This Monday we are super excited to share the work of our dear and oh-so-talented friend, Justin Schultz designing under the moniker The Flying Chair. Chances are you've already seen his work, even if you didn't know it. He's the creative hand behind many amazing Mississippi brands that we've featured here on our blog through our Mississippi Monday series such as Cathead Vodka, Saltine Oyster Bar, Bean Fruit Coffee and the Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade. And, if you've seen an awesome illustrated show poster around the Jackson area, there's a good chance Justin had a hand in it's creation.
We really can't say enough about Justin's impact on our community or his amazing ability to turn his imaginations into tangible creations. We're so glad to know him and happy to have the chance to feature him here. Read on for our recent interview with him, check out a sampling of his work here below and find a link to his full portfolio at the end of this post.
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What exactly is The Flying Chair? It's the name I use for my freelance illustration + design business. I just felt weird calling it Justin Schultz Designs or something. Although in hindsight, it probably would have helped, haha, but I also liked the idea of a little anonymity and mystery in the mix. How did your brand come to be and where did the inspiration for the name come from? I started my career in advertising. After a few years, I felt like I had learned enough (yeah right) to go out on my own. The economy was starting to dip around then, so I also thought it may be a good time to give local businesses a cheaper professional option for branding and advertising. I spoke with Chane, owner of Studio Chane Screenprinting, an amazing local t-shirt printer, clothing boutique/skate + bike shop owner, and he was cool enough to let me do designs for the screen shop and build up my freelance business on the side. Eventually the freelance grew into a full time job. For the name, The Flying Chair, I liked the idea of a vehicle that lifted things up. Something that elevated other things!
How does Mississippi play a role in your business? I try to do work for mostly small/local businesses + bands, so Mississippi is where most of my clients are from! I also work on a lot of trade, so end up consuming / using a lot of (great) products from around here. What are your goals for the brand?
- Walrus & Carpenter Illustrations for Saltine Oyster Bar | Jackson, MS
To continue helping good folks start or grow their businesses + to keep making things! Where do you find your inspiration? Life! Things I see, taste, touch or hear. Friends, Family, My A M A Z I N G girlfriend, Kate (also a Thimblepress employee!)
(NOTE: see Kate's artwork and Mississippi Monday feature post HERE)
Do you have an all-time favorite work you’ve created or project you’re most proud of? Probably, the couple of posters I illustrated / screen-printed for the band, Wilco. It was my first opportunity to do some projects for a relatively well-known band. The project was a challenge (i submitted a lot of illustrations before anything stuck) but the jobs were still a lot of fun. The management company was professional and easy to work with, so the whole experience was just super pleasant! I’m also working on a german/euro-style board game called Feudum with a guy from Missouri (he actually created the game, I'm just illustrating it.) This project is still on-going, and will be up on KickStarter soon (hopefully!) I’m hoping it will be my new fave project (but we’ll see!) What do you like to do when you aren’t working/designing? Being outside! Bicycling, Trying to grow things (still learning), Camping! (I grew up camping with my folks, but Kate and I have been doing a lot of tent-camping + hiking lately, and I’ve really enjoyed it.) What are your favorite local places to shop and dine? For shopping, anything Chane is pushing is probably great. Thimblepress for gifts/art/happies/cards. And for foodstuffs, I really love Saltine, a local oyster place, and anywhere that makes tacos (Babalu, Cafe Ole or La Guadalupe!) What are some of the reasons you call Mississippi home? I live in Jackson, which is the capitol city. It definitely has some issues (like anywhere) but it has the “city” feeling, but with the small-town thing going on. You see a lot of the same folks around here, so it’s easy to know all sorts of great people: local restauranteurs/chefs, bands, your local city councilman to the guy who imports/roasts your coffee (BeanFruit coffee is the jam!) There’s an almost surprising amount of really great, thoughtful, hard-working people here. I suspect it may be very different than what most people imagine of Mississippi. How do you think what you are doing is helping shape your local community as well as the image of Mississippi? That’s a difficult one! I try really hard to make folks’ brands match the feel of the business, while being original and trying to make the brand stand out in a world that is so over-saturated. So hopefully having authentic branding/artwork would help elevate a company, band, product, etc. So the better local businesses do (growing nationally/internationally) the better the state looks!
There's not nearly enough room here for us to feature a full sampling of Justin's broad portfolio, but for more branding, illustrations, posters, board game images, etc., check out his website HERE