Tim Oxton is the Art Director for Night Shift Brewing. It's a role that much like the brewery's success and growth in the craft beer space, has grown organically. Being hired at your brother's company for anyone can be exciting and stressful all at once, but it is also a source of pride for Tim. Over time what started out as helping his brother out evolved into a full-time position that is integral in the image and brand that is NS and Tim's hard work and passion for it play a big part in that. Tim not only is responsible for the labels, but also the photography and images of the brewery. It was great to learn about his process, working with his brother, his photography projects and to chat and share a laugh. This is almost like a podcast version of his strangers with random object project - we'd never met (and still haven't in 3-D) but shared a moment and some stories.
AJK: Welcome to another edition of the 16ozCanvas, the art of Art of Craft Beer Podcast. We’re really excited to have with us this week Tim Oxton who is the Art Director for Night Shift Brewing Company. So, thank you so much for joining us Tim. I’m glad we’re able to make this work, how is it going man?
Tim: Hey man, it is going awesome, I’m sitting in my porch right now. I’m sipping in Night Shift beer, which sounds like an unnecessary plug, but I mean it’s -- I am partial to it so I like it. Yeah, I’m sitting at my porch, and it’s beautiful out right now and I’m excited to be here.
AJK: Yeah it is beautiful, yeah I’m down the road in Connecticut and you’re up in Massachusetts. So, this weather is -- this is perfect weather. The only way it can get a little better is if there is a little camp fire I mean like a hammock that pretty much would take it to the next level.
Tim: Yeah that would be better
AJK: All right. It’s only yeah -- it’s only yeah it’s only in Wednesday so it’s all good. Now, what are you drinking?
Tim: I’m drinking a Low Talker which is a Kolsch -- I’m going to make sure I’m giving the right information here but it is a Kolsch style ale, but it’s fermented using I think Lager yeast. I could be totally wrong in this so don’t quote me on that even though technically this is directly quoted.
AJK: Well this is quote city.
Tim: It has both Lager and Ale characteristics, but it’s like -- I think it’s absolutely incredible and yeah I don’t know. I’m really loving it, it’s like a light easy drinking beer that has like a lot of flavor.
AJK: Yeah and I have noticed there has been like a pseudo German theme going on lately up there in Night Shift, so that’s be kind of interesting.
Tim: It’s true, it’s cool. I think -- so Rob one of the founders is -- some of his relatives are from Germany and I think again I can be wrong here but I think one of his uncles lives in Pfaffenheck which is the name of one of our beers. So, I think he went Germany, if I’m remembering correctly he hang out with the mayor of Pfaffenheck while the mayor like drank the beer Pfaffenheck which was -- which is kind of cool -- because Pfaffenheck is kind of a strange word.
We ended up making like a video series for us about how like no one really knows how to say Pfaffenheck if you look at the -- if you look at the menu and it’s I think P-F-A-F-F-E-N-H-E-C-K or I mean something like that and you look at that and you’re like I have no idea how to say that. So, we had a whole like video series, it's like someone approaching the bar or being like I have no idea how to say this beer, I have no idea how to order it. Yeah, he’s I think has some German heritage and they love German beer and we have a lot of German beer sometimes
AJK: Yeah I was kind of trying to do some research and I was like there is a definitely a vibe of the -- of the German style so that was really cool.
Now, how long have you been working at Night Shift?
Tim: So, it’s kind of hard to like give a definite date because -- so I think it was -- I started working -- I think like summer of 2015.
So I was doing video production and I was playing in a band. I had like a -- I had some little band recording projects I was doing and it went -- it got kind of -- I mean it wasn’t big, but it got kind of bigger than I anticipated and a record label from UK was like we want to put out your vinyl and it took a lot of my time because I thought it was unexpected and kind of cool so I wanted to ride that out.
I was working part time as like a video editor and motion graphics animator and I think like the summer of 2015 my brother, who is one of the founders of Night Shift. He contacted me and he knew what I was really into graphic design and he was like hey I’m kind of in the weeds here like I have lot going on. I have this label. Would you have any interest in doing a label because I have so many things going on and I just -- I don’t really have the time to do it right now and it would be so awesome if you could do it for me if that’s something you are into. I was super flattered and I was like yeah like of course like I would love to. I had never done anything like that before. I mean I have done -- I did motion graphics and stuff like that for commercials, you know, video but I have never done like product design and it was kind of a learning experience.
I did a lot of research and, you know, I read a lot of books and I went online and looked at different stuff and I made, I think it’s the labels Maracuya which is like a passion fruit, I don’t really remember what it was. I think it was a passion fruit Ale or I don’t really remember but it was -- it was a passion fruit beer.
I tried to use the colors of passion fruit -- purple and like kind of like weird yellow green. So, if you’ve ever seen a passion fruit, passion fruit look like weird alien eggs. They’re not good looking fruit at all. So, I tried to just kind of draw from the colors of it instead of doing the fruit, and I did that and you know he really liked it. He was like awesome cool that’s great and then
So, I did that and that was awesome. Then I forget what the next I think there was another label and it was okay again and, you know, I’m in the weeds like can you help out here and I did another label and I was trying to I think get into photography at that point. I was trying to do my own freelance business and I think at some point I was okay like, if you ever need photography I would love to come in and do some photography, you know, if you ever need that.
I think he was like, oh yeah totally like maybe down the line we’ll need I think maybe a few months later, he was alike I actually, you know, I think what we have with the band with and the budget for, you know, we want to up our game basically beyond. I think at the time the Tap Room manager was doing and he was actually a really good photographer, but he was also, you know, trying to manage the Tap Room and do all the other different things and I think he was kind of like -- it was just too much.
So, he asked me -- they all ask me to come in and started photography a lot more. Then I started doing labels a lot more and then I started working with the marketing person and then, you know, she was like -- I think it was like once a week I would come in do, you know, photography. Then it became like she was okay can you come in you know once or twice a week. Then it was like can you come in three times a week and then I was like, no I’m kind of having a hard time doing my video work and doing this work like do you want like do you want to maybe hire me. They were like we’d love to. So, you know, they hired I think part time for a while. I did that for maybe a few months and then I think the marketing manager at the time was like, hey like Tim’s here three times a week, but, you know, he’s really here like five times a week.
There so much to be doing this like you know a million photos and a million labels and there is posters and all the stuff going on like, do you think it'd be worth hiring him full time. They were like, yeah sure. Then my brother -- I think we were at some gathering and he was like hey like, you know, the marketing person thinks you should be full time, do you want to work full time and I was like that is -- that is my dream come true. So, yes absolutely a hundred percent I will be full time. I think that was in -- I think August of 2016. Since then I’ve been full time and it’s been -- it’s been fucking awesome. I don’t know if I can swear...
AJK: Yeah, fuck fuck fuck we’ll do that.
Tim: Yeah it’s fucking awesome. I love Night Shift, I love hanging out with my brother.
AJK: Yeah right that’s -- That’s swear worthy right there, you get to hang with your brother.
Tim: Yeah right?
AJK: Yeah he came to you, thought of you and what I do -- what’s interesting about you Tim for our listeners is, you’re kind of the first -- I mean we’ve had other Art Directors, but what I noticed a lot about you obviously is your photography. I think that’s a different level. I think especially with Night Shift -- what you’re doing and stuff. So, I really -- I think it’s really -- it’s’ really great to see the photos and how you’re shooting them.
