How Kyle Steed designed a T-shirt together with Taupan (9) from Lombok



Making things by hand like drawing and designing is something the American artist Kyle Steed loves to do. With his head full of inspiration and big dreams he regards his own work as an evolution. He has left his creative mark on projects from HP, Mercedes Benz, Hallmark, Paypal and more. Steed always wanted to be an architect, because he loved doodling and drawing indoor football fields and swimming pools. 

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Dream job

In his senior year of high school this dream changes when the young Kyle Steed has the possibility of exploring Photoshop. It wasn’t long before he made small designs for friends, a great begin for his dream job. Next to that he loves to photograph, especially people, shadows and just moments of daily life. For Face This we linked him to the Indonesian student Taupan, which turned out to be the perfect match. Why? Simple: Taupan’s favourite place in Senggigi is a soccer field where he can play football. So we put a school bench in the middle of that field and asked the young boy to make a drawing about football. 

Taufan working on his drawing

Kyle Steed’s creativity x Taupan’s work

Even though Steed drew indoor football fields when he was young, we immediately felt a connection between the artist and the eleven year old kid. Kyle Steed also felt this way and couldn’t wait to get started with the drawing Taupan made. “I feel like this project was super chill to come together. Taking what Taupan had already drawn and translating it into my style was a fun challenge.” That’s exactly how we thought about putting these two creative people together. It doesn’t matter where you live, how you grew up or what your dreams are: art always connects.

This Taupan

T-shirt artwork creation

The biggest difference with our T-shirt project from last year is that the kids now made their drawing at the location of their subject. That way they could absorb everything around them. Kyle Steed was certainly struck by the fact that Taupan did that bizarly well. “I really loved his attention to the things he most enjoys in life (football). I like how not only did he pay attention to the players on the field, but also the natural environment that surrounds him. It shows a high level of awareness to his surroundings which is super important to me… and something I’m constantly tuning into.”

Taupan’s drawing

Balancing profit and non-profit work

Steed supports every way in stimulating kids to explore their creativity, wherever in the world. That’s one of the reasons he participated in our new Face This T-shirt collection. But the majority of his work is for profit. “I’d say in a given year I do 1-2 non-profit projects. But whenever I do have the chance, I’d say it always leaves a positive impact. Back in the early days of Instagram I surely did a lot of paid sponsorship work with big companies. One of my favorites that comes to mind was a road trip out through Palm Springs/Joshua Tree National Park with my best bud. It was with Mercedes and we had a blast camping out under the stars and exploring in style.”

What Kyle Steeds wants to say to Taupan

Taupan stays an artist

To Taupan and every other kid in the world he would like to say: “Never lose the gift of creativity in you. Stay true to who you are. And always remain curious about the world around you. It is full of surprises.” In an interview with The Great Discontent he has a beautiful addition to this: “Don’t limit yourself by what you can learn in school. Education doesn’t begin or end in school. You have to have that drive in yourself to want to learn and grow.” It’s not surprising that his favourite quote ever comes from Pablo Piccaso. He once said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” A lot of Steed’s work from the last couple of years deals with this very notion.

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