Timothy Goodman.

“I work full-time for Apple Inc., but I spend many nights doing freelance at my studio space in the Mission District of San Francisco. Not quite my beloved Brooklyn, but I still feel the love and inspiration.

The back wall is decorated with lots of arty things I’ve collected over the years: posters & zines (mostly from friends), paintings by my grandmother, Massimo’s 1972 NYC subway map, Jessica Hische pieces (that are desperate for framing!), old paint brushes, and a collection of book jackets designed by many of my design heroes (I sort of “borrowed” these from my old job at Simon & Schuster).

Also, I always keep a jar of candy at my desk. Nothing makes me happier when I’m working.”

Timothy Goodman currently lives in San Francisco and works for Apple Inc. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated from the School of Visual Arts and began his career as a book jacket designer at Simon & Schuster. For over two years, he was a senior designer with the experiential design firm COLLINS:, in New York City, where he worked for clients such as CNN, Motts, and Microsoft. He enjoys doing a variety of freelance work, including illustrations for The New York Times, and a recent mural for the Ace Hotel. He is a contributing writer for Imprint, Print magazine’s new online community for design. Timothy’s work has been honored by most major design publications and annuals. In 2009, Print selected Timothy for its annual “New Visual Artists” issue. That year, he also received the Art Directors Club Young Guns award. He volunteers his time as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

FROM YOUR DESKS: Do you eat oatmeal in the tin you store your paintbrushes?

TIMOTHY GOODMAN: Yes, but with a spoon instead of a brush. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring. Next, combine 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of buttermilk with the oatmeal. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Magic.

FYD: Very cool way to hang your books. Where did you find those wall mounts?

TG: Thanks! I found them in Berkeley, CA (the second most liberal city in the United States). Oh, and thanks to Lindsay Ballant for my NYC snow globe!

FYD: Chuck Norris on the right wall.  Talk to me.

TG: Chuck is such a beast. I got that from a friend who is the mastermind behind Head Hoods. Just remember if Charlie Sheen is winning, it’s only because Chuck Norris isn’t playing.

Nothing makes me happier when I’m working.


FYD: How do you work?  

TG: That huge jar of candy! That, an assortment of TED talks, and vulgar stand-up comedy will always make me happy while working.

FYD: Do you have a motto? 

TG: When I worked as a painter/carpenter for many years before attending SVA, my boss would always say, “The early bird gets the worm.” I wake up early, sometimes as early as 5 AM to get going on a project. There’s a beautiful seclusion discovered while you’re working before the world wakes up. It’s just you, the city, and the sunrise.

FYD: I know Apple is a top-secret world, but can you let us in a bit on your work with them?

TG: No. 🙂 FYD: Your website is great. Can you talk about the idea? It resembles a more chill, condensed version of Jim Carrey’s site–which is completely Malkovich by the way.

TG: I wanted to make my homepage fun and interactive, but hadn’t flushed out any ideas. The girl I was seeing at the time was upset because I wasn’t spending enough time with her. She said that she felt like my “leftovers.” I know this is bad, but I excitedly thought to myself, “Oh, that’s a cool idea for my homepage!” So it ultimately became a small montage of some leftover work from various projects. We worked it out and became friends, and I got a homepage out of it.

FYD: You have the best of both worlds.  Does spending time on both the East and West coasts keep you plugged in to the machine?

TG: Biggie? Tupac? Biggie? Tupac? I don’t know what to listen to! I moved to SF six months ago, and I’m working on my third trip back to NYC. It’s so great going back because everything feels so new—but hauntingly familiar at the same time. Perhaps I’m suffering from bi-coastal disorder? I’m not sure if there is a true design “machine” out West—or I’m not aware of one. However, stepping out of NYC has definitely brought me a bit of perspective to the design scene there, which has made me more interested in the global machine.

I’d love to see my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, become more design savvy.

FYD: Your New York Ace Hotel mural…paint the storyboard. 

TG: As for the composition, and the amount of frames I planned on drawing, I had a very clear vision before entering. I spent a good amount of time (thanks to Brian Rea and his great advice) doing small and medium-sized sketches and grids during the weeks prior. I spent a night with my helper, Andreina Carrillo, tracing and griding in all the frames from a projector. The next day I completely freestyled all the typography and images with a pencil. I had tons of notes and facts about NYC, as well typography references taped on the walls in the hotel room. Finally, I spent the last day (20+ hours straight) tracing it all in with black paint markers and opaque black paint. A few beers from The Breslin were involved.

There’s a beautiful seclusion discovered while you’re working before the world wakes up. It’s just you, the city, and the sunrise.

FYD: Do you see more Pacific Northwest and West coast cultural influences influencing New York?

TG: I hear rumors that In-N-Out Burger is coming to NY, but I don’t think one can truly experience that kind of cholesterol intake unless they’re in California. The Ace Hotel is a good example of influence. And of course, Carmelo Anthony was traded from the Denver Nuggets to play for New York a couple weeks ago. Go Knicks!

FYD: What is the next city on the US map to take off in relation to design savviness?

TG: Thanks to my British pals, I’m becoming more interested in the design savviness of cities across the world: Montréal, Brazil, Berlin, Japan, London, and Amsterdam. But I’d love to see my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, become more design savvy.

Go Knicks!

Follow Timothy via his blog or Twitter @timothygoodman1

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