Native from Los Angeles, currently living in Amsterdam for 4 years, graphic designer Justin Blyth is the brain behind the blog www.them-thangs.com. A web page that attracts and inspires thousands of readers every day.
Justin Blyth brilliantly manages photography, collage or even graphic design to plunge his audience into another world. Armed with a unique style, he transports you with an imagination combined with a graphic touch to an unconventional universe at the frontier of psychedelic, composed of colorful neo-vintage artworks including symbols. His work earned him today collaborations with music labels as Owsla Records, magazines such as Blend and Warp Records or clothing with brands like Sixpack France.
Photography: Harper Smith / Art Direction: Justin Blyth
Can you introduce yourself ? What is your background ?
I’m Justin. Born and raised in Los Angeles, living in Amsterdam for the last 4 years.
How did you start in graphic design?
My father was a draftsman, he made technical drawings for MGM movie studios throughout the 70s and 80s. He would teach me how to draw letterforms and objects in perspective when I was a young kid. If we were hanging around a bar or restaurant and I was bored he would teach me how to sketch stuff. That was really my introduction.
Who are your models in terms of graphics and art in general?
I’ve always been a big fan of Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast & Pushpin Studios, old OZ magazines, David Singer who made a lot of the Fillmore collage posters in the 60s. As far as contemporaries I’m inspired by people like Perks & Mini but honestly there are so many talented people out there I wouldn’t know where to begin.
What do you want to transcribe through the two designs that account this capsule?
My designs are about the Joy and ignorance of youth. Keeping your head in the clouds no
matter what your age is.
What look do you have on this decisive period wich is the adolescence ?
I look fondly on my own adolescence. We change so much as we grow up but in hindsight it’s very clear how we became the people we are as adults.
What are the idols that have marked your childhood? Have they been influential in your adult life?
I had a pretty fun childhood. My parents were dope-smoking hippies, they had a VW bus… hahaha. My dad used to drop me off at school on the back of a Triumph motorcycle, there were always a lot of people around my house, parties, dealers, hippies, weirdos etc. My dad worked for a movie studio where half the people were paid in cocaine… it was always interesting. I appreciate my own childhood more as I get older. Of course later there were things like spray paint, skateboards, hip hop, etc. Definitely would say all those things have clearly shaped the person I’ve become.
Some think we should “kill our idols” to build our own identity. What is your opinion?
I think you have to respect and acknowledge the people that have influenced you, but don’t imitate them for too long. Being an artist or designer is all about finding your own voice through the jumble of references in your head.
” Melancholy fascinates men and shapes their characters since forever so to speak, at least from the conciousness-raising of the passing of time.”
What is your perception about it ?
I think I have a generally positive and sparingly nihilistic view on life, but I can’t resist an intense voyeuristic tendency to obsess over the most melancholic aspects of it.
What are the two words that describe you the best?