for john roderick


Hi John,

FYI, This is not a public page, so it's just between you and me. 

I just heard your call-out for a sort of design assistant on the most recent Road Work episode. Seems you could use some help harvesting your low-hanging fruit. I think I might be your guy for a few reasons. Let me explain.

I'm an experienced graphic designer with a watchful eye on how independent artists are earning a living these days. I design, market, and sell my own products on my own Squarespace website and feel like I could help you tie up some loose ends.

The main reason I think I can help is that I have a unique perspective on your career and audience that would provide a shorthand - less explanation and communication on your end - and more freedom for creative problem solving on my end. The result is two independent, happy people who get to do more of what they love. 

Let me fill in the story a bit...

1. I'm familiar with you as a broadcaster

I started, in real time, with your very first ROTL episode which was in fact a "Back To Work" episode (#31) when you filled in for Dan. I've since been a regular listener to ROTL and then more recently Road Work.

I've had the good fortune of attending the annual SF Sketchfest ROTL events (2015, 2016, 2017). In 2015 I made a mini "Merlin and John take a bow" video that you may have seen (below).

I'm familiar with ALL the great... you know, stories, recurring themes, jokes and jargon that make up the John Roderick canon.

In short, I know your history and, well, "brand" as a broadcaster. 


2. I'm familiar with you as a musician

I'm most familiar with (and a fan of) your Long Winters catalog and know about your context in the Seattle music scene. 

I know and understand many of your musical reference points. For example, I know what it's like to marvel at an Elliott Smith guitar progression.

We know some of the same people. Starting in the early 2000's. I played guitar in the Santa Barbara-based band Buellton. Through our connection to Portland's FILMguerrero label we interacted with many kindred spirits of the time including your pals in Death Cab - with whom we played a number of shows in Southern California. 

As a side note, Buellton and The Long Winters both appeared on the same Zep tribute album "From the Land of Ice and Snow".


3. I can create and problem solve in the digital world

I'm an artist/graphic designer with a music production/engineering dimension. I do freelance custom lettering and illustration that I think would appeal to your audience. 

I just recently completed 8 years as an agency designer in the music and entertainment industry. I made web sites, ads, t-shirts, logos, keepsakes and a few album covers. We worked with large acts like singer Jack Johnson and helped design and facilitate digital album release campaigns for Universal, Warner Music Group, Disney Music .

Last year I quit the agency gig and moved to San Francisco (which is where I'll need to remain for the foreseeable future). I went freelance to find more creative freedom, work with nonprofits and to attend type design school starting in October (a part-time program a Type@Cooper ). I'll be reinforcing my foundation as a logo designer.

I also record my own music and appreciate both pro recording studios as well as TapeOp-inspired DIY setups. I can help problem solve and edit audio projects that you might want to monetize. 

4. Squarespace

I have years of experience using the Squarespace platform. You have so much potential already with your setup on I would love to help you make the most of it. They make it so easy to set up a store and sell things. I'd love to see you have a store stocked with physical products: new t-shirts, your mugs, your music, and spur-of-the-moment digital downloads of whatever you feel inspired to make.

I've been running successful t-shirt pre-order campaigns through my Squarespace store. I charge for the shirts up front to cover the production costs, order the exact amount I need from the printer and then ship without any leftovers. I'd love to help you do a shirt or series of shirt designs. 

4. Live Streaming

I think the future of subscription services will have a large, interactive live streaming component. Something more deluxe than your Instagram or Facebook live.  Check out what Patreon has to say about it. I think there's a ton of potential there and would love to see you set up a foundation. I could see you broadcasting a fly-on-the-wall  songwriting or recording session, then releasing the recordings as singles or EP's for digital download back on your store page. I can help you with this. 

5. I'll take care of it.

I love to work independently for people who trust me to do good work. So much of the design world is about hand-holding, obsessing over "revisions" and letting the client drain the art and dignity out of the designer. The way you presented what you need makes me feel like I could get a brief to understand your goals and then figure out a solution while you take a snooze.

I'm efficient, sensible, reliable, friendly, kind and (I believe) I have good taste. Who else would you want in your corner?

My priority with any working relationship is to find the right fit. Quality of life is my priority. Price is usually negotiable and I'm happy to find a way to make things work for both of us if you think I could help. 

Feel free to send me a message through my site HERE  or message me through instagram: @tadwagner and we can set up a time to talk. 

Thanks for your time,