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Design inspired by Hip Hop culture with Chris Owens

Meet Chris Owens, a multidisciplinary designer based out of Salt Lake City. Chris is heavily involved in his community and today he shares more on his work and how the SLC community inspires a lot of it. Check out what he’s been working on lately and how his passion for Hip Hop culture influences his work.

Who are you?

What up Dribbble! I’m Chris Owens, a designer and illustrator based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I grew up on the tiny island of Guam and decided I needed a change of climate. I’ve been in the industry for over ten years now, working on all sorts of projects ranging from illustrations to apps to interactive websites. I work with some super talented individuals at a studio called Canvas.

  1. 01 A$AP
  2. 05 Grande
  3. 03 Cudi

What are you working on?

I’m currently working on a few rad projects. Two of my favorites are a financial app for iOS and Android and an upcoming A.I. web app. In addition to that, we are working on a new Canvas website. It’s a complete overhaul, including an updated brand and a totally new look for our site. I’m really excited to share with the community what we’ve been up to.

Choose a favorite shot of yours. Why is it your favorite?

04 Drizzy

04 Drizzy

by Chris Owens for Canvas

Playlist mobile. Kiki do you love me? Drake's always killing it. Continuing the journey with our music player. 4 out of 6

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I’ve been challenging myself creatively on a music player concept. It’s a collective of all the things I love: music, product design, and illustration. It has given me the freedom to play around with different color palettes and interesting layouts to create a unique product design. I love it when products are given the opportunity to push boundaries because most of the time, they follow the safe route and can be lacking on the visual side of things.

Tell us about your setup. What tools do you use regularly to create your work?

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My current setup is a culmination of years of playing and tinkering with how I work. The centerpiece is a 5K display iMac desktop. It’s my workhorse and powers everything I throw at it including 136 Chrome tabs, Slack, and the multiple designs and apps I have up. That said, my iPad Pro is becoming my go-to more and more these days. It is perfect for illustrators. Now I can do the majority of my sketching, wireframes, and concepts using my Apple Pencil. I also use it as a detachable second screen that comes in handy when I’m watching a podcast or have some inspiration up. I also can’t go without the opportunity to mention the best chair in the game—the Steelcase Gesture. Worth every penny.

What are your biggest sources of inspiration, in and out of the office?

I draw a lot of my inspiration from Hip Hop—the music, streetwear, street art, and dancing. I’m heavily involved in the breakdancing community and I’m a board member for a non-profit called The Bboy Federation which supports the Bboy and Hip Hop culture here in Salt Lake (yes, there’s a thriving Hip Hop community here in Utah). I’m loving all the collaborations between Hip Hop culture and the tech scene like what we’re seeing with Beats by Dre, Nike Websites, and apps like Tidal.

Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.

Mont Blanc: Text Reveal

Mont Blanc: Text Reveal

by Nathan Riley for green chameleon

I got super inspired after seeing this photo by Mat Reding in Unsplash Awards. Anyway this will probably be my last shot of the year so a quick thanks for all the support over the last 12 months! I just hit the 100k likes mark which blows my mind a lit...

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Right now, I’m loving everything Nathan Riley puts out! He is a very well rounded designer with a ton of creativity. He’s a wizard when it comes to type, color, and composition. He always goes over the top with unique motion and dope 3D. What more could you ask for? I’d love the opportunity to collaborate on something with him in the future.

Find Chris on Dribbble, Instagram, and Twitter.

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