Alumnus Bryan Minear

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Chester, Ohio—a tiny town in Meigs county.

Where did you go to high school?
Eastern High School,  in Meigs County.

When did you graduate from Rio?
May of 2009

What was your major?
BFA-Graphic Design

What made you choose Rio?
My high school art teacher Josh Fogel was Rio Alumni and he had heard that they had started up a graphic design program, which had always been very interesting to me, after meeting with all of the art professors (Kevin, Benjy, and Jim) I knew it was the place for me.

What was your best professional experience at Rio (exhibition, recital, performance)?
My best professional experience was probably Benjy pushing us to create our own business presence and seek out freelance work. That is really the entire basis of my career. It started out as just mediocre work for bands and small businesses and grew exponentially. Besides that, I would say that my senior exhibit was a huge push and really helped me establish an independent work ethic.

What do you miss most about Rio?
Probably the comradery amongst the students and staff. I always felt like I was being pushed to do better work. But not in a way that I felt the work that I was churning out was sub-par in any way. Benjy, Kevin, and Jim always found a way to help me elevate the ideas that I had to a level that I wasn’t even sure was possible.

What advice would you give current students at Rio?
When you are in college, I know it just feels like school. But it is so much more than that. You are really building the foundation on which you will place your entire life and career. (which is pretty unconceivable for the average 20 year old) So when you find something that you are passionate about, you need to focus, dig deep, and commit to becoming the very best. Ignore the noise of the world and do what you do.

Where do you work now? What’s your job title?
I am currently a graphic designer at Fathead in Detroit, MI

What was your first “big break”?
The biggest one would probably be when I up and moved to Dallas, Texas to follow my girlfriend (now wife). Up to that point I only had freelance experience and, sadly, its tough to find a decent job in this industry without experience. But I found a full-time design job at a nonprofit, and after a year there, I really felt like I had a resume that employers would finally take seriously.

What are some of your greatest or most recent professional achievements?
I have designed multiple logos for new products since I have been at Fathead. Most recently I designed a custom small Fathead piece for inside the Bluray release of Transformers 4 at Best Buy’s nationwide. (This one really made the nerd in me very happy) Also, I just completed a branding project for a medical communications firm that services clients like Johnson & Johnson.

What kinds of art or music are you making now?
Currently between my full-time design job and all of my freelance clients, the art I create has hit a more commercial level. I also shoot between 5-10 weddings per year and I find great joy in that. As far as personal work goes, I find my solace in shooting landscape photographs. I love to travel, and always have a camera with me. Earlier this year my wife and I took a trip to Europe and visited London, England and Florence, Italy. It was one of the high points of my life.

What’s next in your career?
I currently have the best job a designer could ask for at Fathead. The culture is amazing, and I actually look forward to going to work every day. The only next I foresee myself having is going back to freelancing full time. That would be the only thing better than the job I currently have... or Apple... I would LOVE an opportunity to work at Apple.

Do you have a website?
I have a few, you can get to all of them from bryanminear.com

If you could spend the day with any fine artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Ansel Adams. This guy had the ability to photograph landscape and nature like you wouldn’t believe. I would give all of my camera equipment for 1 hour with him and his knowledge. If I ever feel creatively drained, I just pull out my Ansel Adams books.

Favorite book: (All time) The Divine Comedy (Current favorite): Inferno by Dan Brown (has a LOT to do with The Divine Comedy)

Favorite artist: Ansel Adams

Favorite Musician: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones (or Led Zeppelin)

Favorite movie: Anything Batman

Favorite food: Thai

If you could move anywhere, where would you go? The Pacific Northwest

Favorite quote: “I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.” – Saul Bass

If you couldn’t have a career in the arts, what would you do for a living? A stuntman

Do you live with a spouse, children, roommates or pets? My wife Ashley and two cats Lucy and Violet.

What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you? I had a life-threatening auto-immune disease that I overcame my junior year of high school.

Thanks, for sharing your story, Bryan!

More of Bryan’s work can be seen at bryanminear.com.