Finding ways to escape the monotony and anxiety of life during a pandemic and stay physically mentally strong can be tough. For many creatives, finding inspiration in isolation, is another hurdle.
Rich Barrett is a user experience design strategist at Ally Bank. In his words, that means he “… guides our design team to innovate and stay ahead of the curve in how we approach solving for our customer’s needs.”
Turning to the Pen for Comfort
With COVID-19 restricting his movements and creating a new set of challenges, Rich put his skills to work for himself and combined his need to stay mentally and physically strong with a desire to stay creatively sharp while separated from his team.
Sketching has always been a comfort for Rich. So, it was a natural place to turn when everything else was turned upside down.
“Drawing has always been my thing since I was a little kid,” said Rich. “I studied illustration in college and have had a little mini-career as a professional illustrator over the past few years. It varies between being a hobby and a side-hustle.”
While illustrating isn’t an “official” part of Rich’s job, he finds ways to sneak it in.
“If you’re an Ally customer with a savings account and have ever created a bucket for that account, I created the illustrations that appear in those buckets,” said Rich.
A Shared Challenge
When the pandemic hit, Rich was inspired by his co-worker and friend, Alisa Notte, a Charlotte-based designer, to take on “creative quarantine challenges” with other creatives at Ally. Since they’re all working at home, those participating would share their work over slack. And, that let to a sketching challenge in October.
“One of my weird little quarantine activities recently has been to take daily walks while I listen to an album I’ve never really listened to all the way through before,” said Rich.
Rich not only listened to the albums, he studied up to learn more about the history and inspiration behind the music. And, that inspiration, inspired him.
“I thought it would be fun to draw the people behind these albums since they were taking up all this room in my brain anyway,” he says.
Starting with Price on Oct. 2, Rich has drawn and posted a different music legend almost every day. We’ve posted a selection of our favorites below, but don’t let us be the final judge. Explore Rich’s entire collection here.
Draw Deeper into Rich Barrett’s Illustrations
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