It was great to spend time with Tim at The Veil Brewing Co. for the interview while I was in Richmond. Tim is a genuine and passionate person whose art is simple and strong. He is someone who you could sit on the porch with while having a few talking about music, life and the world around us. He brings a good energy and perspective to his work and his persona that made it easy to chat and connect in 3-D at the brewery. We hope you are able to get a glimpse into that through our time speaking with him and his art.
AJK: All right so Tim Skirven here, 16oz canvas, down here at The Veil Brewing in Richmond, Virginia. Want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I’m really excited.
Tim: Of course. Thanks for having me.
AJK: Yeah. We don’t get a lot of Veil up in Connecticut so thankfully through the trading circuits I’ve been able to see the evolution of the labels and just your artwork but more I want to talk about you as an artist, kind of your background, if you were to give us your elevator or your bio - no pressure
Tim: Yeah, I guess so I am 30 years old. I was born in Philadelphia, lived there till I was five and then my parents moved to -- my parents are long time Philadelphia --
AJK: Born and raised in Philadelphia myself
Tim: Oh yeah, awesome.
AJK: So, we’ll be best friends?
Tim: Yeah. It is kind of a sacred bond.
AJK: Yeah, exactly.
Tim: But yeah, my parents are both social workers and they moved to Virginia Beach and then I grew up in Tidewater area like based out of Virginia Beach and then hung out a lot in Norfolk and Chesapeake and places around south eastern Virginia.
And then yeah, did elementary, middle, high school there, ended up going to Harrisonburg, Virginia which is in the Appalachian Mountains sort of like two hours north east of -- Richmond. It was called James Madison University.
Then I got a degree in graphic design and print making there and then a minor in art history so kind of have always been into art for my whole life and my parents have always been super supportive of it and went in sports and things like that didn’t really take for me art kind of stepped in. I worked at a skate shop in high school and I’m totally bouncing around right now but --
AJK: No, I think that’s the best part.
Tim: Yeah, so high school I was super into skateboarding through my whole like -- pretty much up until I was like -- probably I still am into it but I don’t do it as much anymore but I worked at a skate shop from like 2000 to 2006 and that was really when I like realized that I was like oh, I want to make art for a living like I saw -- I followed a bunch of people or at that point it was more like through Thrasher magazine had an art section, every issue, and would highlight people who were making the graphics -- sort of like how you’re doing for the beer thing right now -- it’s like they were doing that for the skate companies.
So I got to follow a lot of artists that way and that was right when Myspace was like getting kind of big so it was like being able to -- I got into it right at a time where it was really easy to stay connected with people which was really cool and got to talking to a lot of artists and then realized that it was called graphic design when you like made the ads for the magazine I’m like -- so that was sort of my taste into it and then in high school my junior and senior year there have been a program where you went to community college for half the day and they had like CAD, 3d modeling and then graphic design so I got into that program and then actually at JMU -- kind of blew it because that program that I was in in high school I didn’t realize was actually basically the first and second year of a graphic design program at a regular college.
So, for the first two years I kind of like wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with it because I had already learned most of what they were teaching me and I was also taking like math and science and all those things that I like had no interest in whatsoever which is also funny and I don’t -- they didn’t mean to bring this out on purpose but when I was a sophomore or actually when I was a freshman in college Matt had called me -- and was like hey man, my band needs a bassist, we’re about to do these big tours blah, blah, blah and I almost dropped out of college to join Matt’s band and I totally hadn’t even thought about that in so long.
Tim: That is hilarious.
AJK: Come back full circle.
Tim: Yes. So, Matt and I have known each other for a long time.
He -- I have, again it’s like where I’m from in Virginia Beach you’ve got the seven cities so it’s like Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Newport News -- I’m totally going to -- blanking out but --
AJK: It's ok they're not listening.
AJK: If you’re in the seventh city we apologize.
Tim: Exactly, yeah the 757. But yeah, so Matt is from Chesapeake and I had a couple of friends that I had played music with and I’ve also played in bands for a long time so that is another part of my life and yeah, so Matt was like a periphery acquaintance that I had known -- I’ve known for a long time. He’s been -- we’ve both played in metal bands for a stint.
Tim: Yeah, which was funny because I don’t know if you would want me to talk about our early metal bands but it’s like embarrassing in a good way.
AJK: Yeah. Did you do all the -- did you do the artwork for the concert posters and stuff?
Tim: Yeah, that was another like early -- like I wanted to make skateboards and stuff but I was also playing in bands and show posters and kind of whatever I could get my hands on at that point doing stuff for like my parents’ work and -- all that kind of stuff.
AJK: Yeah, I remember earlier on with skateboard decks I mean I had a brief stint where I got into it and I think I broke my ankle trying to reintroduce my brother to it and I was -- going you know what, I was never good enough and now I have this broken bone to show for it, but I remember like my Santa Cruz deck and we’d seem to do all these tricks and it was like whether you’re good or not it was just how cool your board looked. It was like oh, mine has a dragon and yours just has -- yours is blue, mine wins is like -- yeah, so that was always
Tim: I mean it’s funny because that hasn’t changed.
I mean I still feel like style is everything and like that -- I think skateboarding taught me that. It was like you could -- it’s all in how you present yourself kind of because it’s like even in being someone who’s older who’s watched skateboarding do a big loop because now this like ‘90 style is cool again where it’s -- like everyone’s wearing wide legged jeans and everyone like -- even the clothing, everything it’s just like all taken this weird full circle and yeah, just funny having watched the whole thing.
