Sheldon Bryan


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August 2006

How did you get started in the design business?
As a little kid, I always had an inclination to draw. I would draw on any blank space and it drove my mother nuts. Luckily, my dad was a designer so I had some good guidance from a young age. It was his suggestion to get me a sketch pad so I would stop ruining my mom’s stuff. The idea of having an entire notebook filled with blank pages was a dream come true. He also suggested I enter The Art Student’s League so I could foster my talent. You should have seen the look on my face when I walked into my first figure drawing class as a kid. That changes a teenager’s mind for life. As I got older and with the introduction of the Web, I applied my skills online which was my official entrance into the design world.

Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?
Before Da Vinci had all the hype he’s got now, he was a god in my eyes (still is). To this day I can’t understand how one person can become that good in so many different areas. I’ll never be the Renaissance man he was but I’ll die trying. Anytime I look at my work and start to think I’m good, I flip through some of his work and it brings me right down to earth.

What is your strongest discipline?
My ability to fill 1-2 sketch books a year. Sometimes I draw, just to draw. No game plan at all; I guess it’s a way to get my thoughts out and visually document them. I could be like lots of designers nowadays and give it up but I just can’t sit in front of a computer all the time.

Any advice or tips to the novice designer?
I say listen to the teachers you meet along the way and do what they ask. That will never change, since the client will one day take the place of your teacher. But when it comes to putting a collection of your work together YOU be the one who has final say. Save those pieces that you did before they were influenced by someone else’s opinion.

What has been your most rewarding and challenging project to date? Why?
I once designed a website that worked on a coordinate system. Rather than have the pages be seen one at a time like a book, I wanted them to all download at once and so they were laid next to each other and you could browse the site by moving up, down, left, right, or diagonally. It was all done in DHTML before Flash was so huge. Shout out to Chris Casciano (the developer who made it work, you da man!) It was a daunting task for the company, we’d gone through three programmers before we found one who could get it done.

From your portfolio, what is your favorite piece? Why?
Wow, that’s tough. I have this one piece that’s not really for kids but, it’s of two people in a back alley about to get um…”involved”. You can’t really see anything exposed but it’s clear that there is a great deal of passion between them. It’s my favorite ’cause I feel like most people never go after their passions. The two people in the image didn’t even wait to get home before they went for theirs.

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