A while back I had a fun telephone interview with designer Neal Ashby to discuss his career achievements, the evolution of graphic design, and his creative inspiration behind Thievery Corporation’s Versions CD package.
(Read the full interview here.)
Along the way I asked him if he has pursued any visual arts interests and he admitted that he has recently begun teaching himself how to paint. He said he had found some discarded oil paints while teaching at The Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington DC and began after being inspired by an artist for whom he was designing a book.
I paint. It’s embarrassing because I’m not very good at it, and I paint what you probably would never imagine me painting. I actually like to do landscapes. I like to paint very minimalist landscapes of the Eastern shore…serene waters, lots of land, big skies, dark moody stuff.
Everything was inspired by an artist in Maryland, Kevin Fitzgerald, who does these paintings and is an expert at it. He came to me and asked me to design a book for him, and in doing that I completely fell in love with his paintings.
It’s strictly on the hobby level. That’s what makes it special – it’s not done to impress somebody or make a statement – just for the sheer enjoyment of creating something visual. It’s cool to do something like that where the only person you have to please is yourself. ~Neal Ashby