Drew Frist

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a multidisciplinary graphic designer, art director, and an avid consumer of design in all its expressions.

Predisposition to type, white space, and all things crafted & compelling. I carry a soft spot for brand and identity work.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Very non-linear steps.

I studied journalism in school. At that point in my life, I thought I could marry a practical skill, like journalism, with my love of art & design. I was in NYC at the time. I wrote and edited for arts magazines, but I wasn’t ever fulfilled by the work. Meanwhile, my love of design and its tools continued to grow. I founded a digital publishing startup in NYC. I spent that first year art directing and building my first app and loved the process. I decided go legit, and signed up for design school (Shillington School) for the practical skills. Then, I moved to LA and began my practice. A year in, I was lead graphic designer at Kelly Wearstler—a year later, named Art Director. The rest is history.
 

How do you stand out in your field?

A ‘jack of all trades’ ethos. I like to wear a lot of hats. I feel like new media and tech designers get pressured to become niche with their titles and experience. While speciality is wonderful, I like to try my hand at a little bit of everything. I’ve always loved learning on the go, and experimenting with new forms/dialects of design.
 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I’m adjusting back to an independent practice. I’d been working at Kelly Wearstler, for almost three years. I’d learned the studio’s voice incredibly well. So, now it’s time to get back to finding my own voice and style.

First thing was to develop my site. I completed it a week ago. I feel like it captures my style pretty elegantly. At least, that’s the hope...
 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

White space. Type. Photography. Rinse & repeat. I feel like my work with Kelly Wearstler and Proper Hotels are good representations of this.
 

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WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

On the wish list: develop my own typeface or get into lettering.
 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Forever seeking to better balance the personal and professional. It’s a dance. And sometimes you lead, other times you don’t. I wish I knew at the start of each song if I was going to be lead or do the leading. I took that analogy too far? No. Maybe?
 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Answer email. Hands down.
 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

You’re good. Just start. And show up everyday.
 

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IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

The small in’s and out’s of web development that I don’t fully understand yet.
 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I’m looking for long-term freelance and part-time design opportunities. I’m really quite open—branding & art direction, design strategy, social media design. Could be within the fashion, retail, music, and design worlds.

Also looking for a tribe, possibly collaborators who want to build on each others work to create something amazing.
 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

I love a client that trusts in their designer. Kidding aside, a small business or brand that wants to work together to create an impactful design presence.
 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

This feels sacrilegious to talk about openly. At the risk of sounding like a cop out, it really does depend. Anyone interested should email. Happy to come up with answers.
 

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HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Email me. Let’s do this.
 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Work every day.


This member profile was originally published in July 2018.