Timothy Goodman is many things. A designer, illustrator, muralist, and author, he admits that when people ask him to describe what he does he says that his grandma calls him an artist. His art and words have populated anything and everything, from walls, buildings and packaging to cars, people, shoes, clothing, book jackets, magazine covers and galleries all over the world.
His clients include Google, Samsung, Uniqlo, Target, MoMA, Airbnb, Netflix, The New Yorker and The New York Times; and with more than 159k followers on Instagram – he’s a force to be reckoned with.
But whether it’s a large-scale public mural on the streets of NYC, a marker scrawling on a Uniqlo t-shirt, a web-based social experiment that documents his life, or writing personal stories on Instagram, Goodman wants to start dialogues about difficult topics such as love, heartbreak, politics, race, therapy and mental health. He believes the greatest joy as a designer and an artist is the ability to connect to another human emotionally through his work and words. A worthy cause, if any.
“I just want to create art that people can connect to,” he told Eye on Design. “I think so much of the time we make art for ourselves or for other people in our communities to see. With so many of the stories I’m trying to tell, I’m trying to make things for actual people. I think sharing your personal stories is sort of activism; when you connect to other lonely people in the world, I think there’s a service involved that is really powerful. I want to continue to use my work as a vehicle for that.”
According to Goodman, the key to good design is emotion. “If I can’t connect to someone seeing my work on an emotional level, then I don’t know why I’m doing it,” he stresses. “How do you interact with a great film or a great book or a great album? You’re connecting with it emotionally. So why wouldn’t I make my work in the face of that? I don’t know why we define graphic designers in such a small box. I just don’t know what the point of that is. There are so many ways for people to interact with one’s work.”
Follow his Instagram page for your daily fix of inspiration.