78. Travis Ladue

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When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives

Travis Ladue's a graphic designer who was born in Phoenix. And, yes, he totally understands that makes him a rare breed.

"I am a native Phoenician, which I feel is something that a lot of people don't get the privilege to say anymore," he says. "It seems like every time I meet someone new, one of their first questions is, "When did you move here?" I love to see people's reactions when I tell them that I was born in Arizona. It's like I just told them that there is intelligent life on the moon. Blank stares with a little shock and awe peppered in. I am a second-generation Phoenician and I love it. Growing up, I couldn't wait to get out of suburbia and move... well, anywhere. Now that I am a grownup, I have a new-found respect for the city that I grew up in."

Ladue is currently a designer with Fervor Creative. His design work has been featured on Design Work Life, HOW magazine, Eight Hour Day, Silver Screen Society, The To Resolve Project, Invigorate Branding, and Branding Magazine.

I came to Phoenix with... An older brother who was really pissed that he didn't get his tacos. My mother went into labor while at a Mexican restaurant. This could explain my love for Mexican food.

I make art because... As cheesy as it sounds, I honestly believe that it is what I was supposed to do. I couldn't see myself doing anything else. Sure, I could do anything, but I don't think I would be as happy doing it. I get to create things with my hands all day, I feel pretty blessed to call that my job.

I'm most productive when... The rest of the world has gone to sleep and I can open my windows, spread out all my crap, and just jam out to music with my dog. She loves Wu-Tang.

My inspiration wall is full of... (My desk) is crowded with stuff I have collected over the years and things my friends have given me. Some notable items: a set of USA prints that my good friend Jon Ashcroft gave me, a zine from a friend in New York, a couple handwritten notes from close friends, a bust of JFK, an old Boy Scout pennant, photos of my grandfathers, a piece of the Berlin wall, a match book from King's Highway, and a ton of books.

I've learned the most from... My family. I wouldn't be where I am today without that support system behind me. I can't begin to thank them enough for all the valuable lessons that they taught me while growing up.

Good work should always... Good work should always be two things: it should be something that you are proud to put your name on and stand behind, but it should also be the right solution for the client. Sure, almost anyone can make something cool, but if it doesn't fit the needs of the client, it's fucking garbage. One of my major problems with design right now is that everyone is all gung-ho to jump on the latest trend and make "cool" work that will be forgotten in a year. Just be true to yourself and the profession and make something that matters. Okay, I'll jump off my soap box now.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more... Optimism. I think a lot of people have given up on this city. It's a great place and she is making a comeback. Albeit slow, but she is making a comeback. I would love nothing more to see my hometown regain the luster it had in the 50s.

The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)

100:Lara Plecas 99. Isaac Caruso 98. Brandon Gore 97. Kelsey Dake 96. Hector Ruiz 95. Caroline Battle 94: Jennifer Campbell 93. Jeff Chabot 92. Tiffiney Yazzie 91. Daniel Germani 90. Irma Sanchez 89. Daniel m. Davis 88. Kirstin Van Cleef 87. Emmett Potter 86. Sarah Hurwitz 85. Christine Cassano 84. Fred Tieken 83. Lindsay Kinkade 82. Ruben Galicia 81. Robert Uribe 80. Heidi Abrahamson 79. Josephine Davis

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