I think if you go Tim Oxton on Instagram, there is actually one, it’s like kind of a quick behind of scenes of like the Night Shift Instagram and to see how the photos are made, you know, it’s really -- I love stuff like that. So, I think that’s as great. Yeah I mean anytime you had to see me behind the curtain, I think it’s really cool and I just , you know, I love there is the one of my favorite photos is the Awake with all the coffee brands and stuff like that. I think it’s really --
Tim: Oh yeah, it was fun.
AJK: Really yeah, just great texture. It’s really, you know, complimentary. It just kind of shows like the vision of the can and the label and kind of brings it in kind of full circle and that’s just a great beer you know. So, I think it’s just an --
Tim: Wait, the one you’re saying it’s sitting in the coffee beans right?
That is quite a story actually. I think here and I will absolutely ramble so if you want to come in at any point, please do so. I will not be offended.
AJK: Yeah but if you tell a shitty story, I’m just going to edit it out and you’re listening to it later and be like oh wait I had this great story about my brother, like yeah it seems like I started working there August 2015 and that’s all -- that’s all you’re going to hear.
Tim: Yeah, so I think that was before I started working full time for Night Shift and I think that was just -- so my – it’s actually cool -- my grandfather was a photographer and he won a Pullitzer prize for photo journalism. Then my dad was a photographer, he isa photographer teacher now and I avoided photography like a plague and somehow it absolutely fucking found me despite all my best efforts at avoiding it.
And I absolutely love photography, but at the time I was kind of like trying to learn the ropes and like, you know, I was trying to figure out flash and experiments and it was in my room at the time and I remember it like -- I was like hey like -- I asked my brother and I was like hey like do you have any need for an Awake photo like in coffee beans and he was like, oh yeah that would be super cool like sure.
I was like, you know, if I buy like $10 worth of coffee beans like can you maybe pay me back? He was like yeah like sure yeah dude like $10 like that’s totally fine. I was working part time and doing band stuff. So, I was like not rolling in the dough. I was like ten bucks, coffee beans, I dont' know.
I went to like Trader Joe's or something and bought a few cans of coffee beans --- I found the cheapest fucking coffee beans I could find because I was like you know what is this -- this is like way before I started working for Night Shift and I was just like what can I do to like -- I created like a fake project for myself and so it wasn’t even like -- they didn’t ask for it.
It was like hey, can I like do this for you because I want something to inspire me to make this. So, I ended up like pouring beans into like, I think it was like a box on my floor or something and I ended up like jerry rigging something like weird flash. It came out and I was so happy with how it came out. But if you saw how it was set up, it was so hilariously weird and I don’t know.
Looking back on it now I’m like how like you know I feel like I know what I’m doing now and I have like I don’t know like equipment, that I have researched and I know how it all works and I’m like very confident in like all the photo -- I took your photo and I know how everything is going to work out. I look back then and I had no idea was happening and it worked out well, I was so happy with it but it was just like -- it was just like happy little magic I don’t know.
I just -- I don’t know. The whole thing makes people happy because it was just so drawn together at the time.
AJK: Well, okay yeah. I think that’s the best kind of stuff that you’re just like well I want to try this. I’ve already got the expense accounted for here, let me get these coffee beans.
Tim: It was literally -- it was $10 for the coffee beans. I remember asking and he was like Tim like that is a photo.
AJK: He’s like are you -- are you okay like you know like is this like a bigger story we need to talk about here Tim?
Tim: Yeah and he was like oh like --
AJK: Just don’t tell -- just don’t tell mom I asked you to buy this coffee beans.
Tim: That’s right, it was like two containers worth, but at the time I was like I think I was just like I was at a point where I was I can’t like I don’t want to spend like, you know, 10 bucks oncoffee beans if it’s like I just -- I think at the time like it’s the part time job I was doing like I wasn’t working a lot of the time and like it was just like it meant more to me at the time than it probably should have. So, I remember asking him and he was like, yeah totally dude just go for it.
AJK: Yeah if I ever meet your brother I want to ask him like, what did you think when he asked if you could spot him for coffee beans?
Tim: I mean the photo came out great. It’s still one of my favorite photographs I have taken from Night Shift and I think we printed it out and it’s hanging in our office in Chelsea and it’s also a cool reminder that I was like, you know, that was something that I did before I worked in Night Shift and it was something when I was like, you know, just like desperately trying to make it work. It did, it paid off and I don’t know, it’s pretty cool.
AJK: Yeah outside was like it, when you finally got that? I’d like to show that like, you know.
Tim: Dude this is fucking awesome.
AJK: Yeah right. This is your $10, this is where, you know, you’re spending on this.
Tim: Right yeah, the $10 dollars were like -- I mean a photograph that we -- I think it’s probably still used on our website now.
AJK: Yeah it’s an epic photograph.
Tim: And I’m super proud of it. I mean he was coming -- he was like this is fucking awesome, this is so cool and it was like probably one of the turning points for me when I was like holy shit like I’m pretty good at this and I could -- I could this in that moment him supporting me in that moment was like very crucial to my development and that was -- that was cool.
AJK: Yeah because I think that some of the other ones you do are kind of play off of that --- the ingredient, you know, background, you know, so to probably that was probably the, you know.
Tim: Shark Jumper, I did recently and same kind of thing where I was like, I think it was like a background of lemons.
AJK: Yeah that one looks -- that one was like a lot harder to put together. That one I was like how you would --
Tim: It was a lot harder.
AJK: This looks like a pain in the ass like cut all of them perfectly and lay them down.
Tim: It was -- I mean it was also really fun too. Again it’s cool because they just trust me to, you know, like hey like we know you’re going to do a good job and so just that we trust you to do that. Anyway sorry I’m totally digressing, so this is more about label designs so I will begin --
AJK: No it’s about --
No, that’s some big misconception folks to make it like it’s not about like it’s not about anything. It’s just about getting and meeting somebody who does labels and we'll talk about that but I kind of wanted it to be like, yeah it’s moreis like an art, you know you’re an artist I like your photography and that type of stuff. So, yeah that to me is part of it.
Tim: Thanks man.
AJK: Yeah, I know I think it’s great. Now with the logo right because I think one of the cool things if we’re going to talk about the logo for a second is with Night Shift is the, you know, the owls and everything. So, like to me that’s always -- that’s amazing -- it’s amazing and then it’s going to be like completely stressful to --
Tim: You might want to cut out actually because I didn’t do the logo.
AJK: Well I figured that from -- I figured that from your timeline that you didn’t because if you started at 15.
Tim: Okay, yeah.
AJK: Yeah, I know.
Tim: I was like -- I was like I’m going to disappoint the shit out of you right now because I absolutely did not do logo.
AJK: No, yeah I was going to say like that’s like the hard part to me is like when was that decision made that it was always going to be kind of there, like kind of like it’s kind of like fun way to work it in, but it’s always you know, it’s always there.
Tim: Yeah, I’m not sure when my brother decided it. If you look back at all the labels, there was always -- I know that -- I mean there is -- there has never been a label where the owl wasn’t there.
Tim: On the Night Shift name at the bar so it goes owl, name, beer style and Night Shift Brewing.
AJK: Sounds like their style sheet, that’s like the style sheet like how they do it.
Tim: I mean it’s yeah, that’s just like I have -- I have made so many labels. I could yeah, I could -- I see it when I close my eyes and then to then to the -- yeah and then it says like, you know, A B C on the bottom and then you know Night Shift Brewing -- Brewed and canned and then the government warning and the barcode. Well like the main thing is always the owl name, beer style Night Shift Brewing.
