Every Tuesday, we highlight entrepreneurs and leaders that are not only making a name for their selves, but are also showing generosity in unique ways. The individuals we choose are ones that have inspired us to continue doing what we love and are shining examples of what Take Heart Apparel Co. stands for as an organization. These individuals have shown the ability to be enterprising and generous and are not only changing the lives of those around them, but even of those all across the world. They are community leaders and world changers.
This week, we are excited to share our good friend and local artist, Logan Pyle. We first found Logan through Instagram and work he had done for other companies and people we followed. Beyond the quality of his work, which speaks for itself, we are continually inspired and impressed by his humility and honesty that is reflected by his writing and work. It is our privilege to share this great interview with on of our favorite people, Logan Pyle.
Tell us a little bit about your path to becoming a designer
I got started in design when I was about 18 years old. I was in bands, and we always needed a show poster or flyer made or something. I got tired of working with other people, so I got a pirated copy of Photoshop from a friend and started making my own. After that I went to art school, dropped out of art school, then stopped designing for a while. I did random church projects and such, but got tired of those as well. About a year ago I got sick of using the same fonts for everything, so I decided to start drawing my own letters. I’d been doing this since I was 6, so it was a logical step for me, I guess. I discovered that a ton of really awesome designers were already doing this, and thus, I entered into the world of hand-lettering.
What are some of your long term goals as far as your artwork is concerned?
Well, I’m currently learning a new creative medium that I’ve only ever dabbled with, and it’s been really challenging so far. With anything I do creatively, I want to accomplish a few things: 1) I want to create something timeless in the since that God is timeless. I want something I create to be just as helpful and encouraging today as it would be in 100 years. 2) I want to leave a legacy for my son. I want him to see that I didn’t waste my life. I want him to see that I gave every day every ounce of me, in service of others (him included), for their joy. I want today to count, and I want my art to reflect that. Something I need to daily ask myself: Will what I’m doing today matter tomorrow? next week? in a month? 100 years from now? That’s challenging.
The medium you share most on right now is Instagram (@loganpyle). Many of your posts include long descriptions and powerful, personal messages with them. Tell us more about that.
I signed up for Instagram a few days after it launched. At first, like everyone else, I posted random pictures of my life. Eventually, I got tired of it and didn’t post anything for a couple years. When I started getting into hand-lettering, I realized a lot of the designers I was following were posting work to Instagram, something that I had never seen when I had previously used it. I decided to start sharing my work, and started gaining some followers. I had the awesome opportunity to work with a few bigger clients, and these sort of “launched” my freelance career…all through Instagram for the most part. Through those projects, a lot of people started following me. All of a sudden, I had the ability to talk about whatever I wanted to a lot of people, and that put a great amount of weight on my shoulders. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I decided I’d combine writing with my art and post it on Instagram. It’s always just an overflow of what God is doing in my life, and it seems to really resonate with people.
What is your favorite piece you’ve done so far?
I think my favorite piece is this “Be Still” design that I made a few months ago, but I don’t know that I really have a favorite. Someday when I make the time to launch my site/store, I’m going to sell it as a print though. I don’t usually like many things I make, but it’s definitely one of the few I do like. It’s actually in the background of the photo of Gideon and I on Father’s Day. We printed one off for our mantle.
You and your wife recently had a (really adorable) baby boy. What has the experience of becoming a father been like for you?
My son. I love him. He’s going to be ten months old this weekend, and he’s changed my life so drastically that I truly don’t remember life much before him. Becoming a dad has changed my life in every way imaginable. I’ve learned so much more about how deeply God loves his children, in a way I don’t think I could’ve understood without fatherhood. For the last couple months I’ve really had a hard time with prioritizing my life though. I’m prone to work for the approval of strangers on the internet, like any creative person probably is. My identity started getting wrapped up completely in my work, rather than my identity as a Believer who’s a husband and a dad. That was a problem for me, so I just sort of lost my creativity for a while. I realized I couldn’t devote as much time as some others, and ultimately, I didn’t want to. I’d take my family over my design career without any hesitation. I’m still processing a lot of what this means, if I’m completely honest.
Who are some of the artists that inspire you?
When starting out, I think it’s really important to have artists you can look up to, ask for advice, etc. However, eventually I had to stop following other designers. I wanted my style to take it’s own form. And again, for the sake of transparency, I started comparing myself to a lot of other designers doing what I did that all seemed to be getting really great projects and what not, and it just got to be too much. I follow very few designers now. In the beginning though, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it weren’t for Jeremy Booth and Jon Contino. They’re both incredible designers, answered TONS of questions that I had, and really inspired me (and still do today). For the last several months I’ve been more inspired by non-designers. There’s a filmmaker named Salomon Lighthelm that does really incredible work. My friend Andrew Edwards is a super-talented photographer who does stuff with light that makes me want to cry. I’m inspired by the people around me doing really amazing work.
You work primarily in hand-drawn lettering and typography. What is your favorite tool for this?
I use a ridiculous amount of things, but I always have a few comfortable go-tos. I use a Mars technico lead holder for sketching/layout. Then, I typically use Micron pens for inking my sketched piece. If not that, I really enjoy using King Size Sharpie markers. You can do a lot with those. I’ve also started to enjoy using my Copic Sketch Marker. Just like any other craft, you can use just about anything to create art. I love that.
What would you say to someone who wants to use their creative gifts as a way to serve God and encourage others?
I would say to be hyper vigilant about the state of your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says to guard your heart because the rest of your life is going to flow out of your heart. If your heart’s off, everything else will be off as well. I’ve experienced first-hand how powerful of a means art is for telling the story of the gospel. God uses artists to reflect his creative nature, and that’s beautiful. I know it’s probably a bit cliche, but if you submit your creativity to the Lord, whatever you’re doing will be to his glory and the good of those who see it. Don’t be afraid to say truthful things, especially if truthful things have the potential to upset people. Be truthful to Scripture, be truthful to your identity as an artist who happens to be a Christian, and create work with intentionality. We aren’t “Christian artists” so-to-speak, but rather Christians who make art.