noun || yəNG ˈhefā

Fred Sands not only creates some of the best graphics at PAPER Mag, he also curates some of the funniest and insightful graphic stories on the side. He thinks and lives outside the box.


TA: Quick question, who do you listen to on your way to work? 

FS: It changes everyday! Brandy and classic Outkast are always in rotation though, and I've been rocking with Kehlani's new joints heavy.


TA: When your first direct deposit hit, what did you buy? 

FS: I had a iPhone 6 and it was trash, so I bought the 7 accompanied with this pink Opening Ceremony letterman jacket. 

TA: You currently work at PAPER Mag. Would you consider that your current hustle? 

FS:  Well I’m now a full time creative/creator, but the hustle is balance. Balancing my passion projects with the work that pays the bills. Not that I’m not equally as passionate about both, it’s just a bit challenging sometimes to remain inspired in a world of deadlines and client wants/needs. 


So I think the hustle is playing the game. Knowing how to create work that inspires and draws in an audience, as well as work that creates a profit.

TA: Knowing the day is filled with creation makes waking up easier. What's been the hardest job you've had to wake up for? 

FS: The hardest job to wake up for was my job as a camp counselor at the YMCA in D.C. Mainly because I had to raise other people's kids for about 9 hours a day (during the summer). No diss to the Y (they're heroes), but anyone can tell you that job is strictly for the check. Now that I think about it, I guess that's why it was hard to wake up for, because it was centered around money. 

TA: What has been your favorite graphic design project so far?

FS: The project that takes the cake is my "Eating At The Table" design series. The tribute I created to Solange's latest record [A Seat At The Table]. I kind've dreamt about it, creative the first piece and put it out there. Since I couldn't let it go, I ended up designing an entire series where Solo [Solange] was the main dish. My favorite is the mac-n-cheese piece. [Images from this project are included throughout this article.] 

TA: Who has given you the most memorable career advice? 

FS: The most memorable career advice came from my Pops. Growing up he'd always tell us: "Be your own boss." At first I  thought that meant don't ever work for anybody else (which would also make sense because that's wack for some people), but as I've gotten older I've realized that it means that you to stand firm as an individual and come to understand your own power. In a way, that's played a large role in my confidence and ballsy-ness, if you will, as an artist. 

For more of Frederick Sands, follow him here, or go to ivourth.com

* "Eating At The Table" design series by F. Sands