Avocados and Empathy: A Q&A with Will Bryant
Recently, we collaborated with an Austin local, Will Bryant, on limited edition bandanas for the launch of our South Congress store. Will is a really cool guy with a passion for bright colors, empathy, and art. There isn’t anyone else we would have chosen for our entry into the Austin community. From the street tacos to the close-knit neighborhoods to the spirit of entrepreneurship, ATX and Neighborhood Goods always seemed like a friendship that was written in the stars. Will Bryant’s designs showcase this by including the quirkiness of armadillos and smiley faces, while tipping his hat to some of the most magical places in Austin, like Barton Springs and the East Side.
Above are the two colorways of the bandanas Will designed for us, ivory (left) and navy (right). Click here if you want a closer look and to add a bit of Austin flare to your spring looks.
We want you to get to know the artist behind these whimsical and fun designs, so we decided to hangout (via emails) and ask him some very serious questions:
You recently collaborated with Neighborhood Goods (yay!), what was that process like and where did you draw inspiration from?
It was smooth and breezy! We worked together to create a piece inspired by Austin’s landscape, community, and energy that also easily aligned really well the tone of the brand and my work.
How does your community play a role in what you create?
From my studio mates to my daughter and wife, I consistently look to my community for feedback, inspiration, and support. I would say it’s crucial to have people around you to bounce ideas off of or bake a cake for you in a time of need (thanks Justin and Miranda)!
What is your favorite medium?
I’ve become more comfortable with acrylic paint in recent years, but also enjoying working digitally with elements that retain handmade imperfections. I think my favorite is the jumping around to different mediums and processes. I don’t necessarily want to master a craft, but just see my work executed in different forms (from sculpture to underwear).
Who are some local artists that inspire you?
Cody Haltom has been a long time studio mate that has really been pushing his personal work lately. Big fan of Hallie Brewer, Eva Claycomb, Wes Thompson, Jenaro Goode, Christina Moser, Payton McGowen, and Adam Young to name a few.
What are three things you wished the world had more of?
Empathy, kindness, and perfect avocados.
What are the primary lessons you want to teach your children about creativity?
For me it’s all about nurturing that feeling of making for the sake of making. Have fun doing it (for now), exposure to different types of creativity/expression, and intentionally observing small details around you.
Can you tell us a story about how a neighbor/neighborhood has positively impacted you?
One time my neighbor Steve helped me shutoff our water right after I accidentally hit our main waterline to the house while I was “tilling” the dirt to plant a shrub that I didn’t like that my wife decided to buy. Thanks Steve for bailing me out!
Give us a rundown of your ideal day in Austin. Where would you go? What would you do?
Let’s pretend my wife (Sally) and I get a babysitter for the day and I don’t do any work. I start off solo with a nice trail run on the greenbelt, a quick dip in Barton Springs, then meet Sally for breakfast tacos, juice, coffee, and follow that up with record browsing at End of Ear. For lunch/afternoon, we’d catch a movie and food at Alamo Drafthouse. Once the movie is over and you’re adjusting to sunlight again, take a walk down South Congress with a refreshment on the patio at Hotel San Jose, then pop over to some shops in east Austin. Insert nap and a shower here. We’d go for dinner at either Bufalina or Kemuri Tatsy-ya and a nightcap at Justine’s. Sounds pretty good. It might work with kids, but it wouldn’t be as smooth. I think I could come up with so many ideal days anywhere right now.