Creative Spotlight: Luke Bott
You might not know it yet but you may already be familiar with the bold, playful artwork of local designer and illustrator Luke Bott. Working for Mattson Creative and from his space at the Wichita Studio School, Bott creates colorful illustrative designs for a range of clients including some very well-established brands. His work has adorned limited-edition cans of Fanta for Coca-Cola, Simply Balanced products and gift cards for Target, anniversary celebrations for Sesame Street, themed decks of Bicycle Playing Cards, containers of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, style guides for Ghostbusters and more. Highly visible, widely accessible, and often mass-produced, Bott’s work is impeccably crafted and incredibly fun.
Tell us a little about your background
I was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas. In 2018, I moved to Hays where I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Fort Hays State University. After graduating in 2002, I moved to Kansas City and worked at Barkley Evergreen & Partners. A few months in, Bill Gardner from Gardner Design contacted me with an available position and I worked there for 10 years before going full-time freelance. After a few years I joined the team at Jajo, and now I’m currently full-time at Mattson Creative.
What were some of your biggest influences growing up?
Growing up in the 80s, I did a lot of toy collecting — He-Man, Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Transformers. I loved the toys, but the illustrations on the packaging really blew me away. They still do. I was also really fascinated by logos that lived in these worlds. The Cobra logo from G.I. Joe is still one of my all-time favorites.
Who are some of your favorite illustrators & designers, past and present?
Saul Bass, Alvin Lustig, Paul Rand, Abram Games, James Victore, Josh Agle, Peter Max, Mary Blair, David Carson, Mike Mignola, Sanna Annukka, Sanjay Patel, Kevin Dart and Charles Wilkin.
Briefly describe your process. What programs do you usually work with?
I always start with a rough sketch to get the basic idea down. If I’m working on an illustration, I generally get everything solved on paper before I start scanning it in and finessing it, in either Illustrator or Photoshop.
What do you hope to communicate through your work?
What advice would you give young designers?
- Just have fun. My favorite pieces I’ve designed or illustrated have come from playing and enjoying the process.
- Make things you want to see and get it out there.
- There is no right or wrong answer.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is definitely part of the process.
- Keep a sketchbook around. You never know when inspiration will strike.
Where can people go to see more of your work?