AJK: I agree. I think that it also gives you a kind of level of confidence too. Somebody -- some folks can rock the dragon, other folks who are just the basic blue guys and I think it kind of allows you to, you know, extend your character, I guess a little bit of your persona.
Tim: Totally, and I -- I mean it’s all self-expression. It’s like --
it’s how you want to express yourself and even as an adult now it’s like I have a pin with a joint on. And like it's subtle -- like I’d go to business meetings like this and it’s just like someone might see it and be like are you -- like are you high? I’m like no but I’m -- consider myself pro cannabis so -- you know.
AJK: You want to talk? Yeah, I think that’s a good way to also -- yeah, it’s not huge, you know, ten foot by ten foot billboard in their face.
AJK: It’s a --
Tim: It’s a -- yeah, like a subtle form of expression. And people can take it how they want it like -- and that’s I invite conversation at every turn. It’s like when you contacted me I was like man awesome, like I’m just down to talk to people.
AJK: Yeah. I think that’s been really great. I think what I’ve learned is people aren’t -- don’t think of their story or something they just think oh, they don’t realize what it took to get them there and you know you’re doing the skateboarding and the bands and even just traveling from, you know, different parts and meeting folks I think people -- I’ve got a lot of folks who’d be like oh wow, I didn’t realize when you put it in a timeline like where things have gone to get you to that point and I mean right, you could have been a bass player and who knows maybe -- the tours would have gone better and maybe there would be no Veil right?
AJK: And then you wouldn’t be, you know who knows. I like to believe in that. Like everything has an equal, you know, opposite chain reaction type of a thing.
Tim: Yeah. And it’s funny too so like Matt hit me up like pretty -- like I think when this was just like a glimmer in his eyes like man one day I want to start my own brewery and like I hadn’t talked to him in probably like two years at that point and he just called me one day and was like hey, I’m thinking about this like if I was ever going to do this like would you be into it, like would you like want to -- like he’s like I would want you to do everything and I was like oh, I was like yeah, like of course and I was like oh, yes.
And then I was like well, cool like and he was in -- I think he was in maybe Norfolk at that point. It was like early in his brewing career I’m pretty sure I couldn’t tell you the exact date but it’s like, you know, like he had just dropped me a line and I was like cool and we reconnected anyways and that was awesome and then he -- like when it actually became real he was like oh, I’ve got -- he’s like I’m picking a city that this is going to open in and, you know, I’m like shopping -- basically like shopping my idea around and -- or like I’ve been approached by investors or whatever -- it is and he’s like so we’re on. He was basically like I’ll call you when -- like a check clears and we’re moving and I was like oh, was like oh, I didn’t know you were serious because I was like -- again, I’m like it was like, you know, he had hit me up probably two years before anything was ever actually in -- motion.
Tim: So, that was pretty awesome and then yeah, from there -- and then another like six or eight months passed and I was like this is going to happen? And then all of a sudden he was like we need a logo in three months and we got like -- I need the first four can designs, we’re going to can before we’re going to open but like, you know, he was just like (snapping fingers) -- which was super cool and that came right at a time too where like my wife -- so my wife and I started our business two and a half years ago and our first -- like one of the reasons we went into business for ourselves was we were working other jobs and then we were coming home, we had a bunch of freelance stuff going on.
There’s a coffee company here called Blanchard’s that’s really great and they’re -- one of them lived across the street from me in college like sort of like this weird web that’s been woven but we had contacted them about doing like a complete overall for them and we did like a new logo, new bags, all of the collateral, their shelving and the grocery store, all that stuff and then The Veil came along right after that and that was when I was like okay cool, I can quit this job and like do this as like a full like -- I have work to do now so ---- this is awesome. So, yeah, I can thank Matt for pulling me out of like a 09:00 to 5:00 job and my wife too because she was the one that was really like we can do this, we can do this and I was like okay, we -- like yeah.
AJK: There you go.
Tim: Because I’ve always like -- I wouldn’t say I’ve been like a straight shooter my whole life but like, you know, I’m a pretty -- like I like to have things in place before big moves
AJK: Yeah, don’t leave a job until you have another job in place.
Tim: Yeah, yeah and I mean that’s like I attest that to my parents who are very like they have set themselves up very well for old age. I’m like I don’t know it’s just not -- like I think in growing up it’s realizing what’s worth more to you, it’s like freedom at the moment or freedom later --
So we went into business two and a half years ago that’s pretty much like when all this stuff started up and then we actually just got back, we moved back to Richmond on election day but we had been traveling for like a year and a half before that so we went abroad for six months and then came back and bought a van and did a full U.S road trip for like three and some change and then we were housesitting in Asheville before this -- and have just housesat all over the world pretty much and worked remotely like we -- I mean this -- pretty -- I was doing this the whole time and --
AJK: Yeah, that’s one of the things on the Instagram Skirven and Croft which is your business, it’s really nice. I think it has a feeling to it, it’s not just art, art, art or -- it’s very like you say it’s a personal business, it’s your passion and it’s kind of -- it blends into who you are. I mean it just makes up who you are as a person is the feeling I get from it.
