Who are you?
My name is Patrick Giroux, and I’m a designer and illustrator. I work at a local ad agency in the Crossroads doing design. In my off hours and once the kiddos are in bed, I work on projects for a select few clients and myself. At Sip and Shop, I’ll have various show posters and art prints I’ve designed or collaborated on over the years.
Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy making things and working on things that interest me. I’m constantly inspired by bits of printed ephemera; the lettering in some paperback … I get lost in the attention to detail and amount of love and craft the artist paid. Most of all, design is fun. I’m very thankful I get paid to do this. I tend to forget that sometimes when I’m starting with a blank page.
Explain what you do in 100 words.
Make more ideas.
Solidify those ideas.
Sketch some more.
Stare at the internet.
Talk it out.
Sketch a little bit more.
Open some books.
Take it into Illustrator.
Work it out.
Throw it out.
Make some options.
Drink more coffee.
Resort to energy drinks.
How has your practice changed over time?
In the past, I tended to cram as many ideas as I could into the design; now, I usually try to clarify an idea. I’ve definitely grown as a designer; in improving my skills, how I approach things, and my process. Where I would tend to let things pile up in the past, I’ve really tried to allow projects the amount of time they need. I’ve really seen how editing and refining a project makes a big difference. I may not always pull this off perfectly, though.
What art do you most identify with?
Oh, there’s a ton of art that inspires me! Lately, I identify myself with design that is informed but a little naive at the same time; work with a little fun and play to it. Work from, say, Alexander Girard, House Industries, Invisible Creature, Saul Bass or Mary Blair is always inspiring since they could display their own whimsical creativity while also addressing and solving the needs of their client.
I’ve always love a lot of the work from designers who can hone down an identity to it’s simplest form in a logo or signature. It’s something I’ve never been great at, but I keep trying to do better. Those icons, logos and signatures are mystifying and inspiring. It’s half art and half magic to me. For some reason, Wichita has a ton of design bad-asses creating a lot of fantastic logos and marks; people like Bill Gardner, Chris Parks, Luke Bott and Ty Wilkins. The choices they make with their work is always great to scrutinize.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Lately, I’ve really enjoyed creating the Landmark Maps for Kansas City and now, Lawrence. The process in creating the prints has been immensely enjoyable. There has been so much discovery of the area’s history or things I’ve never known or scrutinized along the way. Keeping my eyes open for architectural details or taking meandering walking tours has been a fun addition, too.
The design of the prints has also made me work hard on simplifying the composition and boiling down what I want to include. The editing process really helped clarify where things should go or how elements would fit together. With the print, I’ve also been able to bounce ideas off of my friends and peers, and share what I’ve been working on.
What food, drink, song inspires you?
The fried egg! Never before has the egg kept so many things together in such a delicious way. Have you tried Bibimbap with a fried egg? Fantastic. Do you have a bland burger? Put a fried egg on it!