Huntington College, NY, 2000
Heckscher Museum of Art (Huntington, NY) 2001
Des Moisnes Art Directors Club, (Iowa) 2002
San Diego, (CA) “Y Conf” AIGA, 2003
Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids (MI) 2004
Dallas, TX, DSVC, 2005
Louisville, KY, LAGD, 2007
New York, NY, AIGA, 2007
Denver, CO, AIGA, 2008
DSVC judge, Dallas, 2009
New Frontiers in Graphic Design, NYC, Mar 26, 2009
HOW Design Conference, Austin, TX, June, 2009
Portfolio Center, Atlanta, GA, Aug 5-7, 2009
Taschen book store, Nov 4th. SoHo, 2009
Grafitat, Quito, Ecuador, February, 2011
image by CJ Isaac
“...AIGA Colorado brought Felix Sockwell for a talk at the Denver Art Museum. The illustrator and designer is known for continuous line drawings that can be seen all over the place in advertising and editorial work.
Like David Carson, Sockwell threw work on the screen and talked about the ideas, struggles and successes behind each project. This approach seems to dissapoint some designers who apparently think that achieving a bit noteriety automatically turns a person into a dazzling public speaker (a la Sagmeister or Chip Kidd).
But as a spectator, I get the most whenever a designer projects slides and simply starts talking. Instead of some guy with a charmed existence telling tales about celebreties and enormous budgets, Sockwell shared his excitement about good ideas that got produced, his lingering anger about projects that died a painful death, and stories about the energy he puts into $300 editorial illustrations for the New York Times…
It also became clear that Sockwell’s excitement for new projects smothers any business sensibilities he may have. When the phone rings with a new project, I suspect that his brain starts work even before the client has hung up the phone. Sockwell creates; it’s what he does. And he leaves the contract and payment details for later, a practice that gets him screwed (even by people he thought his friends). Yet he doesn’t change how he operates.
Perhaps it’s because these frustrations in business don’t leave him empty handed. Each time he sets to work, Sockwell creates something. Even if he doesn’t get paid, the work fills his back pocket with nuggets and jewels – creations that he might turn into a smart idea for a future project. And I think that’s the big thing I got from this talk: Just keep doing interesting things, even if you don’t get paid.
Felix may not monetize the time he spends in a way that an MBA could appreciate. But his constant exploration of ideas and production of new work reminds me of this story:
Picasso was in a park when a woman approached him and asked him to draw a portrait of her. Picasso agreed and quickly sketches her. After handing the sketch to her, she is pleased with the likeness and asks how much she owed to him. Picasso replies: “$5,000.” The woman screamed, “but it took you only five minutes.” “No, madam, it took me all my life.” —Andy Bosselman