Tim: I appreciate that. Yeah and it’s funny too it’s like I’ve never -- I, myself and also my wife too like never -- we’re pretty I would consider just modest like I don’t -- we’ve never really sold ourselves or tried to sell ourselves and we were talking about this this morning actually but yeah, it’s like you go into meetings with people and they’ve seen the work you’ve done for other people and they’re interested in working with you. And other jobs I’ve had it’s been very clear that you need to make statements about yourself and like show your confidence in yourself and I think I’ve always just kind of like let the work speak for itself or it’s like, you know, we’ve had -- we’ve been very fortunate to work with like successful businesses and -- that should be enough. Like I think as like a graphic artist at least that should be enough to show other business people that we know what we’re -- like we’re taking care of our end of the deal -- on all this and it helps that they’re -- all of the people we work with are producing great things, whatever it is like the coffee company and a lot of our work has been food and beverage too which is kind of like not on purpose but has worked itself out that way.
Like we’ve done branding for two restaurants in town that are like super successful and again, like had no idea going into it what they were going to be because in Richmond I feel like you watch restaurants come and go in six months and I’m sure that’s probably everywhere, the fail rate is really quick and we’ve been super lucky that the ones that I have -- we have mutually chosen each other it’s like their product is amazing and that’s cool.
AJK: Now how is your -- how does your aesthetic differ, you know, with you and your wife, do you have a similar aesthetic?
Tim: Not at all. No, I’m like really quick, lose and I mean I will say like I can be tight when I need to be tight but for the most part my general style is like I just move really quick, I work really fast and I like to work -- I draw a lot, like a lot of my stuff is hand done, it’s not -- like I don’t -- I’ll take it to the computer when it needs to go there but for the most part if I can do the majority of the work upfront via pencil and paper or whatever --my wife is very technically minded and is an amazing business person. Like she runs all of the accounting and like all of the business side of things --
And does a great job at that and then also as an artist or as a designer she’s really good with like web design and like grid work and very like her type setting is like I don’t know, like she’s just like super like pixel perfect would be a way I would describe it which is not like me.
AJK: But yeah, the yin -- I guess the yin and the yang and it works then when you’re depending on the idea, the challenge and where you probably end up is a collaborative way and a different way
Tim: Totally. Yeah, and I mean she -- like we -- like she works on something for a little while and then we pass it back and forth and same sort of thing. Like if I’ve got something going like -- and often times too we work on projects not always as a pair like sometimes -- like a lot of The Veil stuff has been 80% me and 20% her and then we’ve got other clients where it’s 80% her and 20% me but we always kind of throw stuff back and forth where she’s like "I’ve looked at this thing too long and, you know, like is this letter two pixels over?" And then I’ll take it and hopefully not mess up what she’s done but --
AJK: It’s like I’ve saved it already so you can play with it, yeah.
Tim: Yeah, and then the same thing like -- or she’ll have me like do a bunch of sketches and then she’ll take it and make it on the computer -- stuff like that so yeah, it’s definitely yin and yang.
AJK: Now the logo, the hand with the cloth, how did that come together?
Tim: That -- and I should have asked Matt probably before I go into too much detail -- but there was a company with the same name, currently still, so we had gone through a couple of rounds of logos of just like me delivering concepts to them and I was talking through like what it was going to be, what we were looking for and then there was a hault completely because they were trying to figure out if they could keep the name or if they were going to have to change it or what was going to happen and then that got cleared up and then like three -- oh man, I’m trying to think. That was a long time, like it was like three or four months it was just completely on pause because they were working out whatever kind of dealings you do in that situation.
And then it was like this was literally like the quickest pen sketch I’ve ever done in a notebook and I was just like this could be a cool idea and I sent it, like you know, I sent them this in like the very first round I ever delivered. I was like here’s ten concepts like I really liked the idea because it’s like The veil being like Matt’s scientific definition of that’s the nickname for when you pull back the layer on top of like a spontaneously fermented beer. It’s like, it’s the Pellicle is what it’s called but it’s also called The Veil so you’d pull back the veil and have the spontaneously fermented beer underneath and then I was like oh well, something about -- sort -- like I guess the hand motion of like more of like a toro or like a --
I don’t even know but just I was thinking more of like an excited -- rather than like carefully like pulling something back it’s like there’s an excitement where you just like -- it’s like you -- I don’t know Christmas.
AJK: It’s like the guy pulling the sheet off of the table.
Tim: Oh totally, yeah, yeah.
AJK: Yeah, yeah.
Tim: Yeah, I think -- I don’t know. Something in my head was just like man that’d be really cool and then Richmond’s a big train town and that was kind of like I didn’t want to pull that in or like Scott’s Addition that being this like industrial sort of train stop place and this was like you’d wave, like women would wave goodbye to their husbands and it was just like weird and I like I tried to tie a lot into that and I think that it failed. Like the first time they saw it they were like no, it’s cool like next and then -- we moved on from it and then -- so yeah, after all the name stuff cleared up they came back and they were like we just need to roll with this and they like had draw -- like, you know, like screen shot that from like a sketchbook page and they’re like that’s it we’re just going to roll with it and I was like okay, I was like I’ll clean it up and they’re like no time, that’s it like just make it usable so literally that’s like I wish I had brought that notebook because I have it like --
AJK: You still have that?
Tim: Book parked on my shelf of like the page that it’s on and everything where it’s like say I had literally just like brought it into illustrator, live traced it and that’s what we got.
AJK: I think that’s -- yeah, that’s great. And also which I think is interesting do you do tattoos like the actual tattoos or the -- just the design?
