Distil Artist Series: YESAND

Joel Sadler of YESAND is curiously reinterpreting cartography. (Oh snap!) His process always starts by drawing in his notebook somewhat absent-mindedly, often during conference calls, then he stumbles upon something he likes.

Joel grew up in Roanoke, VA, he has been a doodler for as long as he can remember.  One of his favorite things about school was drawing on the paper bag book covers that he'd make with his Mom every year. He also started designing clothes in elementary school. He remembers picking out patterns for his Mom to sew "Jams" - a "hot style back in the day." That led him to T-shirts designs in high school and beyond. While it was a past job brought Joel here to Charleston, it's the people and palm trees keep him. 

This is Joel.


What's your favorite part of the creative process?

I love it when the finished product matches what I envisioned in my head at the beginning, which is not always the case.  

How does your everyday life influence your work?

It isn't part of any job that I do, but I think about place and travel in my everyday life constantly. There are maps up in just about every room in our house and one accompanying me at all times on my left forearm. I am, in fact, on a cross-country road trip right now.

What's the inspiration behind your Wally Case design?

Ultimately, I have found I like taking a design and putting it on a medium where you don't often see it - like drawing maps on shoes - or in a form you don't often see it - like in the Charleston peninsula as a human heart. Drawing a map of the peninsula to fit on an iPhone case is a perfect example of what I enjoy actually.

Obviously there's no color option for laser-engraving, but when you do get to work with color, do you have a favorite color to use, and why?

I like simple black and white most of the time because I'm not good enough to incorporate color yet in my opinion.

What items do you never leave home without? i.e. your “everyday carry”

My stickers to slap up on anything that doesn't move ;-)

What are your go-to tools for creativity?

Good old pen and paper.

Has having a smartphone affected your work, or your life as an artist? If so, how?

Making art is a solitary activity so for me, as an extrovert, that moment of sharing what I've made and engaging it with other people is one of the best parts. Having a smartphone allows me to share anything I'm working on immediately with anyone interested via social media.  

What do you feel is the difference between art and design?

I actually debate this question internally all the time. It is one of my favorite things to think about. For me, design needs to make sense in a way that art does not.  

Thanks, Joel!

Check out more of Joel's process by following @yesandofficial on Instagram. 

YESAND: Limited-Edition Distil Union Artist Series of Laser-Engraved Leather Wally iPhone Wallet Cases

For a limited time, special-order your YESAND Wally Artist Series Case.