As a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, Jim Mezei is hands-on. He combines his love of building things with an affinity for vintage graphic design, including older disciplines like hand-painted signage. Jim is also the co-founder of Saw Horse Design Co. with Kellen Hatanaka, and together, they're working on a solo show for this summer. When Jim isn't enjoying baseball, bikes, and whiskey in Toronto, he's listening to vinyl with friends. Get a sample of what they're spinning in this week's Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? Usually I'm listening to 90′s hip-hop and an 80′s dance mix called "Sleepover Party" by Nina Mendoza, which keeps creeping into the playlist. The upbeat stuff is good to play when I'm working on bigger pieces -- painting or cutting linoleum.
How do you listen? If my girlfriend is home, she's usually working on her thesis, so I often wear headphones. When painting I play music on my house (Logitech) system. Nothing fancy.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I usually download through iTunes, but have recently started messing about with Rdio.
Does music influence your work? Absolutely it does -- sometimes in a literal way and sometimes not. For example, I used a quote from an Aloe Blacc song in this type piece on wood. Often I use music as a motivator to support whatever mood I'm in that day. I find that music helps me not over-think what I'm working on.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? My musical tastes are influenced mainly by my good friends as well as the years of country and classic rock I listened to in my parents' cars. I have been fortunate to have friends who are musicians or DJs. They play the music and I dance.
What song or artist best represents the work you create? I wish I could say it would be something like "Survival of the Fittest" by Mobb Deep, but realistically it's probably "Why Can't We Be Friends?" by WAR.
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist: The ideal place (for others) to sit and listen to my playlist is on the Eames Sofa. It's simple, elegant, not ostentatious, and you can fit a few people on it to enjoy the music with some friends. In a perfect world, the sofa would be in the back of a pick-up truck on its way to the cottage.
- Across 110th Street, Bobby Womack
- Indestructible Sam, Buck 65
- Big Joe Mufferaw, Stompin’ Tom Connors
- Copperhead Road, Steve Earle
- Rotation, Big K.R.I.T.
- Player’s Ball, Outkast
- War, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
- Shook Ones Part II, Mobb Deep
- Driving Down The Freeway, Arowbe
- Tapas, Action Bronson
- 1991, Azealia Banks
- Let’s Take A Walk, Raphael Saadiq
(Images: Jim Mezei)
Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Iris Jamie Latendresse.