There has been a few that didn’t have Night Shift Brewing. I think back in like the early probably 2012/2013 maybe 2014, but since probably I would assume 2013, it has stuck with owl, beer name, style and then the Night Shift Brewing and I think if you’d look at that and be like it’s super restrictive and you can’t really do anything with that kind of like hard set rules, but I think actually -- I mean I think for as a branding purpose. I think it’s absolutely fucking genius because there is -- I feel there is a lot of times we go into it like any sort of like liquor store, you know, might be a craft beer cellar or something like that and you’ve looked at the beers and you’re like, okay like that looks cool, but I have no idea who makes it like there is no consistency and so you look at a wall with beers and you’re like okay like that’s a cool lookin label, but like I don’t know -- I don’t know who that is.
When I think the brand recognition is cool because if you like Night Shift, you can look at a shelf and see like very easily and very distinctly you can look at it and be like that’s Night Shift like undeniably that’s Night Shift. So, while it is kind of restrictive in the label sense I think it’s super important to be able to look at a shelf and be like -- I don’t know I -- if you’re someone who likes Nigh Shift you can go like oh like that’s Night Shift, you know, I like Night Shift and I trust that we’re going to do an awesome job.
So, like I can see that from across. I can see that while walking at the door as opposed - I mean nothing against breweries that have -- I think they have their own thing going on, but I think it’s for me as a consumer it’s tough sometimes to look at a shelf and be like -- I haven’t -- it’s a lot going on and it’s a really cool label but like, you know, who made this and I mean I’m not -- I don’t know just because it’s like, you know. It’s kind of cool to know.
AJK: Yeah I like it -- I like it because its -- I just like when it’s kind of the next level I think especially where Night Shift is, you know, at first it was introduced, you know. It was mostly the bomber and I really -- I really like the Weise’s, those are just great beers.
Tim: Oh yeah.
AJK: They are like the old school labels at least they were previously now they even now that just kind of has new labels --
Tim: We’re actually bringing those back.
AJK: Yeah, now yeah I saw yeah I was going to -- yeah I saw the old school label on some cans. So, I thought that was kind of cool because they weren’t can before. I think that Night Shift --
Tim: That is a bottle.
AJK: Yeah Night Shift explosion is kind of really with the, you know, it kind of feeds right into the idea why we started doing this is because caning has become so much more accessible and so there is so many more beers that you guys are putting out that previously weren’t available to people and you could see how you’ve introduced because now you have like the Morph, the Whirlpool, The Santillini, The 87.
A couple of others have like their own pre-made cans and then you also use like the label wraps for kind of the new or next generation ones. So, it’s really cool just to see that, you know, kind of the evolution of that, you know, how it’s gone especially for Night Shift because I mean it’s amazing to see how many beers there are. I’ve yet to visit, but I’ve drank many of the beers from there and just kind of I think it’s impressive to see how many beers you know are coming out on a regular basis.
I was just going to say with the label like that’s what I really like is that style, I’ve always having to use the owl, but you have like the 8 Bit Owl, you know, with the Rock ‘n’ Roll, you know. You have the, you know, even -- and now there is like, you know, something that I have learned more jokes and I’m, you know, Low Talkers a little Seinfeld action. I think it’s really cool.
AJK: Now with the labels because somebody said, you know, they are in -- the distribution where, you know, it’s increased, it’s not just brewery only now. So, that’s interesting right because the ones you have to send out for distribution have to go to the TTB and get approved.
So, that’s kind of fun, I mean obviously you are not doing anything, I don’t think that would be offensive to anybody but it’s just kind of cool, it’s just the fact that now they are kind of out in the wild obviously cheesy owl pun intended there but yeah, it was yeah it’s been really cool.
Tim: Yeah man, it’s awesome. It’s like that’s what you said about producing a lot of different beer styles and a lot of different beers. It’s pretty cool I mean like every week I show up and they are like oh, you know, like I mean very well in advance but, you know, I have a schedule of all the beers sort of coming out and my coworker and I, Jim we work, we are like the marketing department with my brother.
We all, you know, meet and we discuss different beers name and then we’re like okay, so, you know, it’s a Kolsch and the Kolsch was -- I think it’s like a -- it’s an Ale that’s bottom fermented. So, it’s like hence the Low Talker. And I was like oh like, you know, it’s kind of cool Seinfeld reference it’s in relation with the beer like that’s kind of a fun name and so we go with that.
AJK: You give me a lot of credit like you think I’m going to be editing like these all like sort of crazy and multi-track and all these stuff that you are, we’ll be fine. Just keep talking Tim, we’re good. Don’t worry about it. I’ll give your brother a call, I’ll be like it was good yeah. It was fun.
Tim: I care somuch about Night Shift that is I want to make sure that the, you know, the best -- the best image is going forward but I’ll shift gears and say, so Shark Jumper which was a lemon, a Meyer lemon IPA we put out. We named it Shark Jumper because we felt like, you know, like I got fruited IPA, it was kind of like very trendy and like and just accessible and we thought it would be kind of funny, it’s like you know if you’re doing a fruit you like.
Yeah it’s a jumping shark like you’re kind of selling out and we were like what’s -- honestly I think Shark Jumper was fucking incredible and it was like I drink a lot of Shark Jumper and I think it’s amazing, but people --- I mean people didn’t think that. I mean like you know, it’s just kind of making like a funny like tongue and cheek reference in fact they were making a fruited IPA called Shark Jumper.
AJK: But yeah if I assume the Shark Jumper, right I mean, I have -- well lets flip it. Do you know what the Shark Jumper reference is, like do you know where that’s from?
Tim: I do actually, it’s from Happy Days.
AJK: Yeah cool, we can still be friends.
Tim: The Fonz man, we jumped the sharks and everyone was like
AJK: So, terrible.
Tim: It was unreal bad
AJK: Yeah it’s so great. There is like a whole yeah -- like a whole thing about it. Yeah, there is yeah it’s so great.
AJK: I think there used to be a website that was like jump the shark and it was basically just like every episode were like went wrong like. I think one was like --
AJK: Yeah I think one was like -- what was the one with Alex P Keaton which show was that?
Tim: Alex P Keaton I don’t know.
AJK: Michael J Fox, Alex P Keaton well like when they brought in -- when they have like a baby. It was like you know like season they have like a baby, you know, like they adopted somebody and wasn’t sure. It was -- it was -- it was great yeah
Yeah family ties okay cool. Family ties that’s what it was. That’s what I thought it was.
Tim: Family Ties okay.
AJK: Yeah, cool. Yeah cool, yeah it’s like all the -- it’s all the type of stuff like they had Andy the baby.
Tim: And when it turned and went from like legit to elegit.
AJK: Right, right it’s like or like they have like -- I think Roxanne when they have like the second Kelly or something like that like she like that it’s pretty funny like there’s -- acknowledge it and just like one day there is a totally a different actress.
Tim: So, that was like -- I mean that was the thing. We were like trying to go for like, you know, yes we’re doing a fruited IPA but like it’s really good and so like I guess we wanted to kind of like just acknowledge the fact that yes this is like a trending style, but like yes it’s also totally legitimate and we’re doing it because we believe in it and on average we were putting it out because, you know, we released but like it was kind of like our way of kind of referencing the fact that yes this is a trending beer but also like it’s really delicious.
And also I don’t know, it was awesome pop culture reference.
