Garett Southerton is the creative force and founder of design and recording studio Desoulbel and creative art education and inspiration website ThinkDope. The Long Island, New York based designer has a knack for staying current and up-to-date with the trends in the design industry. With the launch of ThinkDope, Garett is able to educate and inspire the next generation of visual and graphic artists. Learn more about Garett and ThinkDope and see what motivated him to launch the education website.
What’s it like being in a competitive industry in the New York area?
Primarily my clients are not in New York – California, Flordia, overseas in the UK, etc. The design industry is so much bigger than New York and my competition is worldwide. I think every freelancer and studio owner will say that it’s extremely hard to land the bigger jobs, but we all have differing styles and skills. There’s a lot of diversity. Plus a lot of designers nowadays are selling out to work inside stale corporate companies that don’t allow growth or creative freedom.
How did you get your start in graphic and web design, and audio?
From the first time I touched a computer I knew I wanted to do amazing things no one else could. When I wanted to make music I wanted to get myself out there more than the competition, so I started using my design skills. Long story short I just fell into doing both.
What was the leading force behind starting ThinkDope?
It’s all about the youth and helping people create! Close your eyes and imagine a world with no art. Think of the millions of people that impacts; the rapper from the hood that only has music to make it out, a company without an logo or way to symbolize it self which relates to their products, and most importantly, that kid who’s life was saved because he witnessed a specific piece of art that told him he was worth something and showed him he can overcome all of the crap he’s been through. That’s what it’s all about.
What were your goals with assembling the council of ThinkDope?
I wanted a council that was strong, talented, and has a passion for art as our readers will see. Initially I went to 4 of my closest creative friends and explained everything and why I wanted to create ThinkDope. I began building the site while as a team we built the content. The whole plan was to add more creatives to the team before launch, I actually have a nice list of creatives I know that will work great on our team, and I only approached one who is unfortunately too overwhelmed at the moment. I just then realized that I feel in the beginning stages of ThinkDope it’s important to start with a small focused team and gradually grow with the audience.
Also the creative force behind Desoulbel, what are some the projects you are proud to have designed?
I’m really proud of ThinkDope, I think it came out like I envisioned for the most part. I’m very happy with my work here at Stereo Assault as well. Some more of the work I’m proud of is from when I was in school I got a lot of awards on flyers and such. The best of me though has yet to be seen. Behind the scenes I’m working on a major rebranding and also creating my next best thing.
When did you know that Graphic Design, Web Design and Audio was something you wanted to pursue career wise?
The first time I opened PaintShopPro (the Photoshop back in the day), the first time I made a dinky homepage with animated .GIFs, and the first time I sat in a studio behind the boards.
What’s your primary inspiration into what all you do?
I got so much love for the craft, but I also want to be that dude who’s not just known for his work, but known as the man who bought his family their houses and have them a good life.
If you be placed in any time in history to listen to music, which time period which you wanna live in and why?
Definitely the 70s with all that funky soul jazz! Don’t even get me started or I’ll end up breaking out the turntable and listening the Side Effect and Bobby Womack all day.
How do you expect ThinkDope to grow for the remainder of 2014?
We got some great educational and inspirational content written and planned. I think over the summer we’ll really build a solid, loyal readership. I’m hoping by the time next year comes we’ll be planning our first big projects and such as a team.
Any last words
Thanks for the interview. Now let’s create some art!