Tim: No, I’m currently doing the tattoos as well. I’m unlicensed so that’s not a -- it’s kind of a backdoor dealing but yeah, that’s the -- and you --
AJK: Just a different canvas.
Tim: It is, no it is and I mean I pride myself in being hygienic about it and -- but it is very much like a -- not a public -- like I don’t know it’s such a weird thing because I share it but it is like I’m unlicensed and I guess technically in Virginia it’s a misdemeanor if you get caught doing that so it’s kind of just -- like a weird -- I don’t know how to talk about it yet so I’m -- kind of just like figuring that out.
It’s like an unspoken social contract. Like when I’m emailing people about it like people will hit me up all the time online be like hey, when -- I want to get in for a tattoo and I’ll book it with them and I’ll be like this is the deal like you don’t tell anyone my address or like where I’m doing this, you don’t tell anyone anything about this really but I’ll give you the tattoo and that’s cool.
AJK: Like what is that feeling like? I mean it’s one thing to have your art on a wall but I mean tomorrow we change the scene of the brewery, we paint over it and then you -- like it’s on somebody forever.
Tim: Yeah, and I feel -- the way that I feel about tattoos and why I’m drawn to them so much is like it is a marker for where you are at the point that you get it so a lot of times it’s like a milestone for moving forward. Like I read a quote recently it’s like you never get tattooed on the way down you always get tattooed on the way up and that’s -- like something that I’ve always thought it’s like I mean most of my tattoos are like I’m like totally covered at this point but just the various points in my life that like -- like this is like I have two friends pass away in the same month and I was like I guess coming, you know, you heal from those things and then -- I was like man, I’m going to get -- like I’ve had this image in my mind for a while, I feel like it’s appropriate for the two of them, got a tattoo and then like kind of was like that was my like peak for mourning or whatever -- and then I was like all right cool, like I got my thing I can move on from this now and then like also I just like -- I got this in Berlin while we were traveling and then I got this in Ashville when we were there so it’s kind of like a lot of just like markers or milestones and it’s not necessarily -- like I don’t view it as like this heavy concept, heavy -- like I have to think about this for years it was more just like man like this is a cool --
AJK: You could pick up a post card do you know that?
Tim: Yeah. I could, yeah.
AJK: Yeah, write it up.
Tim: It’s just different. It’s just something about that and then like, you know, I’ve read some actually about just like the pain and like how that is the chemicals you release when you’re -- when you are in control of the pain that’s being inflicted on you. It’s -- I don’t know it’s so weird to talk about but like I guess some people would call it like you’re a masochist or like you like pain but then other people would say it’s like you can bury or move certain things based on if you can control pain like that.
It’s very weird and I’m very far out like I’ve literally been reading like all the science and I’m interested in these like weird -- aspects of it and I think the reason that I’m doing it on my own versus like a traditional apprenticeship or something mostly was a friend of mine who tattooed my whole arm who’s a super successful tattooer now was like that’s how I learned like I just got equipment and tattooed all my friends and eventually I figured it out and now I own three tattoo shops in New York City and that’s, you know, that’s just the way it goes -- and he’s been in it for like 16 or 17 years now and so I was like alright and he’s like plus you know how to draw so he’s like it’s not the same but you’ll pick it up quick and I was like all right, so that -- he helped me get what I needed to get going
AJK: Yeah. And I think the tattoos I’ve seen are similar into your style, the -- like simplistic lines and how it is and I think they’re -- yeah, it’s very fitting so I think it’s interesting. I mean I think it’s interesting to people and I’ve always wanted to get tattoos but the idea of what that first one would be and knowing that I probably would like it so much that I would go from like the first tattoo to the sleeves like pretty quickly.
Tim: It happen -- it does happen quick. Like if you do it once and you like it, like this -- I have an older brother and he -- we got our first tattoos together. I obviously graduated to this and he has never gotten another one. Like he was just like nope, I’m good. Like I don’t get it, I don’t want to like -- I -- we both got our family crest; like I got script on my wrist and then he got like a full on like actual emblem on the back of his arm and I was like oh man, I was like this is cool like I just -- like even just being around that much art in that concentrated of a space because I think that’s one thing I’ve always been drawn to as well it’s just like being inundated. Like I loved working in the skate shop because of this like -- this wall of different graphics like it’s almost like a wave, it’s like you’ll be like standing there and you’re just like magic, you know.
AJK: Well, I love it. I mean I love -- like when I’m on Reddit or other place I’m always checking out the new tattoos or if I’m in line somewhere and somebody’s got sleeves I’m like trying not to be invasive but I’m trying to see --
-- what's going and then where that -- where like where I can infer about them, you know, I really find the crest is something I would say before how people butcher the spelling of our last name so we don’t know if our family came over who was a traditional Irish i.e. or not - so part of it’s like -- not looking too much, you know, but if I found that I think I would do the shield type of thing. That would be the starting point.
AJK: So, it’s like back and forth like if I find it then it’s going to be -- then it’s on and then who knows where it’s going to go.
