We were searching for a Kansas designer to interview for our new Muse of the Month series and were very excited when we stumbled upon Luke Bott. I loved the flatness of his work and his perfect use of color. We asked him for a little interview and he was so nice to oblige during this crazy holiday season.  www.lukebott.com

1. Tell us a little about your background as an artist/graphic designer:
The first time I can recall noticing design was when I saw the World Wildlife Fund logo as a kid. I love the way it used positive and negative space–although, at that time I didn’t understand what that meant exactly.  Also, at an early age I discovered comic books and a love of illustration. In my senior year in high school I enjoyed Photoshop which is really what got me interested in computers.  At that time I was considering animation as a career.  It was at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where my interests shifted from animation to print and environmental graphics.  At Fort Hays I studied under Chaiwat Thumsujarit and Karrie Simpson Voth, receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design in 2002.  From there I worked at Barkley Evergreen and Partners for a short time and started at Gardner Design in 2003.  I began at Gardner as a Designer and in 2006 became an Art Director.

2. What inspires you to illustrate a particular scene?
I find inspiration in lots of places.  Recently, for example, my nephew has taken an interest in Roman and Greek mythology and wanted me to illustrate some of the gods. Its really been fun process trying to incorporate them in to my style.

3. Design motto?
Just have fun with it. 

work by Mary Blair
4. Your perfect use of color is admirable (we continuously set records on the amount of colors we play with). Attempting to avoid the question “what is your favorite color,” can you just tell us a little about the process of your choices?
Lately my color choices are inspired by Mary Blair. She really understood color and her illustration style is absolutely beautiful! I’m also currently inspired by children’s clothing and toys. Probably since we just had a baby. 

5. We’ve pursed your portfolio an embarrassing amount of times. Can’t decide on a favorite (Nesting Bots or Tweet, but we also love the birth announcement (belated congrats) you made for your daughter)! Do you have a favorite? 
Thanks–for the compliment and the congrats.  My favorite piece is “Typewriter.”
6. What is your connection to Kansas and how long have you been there?
Lived here all of my life, 33 years now.

7. How does the Kansas scenery influence/affect your work? 
The wind inspires me to go inside and work.  Also, the night sky always helps me to clear my mind.  

8. Favorite thing about Kansas? Least favorite thing about Kansas?
My favorite thing is being able to see the stars at night.
I would say my least favorite thing would be the wind. It is bad as is, but when its the winter its absolutely terrible! 

9. Any Kansas secret hot spots (restaurants, parks, experiences, towns) you want to divulge?
I personally like my wife’s hometown of Hoxie. It is a small town located in Northwest Kansas and is a nice place to escape to for some peace and quiet.  I love the restaurants in Wichita.  There are so many great little local places.  It’s hard to pick a favorite.

10. Are there any other Places You Have Been or Places You Have Never Been which particularly inspire you and why?
I have never been to space. I would like to go there someday and meet aliens and robots.

Thanks Luke!