Photo by Dean Roth
Every week, we highlight one of our 250+ Untapped Cities contributors worldwide. This week, we’re featuring Kit Mills, our Art of Style columnist and illustrator.
What’s your “day job”?
By day I’m a graphic designer, doing basically everything that a graphic design job could possibly mean—print, web, app, typography, UX, UI, whatever. I also work part-time doing design, branding, and illustration for the publishing start-up Writer’s Bloq. We’ve been putting out some books lately, which means that I’ve been doing a lot of book cover designs and narrative illustrations. I’m into it.
What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?
I’m not sure how Untapped it is, but my favorite whiskey bar is On the Rocks in Hell’s Kitchen. Their Manhattans are dynamite and you can drink them surrounded by the perfect old-school ambience of polished wood, smooth tunes of the Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra variety playing softly through the speakers, and with candlelight flickering and reflecting through the endless array of whiskey bottles behind the bar. Oh, and I’m also looking forward to getting pomaded up in my best 1950s duds and hitting the Rockabilly Street Fair next month.
Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?
I think the one from a few weeks ago, about the guy with his hand stuck in his shirt, might be my favorite. Sometimes coming up with good copy to go along with the art is a struggle, but all the pieces for this one fell into place pretty much immediately. I saw the guy on the street on my way to work one morning and the Napoleon comparison barged right into my head. I sketched out a quick idea at work, and then I came home and cranked out the finished painting. All in all, maybe twelve hours from first glimpse to clicking the submit button. Sometimes art isn’t hard!
What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?
The weirdest place I’ve ever been to was Cluj Napoca in Romania. First of all, a beer was the equivalent of about fifty cents, but the atmosphere in which you drink your almost-free beer was just as astounding. It was like going back in time to the mid-nineties. It was really gloomy and rainy the weekend I was there, which added to the eerieness of being in Transylvania. As for my next adventure, I’ve never spent much time on the west coast of the US so I think I’d like to land in San Francisco and/or Seattle sometime soon.
What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?
Possibly the fact that fat baby competitions used to be a thing. A thing to promote public health, even.
Best Celebrity Sighting?
At the Met a few years ago, my friend nudged me and pointed at an angular-looking man across the exhibition hall and said, “Hey, that guy looks like the Green Goblin.” I said, “Yeah, he totally does,” and then, “…wait a minute.” So Willem Dafoe has good taste in art. And my ultimate goal in life is to see David Bowie on the street and not immediately faint.
What are some of your favorite websites?
Right now I’m really into Narrative.ly—their stories are so well-curated and I have yet to be disappointed by the quality of any of them. I’m all about Brainpickings, too. The Book Cover Archive is top-notch inspiration, and so is Fonts in Use. I follow a lot of art, design, and style blogs, too—everything under the Notcot umbrella, Design Milk, Fuck Yeah Illustrative Art, and too many others to mention.
Join our community of Untapped Cities contributors around the world by contacting us here. Check out the Art of Style and get in touch with Kit at their website.