Meet The Designer Kegan

Meet Kegan Mills, the talented artist hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, celebrated for his exceptional designs showcased on Cultured Collectives. With a deep passion for sports, hiking, and travel, Kegan draws profound inspiration from his connection to national parks, infusing a compelling narrative into each of his creations.

Creative Process: Could you guide me through your creative process for this specific artwork? How did you initiate the project, and how did the piece evolve during its creation?

My creative journey always begins with sketching on paper, and meticulously exploring elements to strike the right balance in the design. At the outset, I gather many ideas and inspirations, honing in on distinctive shapes and design concepts. When conceptualizing the ‘Do Not Pet The Fluffy Cows’ design, I aimed to resonate with customers who appreciate my national park designs across various mediums such as shirts, stickers, mugs, and more. Motivated by the National Park Service campaign sporting the slogan “Do not pet the fluffy cows,” I seized the opportunity to craft a design that would deeply connect with the audience. Despite the challenges, I envisioned a small, clean circle shape fitting seamlessly on a black shirt, and that’s the result I achieved.

Inspiration: What inspired the creation of this particular piece of art? Were there specific influences, experiences, or concepts that significantly shaped the design?”

Growing up on a small island in Tobago, known as Trinidad and Tobago, I spent much of my time working on the farm with my dad. Surrounded by numerous animals and produce, the outdoors became my second home. This upbringing, rich in vibrant colors and the rejuvenation that rain brings to nature, fueled my journey into becoming a designer. Drawing inspiration from the slogan as mentioned above and a previous design I wasn’t fond of, I began sketching simple rough drafts on paper. As the lettering evolved, the core concept remained intact. As a fervent National Park enthusiast, I felt a natural connection to this project, underscoring that these animals thrive outdoors, their dedicated playground within national parks.

This is our first product featuring this design! We sold on Etsy and still sell on Etsy today View the Product Here

Technical Aspects: Could you share insights into the technical aspects of your work? Which materials, techniques, or tools did you employ to bring this artwork to life, and how did they contribute to the overall aesthetic?

To bring my artwork to life, I rely on a sketchbook for crucial rough drafts, an iPad for additional inspiration, and Adobe Illustrator for the final piece. Quality, well-made tools, including a MacBook, iPad, Pantone book, Adobe Creative Cloud, and the ambiance created by tunes from Spotify (with a playlist ranging from soca and reggae to Christian rap) all play crucial roles in ensuring a polished and clean design.

Meaning and Message: Art often conveys a message or evokes emotions. What message or emotions were you aiming to communicate through this artwork? Is there a particular theme or narrative that you intended for viewers to perceive?

The goal was to convey the original slogan in a softer, welcoming manner, encouraging people to unwind and appreciate the outdoors while fostering awareness. Motivated by incidents of visitors getting too close to bison, I sought to enhance awareness, urging people to maintain a safe distance while still relishing these majestic creatures through observation and photography.

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