AJK: Yeah I think again I haven’t been there but just even just talking to you, you know, we have -- we’re hitting it off and just looking at the pictures on the website and stuff. It seems like you guys enjoy each other and kind of enjoy that like family you know, how passionate you are about Night Shift, but it just seems like you guys are working really hard, you know, Tim and I are talking, you know, a little after 10 o’clock at night. He just got back from, you know, at the brewery.
You know what I mean,, stuff like that right, that really I think that resonates with people, you know it’s fun and it’s, you know, it sounds like, you know, super serious. I mean, because once the beer is made that’s like the super serious part, you know. So, it sounds it’s like okay, we’re having fun trying to think of a creative new way to incorporate the Owl and, you know, do different stuff.
So, I think that, you know, and that’s a big part of what you’re doing with the marketing team and your art direction --- I think it’s a, good mix. It’s not just, you know, pictures of a beer it’s -- of the folks who are making it and, you know, you’ve shown the appreciation of everybody’s hard work. So, I really, I really dig that about what you guys are doing.
Tim: Thanks man. Yeah, I mean it’s cool because I like, I think-- so like going back to Shark Jumper I think, like for that it was kind of cool because that’s a good example of being -- I am involved in like the all facets of the branding of it. So, like, you know, we come up with the name and, you know, Shark Jumper, I was like okay, how can I represent Shark Jumper on the label without being really hokey?
So, I was like, all right. It’s a Meyer lemon IPA and it’s called Shark Jumper and I feel sharks have to be involved and -- but I don’t want it to be like, you know, super-cheesy and like, you know, the Owl wearing skies, like water skies and going over sharks or something like that. I mean, I thought about it, I like drew it up and I was like okay, that looks terrible.
AJK: Yeah, I was going to say there’s definitely a few comps or early sketches of you know, the owl as Fonz.
Tim: Yeah. I mean I drew it up and I was like, that looks horrible and like, you know, I’d be embarrassed to show that to anyone so now I can’t go with that. That’s the ultimate question like, why have you embarrassed the sharks of someone? Yes? Okay. Go with a different idea. So, I think I found it super cool like etchings of sharks from like I think like the early 1900s and they were in public domain. So, I was like okay, I can use them and they’re really awesome looking.
I was like, all right, I’ll use them for this and I’ll, you know, position them in a way and use different colors and kind of like -- you look at the label there, they are on either side of the ale and it kind of creates the shape of a lemon. They kind of, you know, surround the Owl and there’s a color I think it’s like a kind of golden yellow and a kind of like mid-green orange. I don’t know, I think it’s very simple aside from the font and texts it’s just these two sharks.
I think given the name Shark Jumper I thought that like doing minimal but kind of like go along the way. That’s kind of like, you know, it’s a very specific reference and has a lot of connotations and I thought having a crazy, you know, label with again wearing the jet skis and crazy, you know, sharks jumping out of the water. I was like, you know, that yes that could be a label but I thought going kind of really simple and really minimal or kind of emphasize the fact that yes, it’s a funny name but like also yeah, we really take it seriously and this isn’t, you know, some throwaway beer.
It’s a beer that we’ve, we’ve really thought about and we’ve really considered and it’s a beer that we take very seriously despite the fact that it’s kind of a funny name and it’s, you know, a different kind of style for us. It’s something that’s, you know, it’s everything. This is something that represents a lot for our company and I didn’t want it to look like -- I didn’t want the label -- I felt like if the name was ridiculous and the label was ridiculous then it’s too much.
It’s like you don’t take it seriously. I felt like a crazy name and a very simple minimal label was, it -- I feel like it created a good juxtaposition. Funny name, serious label, it’s not too much. I was, I guess -- for that one, it was like-- I wanted to air on the side of pulling back. Giving ale kind of like, you know, how hunky the name was.
AJK: Yeah. I think it’s really, really solid. I had to do a double take. At first I didn’t even notice that was I think a regular shark and if I’m not mistaken I think one is a hammer hard. It’s really, it’s like really subtle. It almost looks like, you know, kind of an ink blotch - type of a rounded. So, yeah I dig -- like I said that photograph is really great too. You can see it on Night Shift and TimOxton.com. You know, how was like -- how is your, kind of your process like when you’re creating, what do you, -- making these labels in? You know are you -- is it an Illustrator or are you hand drawing and then you scan them in, how does that go?
Tim: I usually -- so sketch it out. I’ll print out a bunch of blank labels and I’ll kind of sketch on it because I mean, the size of the Owl might change and the like subtle positioning might change but for the most part, the elements around the label are probably going to stay the same. So, I print out, you know, like five blank white, you know, white and black labels and I’ll -- sometimes go to the taproom or I’ll go, you know, just in different areas around my desk or something and I’ll just kind of sketch out ideas where I'll be like okay like, you know, like Cul-de-Sac for example was our Cream Ale.
So, I was like -- again it’s -- we call it Cul-de-Sac because it’s an old -- it’s kind of like a nostalgic kind of beer style. We were like, you know, Cul-de-Sac is kind of like 50s. It reminds you of like that era of like, you know, the Atomic Era. So, I sat down and I was like, all right, how can I -- like what reminds me of this? Sometimes I have like a bunch of different books and, you know, sometimes I looked through different books and try to like, you know, feel different, you know, vibes or inspirations and I’ll be like okay. So, like for Cul-de-Sac I was like all right, what reminds -- like what do I think of when I think of the 50s and 60s?
I’m like well, you know, different kind of like, you know, a Cadillac and Chevy and that kind of design and, you know, like kind of -- I wanted it to look kind of worn. So, I was like, you know, I didn’t want it to be white. I wanted it to be a cream-colored like worn looking theme. So, I was like, all right. I looked at different paint can labels from 1950s and I was like, all right, that’s super cool. I started kind of pulling from that. So, I started, you know, drawing up labels and I was like all right, like that, you know, weird paint cans 1950's. That like weird stripe across it.
That looks really cool and so I pulled from that and I’ll be like, alright, it’s like Chevy like a car culture in the 1950's is huge. So, I was like all right I want to incorporate cars. So, you know, do a rough sketch of a weird, you know, iconic 1950s car. I would kind of think of color pallets, I think I kind of went with like a seafoam green which is like really -- it was like a -- it was a very classic 1950s fender guitar color, seafoam green and I was like that’s -- you know, also really indicative of the era, like a 1950s fender guitar. It was like Rock ‘n’ Roll was like kind of being figured out.
So for all of those -- I think all those elements, I mean it’s simple labels and, you know, you would never -- it sounds pretentious to be like all those elements came into this simple design label but like it does and, you know, I think it’s -- you can look at it and be like oh it’s just like a label and, you know, it’s a beer but like it matters. I think that’s why -- I think Night Shift is just I think so popular and it’s like successful as we are because like every facet of our thing is so intentional. I don’t -- it’s not like I just wing it and I’m like oh whatever, like Cul-de-Sac, you know, whatever, I’ll draw a Cul-de-Sac.
It’s like, you know, I want to make sure that the brewers and all the other people at the brewery spent much time on this beer that I want it to be represented as powerfully as the idea is and as the beer is. So, you know, I think going back in history and looking back at these kind of references like, you know, Low Talker you said it’s like a Seinfeld but it’s also like a reference to like different German artists in the 1960s. I mean, maybe it’s not like, you know, that stuff is not super crucial but I think like pulling from the references it’s important because I think it’s not just a throwaway label.
It’s like there’s a lot going into it and I hope that, you know, that intentionality is evident or that it’s not -- like the beer is very intentional, the labels are very intentional, our taproom is very intentional. Our menus are very intentional. Everything we do is like meant -- it means something, you know.
