Event Recap: Tyler Pate | The Creative Pain

“What exactly is The Creative Pain?” many designers asked before Tyler Pate took the stage in April. If you frequent Dribbble, you’ve probably seen at least one of Tyler’s many creations featuring a fun-loving and familiar face, intricately crafted into regular objects with extreme detail. You could stare at it for hours and still find something new.

Tyler is a true home-grown creative born in Lake City, South Carolina. (FYI: we learned there are no lakes in Lake City during the presentation. But don’t be too upset—they’re building one.) After graduating from Francis Marion University, he was hired by Charleston’s own Blue Ion, where he’s been working as an Art Director and honing his skills for the last four years.

Tyler spends much of his time outside the office on his passion projects, most notably The Creative Pain—a high detail vector illustration series paired with well-crafted photoshop textures. And like any good design, it all started with questioning the premise. “I believe the creative process and overcoming the initial creative pain is one of the most rewarding parts of a project.” says Tyler “I have come to love the hiccups and hurdles along the way.”

Like many others, Tyler’s process starts in a sketchbook. Sometimes it’s a sketch, but sometimes it’s as simple as a couple of words to get an idea down on paper that he can later come back to. He may not know the finished product for what he’s creating, but the initial idea is established. From there Tyler jumps into Illustrator, starting with basic shapes and then rapidly building up detail on a massive tablet larger than the iMac it sits in front of. “About 90% of the work is done in Illustrator because you never know how large you want it to be” said Tyler “Once I have the illustrator work down, then I’ll move into Photoshop.”

But it wouldn’t be The Creative Pain without going through the process:

Phase 1  –  Prep for the unknown
(I am ready | I am prepared | I will get it done)

Phase 2  –  The Brief
(I have an objective | A possible idea | Time for research)

Phase 3  –  The block
(Deadline approaching | Mental walls | Pressure builds)

Phase 4  –  Pulling it together 
(Stay focused | Give yourself no other options | Get ready for some all nighters)

Phase 5  –  Reflect 
(I gave it everything | MY time |  MY research |  NOW I have something)

Phase 6  –  Own It 
(Now to present it | I am standing by my work  |  Now show it love)

Phase 7  –  Live with it 
(I will be ok  |  Keep moving forward)


Tyler’s next goal is to start exploring new ways to make these every day items come to life. For the highlights from the night and some super chill vibes, check out this video on Tyler’s vlog. Also, don’t forget to follow his Instagrams: @typoe11 for the behind the scenes and everything he’s working on, and @thecreativepain for whats next.

See you again soon Charleston!

Special Thanks To

Tyler Pate
To Tyler, thank you for pulling a couple extra late nights to share your fascinating process about The Creative Pain with us. You’ve left us full of inspiration and hungry for more. We can’t wait to see what you create next!

Blue Ion
To Blue Ion, we can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you for always being there for us and the creative community over the years. Thank you for all you do and hosting this wonderful event. We look forward to many more talks and celebrations with you!

AIGA SC: Charleston Crew
Special thank you to Kimberly Thomas, our Chapter Development Director, for her wonderful photography. To all of our volunteers who have been working over the last year to bring AIGA SC: Charleston to life, this event couldn’t have been possible without you. Keep Inspiring others.

By Jae Dollason
Published May 9, 2018
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