Soulight On: Terrence Moline

soulight_terrenceSoulFul Design is proud
to present the series
Soulight On: a showcase featuring designers of color across different creative fields. My purpose is to shine light on fellow creatives that we don’t see in the mainstream design trades. My goal is for you to be inspired, be informed, be creative.

Terrence Moline has 15 years of experience as an illustrator and graphic designer. He received formal training in illustrative design and screen-printing at Loyola University of New Orleans, completed in 1998. Terrence has developed branding programs for the non-profit, food and beverage, and entertainment industries.

His client roster includes: New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, the Louis Armstrong Airport, The University of Texas at Austin, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas and Alliance Abroad Group.

1. How did you first become interested in graphic design?
My interest in design is rooted in a love for illustration and was sparked in elementary school when a teacher continually featured my doodles. Less lauded art were the illustrations I added to most of my creative writing assignments. My passion for art and copy evolved in high school when I was recruited to join the yearbook staff and my classmates started paying me to paint Disney characters on denim wears as well as when my cousin hired me to design night club flyers.

I only made the connection that this practice of organizing images and copy was called graphic design after changing my major from music to design at Loyola University in New Orleans. I made the decision to shift programs following the suggestion of a former high school classmate who majored in graphic design.

2. Often times, families of color look at the creative arts as a white thing that we should get a good job like a doctor, lawyer, government worker, etc. What did your family think about your choice of career? Do or did they support it?
My parents’ only wish for me was that I would be able to survive and take care of my family and myself. They weren’t too concerned with my career trajectory as long as it was legal. I think it took a while for my family to understand my line of work, but they’re on board now and very supportive.

3. How did you get your first big break?
The late Nathan Woods—aka Bionik Brown, a noted New Orleans emcee and friend of mine from Loyola—hired me to design CD covers and promotional materials. Once I proved my worth with him, he introduced me to his network including Jamie Peckenpaugh, the executive director of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. Jamie hired me as the art director/designer for Club 360, a rotating venue at the top of the World Trade Center in New Orleans. This contract opened doors to many of the local promoters and restaurateurs, creating my foothold in the hospitality and entertainment industries. My career was catapulted from club flyers to corporate branding contracts for clients including the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, and the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network.

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4. In your experience, have you ever felt that you and/or your work were ignored simply because of your ethnicity? What made you think this?
Never. I can’t say anyone would identify my work as ethnic—culturally rich, yes, but not specific to one ethnicity. Over the last two decades, I’ve been fortunate to develop a solid network of people who are pleased with my work and many have become friends who continue to refer me to provide art direction, design and web development for new initiatives

5. Have you ever attended any events or conferences in your industry? Did you feel welcomed? Did you see many folks of color? If not, how did that make you feel?
I’ve attended several professional development events including conferences for graphic and interactive design. Most recently, I’ve started attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas—my home base. I believe us art and tech types are often recluse; that said, I’ve felt as welcome as possible. I’ve noticed a growing number of communities of color attending these events, however, there’s definitely an opportunity for us to be better represented.

6. Lastly, what project are you most proud of and why?
After relocating to Austin, I was hired as art director and designer to support Goodwill Industries of Central Texas. As the solo designer at the corporate office, I was challenged to re-brand 23 stores including store signage, billboards, advertisements, and logos for several campaigns. I am most proud of the store signage project I developed.

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