Thursday, May 16, 2013

Take 5 With Kyle Jones

Kyle Jones

Creative Specialties: 
Graphic Design, Animation, Illustration, Character Design and Typography

Current Location: 
Nashville, TN

Mini Bio: 
Kyle Jones is the creative director at Fivestone Studios in Nashville TN. He spends his days designing styleframes and animating broadcast graphics packages, commercials, and anything else that moves. Their clients have included Verizon, John Deere, CMT, ServPro, Honda, Dell, and Krystal among others. He has a passion for illustration, character design, and typography. Kyle has won several awards over the years, but none more meaningful than his "best friend" certificate from 6th grade. 

Follow Kyle on twitter @justkyle
Or check out his website:

1) What is one thing you've learned as an artist that you wish you'd known when you first started out? 

Making good art takes a lot of time. I used to think that if something didn't naturally come together quickly that I just didn't have the talent. When you see great art it often looks effortless; you can visually take in a painting or illustration in seconds and you forget that it actually can take days or weeks of hard work for something that looks so simple. I think it really clicked for me right after college when I interned in New York at Eyeball NYC. They had such an amazing talent pool of designers and animators, and I saw that what really made their work stand out was the amount of time they spent working. It's really amazing what started happening once I let myself push past the initial "well this first attempt doesn't look that great" phase of everything I've ever done and allowed myself more time to push it into great work. 

2) What is the greatest challenge you have faced as a creative person? 

Confidence. Pretty much as soon as I create something I hate it. Maybe for a few days I'm happy and think it's the best thing I've ever done, but I quickly realize all the things I could have done better. I think there's also timidity in proclaiming that you are an artist with something to contribute. Who says my aesthetic is valid? Who would pay me for drawing? Do I really have the experience for this? Don't people know there are other people better than me? I try to just focus on the fact that what I do makes me really happy, and in holding myself to high standards, hopefully people like what I do and pay me for that. I don't have to prove anything... even though deep down I think most artists, including myself, crave validation. bad.

3) If money was no object, what would you make?

Children's books. To me, they have always been the holy grail of art and story. Short, beautiful, fun. I love that one person can craft an entire world in words and pictures. Some of my favorite books growing up were Dinotopia by James Gurney and Santa Calls by William Joyce. I want to be able to capture the same joy I got from reading and looking at these when I was young. In fact, my friend and I are collaborating on a story right now for a children's book that I want to illustrate. I've always wanted to make a children's book... why wait? Maybe we'll kickstart a printing of it if it comes together.

4) How do you deal with the inevitable uncertainty that accompanies a creative life?

I've been pretty lucky to crave such a commercial line of work. I started out doing web design and development, then transitioning to motion graphics. I've only recently felt confident enough to do some freelance illustration. The great thing about this industry is that there are so many outlets to be creative in. I had no idea I would be doing motion graphics 5 years ago, but I got the bug and went full steam pursuing it. I'm pretty sure in 5 years I may be doing something else, but as long as it is creative I know I'll be happy. Solving problems creatively has a lot of applications. It is daunting to think about going freelance. That would be much more uncertain. It takes a lot of work to find and maintain clients, however I think I may end up doing that sometime in the future.

5) What moment/place/time/setting lets you function to your fullest creative potential?

I am NOT a morning person. I wish I was. I do the best when I can get in a moment of flow, and really focus. I actually really like listening to podcasts and interviews with other creatives while I'm working because their stories really motivate me. My favorite and most productive time is actually between 11pm and 2 am when I'm working on something that's got me excited and I can't stop for bed because I'm afraid I'll lose my creative flow.

If you are a passionate creative and want to share your own Take Five on The Art Abyss shoot us an email at and let us know!

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