AJK: Right. I think it’s smart. I mean because especially now more than ever while it is as amazing as it is, there’s more breweries in this country than there’s ever been in our history and so I think that you know it’s --
Tim: Awesome. Yeah.
AJK: You make good beer right? I think that it’s a whole experience. The fact that you’re having a taproom and having people come there I think you’re trying to create more than experience than just buying beer and bouncing out and so if I look at the Low Talker one and you mention the German -- the art, you know, it reminds me of those pieces where you’d see the -- unless the two of them just as one and, you know, at times, you know, where the faces would create something. Yeah it was kind of that like a chalice or like a lamp or something in the moon.
Tim: I think it’s an optic illusion. I forgot the name of the art movement
AJK: Yeah. I was hoping you slammed that one home.
Tim: I know. I wish I could. If I had a computer in front of me I could look it up in a second and -- right now I’m just -- it’s escaping me. But again it’s a very specific, it’s -- the design of that was very specific. It wasn’t like, oh this looks cool and it’s funny because two faces and talking and, you know Seinfeld or something. I hope that there’s some depth to it like there’s depth to the beer. It’s not like, you know, like the cream ale isn't just cream ale. It’s DryHop with Amarillo. It’s not just -- there’s always something that’s beyond, you know, your standard beer.
I feel like I would be doing it a disservice to all of the brewers if I just mailed in a label that was like, you know, -- like whatever like, you know, Seinfeld, just do you know just Seinfeld's face on it or something. I feel like, you know, again they’re pulling from tradition for that Kolsch ale. They’re pulling from years and years of different beers and different recipes and so to, you know, throw out a label that I spent 10 minutes on would be, I feel like an insult to all their hard work.
AJK: Well you’re doing them a proper service. Now how does that -- how is the -- how is that process? You said you have a schedule but how far in advance, you know, do you know what’s coming down the line?
Tim: Yeah pretty far and advanced. It changes but for -- we’ve gotten ourselves into a pretty good rhythm where typically there’s like a month out or like a few weeks at the very least. There’s a lot of labels going on at all times because we are -- we put out a lot of different beers. But I’m giving a pretty good like lead time on different beers. I could talk to you, like you know, the brewer who brewed it, you know, why he wanted to brew in and his inspiration for it.
I can talk to him about, you know, -- it’s different stuff and I’ll get to look into the history like, you know, the Kolsch and I’ll get to look at the time period of when it was, you know, brewed and I get to look at different art movements of that movements of that period. I try and pull in those different things and, you know, fortunately because I’ll have to do at that amount of lead time, it won’t be like, you know, hey, you know, we’re brewing this kind of beer and it’s coming out two days from now. Pull out something. It’s -- they give me a pretty good amount of time.
The labels that come out have gone through different -- usually by the time they get printed they have, they’ve been a pretty significant amount of revisions and I’ll send them out and my brother the Marketing Head will kind of give me some feedback like, you know, I'm not sure this is working or, you know, maybe focus more on this element or just maybe try this color scheme or -- it’s just different things.
It's awesome because he lets me for the most part do my own thing but he gently pushes me in the right direction and some of the time I'm like oh like I thought that was awesome and he will be I don't know if that's working. I’d be like oh but it is and then you know at the end I'm like oh shit like that it came such a long way. At the beginning I thought it was awesome and, you know, as it went through the different reviews and different feedback, it’ll come to a different place.
I’ll be like oh shit like, you know, that it's much more than I anticipated it to be. Not that I didn't think it would be great, I'll just be like oh I think this was great and then it will reach a different place through all the feedback and I'm like oh shit like I'll sometimes surprise myself. I'm like wow that came out awesome. I think with Cul-de-Sac I think when I started doing I thought it was awesome.
My brother and I, you know, discussed it a lot and, you know, different revision, different, you know, changes and I remember some of them I was like oh I don't know I don't know if that will be better, I don't know if that will be great and then by the end of it I was like oh shit, like I think Cul-de-Sac is awesome. I really hate, you know, grandiose like, you know, bragger statements but I think that -- I think it came out awesome and I'm super proud of it. I think the process that got it to where it was, made it better. I think the process that we have, assures that it's awesome and that's pretty cool.
AJK: Yeah. I think has that very -- has a very retro but like clean, a little bit like faded, you know, like scuffed a little bit in the colors you choose. Now our preface I was saying and the listeners know this, I'm colorblind so I do see it but I don't see now man. Well, I always say I see -- the colors I see could be better than the colors you see. I just don't conform to the standards of the traditional palette. Now I'm not a dog, I don’t see only black and white. So, I mean I definitely see. I think it looks great. It works for me.
Tim: Is it red-green?
AJK: Yeah, yeah. It's cool. There's a great shirt and one of the artists I interviewed Mike Lawrence he does work for Tired Hands and majority of his stuff is black and white. The reason it's black and white, he’s color blind also.
AJK: Yeah. We had this awesome connection on that. It was kind of -- and so he just --
Tim: His work is so fucking rad.
AJK: Yeah. So it was like so cool. I was like I’m color blind too, he was like yeah, you know. So, he -- they started to do like a highlighter color now just because they didn't want to have all their cans in black and white now. The whole thing was started by Jean and Jean will do the coloring but all this stuff is black and white. So, that was kind of cool but those are great. There's a great red-green -- yeah it’s a great red-green dot like shirt and it says fuck the colorblind but if you're colorblind you don’t see it. I love it. I got to wear it as a shirt but my son can read and on Saturdays I can pull it off. He’ll be like daddy and I’ll be oh yeah.
Tim: You can’t wear this shirt but I can.
AJK: Right. I’d wear it out on the streets and people would be like it's dots, that’s so -- like I'm like what do you mean? I found a kick out of it.
Tim: That’s awesome.
AJK: Now, recently the -- I mean you guys have done collaborations on how to form an art perspective. How does that go? The decision making process. In terms of like how like the label is going to go? I know you just did one with RAR, you've done with Burial and Trophy and I believe 7venth Sun. How does that -- how do you guys decide who gets to -- because the cool part is that they all have the owl but how do you decide on how to come up with the design? Is it different style sheets you guys work on how do you do that?
Tim: I think we just, we want to make sure that the other brewery has the equal real estate that we have. We don’t want to look like giant Owl and like also RAR. We want to be like, you know, like Owl and RAR. They are equally as important to the production of that beer as we were. So we want to make sure that it’s not like -- again, Night Shift Brewing like asterick Rar helped.
We want to be like, you know, we did it at RAR and they really contributed and we really contributed and then like also the beer that the most recent one, the most recent collab that we have out right now Two For Flinching is awesome. So, we wanted to make sure like, you know, again, we want to make sure that like their contribution was visible. So, generally I just try to make sure -- I mean there’s no consistent style guide. It’s just kind of like, you know, they will give us their logo and I will make sure that the Owl and their logo are I guess basically equally represented.
AJK: That’s very thoughtful.
Tim: So, for Two For Flinching it’s just kind of like, you know, Owl and the RAR and I think that like had a plus sign next to the two logos. Then we send it to them and they’ll be like oh, like that’s awesome or, you know, oh like, you know, I’m -- I don’t like that. We haven’t -- fortunately, we haven’t gotten I don’t like that yet, but if they didn’t like it, we would absolutely change it. So --
AJK: Yeah, it’s cool, yeah it’s fist, but again you have to look at it. It’s not like an obvious.
