Photos & Words by Ashley King
This interview is from May 2014 as a part of Issue #1: DIY.
Chris Cresswell is a DIY kind of fella. He’s the frontman of the flatliners, has an acoustic side project on top of working as a self-taught graphic designer.
L&F: Do you think passion in design is just as important as having skill?
CC: I honestly believe that ‘passion’ is my only actual skill when it comes to design. I work primarily in digital graphic design, and I am completely self-taught in Photoshop and Illustrator. I’m sure that my process might be one that includes far more steps than necessary, but I really enjoy doing things my way, and taking the time to make each piece as special as possible. Graphic design remains more of a side-gig for me at the moment. By that, I mean that I don’t make all that much money from doing it, so money is not my primary motivation. It’s making people happy that really allows me to enjoy what I’m doing.
L&F: Did you score all of your design gigs from having contacts, or from people approaching you?
CC:I’m lucky that I get to meet people in bands / labels / etc all the time from being in a band myself. All the work I’ve done, I have been approached to do. I got my start doing merch design for my band The Flatliners, and from there things just kind of snowballed.
L&F: Do musicians contact you to do design work, or their labels?
CC:It’s usually friends in bands or folks from bands who I do not personally know, but they’ll reach out directly. From time to time, someone from the label will reach out to me to work on a project. Every once in a while, I will have the opportunity to do some more corporate-style work as well, not for a band, which is a nice change as well. Most recently, I’ve actually been approached lots about designing tattoos for people, which is a new thing for me, but as an avid tattoo fan and tattoo collector, it’s a lot of fun to work on.
Building relationships can be very important for the success of your projects. In the small community atmosphere of Belleville, Kingston & area there is so much opportunity to connect with artists of all kind, simply by going to shows, galleries, and other events. The best way to do things is to just do them in the face of adversity because a little passion and drive can go a long way for your art community and for yourself.