You can learn a lot about someone by what’s in their bag. Today Brad Edwards, Designer and Illustrator, shares what he hauls around to keep productive, entertained, and alive. ## Poler Rolltop Backpack The Poler Rolltop Backpack is not the best bag that I own (the plastic release buckle broke within a month of owning it, it has no frills, and the rolltop with two side clasps isn’t the most convenient) but I like this bag. It’s got character and a simplistic style that suits me. A little outdoorsy, a little rock-n-roll, and generally subtle in design. Feels right for me. I have other bags that are more durable, functional, and practical, yet I keep bringing this one with me everywhere. That says something about this bag—or about me. Or both.
I love my Wacom Tablet and my Cintiq; couldn’t do my job without ‘em, but I do my best thinking on paper. Having a sketchbook within reach at all times is a must for me at work. Mind you, this is not where the masterpieces happen. I need this space to be loose, low-stakes, weird, vague, and messy. I prefer hardbound sketchbooks because I can keep them with me in my bag and the paper won’t get frayed or messed up over time. This black Strathmore sketchbook is on its last few pages. It has held up surprisingly well. It’s pretty fun to flip through the pages and be reminded of all the projects I have worked on over the last couple of years.
I’m fortunate to have the honor of illustrating Underbelly’s Monstro stickers. It’s one of my favorite things about my job. The whole team works together to decide which characters to reimagine Monstro as. We’ve done some rad ones over the years. I always carry a few stickers with me. You never know when you are going to make a new friend or need to leave your mark. Plus, I don’t hate telling people “Oh you like those? I make them. NBD.”
This was a gift from my buddy (fellow Underbelly Designer and BG fanboy) Dave Keller. I love it! It’s the kind of tool I didn’t know I needed and now I don’t know how I got by without it. No more sifting around the bottom of an unorganized pocket to find the right drawing tools. Everything is laid out, in its place, and organized. Plus, like everything that Benny Gold makes, it’s stylish and well constructed.
In addition to my fiery red hair and overactive imagination, I was born with a pretty gnarly tree nut allergy. Not a peanut allergy, people. Peanuts are a legume. After a bit of a scare last year involving some cashew infused kale chips my sweet Grandmother insisted I start carrying an EpiPen around with me. She gave me a couple of extra ones that she had on hand. I noticed after receiving the generous gift that the Pens had expired in 2015. I am not going to get into specifics for fear of spreading misinformation, but I looked into it and I feel confident that my expired EpiPens are better than nothing so I keep them around, just in case.
In the interest of staying sharp, I’m always reading one book that helps me grow in my career. I prefer paper when possible. I’ve read a few books in the A Book Apart series and found them all delightful and informative. I am reading Just Enough Research to learn more about the role research can (and should) play in design. I am about halfway through and so far it’s been a good read. Fun and educational, like a book should be. I recommend it to anyone looking for an easy-to-understand introduction to the ins and outs of research as it relates to design.
I also try to always be reading one book just for fun. When I’m not pushing pixels and solving problems at Underbelly, I try to get out into the mountains and play as much as possible. My favorite way to do so is to Fly Fish. It’s the perfect combination of science, art, sport, and spirituality. It’s my happy place. Part of the appeal of Fly Fishing is the complexity and rich history of the sport. The History of Fly Fishing in Fifty Flies explains that history in a way that is entertaining, practical, and visually striking. It is a beautifully printed, fully illustrated edition that I recommend to anyone interested in fly fishing.