Tim: Yeah. Yeah, it’s been fun too like a lot of -- I mean even some stuff for here it’s like I’ve been -- I draw everyday so it’s like my catalogue -- if I was better at keeping an actual organized like catalogue I could probably have -- I have thousands of drawings so a lot of the time it’s like people are just interested in my art and that’s like even more flattering because people just come over or like come to the studio to get a tattoo and they’re like I just want to look through, like show me what you’ve got so it’s like break out the iPad, break out these -- like stacks of paper and just like let people pick their -- and then they’re like oh, that’s cool. All right, like sure and it’s just like I don’t know it’s a cool impulse and it’s also have been that way working with Matt it’s like he pretty much just throws a name at me. He’s like hey, we’ve got this beer coming out it’s called this what do you think?
And then it’s literally I can either like reference stuff I’ve already done or I can think of something completely new and like -- or he’ll hit me with like oh, I want Dracula skiing. Okay, like and then -- I’ll just take it and run with it that or like the first four so like when we were going through doing a logo and stuff like all the branding he -- there was the four flagship years that we did like right away too -- because they wanted to start canning before they open so Crucial Taunt, Master Shredder, Sleeping Forever and Hornswoggler were the first four and all of those things were literally -- I mean he was just like it’s going to be called this and he was like one of them -- he was like I want the color green, I was like okay, then the next one was like oh, the Hornswoggler is this like mythical beast that eats umpa-lumpas and I was like okay, you know, it’s like -- the concepts are so broad but also so like fun and just like I don’t want to call them silly because that is kind of I feel like maybe a demeaning term but it’s -- they’re pretty silly like it’s all very loose and very light and so it’s easy -- it’s not -- I’m like using all the wrong vocabulary.
Easy is not the right word but it is -- everything was fun like there --was just a certain level of fun and I think that when you come in here I mean they have made this space very like monotone, easy to digest and it really focuses on the beer but then when you look at the graphics and everything that’s been produced it’s all super colorful, super like, you know, it’s like if we put like -- put all of the graphics together on a wall like it would feel like you were at a skate shop and that’s sort of like -- I think that explains a lot of why I’ve really like -- the brand that we’ve built is pretty spontaneous and pretty like there is no brand other than the logo I see -- a lot of stuff it’s like there’s no rules. Like it’s pretty club housie like I mean even here it’s like they’re down to -- like they experiment all the time.
It’s not about -- it’s I mean they want to produce the best quality beer they can but I think there’s probably a lot that never comes out that they test or that they -- it’s just -- it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s spontaneous and I mean even the stuff that they’re pumping into the coolship that you’re not going to taste for another two years like who knows -- like I mean I’ve literally heard them say like I don’t know if this is going to turn out but we’re doing it and going to try it and --
AJK: I find that actually yeah, we barrel ages this for 18 months you’re just like okay, --- like you hope that that works out.
Tim: I said I left something in my fridge for 18 months I can tell you know --
AJK: Right, yeah definitely would not go the same way but I think with the names I mean they’re definitely tongue and cheek and they play off of each other and even, you know, the doubles, you know, how they kind of repeat and I think, you know, for me beer, to make beer, I mean I’ve tried to home brew, that was -- fun but I mean like I can’t imagine on the grand scale but it’s so technical so I think when it comes to naming it’s probably like I just, you know, I’ve been down to the, you know, the ABV or the buoyancy of this and like how much they’re going to put in at this -- like whatever the names like that’s the least of my words -- the people who were going to drink it, you know, I could just call it beer one, two and three so they probably like, they’re probably, you know, like spitting out ideas and then probably sometimes they’re probably just fucking with you to see what -- oh right, yeah here’s a name. What have you got for me?
Tim: Well, it’s like even I mean most recently I think it’s like Fake Love, Fake People or whatever that just came out, it’s a Drake song and it’s like I think every once in a while they just put on the pop radio back there and --you know it’s like whatever comes on and they feel good about, it’s like cool, this lyric works or like this thing works for - this beer.
AJK: I had noticed there’s a very -- like there’s a lot of like family oriented stuff though like father, aunt, brother...
Tim: Yeah. No, you’re totally right. I’ve never -- I hadn’t really thought about that and I don’t know why like -- yeah, there’s like Step Dad Chaperone --
Tim: -- Crucial Aunt which that was mostly just a play on on Crucial Taunt but --
AJK: Right. There’re the -- the collaborative beer, the dads.
Tim: Yeah, I don’t know. I think that’s the -- like I know the dads one is -- I think was just like an inside joke with them because when they called me for that or I should say Matt is the only client that I have that I’m on a text basis with where like I mean he’ll contact me at like 01:00 in the morning and be like hey man, I just had the idea for this -- and I just have to get it out or like, you know, it’s like 07:00 in the morning and he’s like -- he literally just sends me a good morning text and it’s like hit me up when you’re up.
Tim: Like --
AJK: Hi, like hi
-- like all right he replied and it’s like bbbrrr.
AJK: Yeah, he has like the text prewritten waiting to send you like back like --
Tim: Totally, yeah.
But yeah, it’s awesome and I mean his brain is always running and so is mine really so -- but yeah, I know like the dads one, he was literally just like yeah, we were just joking and we want to call it Daddy’s Home and I was like oh man, and I was like I don’t know if this is totally legal but I was like how do you feel about like -- and at first I was just thinking I was like the three -- like my favorite TV dads and then he’s like what if we did like 20 of them and I was like that would take me a really long time. Let’s somewhere -- let’s get somewhere in the middle -- yeah, yeah but then it was like -- I was like man, there’s got to be Homer Simpson there’s got -- and I was like you might get a cease and desist but he was like man, he’s like there’s not going to be enough out in the -- he’s like we’ll get through these or like, you know, like people will buy these up before --anyone can even see it.
