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Q&A with Mikey Burton

Part time designer & illustrator from Chicago, Illinois.

I'm Mikey Burton! I'm a part time designer and part time illustrator, which adds up to a full time freelancer. I've been working professionally for about 10 years now, which is the same length of time the Facebook has been a thing. I think we are both 'still figuring it out'. I've done a lot of work in that time for client such as The Atlantic, Converse, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wilco, Wired, and more. I've also won some awards from accredited graphic arts institutions, but I don't like to talk about myself. I spent my formative years and earned a masters degree from the great Kent State University in Ohio.

Software / hardware

Lots of things Apple makes, Adobe creative suite, micron pens, pencils, paper and coffee. Also, I have a really old laser printer that I use to create my textures.

Ideal work environment

This doesn't really matter to me cause I feel like I can work from anywhere. Just as long as it’s relatively organized, quiet and hopefully has a window (and maybe a plant).

Work inspiration

Old stuff - type-specimen sheets, arcane equipment manuals and ancient textbooks. People that guide my aesthetic… Gerd Arntz has always been a huge influence. I'm also influenced by letterpress and other archaic forms of printing, hatch show print has to be at the top of this list. Lately, I've also been looking at a lot of Roy Lichtenstein and other pop art.

© Mikey Burton

Designers admire you most

Driven people. Persistent people. People that not only work hard, but are committed to getting better. I don't think design is a natural talent, but something that's learned through work and time. People who continually strive to change, adapt and reinvent themselves.