John Lepak

What do you do and where do you do it?
By day I’m a Designer with WondriskaRusso Associates in West Hartford. By night I operate a freelance gig called Fourfivesix.

What inspired you to choose this profession, and what makes you stay in it?
I’ve always loved drawing, and about halfway through high school I committed to the idea of going to art school. I used to screw around with flyers for bands or inserts for mix-tapes before I ever had any idea what “graphic design” was. Shit like that was a lot of fun. I connected the dots shortly thereafter.

Why I stuck around? I’ve had the privilege of working with some pretty inspiring students and professors at school and that’s just continued through my professional experience. That, and the fact that I just really like doing it. Why not, right?

What is your single favorite piece in your portfolio?
I’d really have to split it down the middle between a poster series I did for my senior project and a website concept I did for Hartford Art School.

The posters were cool because it was a ton of thought work followed by a ton of handwork. I didn’t take it to the computer until after I’d cut and stitched what felt like an infinite number of chipboard letters. It was nice to “make something,” instead of just pushing a key or clicking a mouse.

The website concepts get to share top billing because it was a legitimate opportunity to use a jackalope in a project. For real though. Can you believe it caught the ax?

What/Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Career-wise I’d like to have my graduate degree and a short list of awesome people that I like to work with. Or be an off-the-bench shooting guard for the Celtics. Either would be pretty cool.

Who/What are your biggest influences?
Everything. For better or worse, I like to think that anything I’m doing is a direct product of my environment—where I come from, the city I live in, the books I read, the food I eat, the music I listen to, the people I know, etc. It’s all present and accounted for.

What do you wish you did better?
I don’t think there’s a single thing that I’ve maxed-out on, that I can’t do better. I guess it’s about learning and applying and then repeating the process, for everything. Not to say that the trying isn’t there, I just don’t like to believe that at 25 years old I’ve perfected anything.

Why Connecticut?
I grew up here, and Hartford was the place I wanted to start my career. The city gets a bad rap, but you know what? It’s sick, and I love it.

Who are the best creatives you’ve worked with?
Danny Mercadante and Jeff McCarthy who I was lucky enough to come out of high-school with; Devin Scheffel, my boy from the Pratt days, who could both draw and rap; Anthony Acock, Vaughn Fender, Porto, Caitlin Schiller and Wojciech Pirog from not-so-far back; Finally, I’ve had the pleasure of living/working with my lovely and talented girlfriend, Kat Riehle. She’s also an ill designer though she’d frown upon my use of the word ill.

What are your loves/passions outside of this field?
I’ve got a terminal case of the wanderlust. You name a place and chances are I haven’t been there, but I’d probably shake my already loose morals to do what it takes to change that. I also like playing basketball, and my rabbit, whose name is Bunneh.

What do you know now that you didn’t know then?
The strength of street knowledge, when keeping it real goes wrong (and when it’s fully appropriate), and that the Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck with.

2 Comments

anthony
anthony 4.26.10

nice work lepak. remember: if the countries going to war, invest in nuclear bombs.

UGG USA Store
UGG USA Store 12.16.11

Hey, what type of antispam wordpress plugin don’t you work with in your weblog.,Ha


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