AJK: And that was one of the first -- that was one of the first Veil’s I had. We went to Lockn’, the music festival -- and it was me and a few beer buddies, we all kind of came together and we all bought beers from all over and that was -- I mean that can itself was just like what is this, you know, it was like 10% or 9% -- It was like -- I was like let’s do this like -- and I was like wow, all right.
Tim: There’s been -- it’s funny the -- man the one that just came out Boizzz to Mennn ---- like my wife opened one and was like got through like half of a wine glass of it and she was like oh, I can’t finish this. She’s like I think I’m drunk. It’s like --
AJK: Yeah. You’re like oh right -- Boizzz to Menn is the one.
Tim: So, it’s sneaky, a little bit of sneaky punch --
AJK: Right, as I think when it’s done well you don’t notice the bite until the second or third one --
Tim: Until it’s too late.
AJK: -- and you’re like what is going on here?
Tim: Yeah, definitely.
AJK: Now because they come in so many different beers they’re -- all that don’t have like unique labels.
Tim: Totally. Well, yeah everything -- so we have --
AJK: Which I really like is the sticker. I think it’s a lot of breweries have done that I think as a transition. I think it’s still unique.
Tim: It’s like it’s -- it’s a compromise yeah, because I feel like the other way to do it would be just like text or like write it on with a sharpie or something like I don’t know so I do appreciate that. It’s like we did -- they have, you know, stacks of the limited cans where it’s just the blank slate and we just make the label for that and that system has worked really well for us. It’s just like pretty much every other week, you know, I get a list of names and it’s -- that’s the same thing it’s like do -- it started out where I wanted it to be like kind of lab looking and like it was literally just text on a box and then I wish I had stuff to show you if -- and then kind of got to the point where I was like this is just like -- it was just boring, like this is a totally -- this is another canvas that we could like do something rather than now it’s just like whatever, again like whatever comes to mind or like whatever -- because it’s so small it’s like the most I can do is put like a pattern on it or like -- the color even -- but that’s just been fun. It’s like a fun exercise.
AJK: And then Evolution gets its own label. Like is there a point where it’s like okay, this one is -- we want to -- we like this one or, you know, we get this hops so we can do this more often?
Tim: Yeah. I don’t -- I honestly don’t know a lot of the back end stuff that goes into it but I mean I’m pretty sure it’s just like they look at what the people -- like, you know, it’s like people line up and what they say they like and they’re very -- I will say they listen to the consumer that’s coming in like they’re very in tune with Untappd and all of the different outlets that people can express their opinions and I think that that just shows just like that’s how the Evolution happens is like oh, like a lot of people are really into this one and we can get that hop or that brewed or whatever it is so let’s roll with that and we’ll make that because like even I know Justin the other brewer he did his first beer and as like a special thing so Justin and Josh are also back there and they’re both now -- I think Justin’s got a couple of recipes but his first one we did like a crowler label that’s like a nice big -- like it almost wraps around the whole thing and looks like it’s a printed can and then the same thing for Josh's is he did a Belgian Quad and so we did a label for that and I think it’s just like a nice marker --
AJK: Yeah, that’s a nice --
Tim: -- to like -- and then that too like I think Justin’s -- I don’t want to like put too many details out there but I think Justin’s is going to move to be an actual can like they’re going to make another batch and do a full can so that’s fun for me too because then I’d take the first draft and then I get to like build it out a little bit more and make it into the full can so.
AJK: Now how was that going to that canvas? Was that …
Tim: It was -- I mean for me personally like I’ve never -- I never really had done packaging on a large scale before the coffee company and even then my wife was like that was such a rigid system that my wife handled most of that and I just kind of got to launch but with this stuff I mean it’s interesting. I guess I wasn’t fully aware of a cylindrical like canvas like even when they -- when we first lay it down because, you know, it’s like you get the template and it’s just a rectangle --and you’re like okay cool and I went into the store and like I’m not necessarily like a beer nerd either like I wouldn’t put myself in that category.
Like I love -- this sounds bad. I love to drink but it’s like I really appreciate it and I know that there are a lot of passionate people that are all about it and -- but I don’t know enough, like I don’t know the terminology which I think works well too like yin and yang. It’s like I think maybe the reason that our relationship is awesome is because I don’t have any bias like I have no knowledge of the things that go into it or the science or --whatever and so it’s literally just like unadulterated art versus like I don’t know, I’ve just seen some people it’s like you take a pattern of this like chemical and like you -- it’s still art but it’s like based on the brewing process -- where it’s based on this ingredient and for me it’s just like oh, it taste like raspberry like yeah, let’s make this raspberry guy like -- I don’t know or like --
AJK: The name Shredder -
AJK: --- making the guitar player, you know - like just rocking out.
Tim: Totally. So, it’s been pretty like yeah, there’s just some total non-bias like I don’t really know anything about beer to be able to like draw from that necessarily.
AJK: Yeah, and that’s what I say when I started doing this is while I’ve been lucky to have beer or breweries I really like I’ve said it’s not -- I hope that the beer’s good but to me it’s about the art, you know, I have definitely been in a store and I’ve bought beer because I thought it looked -- I’m like if this beer tastes half as good as this label looks this is going to be a great night and you’re going to be like -- we’ll drink it anyway. I’m not going to be psyched about it.
