Q&A: CALEB EVERITT

Click below for a quick Q&A with designer/art director Caleb Everitt, who has been behind some recognizable BMX projects, in addition to his other body of work.

As a bonus, Caleb also made us a wallpaper which you can download at the bottom of the page.


Caleb, For those who are not familiar with you, please tell us a little about yourself.
Caleb Owen Everitt, 27 years of age, Attempting to float between Brooklyn and Austin.

How’s living in Brooklyn?
I love Brooklyn, but the winter months can get kinda harsh, so I’ve been trying to keep away until spring comes. I’ve been down in Austin lately and I seriously can’t say enough good things about 70 degree weather and cheap living.

You also spent some time in Texas correct, which I assume is how you got involved with Empire and Mutiny?
Yeah, I grew up outside of Houston and then went to the Austin area for school. I’ve known Tina & Tom at Empire for like fifteen years now and known Joe & Gaz forever as well.

How did you link up with them?
Around the time I moved to Austin for school, Tina & Tom were getting off the ground with Empire and I somehow ended up working retail at the shop when I wasn’t in school. Soon after I began working there I got involved with the visual side of everything and helped out there until I graduated and moved to NY.

Pretty similar story with Mutiny. I had been friends with Joe, Gaz and Aron for a while already and they asked me to do a small run of buttons and some shirts and I’ve been getting more involved in the visual direction of the brand since then.

What are some projects you have done for those guys that people might recognize?
I have no idea. Maybe the new Empire logo and Mutiny stuff from the last few years.

You’re doing the new Empire site correct? How is that going?
The design stage of the site has been done for over a year now. I guess setting up inventory for that many products is a time consuming process. Hopefully it will be up and running in the near future, but it’s totally out of my hands at this point.

Have you done any work for other BMX brands?
Here and there, but just smaller projects really. I’m always interested in getting my hands into new things. I’ve just been waiting for Haro and Diamond Back to come calling, but they haven’t come through yet. Fingers crossed.

Your day job is at MTV, what do you do there?
Actually, I’m no longer there as a full-time designer. I was offered the job a few days after I graduated and made the rash decision to take it, even though I knew it wasn’t going to be an ideal situation. But, I felt like it would be a good experience in the long run, and it was – I made some great friends, and it really inspired my idea of what being a designer/commercial artist was all about. While I was there, we would commission people like Geoff Mcfetridge, Mike Perry and the guys like that to do their thing…basically to experiment and illustrate type for us and seeing that definitely played into my decision to venture out on my own and start a studio. I still work for MTV pretty often, but more on my own terms and from my studio rather than their Times Square office.

Any good stories involving any celebrities?
Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O fell through the ceiling and onto my friends desk while he was eating sushi in his office. Apparently they were high on spray adhesive and lost in the maze of AC vents.

Who was your first “big” client and what did you produce for them?
It’s funny, every client seems big at that respective time. Like, when I first did a sticker for Empire I thought that was huge, but in hindsight it was probably Nike or someone like that. I did a series of limited edition shirts for them in ’08 and that was the first time I really thought about how large an audience a company like that has, but I worked there at the time, so they weren’t really a “client” per se.

Your work has a nice simple clean style, which most anyone can enjoy. How does your process for creating go?
Thanks. My process is always changing… I get really bored and distracted with routine, so I always try to change it up, but no matter what, anything that turns out worth a shit started with a sketch and/or a long wordlist. I went to a formally traditional design school where they really emphasized figuring things out on paper before jumping to the computer.

What is your favorite medium to work in?
I’ve always preferred doing things by hand and although it gets tiresome at times—the computer really does allow a level of experimentation that’s hardly possible with other mediums. Don’t get me wrong though, I’d rather hand paint signs for the rest of my life than stare at a computer monitor.

If we were to look at your desk/work station, what would we see?
It depends where I am with my work. If I’m just starting a project, I prefer it to be spotless, just a monitor, wacom tablet, sketchbook and pens, but by the end of a project it’s another story.

Who are some graphic artists/artists that inspire you?
There are tons of people whose work I admire; Geoff McFetridge, Hort, Sagmeister is a given, guys like Ed Fella, Lettman and Mike Giant that have crazy handskills . Lately I’ve been looking outside of the design world for inspiration. Artists like Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Olaf Breuning get me way more inspired than looking at stuff that’s within the realm of what I do on a daily basis.

Im sure you spend some time on the internet, what are some sites you check out daily?
There is such a wealth of content these days that I try to not look at the same sites everyday— but on fairly continual rotation are: nytimes.com, wikipedia.com, ffffound.com, defgrip, fecalface is always great and I spend way too much of my time looking for new art and music blogs.

Are there any current projects you are working on that you would care to spill the beans about?
Lots of unusual projects coming through lately, but it’s too early to say much else.

What goals do you have with your work? What are some projects you would like to tackle?
Just to stay inspired and take the time to enjoy experimenting on commercial and personal projects alike.

Thanks for your time, anything you would like to add before we wrap this?
Thanks for the opportunity. Live what you love.

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  • http://www.andrewbradyonline.com Andrew

    Great interview, Caleb is definitely one of the best designers in BMX and seems relatively unknown to the BMX world. Empire actually just showed a preview for their new site in the twitter world:

    http://www.empirebmx.com/graphics/news/preview.jpg

    Hopefully this thing launches soon, I just want to be able to download the Empire trailer!

  • Drew K

    I really like what he did with the SOBP video and Empire but Mutiny’s new direction- not so much. But thats just my opinion.

  • Sean Zubek

    All of his work is so badass!

  • http://www.fromoverhere.com Jason-

    I’m a big fan of Caleb’s work!
    Nice interview guys!

  • Landon P

    Good interview, Really, really nice work!

  • fro

    hufnagel bikes are real nice

  • http://www.fancyisland.blogspot.com meg

    Caleb >>> you are 26!!! <3

  • http://calebeveritt.com caleb

    you’re right, i’ve been thinking about turning 27 so much lately, that i tricked myself into thinking it had already happened. 26 feels so much younger for some reason…stoked i’m still young.

  • David Poe

    Caleb! Come back to Austin! now.

  • Landon P

    I noticed your name in Props 71, what work did you do?

  • http://calebeveritt.com caleb

    i think i did the Blackout Texas Road trip title. walter and i trade lots of favors, so I help him with the type for the titles here and there and he helps me with photography and html.

  • Taylor

    dude I have been a fan of your work for like 23 years. We should hang out some time, bro.