Artist in Every Sense of the Word
Photos by Jamie Alexander
Owensboro native Jacob Sommerville has a diverse background, from once playing in a band and opening for Hank Williams Jr., to providing graphic design services to the Owensboro community.
His music career began when he and his brother, renowned local artist Josh Merritt, began playing local gigs. Sommerville remembers using Microsoft Paint to create album covers and other design materials for the band.
“I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember,” Sommerville said. “I started out taking some computer drafting classes in high school. That sparked my interest and led me to help my brother design material for his music career.”
Sommerville’s first professional opportunity in the industry came when he started working for Terry’s Tees, a local screen printing and embroidery business.
“Terry’s Tees really helped me get into it professionally,” he said. “I learned a lot working with them and met several people. It was the perfect opportunity for me to spread my wings.”
Sommerville now works for Laser Beam Studio, a local design and fabrication company. Laser Beam has operated under other names and has been a part of the Owensboro community for over two decades.
They specialize in creating brand identity and producing and installing signs. The signs range from lighted and architectural signage to digital graphics and large-format printing.
Sommerville enjoys putting his creative mind to work on his many diverse work tasks, operating under the mantra “Ancora Imparo,” translated to “I’m still learning.”
“Michelangelo said it when he was 87 and working on St. Peter’s Basilica,” Sommerville said. “It’s the motto I live by; I am always learning. I genuinely believe I can do anything; if I don’t know how, I will learn.”
Sommerville said a growth mindset is imperative to success in the industry, as technology is constantly evolving and growing. At 30, he’s worked on several projects for the area, notably Porch Fest – the growing music festival that transforms Griffith Avenue into a vibrant block party.
He takes pride in being a part of the Owensboro community.
“I love working locally and helping out local businesses and nonprofits,” he said. “I taught myself everything, and I love sharing my work and expertise with local businesses and helping them with their brand.”
Sommerville offers freelance graphic design services. To see some of his work, visit https://www.behance.net/jacobsommerv. To inquire about services, reach out on Facebook @Sommerville91.
When it comes to playing music, Sommerville said he hopes to return to performing soon. Until then, it offers a hobby and pastime to complement his graphic design work.