Tag Archives: designers of color

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Hey all, I hope you have been doing well. My last post was a few months back and I apologize for that. It’s been hectic with a new job search, my kids’ activities, the occasional freelance project and just general house duties. With all that going on, I realized that I can’t maintain all the social portals I signed up for trying to stay up-to-date. So I cleaned house and closed a few of them so no more Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and I am rethinking my Facebook page. SoulFul Design, however, will get much more of my attention.

You will notice a refresh of the blog and I will commit to posting new content at least twice a week. So for today, it will be a smattering of recent tidbits that I came across over these few months. So as Captain Picard would say, “Engage.”

Inneract Project websiteINNERACT PROJECT
People of color are not plentiful in the creative field. One of the ways to change that is to introduce design to students of color in schools that normally wouldn’t have the exposure. Maurice Woods is one designer who is doing something about it. Maurice is a highly recognized graphic designer based out of the San Francisco area who is the founder and executive director of Inneract Project. Their mission is to provide free design education to inner-city youth and their communities, to serve as a facilitator to aspiring career designers and to mentor youth to pursue higher education. The more we can expose our children to the value of design, the more representation we can have for our communities and their visual voice.

Rob Vargas and Bloomberg coversBLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
Yes, that Bloomberg. Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg of NYC always had a day job even as the mayor. He owns Bloomberg Media and one of his properties is Bloomberg Businessweek. This monthly magazine is celebrated for its edgy and irreverent publication design. It recently appointed Rob Vargas as its new Creative Director. He had been with the magazine as one of its founding members of their creative team but he now carries the official title as the creative head. He worked at the New York Times Magazine, Blender, New York and Details magazines.

Arem Duplessis is a design leader that has led some prestigious teams. His design skills are top-notch with innovative solutions and thought-provoking visual tones. He’s been behind the design scene at Spin and GQ magazines. Apple is a company that epitomizes cool and forward thinking in relation to design. Mix them together and you have a dynamite combo of super coolness. Arem joined Apple’s internal marketing team leaving the Design Director chair at the New York Times Magazine. I, for one, can’t wait to see the fantastic campaigns Arem will integral in shaping. Apple just made itself even cooler.

Adobe New Creative Is Spotlighting Fresh Creatives

In the morning, I have to do several things before I start my day. First, I must have my coffee. Second, I must have a good breakfast. Third, I must scan my design bookmarks.

It’s that third ritual in which I read about some new designers being spotlighted by Adobe in their campaign for Creative Cloud, New Creative. What intrigued me was the nice diversity of creatives they were showcasing. Blow me away in a very positive way. One such creative is Gavin Campbell. He’s an illustrator and graphic designer based in the UK—London to be specific. He works delves into a lot of lighting work that is just simply amazing.

He along with a few other designers are giving these talks about their work, careers and how Creative Cloud is a part of that. Pretty damn cool as I’ve been eyeing the campaign for a bit and like how they shine the various creative disciplines. Now I wish I could just buy a plane ticket and fly over to the UK, hang out for a few days and catch the presentations. Alas, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. However, Adobe has to be commended for the way they are trying to help all of us creatives bring our ideas to life. Most certainly, they have their faults as any every expanding company does. I myself have had issues with them from programs to price structures that made me smack my head wondering what were they thinking? But you can’t say they are not our greatest supporters. For that, Adobe stands above so many other companies in the creative industry and this series of profiles is another example of them setting the bar.

Thanks Adobe and looking forward to the next innovations you create and support.

A Curious Turn of Events…

bldtr040035I’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.

Continue reading A Curious Turn of Events…

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. Continue reading Soulight On: Terrence Moline

Soulight On: Meca McKinney

meca mckinney portraitSoulFul 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.

Leather artisan/designer Meca McKinney launched Jypsea Leathergoods, LLC as a line of hand-crafted eco-friendly, luxury leather handbags & accessories with an eclectic edge from her New Jersey-based design studio in 2009. In the spring of 2013, Jypsea will re-launch as a luxe home decor line. Meca uses only the finest skins from around the world as well as leather recycled from reclaimed jackets and garments whenever possible. She started Jypsea after years of working in the corporate fashion design industry in NYC because she simply believed that luxurious, hand-made, well-designed accessories should be accessible to all.

Jypsea has been featured in The Today Show, NBC Philadelphia’s The Ten! Spot, Clutch Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Trace Magazine, Computer Love: The Movie, numerous fashion blogs and in various art gallery exhibits including recent showcase with Raw NYC.

1. How did you first become interested in fashion/handbag/accessory design?
As a child, I’ve always been artistically talented, as my school district labeled me, and attended the Art Magnet program in my town. My mom made all of my clothes growing up. So by combining art and sewing, my career decision was made by the time I was 11. I studied fashion design in high school and went to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) for college. Taking time off from school, I moved to Atlanta and worked as an assistant patternmaker for Rene Rene, a successful indie fashion brand there. One fateful day she had me design clutches for dresses that were in her collection—I decided to make a small collection of bags with the fabric I had in my apartment once I got home from work. I created seven styles, photographed them and made a catalog in one weekend. When I showed my boss on Monday, she was so impressed that she introduced me to her sewing contractors and they wanted to be my business partners! I knew then that I may have something. When I moved back to Jersey and re-enrolled at FIT, I changed my major from fashion design to accessory design and never looked back. And once I was introduced to using leather, I was IN LOVE.

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 mother told me there was no such thing as a black fashion designer and I had better go to school for business or she would not help me pay for college. So she didn’t help me pay for college. I had to follow my dreams. Now though, she understands that I could have never done anything else and still be happy. I was just not made for the standard 9 to 5. Continue reading Soulight On: Meca McKinney