Meet Phil Rowland. Phil is a People’s Liberty Globe Grantee. Phil likes long walks on the beach and drawing 360 degree maps of Cincinnati. Phil’s project, You Are Here will be a hand drawn map of Cincinnati covering the walls and floor of the Globe Gallery at 1805 Elm Street. We sat down and chatted with Phil about his process. Here are the highlights:
Who or where do you look to for inspiration?
I find a lot inspiration online. With the freedom and voice that our digital age gives you, it is almost overwhelming how many talented projects and people you can see through social media and different sites. I like to find something really cool outside of my general sphere of work, like woodworking for instance, and I try to recreate something amazing someone has done in that medium. For me that's the best way to learn, copy the masters, learn and improvise from there.
You Are Here isn't your job—how do manage taking on a side project like this while working at another job? WAIT, What IS your job?
Well, I of course, like most, procrastinated quite a bit. If I would have started earlier it would not have been as challenging. As it stands, it's a constant balancing act between paycheck work (graphic Designer at GBBN Architects) and the grant work. My schedule usually consists of working in the office until 6:00PM and drawing at home until 11:00PM or so. I try to squeeze in an hour of drawing in the morning as well. Even doing that, I find myself using my lunch break at work to make phone calls, order supplies, update social media, take meetings, etc. There is always something to be done.
How are you managing this side project? Do you have tips for anyone wanting to take on a side project?
Managing a side project, of this scale at least, means saying goodbye to your free time. Be content with working on Friday and Saturday nights, because "future you" will thank you.
My advice would be to START EARLY. Also, let people help. I usually have trouble with this, but since I have let go a bit, I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the time and talents of others. Many hands equal light work. Plus, it is beneficial later—everyone you let help becomes personally invested and will be great advocates, promoters and cheerleaders for what you are doing.
What is your favorite analog writing or drawing implement of choice?
Because I am working at such a small scale, I have to go with a .3mm mechanical pencil. But, usually I like to do everyday drawings with a pencil set I was given as a gift: Palomino Blackwing 602's. There is nothing over the top special about them, I just like the softness and firmness of the lead. Plus the eraser is cool.
What is your favorite digital writing or drawing implement of choice?
I like to take hand work into Illustrator and work on it from there. I think it is really important to start from hand. Also, my place of work got a laser cutter a year or so ago and I love, love working with a laser cutter.
What are you looking forward to most during your time at The Globe?
Right now I am so in the middle of it all, I think I am just looking forward to my installation being complete (enter exhausted expression here). But other than that, I am really looking forward to seeing how this mental image in my mind plays out. I have been thinking and talking about this for so long I just can't imagine it complete and up and in the space. I can't wait to see kids and adults alike coloring and finding the easter eggs I have spread throughout (Flying Pigs, Waldo, My dog, etc.).
Any last words?
I want to mention that I would like to have people use the space as a vehicle for anything they are doing in Cincinnati. So people can come in and use it for free as a 360 tool for explaining their initiatives, ideas, Q+A's, whatever it may be. All they have to do is contact me at email@example.com and we can get them on the calendar.
If you’re inspired by Phil’s story, then you should apply for a People’s Liberty Project Grant. Attend the info session on Tuesday, 2.28 at 5:30PM to learn more about this $10K opportunity to do more for your city.