By: Jacob Sebert
“My friends and I like to do things differently,” said Drake Cutter of Keene, NH, when explaining his creative process. Drake is a highly creative individual who is very talented in graphic design, animation, drawing, painting and much more. He has produced work for multiple local companies in the New England region. Some of the work includes a website for Keene Kids Housing Collaborative, poster ads for Carroll House Gallery, and more.
Every artist has his or her own style of art. Color and composition can be criticized but style cannot. Style is an individual’s personal preference in how they like to express themselves. Some artists have multiple styles they use depending on the piece. Drake is of these artists with multiple styles, unique from any other artist. In this interview we find out why Drake’s style stands out from other artists, by finding out his creative process, influences, and how these influences affect his work.
I watched as Drake intently carved into linoleum blocks for printmaking, while quietly listening to music. He prefers being alone and in is own headspace, so that he can have his own creative inspiration and style. “A lot of people will tailor their designs to be similar to someone else’s work,” said Drake. “You can tell who sat next to each other when the finished designs are released in class.” Drake on the other hand, likes to observe other peoples work first, that way he knows what has already been done and how he can come up with something completely different. By doing this he is able to differentiate himself from others with every design.
Drake’s creative process changes depending on the type of work he is doing. When working with graphic design he begins with a process called mind mapping. This is a brainstorming process that allows you to put thoughts into visual form. The mind map is a diagram that connects information around a central topic. The branches that stem from the central topic are subtopics or related ideas. “Some of the best advice I have received is, design smart… don’t add something to design, unless it has intention to it.” The mind mapping process produces creative thought and allows the artist to make connections between different topics.
Painting and drawing on the other hand have a completely different process. “I don’t really ever have a finished product, and if I do, it’s from weeks of doodling,” said Drake “I just go.” With this type of work he is usually coming up with concepts on the go or “free styling”. With free hand drawing, the artist is brainstorming by putting down ideas that come to mind. When I asked how he does this, Drake said, “I try not to think too much… I put down whatever is in my head”. By doing this he avoids disrupting his creative thought. Often times the artist wont have a finished product until they have drawn the same ideas over and over again. Each time they are coming up with new ideas to improve the piece.
Each artist has his or her own influences that affect their work in one-way or another. “Instagram is inspiration for design to me.” The massive amount of content that is put on Instagram every day is enough to influence Drake. He follows an account named @designtip. This account puts up multiple styles of work from artists all over the world. One artist that he is specifically interested with at the moment is @burnttoastcreative. This artist creates flat illustration, recently a popular style of design. Instagram has become a platform for artists worldwide. This app allows artists to promote and sell their work, the way a gallery would. “By looking at the different designs every day, it doesn’t make me narrow down to one style.” Instagram varies from other social media accounts because of its simplicity, directness, and how visual it is.
Drake is like every other artist. He strives to become better and better while promoting his work to the world. It is not easy to be recognized because of the vast amount of competition in the art world, but with social media sites like Instagram the process has become much easier. Much like Drake, there are many artists with a unique creative process that influences their work. No process is better than the other, it is simply preference. You can find Drakes work on Vimeo, Instagram (@cakeddrake), or flickr. Currently Drake is going to school, majoring in graphic design. He plans to work more in commercial design and animation in the future.