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Name: Eric Gillett

BYU employee since: the year Prince recorded “1999.”

My job at BYU is... currently the Chair of the Design Department. I work with wildly talented students studying animation, graphic design, illustration and photography.

Eric Gillett, Department Chair of the Department of Design
Photo Credit: 
Savanna Richardson/ BYU Photo


Currently I’m working on… setting up a new Riso studio that will be one of only a handful in the country. Riso duplicators are old-school technology (literally) that grade school teachers know and love. Designers and illustrators are hacking them to create zines, limited-edition books and prints. Fluorescent pink is the favorite color so far.

The day I saw the Belvedere Torso at the Art Institute of Chicago during a 7th grade field trip …sparked my interest in my field. I was mesmerized and kept circling around and around and got separated from the class for the rest of the afternoon. Best day ever.

Systems theory ...changed the way I view almost everything that happens around me because... learning to spot feedback loops and understanding interdependencies calmed me down after the election.

When I have 30 minutes of free time you can find me... rummaging through the nearest D.I.

My advice to incoming freshmen is... forget everything you just learned, stay curious and ask lots of questions.

My advice to graduating seniors is... forget everything you just learned, stay curious and ask lots of questions.

The best-kept BYU secret is... the MOA gift store – home to quirky little gifts that make you seem much cooler than you really are.

My favorite spot on campus is... the letterpress studio in B-67 – lots of old lead type, a secret entrance off the back loading dock and the smell of fresh ink. Could it get any better?

On Saturday mornings you’ll find me... in the garden digging in the dirt, earbuds in place.

Three things that are always found in my refrigerator are hummus, fancy olives and The Greek Gods honey yogurt.

My favorite quote is... by Miles Davis: “Do not fear mistakes – there are none.”

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to... Istanbul because it sounds exotic and dangerous – two things that I am not.