Flagler senior and artist lands in two magazine issues
By Kivi Hermans and Brittany Hackett
Flagler College senior Ty Williams chalked up his summer as “very bizarre.” As a typical college student who spends his time surfing, painting and eating ramen noodles, Williams somehow became a model for two magazine spreads.
Williams is featured in the October issues of Men’s Journal and Northeast Magazine. He got the opportunity to appear in the popular magazines on a total whim.
“I was surprised and skeptical. I laughed a little bit and then I was stoked on it,” Williams said. He spent this past summer working in Maine, where his two best friends have a successful business making surfboards out of cedar.
Men’s Journal was holding a casting call for people to feature that do things with their hands.
Williams says the magazine is looking to broaden their readership to a larger demographic, which is why he was asked to appear in the magazine.
“First of all it’s Men’s Journal magazine,” he said, “I never thought that if I was going to be in a magazine it would be that one. I thought it was associated with manly men, not boys. It made sense after I read the magazine why I should be in it.”
People from the magazine came into the shop and asked his permission to use him as a model, even though Williams does not actually make the boards.
The shoot took four hours, and Williams even had his own stylist from New York. Since the shoot, he has taken up building surfboards on his vacations from being a college student.
Northeast Magazine is an outdoor adventure magazine featuring Williams in a similar article. The issue will also feature his passion in life: painting.
His parents didn’t buy him many toys growing up, so he took up painting, says Williams. The Williams family traveled between the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida before settling in Maine.
Williams’ parents, who still live in Maine, own Runaway Farm, where they raise and train horses.
“I remember in high school having to walk through a barn to get to my car,” said Williams, who claims he can ride if he has to. He says his parents inspired his love of art.
“[They] are two of the most creative people I know,” he said, adding that he would like to make a career out of painting.
“I thought I wanted to do something with radio as I love music, but soon realized I don’t want to be in a small cubicle putting CDs in a player,” he said. He says his biggest accomplishment in life would be “to have an art show in either Montreal or New York. Montreal has a great art scene.”
Williams’ artwork can be found locally at High Tide CafÃ© and Simple Gestures. He also has his own Web site where anyone can view his work at www.projectbien.com.
“My artwork, I have to literally just say, is colorful, bright. It literally is a regurgitation of what comes out of my head, whether I’m at home or away,” Williams said.
He is also inspired by comments that he hears from other people.
“I have a bizarre way of hearing what people say when I eavesdrop. It’s just a juxtaposition of some of the messed up stuff I hear in my head,” he said.
Northeast Magazine offered Williams an internship for his art to be in the magazine. He plans on accepting the internship during the winter break this coming December and hopes that it will provide great opportunities for his future.
After graduation, Williams would like to travel, paint and be inspired by the real world, wherever that may be.
“For me the best stuff for my work happens when I’m not around people I know and the places I am, maybe going to a remote place where I can’t even surf, like the mountains of Russia, I would be inspired,” he said. “When I see stuff that is offbeat, that’s what inspires me, especially when I see it in other cultures.”