Changing the art world is far from an easy task. Many artists work their whole life for the opportunity to make an impact and never get their work to the right people. Geoff McFetridge found lifelong collaborators at an unusual time in his life. Yet the journey of an artist does not end there. The struggle to create and change the visual aesthetic of the world around him continued. Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life provides insight into his work as an artist and father. Through a close examination of his career and his family life, we get an unusually intimate view of his internal strife.

McFetridge often finds himself between two worlds. As a biracial artist, he has long fought to bring both sides of his parentage to his work. Yet McFetridge also skirts between the independent art scene and commercialism. His designs adorn some of the most significant fashion designs in the world (e.g., Warby Parker). At the same time, his collaborations with Sophia Coppola and Spike Jonze endeared him to the indie scene.

SXSW 2023 Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life

Many of his designs continue to bring that spirit while rebelling against traditional expectations for brand imagery. As a result, McFetridge shook up the world of advertising in an authentic way. Documentarian Dan Covert captures his process in intimate detail. As we watch the creative process unfold, McFetridge opens up about his monomaniacal goal to be the best artist possible, even if he has to sacrifice time with family.

This observation stands out as we dig into McFetridge as a subject. This starkly contrasts his relationship with his family until he directly tells us his priorities. Watching him work through the balance he needs to employ in his life, we get a much stronger sense of a tortured artist. Like Spielberg’s The Fabelmans or Free Solo’s Alex Honnold, McFetridge seems driven to do something incredible. Covert’s ability to capture this on camera speaks to his talent as a filmmaker.

SXSW 2023 Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life

For those who know nothing of McFetridge, this documentary serves as an excellent introduction. Those who enjoy his work will get more insight into his process. Artists should take several important notes from his approach to life and art.

Alan’s Rating: 6/10

What do you think of Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life? Let us know in the comments below! Catch Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life at SXSW 2023.

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