A Conversation with

Timothy McAuliffe

The latest talent to join our Artist Series is Timothy McAuliffe, a graphic designer by day and illustrator by night. Timothy received his degree in graphic design (specifically in 3D animation and modeling) from Syracuse University, intermittently sneaking in illustration courses that piqued his interest. Over the past year, Timothy has re-discovered his passion for illustration, building an impressive portfolio of arrestingly vibrant and cheeky digital illustrations that are full of personality. We asked the Brooklyn-based artist about his artistic process, his interpretation of the Oribe logo and what抯 in store for him in the future.

How would you describe your artistic aesthetic?
I like to explore different uses of color in my work. I抦 definitely influenced by comic books in my art, as well. Some of my portraits look very glossy, as if they抮e covered in plastic梞ore like toy models than real human figures. I抎 say my work is hyper-stylized, although I抎 like to develop a more wild and playful aesthetic.

Describe your artistic process. Where do you typically find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everyday things. Ideas hit me on the subway, in nature and (annoyingly) when I抦 trying to go to sleep. Beyond that I抦 all over the web using Behance, Tumblr and Designspiration to find and collect inspiring work. When I抦 running low on motivation, browsing through the things I抳e collected is like a shot of adrenaline, inspiration and excitement.

You抮e a designer by trade, do you think there抯 a difference between fine art and design?
Fine art seems to exist in either this very thought-based, idea-centric, creative universe or it represents the mastery of a medium. We appreciate ideas and aesthetics in fine art, whereas design is a vehicle for communication and makes things easier to understand, whether it抯 for a product, a website, a poster or an app. Certain design can be fine art, and vice versa, based on every individual抯 interpretation.

If there's any artist you could collaborate with, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do together?
I抦 going to say Quentin Tarantino based on the sheer fact that any project with him would be a total rollercoaster of ridiculousness and I抎 walk away with a bucket full of stories to tell.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Years ago, [comedian] Patton Oswalt gave a commencement speech that gained some traction online. At the end of the speech, he threw in the phrase, "There is no them," and it just hit home with me. To me, this is a great mantra to live and work by. My interpretation is to not worry about how people will react to your ideas, your creations, your actions, your behavior, your style厃our anything. It's a very bold and fearless way to live.

How would you describe your personal style?
I抳e invented my own style桰 call it 揃rooklyn抯 Finest.

How do you normally wear your hair?
Let抯 just say I get mistaken for Macklemore卆ll the time.

Why did you decide to design the Oribe logo the way you did?
Most of my work is portrait or character based so I wanted to go in that direction. Since the goddess in the logo is so mysterious it leaves plenty of room for interpretation. I envisioned a golden goddess with glowing hair and bright eyes梱ou know, someone who looks like they use Oribe products.

Your greatest talent outside of art?
Making people laugh until they snort.

Are you working on any upcoming projects that you're particularly excited about?
Look for me in the latest Grantland Quarterly. Also, I just opened an online shop to sell prints of my work, which I want to build on to carry more products including some fashion ideas I抳e got.

Love it? Share it!