Artist of the Issue: Quinn Mitchell
December 22, 2016
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File. New Document. Color. Crop. Blur. Finish. With the simple strokes of a sleek keyboard, colorful masterpieces surface within minutes.
But for Quinn Mitchell, Div. 867, the tools of Photoshop are more than computer aids, and become the stage by which tech-savvy artists demonstrate their talents.
“Many things we see around us in our day-to-day lives are very messy and unclear,” Mitchell said. Through his world of graph design, Mitchell strives to make design a means to create a more straightforward and clear world through sketches and borders.
Born and raised in Chicago, Mitchell became fascinated in graphic design his sophomore year. Mitchell took “Innovation/Creation,” a class at Lane where students are taught to create prototypes of products and use Adobe Illustrator to create laser cut designs. Immediately, Mitchell was determined to develop an eye for combining the angles of a screen with a combination of colors.
Mitchell described his pride for the rich cultures of the international community within his hometown as his main source of inspiration, saying, “The immense diversity within the city motivates me to create a bold, unique style, that has yet to be captured.” The creative, festive, urban atmosphere of Chicago is crammed with messages and life lessons that Mitchell expresses through his sketches.
Within his work, any individual can observe the common use of red and blue, the four stars of the Chicago flag, and the background of a skyline of towering buildings. In his sketches, Mitchell is able to combine his home experience with the stories and colors of others from a variety of backgrounds.
After being approached by his Sports Communication teacher, Mr. Logalbo, at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, Mitchell decided to update the LT Athletics logo and balance the rich heritage of Lane with the vibrant pride of students.
“My logo is more of a ‘remaster’ of the old logo and more simplified,” Mitchell said.
Through a change in lettering, a brightening of the colors, and slight altering of the shape of the feathers, the LT Athletics logo was complete. Effective October 2016, the new logo is now on most athletic gear, banners, and uniforms and shows a classic “LT” symbol, hanging with two feathers outlined in the colors of myrtle and gold.
“It feels amazing walking through the halls and seeing my logo on people’s shirts,” Mitchell said. Additionally, Mitchell is responsible for helping in the design of the outline and border for the future publication of the LT Athletics newsletter.
This is not the first time Mitchell has been approached for his eye-opening work, as he successfully designed the logo for Maj Lawncare, a lawn mowing company owned by Lane alumni Mason Maj. Mitchell describes this specific logo, which was the first ever original logo he created for a large scale company, as his “greatest achievement.”
As he grows as a graphic designer he plans on continuing to design for companies, in order to create a profit and advertise his work. Mitchell describes designing logos as an efficient but entertaining method to raise money.
Although Mitchell is only a junior, he has already given much thought into possible majors he may pursue in college. Mitchell believes in picking a career he is passionate about, but said he may not major in graphic design.
Mitchell enjoys the wide range of ideas for projects and wants to preserve his sketches as an opportunity to de-stress.
“I hope to continue to use graphic design as a source of income and as a hobby, but I don’t plan to continue with it beyond just for fun,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s enthusiasm and intense knowledge of his work suggest an ambition to transform the world of design. Like Saul Bass, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, and Milton Glaser, a prominent graphic designer known for his “I Love New York” logo, Mitchell shares the ability to skillfully manipulate computer software to attract the emotion and support of individuals through design.
Intrigued by the work of other designers seen on social media, Mitchell names a few role models that inspire his plan and improvement of his work. Brian Steely, creator of STEELY WORKS and a logo designer for different prints, boasts of a whopping 36,900 followers. His simple but intriguing designs mirror Mitchell’s passion to provide a clean sketch.
On the other hand, Mitchell’s following of Kerby Rosanes’ work provides a stark contrast due to the almost omniscient presence of detail and in-depth drawing. Rosanes, a famous illustrator, takes the most mundane of objects and adds sketching and different shading to offer an almost 3-D appearance on paper.
There is more to the world than meets the eye, and Mitchell’s dream is to “convey the message at hand” by removing the overwhelming distractions around us and making things “as simple as possible.”
In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.