What’s your role at Streetsense?
I’m a Senior Art Director on the Engagement Team. In my role, I oversee the visual output for everything our team creates, from brand visioning mood boards, to GDN ads, and everything in between.
How long have you worked at Streetsense?
4 beautiful years that’ve flown by.
What made you choose to pursue graphic design?
In college I studied studio arts and art history, but knew it would be tough finding a job drawing and painting. I initially considered pursuing art history, but wasn’t sure about teaching, and knew I wanted to be in DC. Post-grad I ended up at SCAD, where I took an architecture, graphic design, and illustration class –- within the first few weeks it became clear that graphic design was what I was most passionate about, and the rest is history.
What’s been your favorite project and why?
I have a few, but Ore 82 was one of the most collaborative and fun to work on –- it was truly a full team effort between our content strategists and designers. The building itself and its individual apartments were designed to be these perfect blank slates for their residents, and everything from the common areas, to removing the air conditioning units from the rooftop, to the individual floor plans – were set up in this Zen way that made you feel both inspired and at ease. Combining these two ideas –- Ore 82 as a blank slate and Zen space –- we came up with the concept of adult coloring book-style marketing materials. The process was collective, the end product was beautiful, and the building leased up quickly!
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Definitely other people’s work –- I love following artists on Instagram, exploring Pinterest –- all the apps! As far as illustrators go, I love Malika Farve, and D.C.’s own RobGenerette III. For more traditional fine artists I suggest Duane Keiser (who happened to be my professor at Richmond), and RizQi. Finally, for some random inspiration, I’ll go to Dan Lee, Ana Santos, and Tito Merello Vilar.
Beyond art, I try to consume a range of media. I like to keep abreast on current affairs and be aware of experiences other than my own, generally.
What advice would you give to an aspiring graphic designer?
This is more so advice I’d give to anyone –- but I’d say to find something you enjoy doing that you’re moderately good at, and lean into it. Your goal should just be not to hate going into work in the morning. You should also always be on the lookout for good teams and good environments, because in the end it’s the people that drive the business (more often than the actual work).
Also, keep current and stay curious. In terms of tools (which evolve so rapidly), other people’s work, and other people’s workflows! You should constantly be referencing what’s going on around you and trying to bring what you find inspiring, different, or revolutionary into your work.
Brag a little — what’s a secret talent of yours:
I like to think my Instagram illustrations are pretty solid.
Brag a lot — what’s something you’re really proud of:
My kids, Thom and Vanessa –- they’re smart, fun to be around, and into some pretty good music –- we’re talking Arctic Monkeys, Lucius(their first concert at 9 and 6 years old respectively), and yes, Taylor Swift, but I don’t hold it against them.
Now reel it in — who/what keeps you humble:
Again, other people’s work. Our very own edit lab is always inspiring. They do remarkable work –- when I grow up I want to be just like them.
DC Bar: Pineapple and Pearls (they call him Fancy Lancey for a reason) if he’s doing it up, Maketto for a chill neighborhood spot
Museum: The National Gallery of Art West Wing (Byzantine and early Renaissance art is trash, but I still have a soft spot for the technical ability of Neo-classical artists (Ingres, Jacques-Louis David) and Impressionism.
Font: I’m really enjoying the whole Domaine family of fonts now, but I’ve been known to push Proxima Nova as my choice for a reliable, but personable sans-serif body copy.
Show: Thrones! Honorable mention: Peaky Blinders
Band, all time: The Afghan Whigs
Band, currently: Run the Jewels and Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Podcast: Exponent– honestly, sometimes I feel like starting this podcast is akin to a kid eating their vegetables. But within the first few minutes, I’m asking for more kale. The two hosts are incredibly intelligent, thorough, and think about tech in a way most analysts can’t. I immediately feel smarter after having listened to it.