Editor's Note: Supporting local has always been something that is extremely important to us. As our company’s namesake comes from Fayetteville, AR itself, we find it important to daily convey the unique spirit that makes Fayetteville Fayetteville. Our favorite form of doing so is through tee art.
Tee shirts are, without any great surprise, the bread and butter of Fayettechill and they have been since the beginning. But what we feel sets them apart, what keeps the Fayettechill Family growing year after year, is the ever evolving art on our tees.We’re proud that this year’s collection of Spring tees features designs by three iconic Fayetteville artists, Matt Miller, Chad Maupin, and Joelle Storet. We figured-- no better way to present the spirit of our region than through the minds and creations of three locals. Welcome to the local artist series.
Meet Chad Maupin, @bigbotdesign, a well established Fayetteville graphic designer and illustrator whose path has led him to co-creation of the quickly growing local artist cooperative, CattyWampus.
FC: Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been in NWA and how'd you get started as an artist?
Chad: I moved to Northwest Arkansas in June 2007 and haven't regretted it once. This is my home.
Not to sound pretentious but I think you're either an artist or you aren't. I think I have always been an artist and when I remember my early childhood I was essentially doing the same things I'm doing now albeit in a simpler way. I can not remember a time in my existence that I wasn't examining movies, comics, genre and ephemera looking for the underlying meanings, how I felt about it and examining storytelling. I remember being 5 years old and discussing things like this with my Dad (although in a child like way). When I get confused about who I am creatively remembering the purity of this keeps me straight.
FC: What's your favorite type of design work?
Chad: I'm an illustrator so I am biased towards design with strong illustration. To be frank, it's pretty common (and relatively easy) in the modern age to do basic design well. There are numerous ways to mimic things other people have done, absorb new styles, etc.. But you can't fake talent. You can either draw and produce art or you can't. As design becomes more common place in our lives these skill sets separate the real pros from the wanna be's. Sorry for being a design snob but it's true.
FC: You designed the Evening tee for us this season. Can you tell us a little about your inspiration behind that design?
Chad: Since I've been designing for Fayettechill, essentially since the beginning, there are certain motifs we have played with on an ongoing basis. One was the bear mascot that Mo and I came up with in the Fayetteville Library about 8 years ago before everybody and their brother was putting bears on things. One of our first designs involved taking the bear and using the silhouette as a mask for a landscape scene. The Evening design is an evolution of that motif but done in a newer illustration style I'd been developing.
FC: Tell us about your role as an artist in NWA. What psychs you up as far as the local art scene goes?
Chad: A huge part of the reason I moved to Northwest Arkansas was its vibrant creative community. Becoming a part of that community is a important and proud accomplishment of mine. I started Big-Bot Design as a design/illustration service and later evolved it into an art imprint and brand for myself. As a part of that evolution I created the CattyWampus Co-Op to host pop up art shows with friends. There was a void in our community when a local Craft Show took a hiatus so I, along with my friend and local Sign Painter Olivia Trimble, decided to evolve the scope of Cattywampus and we hosted a holiday Indie Craft Show called the Wampus Wonderland.
The event was a much bigger success than we anticipated. Our initial goal was to simply facilitate our friends being able to sell some merch for the holidays but we had a crowd of over 4,500 people and all the 100+ vendors told us they had one of the best and most fun shows ever.
The NWA creative community embraced us, asked for more and this year we're doing a Spring Show called the Catty Carnival which will be at the Washington Co. Fairgrounds during the Brewgrass Festival on May 6. Learn more about Brewgrass via the website or facebook page.