In fall of 1997 I took my first graphic design class at New Mexico State University.
I wasn’t totally sold on pursuing graphic design as a profession. I was leaning towards it because it was more practical than being an artist but, being totally clueless at the time, I thought that graphic design was very boring and lacked emotion.
It so happened that the main design professor had the year off and a guy called Ronnie Garver was taking his place. He was a young guy who had just gone through the same program himself. Ronnie’s style was heavily influenced by Art Chantry and the Seattle grunge movement.
I instantly fell in love.
We had to keep an inspiration journal, as part of the class. For the first time I was looking at magazines as an artist and not as a silly teenager.
Buying my first copy of Raygun (above, cover by Chris Ashworth) cemented the fact that I was not only choosing graphic design, but I was BORN to do graphic design. I spent the whole semester creating projects in the middle of the night at Kinkos. Making copy after copy, with my scissors and glue stick ready to chop it all up and paste it back together again. I’d rip it up – run outside and scrape it against the asphalt till it was barely readable – tape it back together and make another copy.
A few months into the semester Ronnie announced that Art Chantry was actually coming to the campus to give a talk. The whole dept. would also be designing posters for a Von Zippers show that Chantry would see and discuss. (The poster to the left was designed/printed by Ronnie Garver & Chad Ballard for the event.) The talk Chantry gave was amazing and incredibly inspiring. Later he came into our classroom where a hundred posters were tacked to a large wall… one of my top five proudest moments of my life was when he pointed mine out!
And 13 years later, I just found it under the bed and scanned it in!
Anyways, that’s my story. Shout out to my mentor and the spark to all of this, Ronnie Garver. You rock dude, thank you.