Tim: Yeah, well I think it’s -- the references from Sandlot and we wanted the kind of beer like I don’t know. There's a double IPA, there's pineapple and mango.
AJK: Yeah, two fruits two breweries.
Tim: I know, just let me say fun reference. Yeah, two for flinching and it’s also so good.
AJK: Yeah, I just checked it Sold Out. So, that was -- I was like, oh you still have this?
Tim: 50 minutes.
AJK: Yeah, I’m like gosh, we should have interviewed you yesterday
Tim: I mean we’re like -- I mean we’re -- we were super happy that it sold well, but we also like, you know, there’s a bummer because we knew a lot of people like it was on a Tuesday and we knew a lot of people, you know, worked till five like, you know, I mean I work till, you know, five or six or seven, whatever. So, It was kind of like a bummer to be like oh shit like, you know, yes it’s awesome it sold out but also like fuck because, you know, we know a lot of people aren’t going to get it so.
AJK: I’m going to come raid your stash.
Tim: But it was super cool that, you know, people liked it.
AJK: Yeah, I mean I think that’s exciting. I mean I’ve heard -- I haven’t had my -- I haven’t had any RaR. So, I’m looking forward to checking that out.
Tim: Yeah, that’s cool. They're great.
AJK: Yeah, that’s excellent. Now so let’s see. Yeah, what is your favorite -- what are your favorite beers you’re drinking there? You must try them all, so that must be a tough question but what do you --?
Tim: Favorite beers of Night Shift?
AJK: Yeah, we’ll go with that and or favorite on -- not Night Shift yeah what do you --?
Tim: I really like Night Shift and this isn’t even like some marketing ploy or I like have to like, you know, I have to say I really like Night Shift.
AJK: Yeah, you’re too honest of a person
Tim: I would exactly tell you. I’d be like oh I’ll let you know.
AJK: Yeah, you had to really plan it out I feel like you’d like oh, yeah you’re like reading for me like a written statement or something yeah.
Tim: But now, I mean I think Two for Flinching was really rad. I’ve really like Fluffy. I think Low Talker, I think is incredible. I think -- I mean I think all of our core beers are pretty solid but -- I had to make it like desert island beers. If I had to take like -- I have like two beers and no beers for the rest of my life. I'm making this, you know, now I'm making up these constraints because otherwise I'm going to rumble forever about it.
AJK: I’m not coming. This sounds like a shitty island. Two beers for the rest of my life.
Tim: Yeah, it's a terrible island. I mean granted on an island, I wouldn’t be able to brew any of the beers. So, you know, it’d be a dry island, but if I had to choose -- oh shit. I'd probably pick maybe Marilyn which is like a barleywine. It's like a barely aged barleywine. It's fucking awesome. It's so incredible and it doesn't feel like it’s like -- I think it’s 11 and a half or something, it doesn't taste like 10.5% percent and Marilyn and maybe Low Talker.
It could just be that, like I have had a very recent and like the, you know, very recently in the image of that beer is very fresh in my mind, but it’s really -- I don’t know, it’s like awesome. It’s like really light, but it’s also is like really flavorful and it’s -- like if I’m honest. Fall on a desert island and it’s hot as fuck and I’m like, I want a beer to sip on. I’m reaching for a low talker and then later at night when like oh, I’m kind of cold and I’m on a desert island and I want to forget that I’m on a desert island, I will drink the shit out of Marilyn. So, those two beers, desert island beers. Done.
AJK: Yeah going with the Weisse I think for the warmth of day and then for your cold featured, I might go with the El Lechedor I like that one. It’s a good one.
Tim: Oh the El Lechedor
AJK: Lechedor. Yes, I like that label.
Tim: Yeah Morchada Milk Stout
AJK: It’s one of my favorite labels, I think, because it’s the -- anytime you dip on a Mexican wrestling match, it’s like you’re good to go.
Tim: I can't take credits for that. That was before my but I also agreed. I believe my brother is -- we had a conversation a long time ago but I believe he’s -- he said his inspiration was old -- like Lechedor wrestling posters. So, there is like the old labels are like a million different fonts because like you look back on those kind of like Lechedor posters they had a million different fonts.
So, like you look at it, it looks kind of like there is a lot is going on because it’s like, you know, 20 different fonts but like it’s super accurate and it like capture that like, you know, like oldschool Lechedor, like wrestling poster vibe. Again like you said, I think it’s a fucking awesome label. Yeah and I also think it’s fucking awesome beer. We actually -- we have it on tap right now and it is dangerously good because it like -- again, it’s 10 and something percent and it’s like the tastes like, you know, it tastes like candy. It’s amazing.
AJK: So, your brother did that label?
Tim: He did, yeah.
AJK: Well, that’s pretty awesome.
Tim: Yeah. He’s a great graphic designer in his own right. I think, you know, he’s also running a company. So, he was just like I can’t really do this and run a company.
AJK: Yeah and that’s really -- that’s kind of interesting. I always like that when it gets to that point where folks are just like, you know, a cor, you know, three -- you have, the founder and then like, you know, as they pass off stuff to people, you know, it’s like okay. So, the fact that he’s a designer he will give you feedback, that’s like -- not just like oh that’s -- I don’t like that or, you know, it doesn’t look cool.
He can give you all the palette here, the contrast or this doesn’t pop and like, you know, actually like things that you can use as constructive feedback not just like, oh that sucks brother, go back to it.
Tim: Yeah. It’d be fucking infuriating if he was just like, if he had no idea what he's talking about and he was just like oh well, I feel like that isn’t good. It’s like -- it’s art -- I mean it’s great because we can have like very informed conversations about the label because he knows what he’s talking about and he’s not just like I don’t like, you know, I don’t like that font because I don’t like it. It’s like oh like I don’t like the font because, you know, here’s 10 different legitimate reasons. I’ll be like, oh shit, like you’re right.
I will go back to the drawing board and, you know, it’s -- I mean it boggles my mind they did that on their own like I mean I have -- I’m again like I said, you know, I just got out work pretty recently and I’m just doing labels and photography. So, like, you know, I can’t imagine what it would be like doing photography, labels, brewing the beers, doing the accounting, you know, running the taproom. I can’t even fathom. So, I am very fortunate that I just have to do -- I have that small niche of the brewery that I have to worry about.
AJK: Yeah. We say sometimes being a grownup -- being a grown up sucks. It’s just lot of work.
Tim: Yeah. You don’t envy that.
AJK: No. I try to avoid, you know, I’ve no motive of being a grownup until they kind of good -- try to find a good balance. Now before --
Tim: Yeah you’ve got to -- you have kids?
AJK: Yeah. Yeah, it’s good.
Tim: All right.
AJK: Yeah. They are two. I’ve got two. They’re running around somewhere. They’ll tire -- they’ll tire themselves out and then I'll put them back to bed. Now I have certain days in the week that I’ve tried to do this and so it’s been -- it’s working out pretty well.
AJK: Yeah. My wife is a super supportive. I say that because you were talking about you used to do music. I used to do radio.
AJK: Yeah. For about 10 years at the college I went to and I lived in the town. So I did that and then from there I managed a couple, you know, bands. So, I kind of -- I just need to have something kind of creative to put back out into the universe, you know, so that why -- we’re getting at it.
Tim: How did you get into band managing?
AJK: Because I did the show and I'd been doing it for probably about five or -- about four or five years at that point. So, just kind of organically met, you know, I knew a few club owners, you know, knew some folks and so at the peak of the show, I had four hours every week and so I'd have local or regional artists, you know, between.