Tim: Done that.
AJK: It’s interesting to see where different artists are in terms of their professional careers. Some are just excited to be drawing and then when they get to -- there’s another period where it’s like well, this is my livelihood and I can run it like a business and still be the same artist guy and that’s -- I mean it’s hard for people because art in itself is a lot of times not mainstream or corporate and so to make money it’s like -- and like -- but it’s no different than any other business. It’s just you’re controlling it and that gives you, you know, more creative it actually helps your art in a way to rise it. As long as you’re -- I don’t want to say matured because I don’t think you’re -- not -- I don’t want to call you matured --
Tim: That would be a stretch.
AJK: Yeah, I’d be like -- I’d be insulting, you know, like I met Tim, he was so mature right? Like if that’s what I took away from this interview then I’m really going to go back to the drawing board but I just think to manage your time even doing that, you know, when you’re shipping or when you’re --printing and, you know, that.
Tim: Well, it’s funny too. It’s like every once in a while you -- there’s a business conversation that happens where it’s like this is how we’re going to move forward as a business-to-business relationship but then it’s like oh, but check this out like -- you know, it’s like oh, they got the sample back or like oh, I need a yeti, like I need a yeti, something with a yeti on it. Like okay, like and then it goes right back -- yeah, it’s like you get passed those little like business humps and then it’s right back to just like being this fun --
AJK: Well right, because like the brewery everyone, they don’t see all the hours beforehand and then they come and like oh, everybody’s supposed to be having a good old time all the time at the brewery. It’s like no, we have to like measure, calculate, do all this stuff, clean the -- like all this -- which we're at the brewery now before we’re open you see all the moving parts --
AJK: But then it's like oh, you work at a brewery. That must be the greatest job and to like -- yeah -- sometimes.
AJK: But yeah.
AJK: Being a grown up isn't always cool.
Tim: Well, totally and I think people that look at it from the outside too without knowing the inner workings and I thought this about skateboarding companies too like I mean the first time -- like I think my dream job when I was like 16 would have been to work for like TransWorld, they make like skateboarding and surfing magazines -- and I was like man, that would be so cool but then I was like oh, wait like those dudes are the ones behind the computer and not the ones going out to surf or to skate or whatever like so maybe that’s not where I like -- where’s the balance, like where can I be somewhere in the middle of that?
And I think I’ve been like stupid fortunate to like land in a position where I am in the middle of that. Like I do spend a significant amount of my week on a computer making stuff but then I also get to -- I guess maybe also being in a food and beverage industry it’s like I get to enjoy it. Like I come here and like even just like sit in a corner and like just have a beer and -- then hang out and like just I don’t know it’s like kind of marvel at what’s been made and then also there’s like a mutual trust happens right now what Matt’s making is top notch and then it sounds like I know that I’m going to put 110% into what I’m making for him because there’s just this like circular effort that’s being put in.
AJK: Yeah. And I think that your art is a way to express his vision also, so it’s complimentary.
I mean without -- there might be folks who might not try the beer, they had seen the art or having a logo and having a brand gives it a level, you know, of being -- having their shit together and so it’s like okay, this is not just some guy brewing in his basement, this is the next level and, you know, that might help.
Tim: Yeah. And even like, I don’t know, there’s just something -- I was reading about synesthesia today for some reason where it’s like people can hear a taste or they can smell a vision or like, I don’t know, it’s like when your senses mix up or I don’t know what the proper terminology is but that’s where I feel like Matt and I’s relationship is kind of like that where it’s like maybe I can see his taste or like I don’t know it’s like this weird -- this is maybe like too far out but it’s like I think about that a lot where it’s like the reason that I am a good fit for certain businesses or certain -- or people like my art or whatever it’s probably because I can see something that they can hear or I can see something that they taste or like I don’t know. It’s a weird -- like I literally just had thought about this today, I got approached with a synesthetic it was what was given to me and so I was trying to like read about it and think about it and it’s all kind of trippy but.
AJK: Well, I think -- yeah, I think with the mind there’s a lot of things that you kind of don’t realize you’re -- going on up there and --
Tim: Yeah, totally.
AJK: -- so it’s amazing.
AJK: Right, because your song it takes you to a place, a point in time, your artwork -- you know and it has -- it gives you a feeling, it releases endorphins and things that, you know, makes you happier, makes you sad or --
AJK: -- and you’re not in that moment so -- I think it’s, you know --
Tim: Pretty wild.
AJK: Yeah, like -- yeah, if you start to think about -- yeah, it’s like you can think about it forever.
Tim: This is like going to turn into a stoner conversation too.
AJK: Yeah, right exactly, with your button. Is -- which is your -- I mean like a good parent you don’t have a favorite but what’s -- which -- what are the beers that you -- yeah, which ones do you, you know …
Tim: So, this is on the subject of synesthesia. So, the first time I ever had a Gose was the Westbrook Gose and --it was on like the hottest summer -- like the hottest summer day and I went over to a friend of mines house who I hadn’t seen in like two years and he was just like oh, -- he was like I don’t know if you’ll like this but you should try it and I was like cool, like wow, this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever -- is this beer, like is this a beer? And he was like yeah, like it’s crazy right, it’s like brewed with salt and I was like weird, this is insane and then that -- I had that and then it was like another like year and a half or something passed before I had even seen another Gose and I was like so weird and then when Matt started to brew those I was like -- those immediately take I’m like what, time machine like so I have a soft spot for the Goses for sure.
