Do stuff, make stuff with alumnus Clint Reid
Clint Reid wanted to do many things growing up.
“I wanted to be Batman,” Reid said. “I wanted to be Mario, too, but I think everything I wanted to be had something to do with teaching or designing.”
Reid didn’t grow up to be Batman or Mario, but he did become a teacher and designer. Reid attended Cameron University and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Since then, he has used his degree in many different ways.
After graduation, Reid worked at Arrow Sign Company in Lawton, where he did signage design and digital advertisements.
“That was my first, big job after school,” Reid said. “They were really great to work for.”
Reid then ventured to the “little ski town” of Red River, N.M. to open up his own freelance shop.
“I don’t like big cities,” Reid said. “I like a town I can just ride my bike in and not have to start my car for several months – Red River was one of those towns. I had been to a lot of places outside of Oklahoma but never lived places.”
The mountains, weather and small town atmosphere were some of the driving forces that led him to Red River.
“I had a small community,” Reid said. “I was able to kind of work part time and kind of do my own thing and get on my feet and learn about starting a business instead of just jumping into it; talking to some people and figuring out how to incorporate the business and what to do with the tax junk and all that boring stuff – that hurts my head. It was a slower pace, and it allowed me to learn all that before I really went all into it.”
Reid mainly prepared print and design brochures, logo and identity development and business cards.
“It was a really dated community,” Reid said. “They didn’t know what a vector file was that they could send to a sign shop. They didn’t understand a lot of that stuff. So I kind of just went in and refurbished and cleaned things up.”
While riding his bike around town one day, Reid stumbled upon a man, who had an enormous beard, painting a bicycle in his front yard.
“Beards and bikes are two of my favorite things,” Reid said. “I was like, ‘That’s a really cool bike,’ and he said, ‘That’s a cool beard.’ We’ve been friends ever since.”
Reid’s bearded, bike-loving comrade led him to an next adventure in Durango, Colo. He was part of a five-artist gallery and studio workspace for a few years. Reid and his colleagues worked at the gallery on the main street in Durango and hosted a show every month. They not only showed their own art, but also they brought in a guest artist occasionally.
“A lot of creative individuals sort of flocked there [Durango],” Reid said. “You can go to a coffee shop and sit down and start drawing, then somebody will come up with their sketch book and want to draw, too.”
While in Durango, Reid got into web-development, which he still does today. Although he moved back to his hometown of Fredrick, Okla., he continues to do business with his friends in Durango.
“I got married in February,” Reid said. “My wife and daughter are from Australia, so I figured with them coming over here, and, us wanting to work full-time freelance, do our own thing; I thought Oklahoma would be a good place to start.”
Since he returned to Frederick, Reid has completed a few art projects for the community that he says “pays the bills,” but he has what he calls “an umbrella” for his personal art, Tillman Project.
Reid said the name started back when he was in college after he and a friend considered doing collaborations together and bringing in other artists.
“I kind of thought of the name ‘Tillman Project’ as something that, you know, could cover a broad spectrum of things,” Reid said. “I just kind of kept using it, and when I moved to New Mexico, I needed a business name. ‘Tillman Project’ kind of stuck because I was doing a little bit of apparel design, print design and logo stuff. There wasn’t one thing that I focused on doing, so ‘Tillman Project’ covered the whole thing.”
Tillman is also Reid’s middle name; he’s named after his great grandfather who lived in Frederick, too. Ironically, Tillman is also the name of the county that Frederick is the county seat of.
“It means tillers of the land,” Reid said, “so it’s a workers name, and that’s kind of all we do is just work, so it suits us.”
Currently, Reid has “a lot of irons in the fire.” He has been sketching kid books, and he and his wife are also working on kid’s apparel that encourages kids to be themselves and to be “weird.” Reid will take part in an art show in January in Philadelphia, then fly back up in March to do a community workshop, where he’ll do scavenger hunts with art and then teach kids about it.
With all his adventures and projects, Reid believes he is fulfilling his childhood dream job, even if he isn’t saving Gotham City or rescuing Princess Peach.
“What I do always changes,” Reid said. “I’m screen printing one week, and then designing webpages another week. Then I’m doing paintings and illustrations another week. Then I’m working on books another week, so I don’t do one specific thing, but it’s all making.
“I guess, in that sense, I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do.”
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