The Passion Project

What am I passionate about exactly? According to my interview with three design students from Seattle, it goes like this:

He loves design as a tool for making things happen, especially for the things he believes in, which means supporting his community and actively engaging in aggressive politics. Even better is the fact he gets to go through it all with his lovely wife. 

Voices Creating Change Podcast

You like podcasts, right? Of course you do. Voices Creating Change is a new podcast by Amanda Stevenson that seeks to be a force for change, a vehicle of expression, and a community for all social change initiatives through the arts. I just so happen to be Amanda’s guest on the 2nd episode. Check it out, give a listen. 

We talk about punk rock, graphic design, Omaha, nonprofits, #MeToo#NoKXL, Barack Obama, and a few of my favorite artists. There’s even some discussion about growing up in a small town, semi-trucks, and Weezer’s amazing first album. It’s good stuff.

Designer’s Quest

Originally published Nov 7, 2009 by Design Feast

2. Challenges you encounter as a designer and how do you deal with them?

Coming up with something new, something moving, something relevant. And in the mix of it all, there is the big question: is this authentic? In a world of faked, contrived, staged, hyperbolic, and outright lies, it’s something designers have to continually be asking. It’s not the most glamorous, and it’s hard to do completely, but without that check on yourself, there’s a good chance you’re just creating garbage for the media (and physical) wasteland of the trite and the useless.

4. From skills to values, what makes a designer successful?

Adaptable, daring, imaginative, dedicated, determined and good with your hands. From there, a designer has to connect the dots, see the larger picture, and put it all together in a simplified, compelling way that is honest and true.

Full Interview »

50 States: Nebraska

I was recently interviewed by The Creative Chair for the 50 States project. Talkin’ design, activism, collaboration, and reincarnation.

Work Hard. Make This Place Better.

The great state of Nebraska is in the middle of flyover country America. Not a place known for high-quality design, booming creative industries, or interesting cultural forces. Which is what makes trying to build a very focused design practice so interesting.

Read the Interview »

What are you passionate about?

I was recently interviewed for The Passion Project, a self-motivated project by three curious design students (Sahm, Dana, and Sam) looking to discover what it means to “pursue your passions.” It was wonderful to meet them and participate in their really amazing project. They’ve interviewed folks in Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, and now, Omaha. Then Denver, Boulder, and back home to Seattle. Check out their journey here. Following are a few questions I answered. Full video should be online later this year. 

What does pursuing your passions look like today?

Making high-quality design available to the do-gooder community. And doing so with a trusted group of highly-talented collaborators who are friends before co-workers.

Have you ever been skeptical of or hesitant about your path?

Of course. Maybe I should get more structure. Maybe I should join a bigger shop. Maybe I should get the hell out of this conservative state. There have been moments in my career trajectory of seriously looking into Chicago, SF, Kansas City, NYC. But small (and medium) suits me, at least for now. I’m not all that interested in super competitive markets. At the end of the day, competing is fleeting. Collaborative and cooperative is the only way we’re all going to get through this gigantic mess we’ve made. Also, if I’m going to work 80 hours a week (which I don’t) I’d rather do it for myself. Our industry has a big problem with overwork and I’m in a very good position currently to constructively do something about trimming the hours down to get closer to 40 per week.

How would you define the relationship between designers and greater society?

In its infancy. Designers need to try to be more involved. No one is going to say, “hey, you should add your costs to this project.” But design/intention has such an important skill set that can be universally applied to a lot of things. Many people smarter than me have said this before. The design community as a whole should continue to advocate for an elevated role in society and individuallycontinue to be ethical, nuanced, and think critically. 

What are you passionate about?

Aside from design/intention and putting things together: loud music, progressive politics, meaningful experiences, quality relationships, amazing food, craft beer. And building a life with my wife Katie.

Passion Project »