2 Minutes With ... Austin Lane, ECD at BLVR
With over a decade of experience, Austin leads the creative vision at BLVR. Photography, painting, drawing and filmmaking were all passions that led to a career in design and advertising. Austin believes in the big idea, smart strategy and dedication to craft. He's worked with a wide range of clients, including Andis (you might remember the Compton Cowboys).
He's been recognized by countless award shows, and his artwork has been exhibited across the U.S. Austin starts most days surfing in Encinitas—drawing inspiration from the local landscapes, cultures and people he meets along the way. He's also a big fan of cheap beer.
We spent two minutes with Austin to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.
Austin, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
Born in Texas. Then to Florida. To Pennsylvania. To Georgia. To Colorado. To California where my family and I live in Encinitas, a little beach town north of San Diego.
How you first realized you were creative.
I've always been a doodler and a maker of sorts. In the fourth grade, I remember rocking an art lesson where we had to conceptualize our ideal sneaker. I pretty much went off on it.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
Being a skateboarder growing up, and being into the DIY scene, I definitely had a huge draw to David Carson. His approach and style really spoke to me and still does.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
Starting a clothing company in my sophomore year of college. It really forced me to dive deeper into design and allowed me to wear many hats as a creative.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
There's so many … So, I'm just going to go with who I think of first. Going back to my sneaker answer above, CJ Hendry. Her attention to detail and hyper-realistic expressions through the medium of colored pencil are insane. Her sneakers are seriously next level. And aside from her craft, she always puts thought into the experience around her shows. It’s not just about the body of the work, it’s how she flexes beyond to create something bigger.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I read bits and pieces of Essentialism everyday for the most part. That’s a good one for sure. For TV, I always find Chef's Table to be highly inspirational, plus it’s shot really well. There’s a rawness to a chef that’s undeniable and their art/craft taps into the senses. You can't argue with the power of food.
Your favorite fictional character.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
Jay Shetty. @jayshetty
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
Covid really flipped shit on its head professionally for me. I have always been in an office, surrounded by my team and there has always been that sense of separation between work and home. There’s one side that has been tough and a hard adjustment when it comes to rocking the work and building synergy. But also, it's meant that I've been able to connect more with my family as I spend much more time at home. I think overall I've enjoyed the challenge of changing up the norm. It’s pushed me in new ways.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on, and why.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some great things with some even greater people. My favorite projects are always the bigger campaign-driven projects that have a level of production to them. One that sticks out is a campaign I worked on for Harrah's. It was for a specific location in Arizona with a super aggressive launch date. Plus, before the launch, the property was under a huge revamp. It definitely did not look pretty with all the construction, so we had to find a smart, creative way to showcase the amenities.
We ended up building these "worlds of play" where we leaned into 3D illustration and animation to bring everything to life. We worked closely with their interior design team to pull real-life fixtures, textures, fabrics, and inspiration so we could tie everything back to what would actually live on the property, with some creative liberties of course. It was a project where I was able to put together an incredible global team to collaborate and bring it all to life.
A recent project you're proud of, and why.
The Andis rebrand from BLVR. This project had the challenge of taking a 100-year-old legacy brand and shaping it for the next generation. A huge project, but one that had so much depth to it. With the brand sitting at the intersection of all facets of culture, this opened the door to really push them into more of a lifestyle-driven space. We were able to build an internal rally cry for the brand and allow creativity and self-expression to be a driving force for everything we did. The body of work is a true testament to our partnership with the client and the team’s continuous drive to make the best work possible.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Levis, Go Forth. It crushed on every level. The look. The writing. The storytelling. It launched during my time as an art director and I just remember referencing it so much. I was pretty jealous of that work. It still stands the test of time, that’s for sure.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
I think Preacher is crushing it on many levels. They have a solid internal brand and their creative range speaks volumes. I’m always loving Mark Maggiori’s body of work. The KITH x Columbia collaboration really spoke to me. I used to rock a bunch of Columbia back in the day, so it brought back some feels. Music wise, I’ve just been dipping back into some archives and there’s too many bands to list, but The Ramones have come on a good bit. Raw. Powerful. Catchy.
Your main strength as a creative person.
Being well-rounded and not one dimensional.
Your biggest weakness.
Taking too much on. I definitely like the challenge of a lot going on but sometimes I take a little too big of a bite with things. It always works out but it does create those good “oh shit” moments along the way.
One thing that always makes you happy.
One thing that always makes you sad.
When holidays end.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising/design?
Fashion designer. Hotelier. Farmer. Fashion designer because I love all aspects of fashion and I’ve been into clothes since I was a kid. There’s so much expression and creativity baked into it all. Hotelier because I always wanted to live in a hotel when I was younger. I’m naturally drawn to the aesthetics and overall experience a strong hotel can provide. And lastly, farmer because my grandparents had a farm that our family frequented until my late twenties. It shaped a lot of my work ethic. I love being outdoors. Being connected to the earth. Trying to live off the land. It’s a pure, simple life. I guess it’s in my blood.