I like most -- like almost every double that they’ve done, like any double like just super juicy. Like kind of to the point where that’s another one where I’m like is this beer? Like I don’t know. Like it kind of tastes fruity like I’m not really sure if I would call this beer or like if someone -- like I described one of them like Sunny D. I was like it literally like gives me the same feeling of drinking like I don’t know yeah, like something from my childhood or like it’s like a childlike -- child juice for adults or something I don’t know.
AJK: You know they made a new one it’s like Westbrook like Key Lime and I was like that sounds so weird and I was like oh, like that buddy sent me one and I was like I really like that.
Tim: I’m trying to remember we actually -- we were in Charleston for a housesit before Asheville and we went to their tasting room and they had the Margarita one that was crazy --
Trying to think. Yeah, and then like I’m excited, I know they’ve got a bunch of stuff coming down the line that’s like super weird like the lactose IPA’s and like -- I mean again it’s like all a big experiment and I know also for me it’s like again, I have no idea so it’s like I’ll try anything and the Belgian Quad they just made was awesome and that was again like it’s all weird like now that it’s on my brain it’s like hey, I really did feel like we’ve spent two weeks in Belgium at a housesit and there was this little French market that literally didn’t speak English and the only thing that we bought from there was like cheese and beer and yeah so -- things that you tie to other things.
AJK: Yeah, I know. And some travel we’ve done it always makes you think of this little thing it’s like oh -- and just kind of escape for a few moments and it’s like do I have to come back to reality? But you had to.
Tim: Luckily Instagram, Tumblr, all of those things it’s like really easy to keep up with my friends that are making art. See like everybody’s sharing all the time so it’s just like -- it sounds maybe silly to say like I spend some time on Instagram doing like research where it’s like I don’t -- I mean comparison is the devil as they say but it’s like it’s good -- I think it’s healthy in like an academic way to like see what other people are making and like figure out where you sit and figure out who you can connect with. Like I don’t know it’s just a way to like grow as an artist to like -- like where you used to have to seek out galleries and like go to museums and do that, you can now do that from the couch and like cruiser Tumblr hash tag and see all of the images for that and then --
AJK: Yeah. I think your distribution model, I think there’s not these eight extra layers of people that you have to sing and dance for.
AJK: Now you’re saying about going to your business meetings like before there might be someone that goes and represents you and like he comes back and just says Tim do this and then they go back and to like -- by the time you like pass in the line it doesn’t -- yeah, it doesn’t -- it’s disingenuous at times.
Tim: Yeah, totally. I agree. And I was going to say too it’s something about like being -- from a business side it’s like being a small business, working with other small businesses little to no bureaucracy whatsoever versus like previous jobs where it was like a team of 15 people working with another team of 15 people that it makes it -- you submit an idea and it goes around the circle and it -- it’s like playing telephone, it’s like it comes back a completely different idea and your name is still tied to it even though it’s not you anymore.
AJK: That was a great design Tim. I did that circle. The rest of it they totally butchered and --
Tim: Totally. Yeah, yeah. You got it marked up with a red pen and it’s like oh, so you just want this name and this one thought on the bottom and that’s it?
AJK: Oh, that font you drew was great, no that was Calibri. I took that from Photoshop.
Tim: Yeah, I don’t know. Inspiration’s interesting. I’m still like riding, traveling I think I spend a lot of time looking -- like I probably took 20,000 photos over the last year and a half and like we’ll go down memory lane probably too many times in a week but it’s like I’ll pick. Like we went to like Morocco and Malaysia and like a lot of challenging places and I think while I was there I was so just like wide eyed and bugging out and then I wasn’t fully aware of what -- where I was so now it’s like going back and looking at all the photos that I took and trying to like slow myself down and like actually get the inspiration from that and like it’s just interesting like the processing process but yeah so I draw a lot of inspiration from that stuff and then mostly I mean with the current political climate and that kind of stuff I like to just draw things that take me away from that so -- I -- honestly I think a lot of the stuff I’ve been making recently is a lot more fantastical or like whimsical, I don’t know what the right word is. It’s not sci-fi but it’s not like -- I don’t know, it’s just weird. It’s weirder -- it’s a little bit weirder than I’ve been completely and I think it’s because when I sit down to make something it’s like I can finally turn off the news, turn off whatever else is going on and just like try to go away from all of that, so I don’t know.
AJK: It’s a new pivot point right? It could be a new style.
Tim: But then it’s also -- it’s funny too I say that and that’s like my personal artwork but then all of these people are -- lots of friends and people who want to be politically active and that’s a way that I can be involved politically in my own political activism is making art for people like either making signs or make protest signs or like, you know, people have hit me up about doing shirt graphics that are fundraisers for these different organizations that really help and -- so that’s been cool too so I should say it’s like 50% rooted in reality and 50% I try to get as far away from reality as absolutely possible. So, --
AJK: Sometimes you don’t -- you think this can’t be really reality and it is so --
Tim: Yeah. One foot in the pool and one foot in the hot tub.
AJK: Well, Tim I thank you so much.
I really -- I like your perspective on not only your art but like life. I think it really -- you’re a world traveller and I think your style is always changing because of where you’re going, how you’re looking at things which I really like and I’m excited to have a couple of beers together.
Tim: Awesome, thanks man.