We are in Connecticut you know, anyone who's willing to come or if they're on tour and it worked I'd give them like, I think I usually give them like an hour maybe an hour and a half of the show, you know, they can either co-host or play live in the studio, you know, I do a set and whatever and so there's a band I liked from New Jersey and they said oh we're trying to get in Connecticut.
I said oh call, you know, Rich over here and call John and you know, just email them, you know, tell them I sent you, you know, maybe they can get you in as an opener somewhere and that kind of just kind of grew from there like I was -- I started giving them more and more recommendations or hey, you thought about this and this that than the other and so, you know, we did that for about six years. So, it worked out pretty well.
Tim: That’s awesome man.
AJK: Yeah, it was like --
Tim: Fucking rad.
AJK: Yeah, it was cool. I did everything. I mean I did the website, I did the bookings, you know, all that. Yeah, everything except play, you know, I tried to play but it is not my thing. Look I had a guitar -- I had a guitar not kidding you or you know, play some, you know, very simple rhythms, you know, the drums just say like late at night when we were hanging out the hotel. I could, you know, just be part of the session but it was -- but once they started playing my kind of -- my work was done there. I was like oh right. Yeah, it was awesome.
Tim: Yeah I mean that's fucking so cool man.
AJK: Now, when you're creating, what is your -- what’s your vibe like? Are you listening to tunes are you -- need peace and quiet, you know, how do you roll?
Tim: So, it’s always listen to music. I try to like -- it always changes. Yeah it always changes like. -- I'm trying to think of like a good example like we did a Timbo Slice label that was like 80’s tunes and I got like really into like 80’s like electro during that one. The Germans here like don’t really get into like super traditional Germany but, I generally -- yeah, I generally always have music playing.
It kind of varies just like when, you know, I don't know whatever I’m into at the moment, but if it's like a very specific like theme for the beer that we're doing, I'll try to like kind of follow it like we have a beer coming out like that’s a like funk related and say so, I'm trying to like I was -- it’s just a lot like of P Funk and Sly and the Family Stone and like just that kind of -- I don't know like, I don't know if it actually there's any effect on the actual design but it just kind of like, I don’t know. It’s fun to just listen to it and be like feel you’re doing some sort of like, I don’t know extra channeling for the vibe, but it means just good fucking music and it's just kind of fun to listen to regardless.
AJK: Yeah, they’re awesome in concerts too so, it’s good.
Tim: Really? You had the pleasure of seeing them?
AJK: Yes, Lollapalooza like ‘94, ‘95. Not to date myself, but yeah. It was like -- it was that was it. It was killer yeah.
Tim: Wait, P Funk or Sly and the Family Stone
AJK: Pfunk, Sly and the Family Stone definitely. I mean I've heard that oh yeah. Sly & the Family Stone, he’s crazy right? Like he's little like --
Tim: I have no idea. I haven’t followed up on them recently but I would assume probably. I mean George Clinton is also totally fucking out of his mind. Awesome dude, totally out of his mind.
AJK: Yeah, the whole crack thing will get you, yeah it's a shame.
Tim: He got into crack huh? That's too bad.
AJK: Yeah, I mean that's like -- that's totally minimizing like his lifetime of greatness to bring him down, you know.
Tim: Oh yeah, but it’s been unfortunate if anyone gets into crack.
AJK: Right, yeah.
Tim: But yeah, he’s great, I’ll keep listening to it.
AJK: Oh yeah, my wife -- I saw him separately. My wife saw him. I think he's coming back around this summer and she's still claim that’s one of the best concerts she ever saw, so yeah.
Tim: I do not doubt that George Clinton is a -- he’s like a charismatic dude.
AJK: He’s like almost like a cartoon like he’s just like -- almost like he’s not life like.
Tim: Yeah, he’s just like, you know, he’s like yeah. You see photos of him. I mean you’re like beyond. He's just, you know, he’s like yeah. You just like -- you see photos of him and you’re like -- you’re like beyond -- He's just something else. He's like beyond. He’s just -- he’s like a next level.
AJK: He's from the mothership dude. That’s I mean that’s like fact, right. That’s his -- yeah. Now yeah -- now before I let you go, I’ll be doing a disservice if we didn't talk about your photography, you know, what is -- how is -- you probably are so busy now, you probably don’t have as much time as you used to for, but what, you know, you like to capture, other still life style but like, I like the, you know, the capturing of people and kind of just, on the street or just portraits and I think that, you know, I really like the composition and the stuff, the moments you capture, you know, both planned and kind of, you know, just out there on the street.
Tim: Yeah I think I mean -- I think I'm a generally kind of friendly dude. So, I mean I still, you know, inherently I'm like, you know, also a friendly but, you know, reserved human being. So, you know, approaching people on the street and be like hey, can take a photo? Isn't my strong suit, but I had a project I think like a -- I haven't done it enough recently but I used to have a project that I'm trying to do more of now. Where I would go into -- I would walk down to the square where I live near Central Square in Boston and I would hold a sign and I would bring a prop.
I would bring like, you know, all weird all like 1920’s fire extinguisher or like an old suitcase and I would bring some flashes and stuff like that and hold sign that would say, free portrait and I would, you know, people -- and I would stand there for an hour. I would give myself a time. I put a timer on my phone I'd say okay. I’ll give myself an hour and a half or I give myself, you know, an hour or two hours or whatever and I would walk down with all these stuff. Set it all up, hold the sign say free portrait and then, you know, people order -- walk by and nine out of 10 people would look at you like you're out of your fucking mind and then, you know, one out of 10 people -- it was consistent how they would look at you.
It was kind of funny how like every single person looking at you the same way when they were going to do it, but they look at you and passing and they keep walking and then slowed down a little bit and they'd look at you the first time like a little bit longer than everyone else just like a hair like -- it’s like half a second longer and you know, you'd be like, they're going to look back and they kind of slowed down and look back and then they look back and then they look away and you don't want to see me and you could see them like running through it like, is this guy out of his mind like it’s just, who has just got to hold the sign and they’re kind of intrigued and you know, they slowly turn back around and they walk back and be like hey, so like what's your deal here?
I’m like hey like, you know, I'm a photographer and at the time, I was trying to get my master's in photography. So I wanted to build up a portfolio to submit to different masters programs and I was like hey, I'm like trying to build my portfolio and I’m here to take some photos. Here's a business card. Look I'm not totally out of my mind like me I am, but I'm not, you know, going to murder you or anything and you know, I'll take your photo.
The only caveat is that you have to interact with this prop that I brought. So, you can do anything you want, but you have to interact with it. You can't just stand there and you know, smile and it was cool. The people be like be, you know, like -- you know, sometimes they wouldn’t know what to do and they just kind of -- they looked kind of uncomfortable and then you'd be like all right like, you know, it’s okay.
Like I'm not going to make fun of you, I'm not going to judge you like just go a little bit outside yourself like this is already like generally the people who would approach you, weren't -- they didn't seem like people who normally -- they weren't theater majors or people who like typically do this type of thing. They kind of be like people who just kind of saw something and they were like huh, I kind of -- I want it, I kind of want to know what's going on and so you’d be like hey like, you know, I know this isn't typically like you but like, you know, try something different like do something that, you know, you're already here.
You're already, you know, doing something you normally wouldn't do and so like maybe go a little bit further. So, you know, sometimes they do like, you know, like this one guy ended up like using a cell phone is like a light to like aluminate his face from this suit case that I bought and you know, again every photo wasn’t amazing. It weren’t like, you know, works of art, but it was cool.
