Beard Power: An Interview with Art Director David Lichtenwalter and Graphic Designer Nate Olsen

Hampton Creative is still growing, and we just added two top-notch designers to our team.  They’re pretty awesome, and both have beards that are equally awesome, so you should probably get to know them better.

April has been a whirlwind here at HC.  Both of you guys recently joined Hampton Creative, so tell us about your past experience and what you were doing before HC.

DL:  It’s been a crazy first week. I’m very excited to be here! Let’s see, it’s actually been a crazy year! I just moved back from Houston a week ago. I worked for an agency called Axiom. About 90% of our clients were for the oil and gas industry.

NO: I was at Little Mountain Productions for the past 6 years doing environmental and graphic design. Before that, I did stints at two other local agencies.

What’s one of your all-time favorite projects that you’ve worked on?  What made it memorable?

DL: I’ve got a lot of projects that I’ve enjoyed over the years. Probably one of my favorites though is when I did the Art Directors Club Graphex awards show with Justen Renyer and Winston Peraza. Everything turned out great and was a much different approach than any previous Graphex show.

NO: One project that has a pretty good story is a mural I did on a series of school lockers for a street school in Tulsa. It was a project that basically had low-to-no expectations and was sort of “delegated” to me as an intern. The irony is that the project won an Addy that year.

Where do you find your inspiration to design?  Any direct or indirect influences?

DL:  It’s the joy of making something better, beautiful, or clever that pushes me. I want people to think what I make is great or something they haven’t thought of before, and when I see someone make something I didn’t dream of, I want to make something better.

NO: The greatest influence is my Creator. Rather than imitate what our world does, I try to discover creativity in Him. Other influences would be music, architecture, and nature.

What are some of the current design trends you’re seeing in the industry, and what’s your take on them?

NO: I think an obvious one is the move away from print to digital media. It’s a two-edged sword. I love digital media and it’s flexibility, but it loses some of the personality and even consistency of print. To me, there’s nothing like holding a well thought out printed piece in my hand and appreciating all the intricacies of the paper/process.

In the short time you’ve been at Hampton Creative, what are some of the differences about our agency that you’ve noticed?  Any surprises?

DL: The people are very genuine and friendly. Emphasis on time with family is so unique for this industry. Also, feeling like the work I am doing is impacting something more significant than some of the other things I have had to work on in the past.

NO: HC puts a high value on faith, family, and creativity. In my experience, that is a rare mix.

What do you like most about working at Hampton Creative so far?

DL: I can definitely say it’s the atmosphere. Everyone is great, and it’s very laid back and comfortable. That has become so important to me over time.

NO: Being around a quality group of humble men and women who inspire me to create amazing work.

What are three things you like to do in your spare time?

DL: I like to skateboard when I can. Make anything. My wife and I have been searching for a home to buy and renovate. We have such an interest in that and are looking forward to it. Oh, and I like to mow the lawn. That’s four.

NO: Adventures with my family, write songs/music and lead worship, give leadership to a House of Prayer.

What’s the weirdest or most interesting thing we should know about you? (It’s OK, you’re already hired).

DL: I was born with a full beard. Also, I don’t like cotton balls anywhere near me.

NO: I can pick things up with my toes.

Any last words?  Shout-outs, etc?  Lots of people are going to read this, so make it good.

DL: I’m back in Tulsa, so come hang out with me.

NO: Just love for my family (wife and 4 kiddos).

Thanks, lads – we’re glad you’re both here!

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One Comment

James McCullough
May 2, 2013 7:53 pm

Johnie and Nate…what a great combo! I am so excited that Nate has joined Hampton Creative. This is just an awesome opportunity to see the explosion of creativity that will continue to come out of this agency. And to have David come on board at the same time I think is just an added bonus. I can’t wait to see what happens next with this exciting group of creatives. Good job and great sailing for a really talented packed studio. -Mac

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