Creative Showcase

Bill Zindel

El Cerrito, CA based Bill Zindel is a web designer and illustrator with a passion for vintage and eclectic found materials. Bill recently purchased a Pinto station wagon that's a big hit with his dog Pepper. See what's new in Bill's world at billzindel.com.

Where are you from originally?

Connecticut

How did you end up in California?

After college I spent the summer visiting a friend in Northern California, then returned 6 months later and never left.

As a designer, what do you like most about living in the Bay Area?

The other artists and designers I have met.

Did you attend a design school?

Rhode Island School of Design

How did the college experience affect who you are today?

I studied illustration and printmaking at school, the graphic design stuff I learned later, mostly by doing it. So I got a good background in all kinds of art and ways of looking at things. Most importantly I met great people in college, and many of them live and work here in the area.

What was your first design job?

I had a job right after school doing what they used to call "desktop publishing", then I worked coloring comics, but my first real design job was at a small studio called Evolve, in San Francisco.

How do you describe your work?

Handmade collage using found materials and images. I'm interested in the unique characteristics of old, weathered, and vintage materials, and recombining bits of pattern, typography, and color to make something new.

What inspires you most?

Collecting ephemera, collecting records, vintage stuff, my friends.

When did you first become interested in that you do?

I've been drawing and making collages since I was a kid.

What has inspired and shaped you the most as a designer?

See above and below.

Who and what are some of your biggest influences?

Early on it was Kurt Schwitters and Rauschenberg, these days it's Charles Wilkin, Eduardo Recife, Gary Panter, Robert Pollard, Martin Venezky, Rex Ray, and a whole bunch of collage artists I've discovered on Flickr. Also my sister Laura Zindel, and my wife Lea Rude.

What are some of your favorite books / sites?

I just got Over & Over, A Catalog of Hand-Drawn Patterns by Mike Perry. Also Charles Wilkin's monograph Index A, draplin.com, notpaper.net, grainedit.com.

Is there anyone your're interested in working with or for?

I'd like to work on anything having to do with music. And I'd love to learn from a traditional sign painter. Someday.

What are you currently working on? Anything fun and excitingyou'd like to share?

I'm currently working on an illustration project. It's fun to draw, and a nice break from the work I usually do, which is primarily web design.

Can you tell us about any projects you've been involved inthat you're particularly proud of?

My most recent collages, I guess. On the commercial side, I recently redesigned Cisco's blogs, made a fun little movie for Chipotle.com, and designed the site for my friend's new jewelry shop Hoopthing.com.

What is a typical day like for you?

It's always different. I work at home, so if I have work I'm in the studio on the computer, or maybe I'll take over the kitchen table to draw. If I don't have work I'll be in the studio making a collage, or playing the guitar or record shopping or something. I usually take the dog for a walk in the woods around noon and go for a swim in the evenings. I like to take it easy when I can.

How would you describe your creative process?

Sometimes I have a clear idea and set out to execute it, and sometimes I'll just jump in and see what happens. Often the ideas come from the materials. I have piles of materials I've collected for collage making. I think I spend more time collecting and organizing the stuff than I do making things with it.

What's next in the world of Bill Zindel? Any exciting upcoming projects?

I'm going to be in a book about collage, but I probably shouldn't give details - I don't want to jinx it. And I have slowly been trying to get a silkscreen shop set up in the garage - it's going to happen soon! Other than that, who knows? Anyone got any interesting work?