It got me out of my shell, it got me to interact with, you know, random people on the street and kind of having me interact with them. I think it was kind of cool because these people got to be a part of something and they -- I feel like -- I mean maybe I'm just making up a character of these people but I feel like most of the time they kind of do something too. That they were like, normally I wouldn't do this and it's kind of like they also kind of went out of the shell and so, we were kind of like hey, we're here together. We’re both out of our shell and we're both kind of vulnerable right now but that's okay and lets see where this takes us and you know and then they -- I mean rarely would I ever hear from them again. I always give them a business card and be like hey, if you want to copy the photo email me and you know, one out or every 10 times, they email me and be like hey like, you know, can I get the photo?
I’d send it to him, but it always be hey like, you know, we did that like you and I, we shared that experience and you were kind of -- you felt a little awkward and then, you know, I didn't know how to interact with you at first and you didn't know how to interact with me and then like through the photo taking process, we kind of reached a middle ground where we understood each other a little more and that was cool. That was really cool because you have all these different people like every night, you know, sometimes it’d be like three people. Sometimes it’d be like 25 people and I don’t know. It’s fucking awesome. It was like you had to meet these different types of people and you’d have to like again, like learn.
You'd learn about these people and you know, some people were like hey, I just came back from a job and I, you know, I work three jobs and I have, you know, I have kids and I'm trying to like make ends meet and some people like hey I'm, you now, one guy was like, you know, I'm like a millionaire or something and he was I’m just, you know, maybe he's making up. I have no fucking -- I have no like I have no way of verifying any of their stories, but it was cool because like so many different fucking people were there and every single person there had something in common. Where they're like, they saw this dude, this weird dude with a bunch of equipment in the middle of Central Square holding a sign and I found something about that intriguing and I don't know. I think that’s kind of cool.
AJK: It is cool, yeah. Sharing -- I think the -- I guess the vulnerability and the unknown and having it be shared together is kind of nice.
Tim: Right, yeah because it’s like, I'm not used to this, like I'm not a -- like I'm not a super extroverted outgoing person. So, for me it wasn't like I will meet you and I don't give a fuck. It was like oh shit, like I feel super like I hold the sign. I’d be like what the fuck am I doing here? This is out -- like why am I here right now? Like this is nuts like, why am I doing this and then someone would come up and be like hey, what are you doing? I’d be like all right. Like --
AJK: Here we go.
Tim: All right. Let’s do this yeah and be like all right. Like go to do this and then at the end, I be like oh shit, like that was fucking awesome like they were super cool and met this cool person and then I’d stand there for another 10 minutes and be like what the fuck I’m I doing here? Then someone come up and be like, hey, like what are you doing? I was like all right. Let’s do this and then I think it ended up working more and then it got cold and I haven't done it in a few months but, I would absolutely -- I really want to do that again and I'm disappointed a little bit of myself that I haven't done it in a while but I should because I think it was good for myself and I'd like to think it was kind of cool for them too.
AJK: Yeah, you should do it one day when you’re taking any break outside the brewery or somewhere like just nearby where you’re working.
AJK: Doesn’t have to be --
Tim: Yeah take a week off or something and just kind of take some photos of something.
AJK: Yeah exactly, I like the couple, Tyrone and his wife. I like that one. That's one of the recent one.
Tim: Oh, thanks yeah. They were -- I know they were fucking fascinating. Yeah I was just walking by and he was like -- they were hanging out during the day. It was a really hot day. I got actually super sunburned on my neck from walking on that day and he was hanging out and he was just like hey, man like I see you got a got a camera? I was like yeah like yeah I do and just, you know, again he was just like a random guy and there's like, you know, he was -- he -- him and then all of his friends where from the local homeless shelter and they hang out there during the day.
I think just because they just want something to do and he -- I think -- I forget which -- he was overseas somewhere, forget where he was. I wish I remembered, but he ended up talking to me about it got something. He got like -- he used to shoot with an Olympus camera and he ended up talking how much loved it and again he was fucking cool. We, you know, I connected with this completely strange human -- not strange but like a stranger, over this like our love of cameras and that was cool for me.
I was -- I tried to -- I was going to print them out -- I going to print out the prints of those photos and give them to him because I know what -- I know at homeless shelter, you’re staying out. So, it’s kind of like, go there and either be like hey, you know, is he here or like if you know where he is, can give this to him, but I want to see if he has and my fucking USB couldn’t be read with the photos.. So, I figured that out and I'm going to go tomorrow and do that, but I think -- I don't know. If I were a dude who got his photo -- yeah, I asked him if he had an e-mail address and he said he didn’t have an email address. So, I’ve no way of -- I don't know. I think if I were like a dude hanging out in the sun and some random guy walks by and took my photo, I'd be like I don’t know. His wife really wanted his photos them to gather and so I think if I were them, I’d be fucking awesomeness if the guy showed up with some photos and was like, you know, here are some prints of you guys together.
AJK: Yeah, I think it would be great. I mean I -- yeah, I think the photos are great but I think you just to bring it full circle. Allow him to have that, you know, I think that yeah, I think just to empower people and make them, have that makes what a tough go a little more, you know, normalized and so, you know, still have that.
Tim: Yeah, I mean ideally or not, I don't know.
AJK: Yeah, but you got to --
Tim: You don't want it for a moment, you're like, that's cool, you know.
AJK: Awesome. Well keep us updated man all right. I really appreciate you making the time Tim.
Tim: Yeah, thank you. I'm so honored you want to include me.
AJK: Oh wow. We’ll edit that part out. I don’t like being honored. I think it’s -- that means a lot and I just think it's -- I think it's important. I think it's really great. It's something that makes me happy, I like the art. I think that what people are doing is really unique I think now more than ever. It is a canvas and yeah. I just think it's important. I like that you're also a photographer, you know, I had a wild summer where I was the photography camp counselor. That was good -- the reason I took the job. It paid more than the regular camp counselor, you know, like we need -- we realized we don’t -- yeah. It was awesome. I had like 12 Pentax.
Tim: Big bucks.
AJK: Yeah I was like 50 cents more an hour, but it was awesome. It was like -- but I had like unlimited. I had like -- I think I had like 10 or 12 Pentax unlimited film and they would pay. They would just send it off and get them all.
Tim: Yeah, you were living the dream.
AJK: Yeah, it was awesome. I was like in college. It was -- dude, it was great. That was one of the best job ever had because it was all like young college guys and college girls and you know, like and it’s basically just like, you know, it was summer time. It was kind of serious but wasn’t and yeah it was basically taking pictures all the time. It was awesome. That was a great summer. It was black and white. I love black and white. Yeah it was good. I mean --
Tim: Oh God, that's how I started man. I did black and white only for four years.
AJK: Yeah, some memories for people. Well again Tim, I thank you so much. I hopefully I’ll hopefully I’ll be able get up to the brewery
Tim: Yeah, hopefully I gave you something.
AJK: Yeah dude, we did good. This is good stuff man. Yeah, it was a long interview, which is great. That's always a good sign to me the length and I doesn’t sound but just kind of -- there's not much force dialogue and like hopefully, I would like to get up there and you know, see you guys. So, hopefully I’ll give you heads up and will --
Tim: Let me know man.
AJK: Yeah I’d love to see your process or just crack a couple cold ones and you know, meet and be awesome.
Tim: You’ll let me know, you know, just let me know. Give me a heads up and we’ll definitely share a beer.