Ep. 48: Timothy Goodman

Designer, illustrator and artist Timothy Goodman was labeled a “dead-end kid” in his youth until he did four years of hard labor with a mentor/father-figure in the home improvement industry, through which he found both discipline and a desire to study design. A degree and a few more mentors later he’s now known for his illustrations, viral social experiments, murals, books and even protests. Plus, he’s checking his white cis straight male privilege and championing inclusion in ways both meaningful and practical. Pretty rad. LISTEN:


What is your earliest memory?

Drawing with my grandmother at her dining table. She’s an artist, and I always felt super envious at her confidence while drawing.

How do you feel about democratic design?

All design is political, whether you intend it or not.

Ace Hotel mural

Ace Hotel mural

What’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten?

Miles Davis said, “you gotta play a long time before you can play like yourself.”

How do you record your ideas?

Notes. I literally type every idea that comes to me on my phone and I have endless notes. Some of it is writing, some of it is ideas for projects, some of it is just random. Most of it is crap, but there’s nuggets of good stuff everywhere. Sometimes I’ll go back and find stuff, sometimes I’ll combine things, sometimes I’ll forget about it forever.

What’s your current favorite tool or material to work with?

I just love drawing on walls and creating murals. So whether it’s with a paint marker or with a brush, I’m happy.

With Jessica Walsh in the  12 Kinds of Kindness  project.

With Jessica Walsh in the 12 Kinds of Kindness project.

40 Days of Dating  experiment

What book is on your nightstand? 

Right now I’m reading Hillary Clinton’s book.

Why is authenticity in design important?

Well, I don’t know how one defines authenticity. I think it’s important to be ethical, though. Everything we make has consequences, and you must consider your audience. This took me a while to understand.

Favorite restaurant in your city?

Epistrophy cafe on Mott St.

What might we find on your desk right now?

Food: chocolate, nuts, crackers. I’m always snacking.

Who do you look up to and why?

It’s funny, you gotta kill your heroes. I look up to my mom and everyone out here trying to do the work.

Working on a mural

Working on a mural

What’s your favorite project that you’ve done and why?

Three way tie: “Build Kindness Not Walls” Trump protest with Jessica Walsh; People of Craft with Amelie Lamont; My new Uniqlo collection.

What are the last five songs you listened to?

That new Bruno Mars and Cardi B track.The rest is from my jazz playlist that is years in the making.

Follow Timothy's work on his website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Special thanks to Tai Navares for editing this episode.
Music in this episode courtesy of El Ten Eleven—hear more on Bandcamp.
Shoutout to Jenny Rask for designing the Clever logo.