn't turn down a job like this.

Best advice for someone who wants to become an illustrator or something you wish you knew when just starting out? 
Hustle hard. The only way to get ahead is to practice, continue learning and set goals. Goals aren’t the end result, but markers along the way, so keep moving forward.

What is something you cannot live without? 
Family, art and music.

Last emoji you used.
The lightning bolt.  ⚡

Describe your work in three words. 
Minimal, symmetrical and clean.

What would you be doing if you were not an illustrator? 
Racing cars. I almost got into car racing when I was younger and have driven in a couple dirt track races.

Describe your perfect day off.
Getting up early to enjoy the day, a long walk somewhere for breakfast, day drinking around town and sushi for lunch. A little fly fishing in the afternoon, concert in the evening, then back to the bar to close the day down. 

Finish this sentence, you might not believe this but… 
I’m a self-taught designer. I was an English major and thought I was going to be a writer. I started at my current agency on the PR side. I had been doing gig posters for fun, so was asked if I would like to be the graphic designer. I attended a couple semesters of school, didn’t like the cost so have been teaching myself ever since.

Go-to song when you’re working. 
Silver Owl by Kikagaku Moyo.

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