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Hamburg water tower gets a makeover

Q&A with designer Dylan Cownie


Kenmore native Dylan Cownie has known since high school that he wanted to weave art into his career. Cownie, twenty-five, is now a graphic designer whose design was chosen to adorn the Hamburg Water Tower. The design competition became a reality after thousands of residents signed a petition to repaint the rusting blue tower last year.



What pushed you toward art as a career?

During the October Storm of 2006, we were without power for two weeks, but my laptop was fully charged. I started drawing scenes from Lord of the Rings, and gradually began to take art seriously. I took AP art courses and developed a portfolio. When you choose art as a career, ninety-nine percent of people encourage you to go to the big cities, but I was pretty set on staying in Buffalo.


How did you become a part of this competition?

Looking for freelance work right after graduation, I was messaging as many people as I could. I got a message back [about the design competition]. It was February when I got the go-ahead to put together a design, and I finished it in April.


What inspired the design?

One rule of thumb that I always adhere to is to add as much color as I can. I tried to come up with as many colorful ingredients as I could think of for a burger, and thought about the kinds I really like.


What other design would you like to try?

I really like comedy, so if I could come up with Buffalo-specific inside jokes, those would make fun shirts.


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