Chuck Anderson

Chuck Anderson

Chuck Anderson is a cautionary tale. He’s one of those dangerous people who make life look easy. Graduate high school, start a website exhibiting your art, accumulate a client roster of brand superpowers and sit pretty. Why not? He did it. But here’s the “don’t try this at home” part. The guy is a super-talent who possesses that coveted combination of genuine creativity and business savvy.

“I think the name [NoPattern] says a lot about working in different mediums and different styles. It has come to encompass everything I do.”

Format: How did you come up with the name NoPattern?
Chuck: I was pressured to come up with something for my website back in high school, five or six years ago. There was no intention of it being my company name or a moniker. I just needed a name. I wrote down a list of different names and then narrowed them down. I was also kind of inspired by this movie Pi. It kind of went over my head, but I was still fascinated by it. There was a lot about patterns and stuff like that. So it kind of derived from that.

Format: So it actually had nothing to do with your art?
Chuck: It’s funny, because it has come to have everything to do with it, but it didn’t when I started. I picked a name that would kind of allow me, if I decided to do this as a profession, to keep my options open. I think the name says a lot about working in different mediums and different styles. It has come to encompass everything I do.

Chuck Anderson

Format: Was it a conscious decision to forgo any kind of formal education in graphic design?
Chuck: It was a conscious decision. I did intend to go eventually, but after high school I didn’t really feel that passionate about it and it wasn’t pushed on me by my family. I decided not to go and then things kind of snowballed. One thing led to another and I ended up meeting a lot of people I learned al of things from but not in a formal setting.

Format: At 22-years-old you’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. How did that ball get rolling?
Chuck: I worked at a bookstore after high school and then a screen printer that did really hokey construction company or cheerleading things. Nothing interesting, but I wanted a job where I could learn something artistic and creative. I didn’t care what. At the same time I had my website that I was kind of just doing as a side thing. I had personal artwork up and I was trying to get involved in the design community online. I started trying to permeate my work into those sites and get my stuff out there. I started getting some attention and some links and e-mails from people who were interested. As far as getting clients, I would e-mail and introduce myself to any agency and company whose e-mail I could get my hands on. I did tons of self-promoting. I pretty much built my livelihood out of promoting my work. I mean, I was 18 and living with my parents so it was like, alright I’m not going to college, I’m not stupid I know I’m kind of up against a wall without a degree or experience so if I’m going to do anything with art in my life I’m probably going to have to the footwork. That kind of kicked me into shape about doing all this kind of stuff.

Chuck Anderson

Format: You make it sound easy?
Chuck: I’ve had people say that before. I don’t know maybe it just came easy for me, but I felt confident enough in my work that I could just e-mail somebody. It’s not like I had to meet them face to face or make an awkward cold call. Why not just shoot them an e-mail? If they don’t like it they don’t have to write back. Worse that can happen is they say no.

Format: As an artist do you have any qualms about working with such commercial brands?
Chuck: There are only so many true purists in the design and art world. At some point you have to pay the bills and make money. I’m not strictly a fine artist so at the moment I’m not living of the sales of just my artwork like some artists can. I went through my little rebellious phase in high school where I thought I’ll never work for a McDonalds-like corporation – then I did and it turns out they pay well. I definitely have standards that I set for myself. I’ve decided I won’t do work in the porno or cigarette industries, other than that, it’s fair game.

Chuck Anderson

Format: How does your commercial work compare to your personal work?
Chuck: Personal work is very much about experimenting, trying new things and messing around in ways that some client projects don’t allow. With a big client project there’s always room for experimenting, being unique and doing something new but they’re coming to you because they’ve seen what you’ve already done so that’s the direction they want you to go most of the time. That’s the difference but, and it’s probably good luck on my part, I’ve rarely had a client project where I’ve felt tied down or forced to do something that’s not very natural for me.

Format: Do you prefer one to the other?
Chuck: I go through waves. What’s nice about client work is that having someone telling me what to do keeps me within a border. There’s not much pressure to come up with something. Whereas when I do personal work there is pressure to come up with something new but still retain what you’re known for.

Format: Any major influences?
Chuck: I get asked that question a lot and I always wish I had a better answer. Looking back over the years I can see that I’ve always been drawn to using very vibrant colors and dark contrast between darks and lights. I’m not someone that keeps things subtle. I never get hired to do subtle and calm. It’s always bold and exciting. Today, there are tons of different artist that I love, not one particular person that I could say makes me do what I do.

Chuck Anderson

Leyla Emory

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  1. good stuff, man. especially Lupe’s cover. it feels very fresh. nobody expected something like this on a rap album.

  2. i love chuck and his work but it is very frustrating to see and hear people label him as a graphic designer. he is a great digital illustrator and artist but not a designer. he is doing pretty much nothing with type and image it is all thought up textures and images. this is not a negative post at all just stating a fact. keep up the great work and art

  3. Hi!. Thanks a bunch for the info. I’ve been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Google lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the good work. I will be coming back in a few days to see if there is any more info.

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