Just Start Something features men and women who took the initiative to start a new venture.

Get to know Bradley Lockhart, founder of LARIAT creative and creator of the Bellingham flag, which has been adopted by the Port of Bellingham, local businesses, and homes all across the city of subdued excitement. 

WHY DID YOU CREATE A CITY FLAG FOR BELLINGHAM?

I wanted to give Bellingham a visual identity that was as bold and beautiful as the people and the place it represented. My drive was to pay homage to our rich civic and Salish history while also highlighting our unique geography.

It's my hope that this flag can be a tool to serve Bellingham, further our sense of community, and strengthen our obligation to each other. 

TELL US A STORY FROM YOUR EARLY DAYS THAT SET A PATH FOR THIS VENTURE.

Back in 2009, I was attending college for graphic design and creating posters on the side for a music venue in Bellingham. The venue had me designing posters regularly, but, every once and a while, a touring band would hire their own designer for a show. I remember a time when a private designer and I were both hired to make a poster for the same show, without realizing the other was working on it too. The venue, screen printer, and bands all decided they liked my design best and turned down the privately-hired artist.

I later discovered the other artist was Art Chantry, one of the greatest rock poster designers of all time.

I didn't know what to do so I wrote Art about it and we connected.

He had no hard feelings and instead complimented me on "out-postering" him. That process gave me a serious boost in confidence when it came to design and alleviated some of the pressure that I later faced when working with really high profile bands and clients. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING FREELANCERS AND ENTREPRENEURS?

I know it's possible, and often times very comfortable, to only work for yourself in the freelance and entrepreneurial world. But my advice would be to spend several years on a team of like-minded people before you go out on your own for good.

I began my career working as a solo designer and all my clients were very happy with my work. A few years ago I decided to join a large in-house team of creatives and my skills have grown immensely. 

When you're your own critic you are always going to give yourself a pat on the back and a thumbs up. It's not until you get a few constructive thumbs down that you really begin to shine. 

WHAT ADVICE DOES EVERY FREELANCER NEED TO KNOW?

Don't work for cheap.

Either charge full-price or charge nothing at all. You need to have a clear distinction between professional work and pro-bono work. Anything that falls between devalues your skills. 

WHAT'S NEXT ON YOUR JOURNEY?

Ten years ago, playing music was my entire life and now it's just another thing that enriches it. Ten years from now, I can't picture graphic design not being a central piece of my career, but I hope to have grown, both professionally and artistically, into other areas. 

For the last two years, I've started to shift my focus towards animation, so I suppose a big win would be to have ownership of a large, successful project in that discipline. 

To keep up with Bradley's journey visit LARIAT creative or connect with him on Instagram or Facebook.

 

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