Chad Laybourne is a Graphic Designer based in South Africa and the artist behind the Local Rays collection. We recently had the chance to chat with Chad learn about his creative process and what inspires him.
COASTAL CREATIVE: CHAD LAYBOURNE
Do you have a daily routine?
in the mornings, it's lovely to listen to music and it completely changes my mood straight away -It just lightens me. So I wake up, listen to music, and make breakfast. And if I can get exercise in during the morning, that's super lovely. And to be outside in nature is key for me. Then I like to have 30 minutes to draw with absolutely no priority or stress or pressure. That's been like a little incubator of ideas for me, it's been a really big thing.
I've also found drawing with my opposite hand has been really great. I try to brush my teeth with my right hand in the morning because I'm left-handed, and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that this helps your brain. The crossing over makes it a challenge, which is especially good for you early in the morning, you know? Like trying to get to the back left corners when brushing, which may be easy with the other hand. So I've tried to sort of take that into drawing to see if using my opposite hand makes it better or worse. And having a 30-minute incubation period where I can just draw freely is really good because sometimes I put a bit too much pressure on myself to come up with ideas. So this has been really nice, there's no expectation. Like you expect it to be terrible. So if it's okay and it has some formal shape or something, then it's quite interesting to see how it all works, you know? It almost feels taboo in a way to try and create something with the wrong hand. ‘Like this is my paid profession, maybe I should take it more seriously,’ and I think that's really interesting to play around with.
Are you currently reading anything?
I have a book called ‘Think Like a Monk’ by Jay Shetty, and it's taking me a ridiculous amount of time to finish, but it's really interesting. A friend of mine actually bought it for me before I went off on an adventure. I might get the story a bit wrong, but I believe the author was studying at university when he decided to go to an ashram and become a monk, which went against his family tradition and culture. It's fascinating to read about the lessons he learned there.
Would you recommend it?
Yeah, definitely. I think it's super great. And I mean, I'm not much of a reader, to be honest, so it's taken me a long time to get through, but there are so many lessons, and there are activities in the book and stuff. And to me, that's really exciting because it's something you can actually practice every day. You can do the activity and write things out, and there's like a test here or there to see what personality or love language you gravitate towards. So it's a book where you feel like you bettering yourself, and you're learning more about yourself, which is amazing.
What music are you listening to?
With Spotify these days, I just feel like Discover Weekly is just so good, ey? I just put that on every day and have new music. It's one of my highlights of each week. It's absolutely spectacular. And I think it's so good for the brain as well to listen to different things all the time, you know? Genres as well - change it up. Because it definitely has effects overall. It's amazing what music can do to our brains and how it helps us remember sensations, smells, touch, and memories. It's quite incredible to open up those areas. So that's kinda my go-to.
Do you have a few favorite genres or artists you'd like to share?
I honestly listen to such a crazy mix. I get this question quite often, and I feel like it's a really tough one to answer. La Femme, I think I'm saying it correctly, It's a French surf-rock kind of band. Really really insane. I mean, I think their stuff is crazy.
And there’s another guy, Michael Nau, he's also really cool. I can't tell you exactly the genre, but very nice. And recently, I've been listening to Warn Tin. Very cool. I feel like it just changes all the time because of Discover Weekly. And then there's a very good one called Home Brew, they’re a rap group from New Zealand. I found them through a New Zealander whilst traveling a few years ago, and I always resort back to them.
Do you have a life motto? Or a favorite quote that resonates with you?
I have like a thing that I've written out. This is in my notes section as ‘vibes’:
Live in conscious and harmonic balance with nature.
Take your shoes off and put your feet on the ground.
Do rad things with rad people.
Increase the peace.
Doing nothing is a great risk.
The ones who talk so much seem to know the least.
You'll never beat authenticity.
Leave your mind open at all times.
We all see the same things, but no one sees things the same way
Are those your words?
Some of them are inspired by seeing this or seeing that. But I don't know. I write stuff down all the time. And I feel that it really helps me come up with things, you know? When thinking of ideas or what to do. By finding some meaning in some words, I've written in some way. I think like, ‘Oh, that really simplifies it for me.’
Do you journal?
I've been trying to start. I wouldn't say I've failed, but I haven’t achieved a consistent journaling system or anything of that nature. Just writing down small things has been really key for me, even words like ‘pizzeria’ it has emotion and feeling. So there are small words like that I write down as a scribble-journal kind of thing. And I think I would like to write in journals more, but I end up creating visual journals a lot. Scribbling different things. And you know, just sketching and doodling.
I just want to make sure I heard that right. Pizzeria?
I love that.
Words like this just evoke so much emotion. It's truly incredible how the right words can make all the difference, bringing us back to a place, a familiar sound, or a specific emotion. It's beautiful.
For more of the conversation check out Part I of the conversation with Chad where we discuss his travels from Italy to the Arctic, and how his upbringing by the ocean in South Africa and his passion for board sports have influenced his creative path and graphic style You can follow him and his work by heading to @laybourne.design on Instagram or visiting his website at laybournedesign.com
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