Lloyd Eugene Winter IV
Illustrator, art director, family manApr 13, 2016Photos By Nicole Mason
Art is a way of tapping deeper into ourselves, connecting with facets of our character that may go otherwise undiscovered. Discovering, collecting, and appreciating art is a road to self-discovery. What you like. What you don't. The feelings you feel. The feelings you don't. Art makes your soul grow, as Vonnegut once said. It's why we've created the Huckberry Artist Series, in which we're partnering with some of our favorite artists to share their stories and create one-of-a-kind, limited edition prints, posters, and tees.
Our exclusive Huckberry Artist Series continues with Lloyd Eugene Winter IV, an illustrator, art director, father, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan who resides outside of Portland, OR and works for the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. We paid a visit to his treehouse to rap about making art, stumbling into a career, the beauty of an elk herd, and the mating rituals of the Deathwatch beetle — and to go a little deeper into the creative mind that led to the creation of the prints and tees here, available exclusively on Huckberry.
"What I do now is very similar to what I did as a kid: I just draw."
Five Minutes with
Lloyd Eugene Winter IV
Hi Lloyd, why don’t you introduce yourself?
I'm Lloyd Eugene Winter IV—the fourth Lloyd in a long line of Lloyds. I'm currently an art director at Wieden + Kennedy, an advertising agency that does a lot of work for Nike and Coke and a lot of big clients. I've been here for about five years. I went to school to get an art degree, and found my way into graphic design, doing posters, album art, stuff like that. That led me here to Wieden + Kennedy somehow.
So that's not something you intended?
No, not at all. I was pretty idealistic as an art student in college and I kinda wanted to be a starving artist in a dumb way. It was a funny contradiction because I was less into fine art and more into graphic design and packaging and posters, yet I had this philosophy of being a starving artist.
When did you first start down this path?
In a weird way, what I do now is very similar to what I did as a kid: I just draw. A lot of the time I spend coming up with ideas is just drawing pictures, and when I was a kid I would draw all the time. The design side of it started pretty early: I was really into graffiti when I was younger, and I would also draw logos all over my notebook. So I've always been obsessed with street art and graphic design and visual culture. I used to have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle drawing contests with my friends. That was my way of being cooler than my friends: I could always draw the best ninja turtle.
As the 4th in a line of Lloyd's, does that creative streak run through the family tree?
My family wasn't really creative. My grandpa was a truck driver and a race car driver. My dad, on the other hand, he did draw. He was also into race cars and he would draw them, he could draw a car really well. But they didn't grow up thinking it was something you could do with your life, they found "real" jobs.
So you work at Wieden + Kennedy, but you have lots of other outlets too, right?
Yeah, you have to, or else you'll get bummed out. When you're working in an advertising situation, you have to be a chameleon. You bring an element of yourself, but you also have to drop it and become other things that normally you wouldn't. So doing illustration on the side—or music—keeps me grounded and is how I got here in the first place. I'm really into stand-up comedy, and the craft of it, and a lot of guys who have blown up still do stand-up every week. They have to, just to know they can do it. Side projects keep you grounded in who you are.
Where do you want to be in 20 years from now?
I'd really like to make a shift back towards being a musician, just making records and maybe some soundtracks and music videos, too, or for whatever crazy technology is available in 20 years.
Describe your workspace — what do you keep around to stay productive?
I've got two workspaces, one at the office and one at home. The desk at home is one I made with three huge cedar planks that were originally intended for a garden. I've always got lots of pens and pencils handy. Lately I've been using a clipboard loaded with blank paper as a sketchbook, and I totally prefer that. I'm always ripping pages out and scanning them so I like having a loose stack that's mobile. I've got a minimal amount of posters and stuff hanging around for inspiration but I don't put much time into that stuff, I kind of just like a nice clean, minimal workspace. I find too much clutter to be distracting.
What’s in your “everyday carry?”
A couple fine tip pens, a sharpie or two, pencils, sharpener, erasers, Field Notes, clipboard with paper, laptop, sometimes a crystal or two for good vibes.
