Designer takes on iconic project
December 4, 2014
Kirby Schultz has been artistic as long as he can remember. While in junior high, he began churning out pictures of cartoons and elaborate faces while sitting in study hall.
Now, the 62-year-old graphic designer expresses his creativity as part owner of HenkinSchultz advertising, as well as any projects he lays his hands on.
One special collection of Schultz’s style can be found at the Icon Lounge in downtown Sioux Falls. His large, colorful, highly stylized images of iconic people adorn brick walls.
Schultz was given the project to transform the over 100-year-old warehouse at 402 N. Main Ave. and design the space, which he described as “nasty.”
It helps that Schultz has a firm grasp of the business side of things. And as a graphic designer, he likes to begin an assignment along with the parameters that come with it.
For this project, that meant limited money, 63 days to get it done and free rein to do whatever he wanted.
Still, the constraints made it more fun.
“I enjoy the process of what you can do with a limited budget,” Schultz says. “It makes me think harder. I look for everyday things that are inexpensive and make them work in unusual ways. One of the video screens, for example, is nothing more than several layers of rolled up window screen.”
“With a name like ‘Icon,’ the job seemed easy,” Schultz says. “I visualized iconic images of people and things, and my mind started going.”
Shultz describes the art he designed for the Icon as “a mixture of techniques ranging from sketchy to abstract realism.”
All 30 of Schultz’s images create timeless feelings of pop culture in a graphic way. And all his images are accessible. People don’t have to decipher the artwork and don’t have to be “in the know” to get it. Everything is recognizable and will bring back memories. Subjects include Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Uncle Sam, Twiggy, Abe Lincoln, John Lennon and BB King.
Technically described, the 30 images ranged from photo mechanical to very sketchy techniques, printed on various substrates — types of canvas. The colorizing and texturizing was added by brush, water, paint thinner and even coffee. The images range in size from 30 inches to seven feet tall.
Besides the artwork at the Icon, Schultz used his creative license to design the bar, LED lighting, the furniture, video images, the chandelier and dangling curtains.
“I was pleased with the final product but never pleased all the way,” Schultz says.
“It became my biggest and most personal project. It’s more than an agency designing walls to market a business. It became more of an effort on my part to involve patrons with familiar art, great music and our country’s history. Stuff that I love."