I’m always looking out for new design opportunities to learn and grow. That’s part of being a creative person—that need to continually learn and use it to help the group, business or client you’re working with. Recently, one such opportunity came up. It was as a creative director for an educational non-profit. It really piqued my curiosity. I had several meetings with them and one of the key messaging points was the aspect of diversity—marketing for and experiences in developing diversity.
Having had such experiences with AIGA chairing its Diversity Task force, my years of design experience along with my childhood background being very similar to the audience they serve (black and latino kids from underserved communities), I saw myself as an ideal candidate. The more I progressed through the meetings and learned about the group, the more I felt the connection. Through the last meeting before the final decision, I sweetened the pot by presenting a digital publishing app I created off the initial exercise they asked for in the beginning of our process. Along with this and the issue of diversity experiences being highlighted again, I felt extremely confident about this opportunity.
How ironic it was to learn of Steve Job’s death while on my newly bought iPad? Upon seeing the breaking news flipping through my CNN app, I just went into shock. Logically, I knew he was very sick and dealing with pancreatic cancer but emotionally I just always saw him outliving us all, pitching to us all the great new toys to come. His passing truly means an end of an era to me. Having practiced graphic design since 1988, Steve was right there with me. No, I didn’t know him personally but I had intimate relationships with his techno toys.
The first time I meet the Mac was around late 1990 to early 1991. Oh baby, it was love at first sight! The company I was working at began to phase out live mechanical boards and moving everything to the computer. All of us in the art & production departments went into training and learned how to use Quark on Mac Quadras. Man, oh man, were they so sexy! After training, I’d run back to the offices and continue working on the Quadras in the office because I couldn’t get enough. I would be there for hours. Damn, those were the days. Continue reading Gone Too Soon Brother Steve…→
My 44th birthday is in just over a week. For the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my career, my studio—just my life overall. There’s been tremendous opportunities, some great times and experiences but also some very, very tragic happenings. Throughout all my reflecting, one feeling has kept coming to the surface. I’M TIRED.
Tired emotionally; tired spiritually; tired financially; tired physically which all makes me tired creatively. The desire to one day run my own design studio has been there since I started designing. In one sense, I succeeded in achieving that goal. In another sense, I still haven’t. In the last few years though that desire as been waning. While I’ve been trying to make a go of my studio, I have also had to support my wife’s business, support my kid’s programs/schooling and sustain our household. All this support has severely weakened my creative foundation. My mind is filled with worry, anxiety, stress and tension. From my mind all the worry, anxiety, stress and tension has now become physical as my body aches with pain that didn’t exist before. None of which helps a creative mind live, grow and expand. This is not quite the picture I had in mind all those years dreaming of my own studio. Continue reading Where is ME?→
Why does it seem to be that communities of color don’t support or encourage the creative arts as much as the mainstream community does? Why are families pushing to their children that being a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or Wall Street power player are the only ways to have a career? Why do we buy into the notion that the creative arts are a luxury—something that only the mainstream, i.e. white, folks can enjoy, understand and execute?
Many of times I’ve witnessed this underlying cultural fallacy in clients who feel that when I, a graphic designer who is black, informs them of the need to invest in a visual plan for their business, they hear me suggesting they waste dollars on superficial expenses. Yet that same advice coming from a white designer or studio, then it’s taken as crucial marketing advice and must be budgeted for immediately. REALLY? We both can have the same design background, education, experience but somehow my professional advice is considered to be superficial. Dismiss the fact that I might be more sensitive to your business’s needs because of shared cultural experiences however, when the professional expertise is identical yet the conclusion is that mine is superficial says but one thing. Cultural genocide.Continue reading Stop All The Shit!→
It’s been a minute since I last posted. Many things kept me from writing like family, money stresses, work from the few clients I have these days, my teaching, Modern Warfare 2 and so on. But in all that time, I kept saying to myself “ you gotta get back to your blog”. 2009 has been a horrific year for me and so many others. Many of my clients halted their marketing plans, some have just disappeared…all in all it was a perfect time to think about the future of my studio.
Like I’ve done for many of my clients, it was time for me to rethink how I do my business. I started my studio basically after leaving corporate without really thinking of a plan. I just went ahead and put a “Open for Business” sign…and sure enough business was coming in. But I didn’t think about the dry season; about how to keep my studio out there. So for 2010, it’s time to finally get a plan and market my studio with all the gusto I give when creating design for my client. It’s time to give myself some of my magic.