AIGA Saint Louis is a professional organization that promotes visual communications excellence and its value to the community. As the Vice President of AIGA Saint Louis, Tim Hykes is responsible for overseeing all the committees and daily operations of AIGA Saint Louis. In addition, he is an interactive designer who takes joy and pride into turning ideas into enjoyable user experiences. In today’s Getting to Know St. Louis Creatives Tim gives us insight into being a creative leader in St. Louis.
What originally made you want to become a designer?
In high school, we got a chance to create a calendar using photoshop. That was my first touch point. From there I made poster and flyer in college for organizations. I remember thinking at one point how can I make my flyers and posters look more like it is from a magazine. From there I followed tutorials and online class.
Who has been the biggest influence on your work?
I love Tad Carpenter and Jessica Hische illustrations. They both have major influences on my work. I love the added depth in Tad’s work. The textures and small details excite me. They make me want to try to reproduce what he’s done. I love Jessica’s sketchbook drawings. I don’t have a beautiful sketchbook like she does, but she’s the reason I buy hardcover sketchbooks and why I have a grid layout.
If you could visit your younger self, what would you share with them about your industry?
The design industry loves positivity and as long as you are positive you will go far. Never be afraid to be who you are. Black is a positive quality, and it makes you different which is a good thing. Copy everything you like and admire. Go out and reproduce them because it teaches you critical skills with the tools you use. Most importantly create something every damn day. Try to produce something original every day. Trust me kid you will go far.
How would you describe your approach to design?
I follow a user-centered design process. Since moving into the UX and UI field, I started thinking about design in a cognitive psychological way. Conducting user research before starting my design efforts, redefining the problem and creating the solutions. Walking through current design and pointing out why particular aspects are limiting our success. In short using the user’s action to inform my design.
Favorite design-related thing about St. Louis?
I enjoy the City Park. It is a cross between nature and art. From digital art to statues it a perfect place to benefit from the beauty of nature and art. What is great is the size of the art from large to small, wet and dry. It is a great mix.