Introducing Garth!

Garth Purkett is our new DWL intern! He is going to help me out with all kinds of things behind the scenes, but he will also be lending his voice to the blog. His posts will appear every Thursday and provide you with an image-heavy dose of weekly inspiration. Let’s welcome him!

First, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

My name is Garth Purkett and I was born and raised in the “City of Destiny,” Tacoma, Washington. My mom named me after Garth Williams, the illustrator of E.B White’s Charlotte’s Web, and I’ve spent a lifetime responding, “Party on, Wayne.” A lot of my favorite things are fairly opposite — design / football, stand up comedy / survival horror games, metal / rump-shakin’ dance jams — but I like to think that this makes me well-rounded or something. I drink a lot of coffee and am really passionate about growing my brain, especially when it comes to design and creativity.

I’m a digital marketer/designer by trade and built the majority of my chops (and sipped a lot of soda) as the digital marketing manager at DRY Soda. I’m now a social media community manager at Amazon for an incredible new project called AmazonSmile (which you should bookmark right now). I studied marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, but I’m continuously Swiss army knifing into more design, creative writing, art and HTML & CSS knowledge at the School of Visual Concepts. I also do a bit of freelance design and social media work on the side.

Where are you located? Do you feel like your surroundings have an impact on the work that you do?

I’m tucked away up in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, living in a lovely duplex with my girlfriend Kelly. She’s a talented graphic designer and all-around visual person, so her next-level nesting skills mean there’s good design at every turn. It makes it pretty easy to get inspired, even lounging around the house in sweats.

As for my greater surroundings, it’s hard not to be inspired living up here in the Great Northwest. You could sit down for coffee in the heart of Seattle overlooking the Space Needle and Puget Sound, then drive a mere 30 minutes east and be surrounded by mountains and forest. Seattle summers are the best on the planet, and since the rain keeps a lot of people away, it filters the population down into a kind of creative, conscious, forward-thinking paradise up here that inspires me a ton.

Tell us about a recent (or current) project you’re excited about.

I’m wrapping up two classes — drawing and typography — that I take after work at the School of Visual Concepts, and for my final project I’m designing fictional dog food packaging for Lorem Ipsum brand Pangram Power Pellets, to help give lazy dogs the pep of a quick brown fox. It’s going to include a lot of expressive type as illustration and should be pretty challenging, but I love stupid puns and alliterations so it’ll be a treat.


Does a “typical day” exist for you? What does it look like?

Weekdays unfold as such: wake up, bus to work, hustlehustlehustle, bus home, eat dinner with Kelly, work on freelance together, relax in the hot tub, shower, watch a movie, get some shuteye.

Weekends are all about brunch. It’s a non-negotiable part of Saturdays and Sundays. From there, depending on the season, my typical weekend day will branch off into either snowboarding, farmers market-ing, swimming, or playing (see also: arguing about) Scrabble with Kelly.

What does your workspace look like right this minute?

Welcome to my part time workspace, part time Airbnb rental room.


What’s inspiring you right now?

Artistically: Kyler Martz, musically: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, comedically: Eugene Mirman, visually: LEVYfilms, aesthetically: Poler.

Who are your heroes (professional or otherwise)?

My parents, Gary and Sally, and my younger sister, Taylor. My parents showed me how to always be a person for others through their own selflessness, and my sister has taught me that hard work and high character are the collective answer to everything.

Jacob Bannon: The lead singer of my favorite band, one of my favorite visual artists, owner of one of my favorite record labels and an all-around positive and empowering guy, Jacob inspires me to always be thinking of/building toward/actively doing something new.


What’s the last thing you saw online that made you laugh, smile, think or take action?

I haven’t been able to not laugh out loud at this tweet since I first saw it. Or this one. They’ve got some staying power, I tell you.

When you get the chance to disconnect, where would we find you?

My girlfriend and I got a hot tub recently, so that’s where 80% of my “disconnect” time goes now. It’s divine. The other 20% consists of getting brunch while drinking a lot of coffee, reading at a cafe while drinking a lot of coffee, or snowboarding after drinking a lot of coffee. I don’t know why, but there’s something extremely relaxing to me about sitting back and drinking more coffee than I should.

Rapid-fire round. Give us five current favorites: of-the-moment favorites:

  1. Typeface: Bebas Neue — It’s become both a crush and crutch.
  2. App: Tick — I’m a freak about to-do lists, and this one takes the cake.
  3. Website: Twitter — This may be a bit of a cop out, but there are so many brilliantly funny people on Twitter that it’s hard to resist. That’s where I spend a lot of my digital free time.
  4. Word: Lugubrious — Say it out loud and draw out the second “u” to see why.
  5. Book: Learn HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites — Beautiful, beautiful book, and the best way for a design-minded person to learn valuable skills.

Courtney is the founder of Design Work Life and Seamless Creative, a small design studio she runs with her husband Brian. She now splits her time between developing brand identities for small businesses and soaking up (and passing along) as much inspiration as she possibly can.

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