Creative Natives: David Padgett

David Padgett

Senior Digital Artist

February 19, 2016


Root, Inc.


Tell us a little bit about some of your past projects:

I designed and helped paint the mural in the Junction neighborhood as part of the United Way’s Day of Caring. The company I work for, Root Inc., volunteered to do the mural. We had a crew of co-workers, family and friends and got the entire mural completed in one day (see picture above). Go check it out! It’s on Junction, just north of Nebraska.

I’ve designed and created two little free libraries. One lives in front of the Junction mural and was created from an old newspaper box that was generously donated by the Toledo Blade. It’s a book monster, painted to match the mural. The other is in my front yard and was created from an old metal cooler that we found at the Maumee Antique Mall. I have to give my wife, Brooke, credit for these because it was her passion (and constant reminding) about the little free libraries that got these created. I’ve seen more little libraries popping up around town and I hope it continues!

I really love designing and building furniture for my house. My favorite piece is the bed frame I made for my daughter. It has large decorative holes drilled in the side panels. I call it the “swiss cheese toddler bed."


What are you currently working on?

My day job is at Root, Inc. where I work as a senior digital artist. We get to work with a lot of great clients, like Levi’s and Hampton Inn. I’m also doing some design work for the Toledo Bicycle Coalition, a bike advocacy group created by a co-worker of mine. Hi Jordan!


Living in Toledo is an advantage for your work because:

Toledo is the perfect size.  It’s large enough to feel like a real city, but small enough so that the network of creative people all know and support one other.


One of your greatest successes:

Hopefully being a good dad to my two kids. I think I’m doing ok so far?


What inspires you?

Good design inspires me. It could be anything: a well-designed restaurant, a piece of furniture, an album cover, signage, a logo.


About your background:

I grew up in Cincinnati and then studied graphic design and painting at Miami University. I worked in graphic design in Cincinnati for a while and then after a very short stint in Chicago, I moved to Toledo (my wife grew up here). I’ve been here almost 10 years now.


What's a favorite quote you try to live by? 

I’m stealing this from my wife. It’s a really great quote: "The future is not something we enter, it is something we create."


What's your favorite local culture in Toledo?:

The Old Orchard neighborhood. I’ve never in my life seen such a close-knit community like this. We’ve made so many friends in this neighborhood, many of whom are transplants, or they have moved back because they love it here too.


Toledo’s ‘best-kept secret’ is…

Promenade Park. We love to walk along the river with our kids and no one ever seems to be down there! I blame the geese.


Your favorite place to chill locally is…

Black Kite coffee on Saturday mornings. The Village Idiot isn’t too shabby either.


Favorite natural space in Toledo:

Side Cut Metropark


When not working hard, you can be found…

Hanging with my family, walking around the neighborhood. In the summers, relaxing at our family camper on Nettle Lake.


If you could change the current landscape for creative progressive people in Toledo…

I think we are doing just fine. Maybe encourage those who don’t usually go to the Art Museum or attend a Gallery Loop to get down there and see what the city has to offer!


One person (living or deceased) you’d like to collaborate with:

It might sound cliché for a graphic designer to say this, but Aaron Draplin.  His passion, energy and wackiness are contagious.


An album, book or website you can’t live without:

I love, but it always fills my head with pipe dreams.  


What are three words that best describe you and/or your work?

Procrastination then dedication.


Your 5 ‘desert island’ album picks:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Beck – Mutations

Cake – Prolonging the Magic

Anything by Old Crow Medicine Show

Everything by Johnny Cash


Your biggest vice is . . . 

I used to love chocolate but now I’d rather eat a block of cheese. It’s weird.  


I’d like to see ______ in Toledo.

Clean water. Yeah, I know, I just got serious for a second… but wouldn’t it be nice to go to the beach?


The last dream you recall:

This isn’t the LAST dream I can recall, but one time I dreamt there was a guy named the Pickle Man chasing me. I was able to escape because he could only run at right angles.  


The last lyric that moved you:

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life."


One movie character you identify with:

I've always thought Clarence Worley in True Romance was a solid dude, except for all the drugs and violence.


The best gift I ever received was… 

One Christmas Santa got me an AT-AT Walker. I got up at 3 AM that Christmas to play with it.


My most inspiring moment is/was:

My children being born.


I want my last meal to be:

A burrito as big as my head. 


Back to All Creative Natives