What are your favorite mediums to create in?
I love to draw. With pencils, pens, Sharpies, tablets, with sticks in the sand. Often my work begins with pen or pencil, then is scanned or traced in a computer, then printed out, redrawn or added to, then back to the computer and back and forth like that. Pencil and paper is like a USB to my brain. I used to paint, but these days if I do, it's mostly to create textures and elements for a layout on the computer. I'm pretty comfortable working digitally.
What was your favorite toy as a kid?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Art matters because…
Drawing is thinking. I think that everyone should learn how to draw, not just artists. It's a great way to communicate your ideas. I think most people who don't consider themselves artists probably don’t feel like they need to do it because they can't draw, or paint, or sculpt well, but all these things put you in better touch with your thoughts and are more representational of how you probably think. You don't think in words, you think in pictures.
How do you like to get loose and have fun?
I try to get out and skateboard as much as I can. I'm not as wild as I used to be, I just like to cruise and roll around, throw an ollie here and there. Oregon has some of the best skateparks in the country, believe it or not, and I try to frequent as many of them as I can. I plan on rolling until I'm in my 80s. I love to be outside, hiking, camping, riding bikes and swimming too. I grew up by a river and went swimming almost every day in the summer, jumping off rocks and rope swings and stuff.
Do you remember your first “outdoors” experience as a kid?
One of my first real backpacking trips was in the Sawtooth mountains. I went with my friend and his stepfather deep in the mountains. It was a rugged trip, I was exhausted and cold and hungry, but the beauty of it all was overwhelming. I'll never forget the feeling of standing 30 feet from a herd of elk, it was truly majestic.
What is your spirit animal?
I think it might be the elk. They are so huge and stoic and powerful, and they always roll like 30-50 deep. Where I live now, there's a herd of 30 or so that come through my property twice a year. I just stare at them in awe.
Is that love of nature an influence in your work?
Oh yeah, a lot of my illustrative work is inspired by nature. I grew up in kind of a poor area and spent a lot of time outside. I lived not far from a river, so I would just hang out down by the river. I spent a lot of time in the elements, tripping out on ants, catching snakes and frogs. I remember catching 27 snakes one day, but you know how memories are. Growing up in Idaho, there are a lot of beautiful areas. I would go on backpacking trips with friends to the Seven Devils, these seven peaks with incredible lakes, for two weeks. There's something humbling about spending two weeks in nature, feeling so small. That’s important because in the modern age you put so much importance on yourself, me this, me that. The more often you can get out there, the better it is for your outlook on everything.
I also can't watch enough nature documentaries, I could watch that shit all day long.
What are some of your favorites?
We have Oregon Public Broadcasting up here, and they have this show called Oregon Field Guide. They have their own team that they send to all the places in Oregon and just in this state alone there's all the amazing shit. Just last week, they discovered uncharted waterfalls. Oregon's full of waterfalls, but these had never been charted. They're calling it Valhalla. That shit is cool, man! You can throw on the Nature Channel and I won't move for two days!
For Valentine's Day, Radiolab did this special on the Deathwatch beetle. These beetles spend 15 years searching for a mate, and if they don't find one, they die. The chances are slim. And they look by banging their head on timber. They'll live in old houses, and go in there and bang their head on the wood for 15 fucking years dude! And this is probably more than I should tell you, but when they do have sex, she has 13% of his body weight in sperm! That would be like three gallons for a human. You can turn that into a fucking comic book. It's the craziest shit I've ever heard and it's real! It's a real thing. How can you NOT be into nature when you hear shit like that?
The world is so interesting. If you want to be an interesting person, just pay attention to the world around you and soak it up. [H]
Lloydby the numbers
- EightyYears Old
- "I carry a couple fine tip pens, a sharpie or two, pencils, sharpener, erasers, Field Notes, clipboard with paper, laptop, sometimes a crystal or two for good vibes."
- "I'd really like to make a shift back towards being a musician, just making records and maybe some soundtracks and music videos."