I pestered Print magazine into letting me interview actor and artist Kevin Christy, best known lately for his role as Lester on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Kevin’s double life fascinates me: He’s a commercial illustrator and fine artist who pays the bills with minor parts for TV and movies. Most freelance creatives have bread-and-butter side gigs, but how many film for Dude, Where’s My Car? in the morning and paint a portrait for the Atlantic in the afternoon?
His dual gigs have more in common than I first realized. Rob Clayton, Kevin’s former teacher at Art Center College of Design, put it like this: “Being a character actor is really similar to being an illustrator. Because you get known for a particular thing, people hire you for that thing, and if you get big enough, you’re allowed to change and develop a new thing.”
I think our talk revealed a few valuable lessons for artists and designers, and it’s also good for a few laughs (Kevin does stand-up comedy, too). Have a look on Print’s website and let me know what you think.