I decided to take some time off to recharge my mental batteries. Whenever your creative energy starts to ebb, the efforts you put out are so weakened and puts you (and your clients) at risk of bad design. In order to offset that, I decided to dedicate a week to doing nothing creative—just being. The week is almost over and I guess I accomplished my goal—somewhat. While I haven’t done creative, I also haven’t really done what I wanted. Issues with the babysitter not being here this week, bad starts to the day (I just couldn’t get out of bed early) to what now feels like a cold or something trying to brew inside, thanks to my 11-year-old son.
During all this time one thing has been consistent. My mind was tired. With my mind being tired, the body follows suit. That’s why its been so hard getting out of bed. My mind is tired. Mentally I’ve been going through a lot of shit the past 10 years since my (1st) wife was murdered September 11th. I kept working through all that grief and trauma because it kept my mind off of what happen. At the time I thought it was best. I’m not so sure if that was the right move now. While I have had great creative success during this 10 year period, it also came with a thorny backside to it. Winning my first major design awards at The Ozzies in 2002 left me so emotionally numb. What was to be a happy occasion was really a painful one. During the awards ceremony, I piled on the glasses of Jack & Coke. When my name was announced, I was in a tipsy haze as I approached the stage. Always the professional, I accepted without anyone ever knowing how I was feeling that night. I left early after getting two awards that night. Continue reading Taking Time Off To Recharge
This past October 28th through October 31, the Organization of Black Designers (OBD) held their 7th DesigNation conference in Detroit Michigan. The last OBD conference I attended was in 1996/7 in Philadelphia. I had only been in the industry for seven years working as an Art Director for Income Opportunities, a general market business magazine for the small business, home office owned by Essence Communications. Somehow I stumbled upon OBD and was amped to join because I had been searching for other black designers—hell, designers of color period. Since I knew Essence wasn’t going to pay for me to go (despite the hype, Essence really wasn’t all about black solidarity), I would go on my dime. Continue reading OBD DesigNation 7 in Detroit
The idea behind this blog has been fermenting since I was in college. Here I was an eager, design student looking to learn all I can about my future industry. Semester after semester I’d pour over design annuals and magazines reading about the titans of design. But there was always something that really bothered me when looking through all this—I never saw anyone that quite looked like me. What I saw was page after page of designers that were male and white. Occasionally I saw some women but they too were white. The only folks of color I saw were the occasional Asian designer but they didn’t look like me.
All I keep saying to myself was, “Are there any black/brown folks in design?” One semester I did start coming across designers who looked like me but it was far and few. And it took a lot of looking. I noticed that not much was different years after graduating and now working. Most of the folks I encountered working were white and I was the sole creative of color. Basically I was used to the growing in school but was this really how I was going to live through my creative life. Not seeing, reading or hearing about any designers like me was extremely depressing. I mean it was the 90’s, right? What I discovered was that there were designers of color out there past and present…it’s just they weren’t talked about or given the same consideration as Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, April Greiman or Joe Duffy as examples. No disrepect to these legends but c’mon not one designer of color is ever put in the same conversation as them. Where are the legends that look like me? Continue reading So Why The Blog?