30Fresh Aces: Byron Gronseth

Each week during 30Fresh, I'll introduce you to a couple of incredible people whose soul, energy, humor, talent, intellect and dreams light up my life. I think the world of them and hope you do too!

Today it's my pleasure to introduce you to my next Ace and creative director behind Fresh Jess -Byron Gronseth!

Byron and my friendship is another one that blossomed via Twitter. A transplant from all over the place, Byron used Twitter to find a few fun people to talk to in Seattle and we've been friends ever since. We've got a shared love for scathing sarcasm, the color black and all things Harry Potter. Seriously, if we could be in a movie, we call the parts of Sirius Black & Bellatrix LeStrange! He's the only one I trust in helping me carry out the visual design behind the Fresh Jess brand. He's responsible for the background and header you see on FJ today, as well as the 30 Fresh banner. It's always awesome to see your friends hit a good stride, and Byron's been on one for the last couple of years, landing his dream girl and an amazing job at a design agency. Read on for more:

What's on your playlist right now?

  • How to Destroy Angels - Welcome Oblivion

  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

  • Talib Kweli's Attack the Block mixtape

  • Some random shit with violins and yelling.

  • I heard there was a "Trent Reznor Aggressively Touching Things In An Antique Store" EP—i'm on that.

Describe your style.

Villainous, usually. Heavy, textured blacks, leather, slates and greys, dull, muted patterns and rugged edges. However, at some point in 2012 I bought some brightly colored v-necks. It sounds cheesy as hell but I guess my fiancée brought color into my life. My dreams of being Sirius Black when I grow up were officially dashed with heavy doses of gingham & orange accessories.

Who inspires you?

I'm extremely critical of my own work and everyday I worry that I'm a fraud. So naturally, my heroes come in two flavors: creative peers (industry folk from all disciplines) & appreciators (family & friends with real jobs.) Sometimes I need hard-hitting peer review and critique to remind me how much better I need to be. Other times, I need someone to be there for me, whether I rise or fall. I need someone to share my process and inspire me, beyond my peers and mentors. to watch the transformation. ...and to remind me what is most important. (Tacos & hugs #RealTalk)

What are you reading?

Great Gatsby, the last few books of the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, just rolled through Lord of the Rings and now finishing up Stardust also by Gaiman. You could say that my hobbit, sword & whiskey-based inspiration is at an all-time high.

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

Duh, marrying my damn soul mate, my voyager, my dancer, my sun chaser, my most enthusiastic cheerleader, my philosopher, my scientist, my queen.

Also, by the way, i'm producing the absolute best work of my life at an agency that challenges me every day to not suck.

Thank you!

30Fresh30 days of posts celebrating 30 years - and 5 of Fresh Jess!