What motivates you to mentor creatives?
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
I’m a Senior Graphic designer who whose been in the education field for the past sixteen years, where I design layouts for school books, create art, brand identities, animations, and wireframes for online platforms. I think, like all creative people, it starts with drawing and coloring as a child and realizing that it brings you immense joy and you never look back… you know right then and there that you will need to create and express yourself for the rest of your life.
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
The top images were marketing pieces I did for Apple. In 2011, I was chosen to be a part of a team at McGraw-Hill that would work side by side with Apple and help them build their iBooks app while we transferred our Biology, Chemistry, and Algebra books into their app. We got to work in Cupertino with them side by side and had to sign an NDA beforehand so nobody knew where we were or what we were working on. The bottom image was the first project we worked on in the Kickass UX class. The learning experience from working with a real startup client and building an experience that was user-friendly by implementing all of the lessons we learned along the way really opened my eyes to how much I love the UX process and realized that this is the direction I would like my career to go from here on out.
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
Currently, I use my 2nd bedroom in my apartment as an office. I like my 1970’s lamp that adds some style to an otherwise boring white room. I use my Bose standalone speaker (the black tube object) to listen to Spotify religiously. I can also look out the window and make sure my favorite Indian, Mexican, and Italian food joints are all still there :)
Where do you go to get inspired?
In the top image, I used to go to the Seattle Public Library downtown because it is such a unique piece of architecture…inside and out. The bottom image is Edgewater Park here in Cleveland…now I go there and sit on the enormous rocks on the shores of Lake Erie…it clears my mind and I love the smell of the water and the birds and the boat fumes.
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
The early morning hours seem to be when I'm most creative…I put on music and keep my phone in a different room and just get into a zone until I snap out of it…then when that happens, I don’t try to force myself back into a creative thinking mode…I just let them come naturally.
What’s an album that changed your life?
When Nirvana’s Nevermind came out in 1991, I was 16 and had heard nothing like it. I was listening to a lot of glam rock at the time, and when this album came out it made all of that other music seem fake and soulless. Nevermind was simple but complex, with dark, real-world issues that had substance from a band that looked like my friends in high school… but were musical geniuses (Kurt)… and Kurt’s voice was like a knife that pierced my brain. I couldn’t get enough.