Ryan Seaman lives up to his name with “Trying to Catch That Wave,” the art on the cover of this week's CityBeat. But, the piece is both literal—Seaman is a surfer—and figurative.
It “has the idea of struggle and if you're persistent and work hard, you'll reach your goals,” Seaman says. “In other words, I'm trying to catch that break that will get me to where I want to be as a designer.”
Working full-time as a graphic designer, Seaman (www.designbyrds.com) would love to do nothing but the freelance work he loves. Like many, he dreams of being his own boss some day.
However, Seaman never dreamed he'd find himself living in San Diego for as long as he has. In 1997, the Minnesota native, then 18, decided to move out of the Midwest with his friends—the only other time he'd been to San Diego was with his jazz-musician father when he was younger.
But, Seaman ended up loving San Diego and eventually earned a degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of California. Now, he creates designs for everything from clothing and shoes to posters and magazines.
The simple image on our cover, consisting of three layers, uses Seaman's original illustrations and some photos. In comparison with his other graphic work, it's much less complicated with its lack of multiple layers and textures.
“I'm pretty happy with it because it's one of my more simpler designs,” Seaman describes. “A lot of my other work is kind of chaotic and textured and this one seemed to work a little better just because of its simplicity.”
When it came to creating the design, Seaman started with a drawing, but he shelved it for some time.
“I hang out at the beach a lot; I used to live in Ocean Beach,” Seaman mentions. “I take my dogs down to the beach all the time—I love the water.
“And this was kind of a different subject matter for me; I was just messing around drawing waves. I drew maybe five to 10 different types of waves and then decided on that one.”
He eventually returned to the drawing and completed the piece in Photoshop. Altogether, Seaman spent only a few hours on the project.
“I could spend hours and hours on a piece and then finally get it,” Seaman notes. “And sometimes it comes together really quick. So, this was one of those pieces.”