Where the design community meets.
Atlanta, GA creator/host of Revision Path Joined over 7 years ago via an invitation from Nathan P.
Reggie Black is a true Renaissance man. He’s combined his talents as a multimedia artist, designer, speaker, and mental health advocate into an experimental playground he calls all things progressive. Whether it’s a hand-lettered design project for a client or a public art installation, Reggie is navigating through this time and letting his passions light the way.
Reggie and I really had more of a general conversation than an interview, and we touched on a number of issues: staying productive in the midst of uncertainty, the role of the Black designer during this current time, and making space for creativity to flow. It’s a little something different for our 8th anniversary, but I think you’ll enjoy it all the same.
Thank you all for keeping Revision Path alive and thriving!
We’re ending February on Revision Path with a little bit of Black web history! Markus Robinson is currently the VP of innovation and creative at Interactive One, but before that, he co-founded one of the Internet’s most popular news sources on Black tech — Black Web 2.0. Who would have thought that it would get him to where he is today?
Markus started off talking about the web properties he oversees — Bossip and BlackPlanet, just to name a couple — and talked about how his work with Interactive One opened his eyes to the world of product. He also spoke on growing up in Florida, shared the origin story of Black Web 2.0, and we both had a good discussion about Black media, trusted sources, and the importance of offering a platform for others. It’s truly been astonishing watching Markus level up over the years, and I’m glad we were able to catch up and take you all with us as we look at the early days of the Black Web!
It’s still pretty early in 2021, so if the year hasn’t quite gotten off to a good start, then let this week’s conversation with Lafiya Watson Ramirez be the permission you need to turn things around! Lafiya dabbles in several media — web, photography, augmented reality, cross reality — and creates new projects for herself and for her clients through her company, Bad Chick Studios.
We talked about how she started her studio, and from there she shared the resources and programs she used to teach herself AR and XR. (Spoiler alert: a lot of these tools are free!) Lafiya also spoke on how her love for photography led her to web design and learning Flash, and how embracing becoming a generalist has changed her work and how she perceives herself as a creative.
Get a bit of inspiration from Lafiya and learn what you can!
We’re keeping the design educator streak going this week with an interview with Danny Shaw. Along with teaching at NYC College of Technology, Danny is also the director of digital design and branding at Brandshare. He brings a wealth of real world, working knowledge into the classroom, and helps empower the next generation of designers to take over the industry.
Danny talked about growing up in New York City, and spoke on how that made an impact on him as he moved throughout his career. He also spoke about his time working at Essence Magazine and offered up some great advice on resources for up and coming designers.
Danny, thank you for giving back to the community through education!
Let’s start off Black History Month with some education, shall we?
Meet David Jon Walker, owner of the graphic design studio Rhealistic, and a design professor at Austin Peay State University in Nashville, TN.
Our conversation started off with a brief look back at 2020, and from there, David spoke on adapting to teaching design during this socially distant time. He also talked about growing up in Nashville, discovering design during college at Tennessee State University, and shared some of the goals he wants to accomplish this year. I’m really glad there are educators like David out there to help guide the next generation of designers!
I am absolutely thrilled to share my conversation with Angela Bains with you this week. Along with being the co-founder and strategy director of international branding agency TransformExp, Angela is also a design educator at two prestigious Canadian colleges — OCAD University in Toronto and BCIT in Vancouver. Wait until you hear her story!
We took a trip down memory lane as Angela talked about growing up in the 1970s in London, being exposed to graphic design and typography as a young woman, and starting her own design studio in the 1980s along the advent of the personal computer. Her story continues with emigrating to Canada in the 1990s, starting over and networking as a designer in a new country, and keeping the spark for design alive for then next generation of designers through teaching and decolonizing old design traditions. Angela is truly a design icon!
Design can change your life in unexpected ways, and Kevin Bethune is a testament to that. He is the founder and chief creative officer of dreams • design + life, a think tank that delivers design and innovation services using a human-centered approach. (It sounds lofty, but with over 20 years of experience in mechanical engineering, product creation, strategy, and industrial design, Kevin is a true master of his craft.)
We started off talking about how business has shifted over the past year as he’s transitioned further into the entrepreneurial life, and he shared a bit about his process when diving into new projects. Kevin also talked about his prior stints at Westinghouse and Nike, and how those experiences informed his later work for some of the nation’s top consulting firms. Design has truly helped transform Kevin’s life, and it can do the same for you too!
Steven Christian’s motto is “create and conquer”, and that’s exactly what he’s managed to do with his career. While he started out as an athlete, a sports injury cause him to discover visual art, and he has reinvented himself as a multitalented cartoonist, podcaster, animator, and AR mobile developer. Oh, and he’s studying to apply to medical school. Talk about Black excellence!
Steven shared with me how he balances all of this, and talked about how the current times helped kickstart his career. We also talked about some of his projects — including the popular Pokémon Twerk Team — and he reminisced on growing up in northern California and detailed how his injury helped open his eyes to the worlds of art, design, and tech. Steven also talked about his Skillshare courses, listed some of his inspirations, and spoke about his dream collab and the hope of building more of a community around his work. Steven is a prime example of turning what could be seen as a tragedy into an amazing triumph!
It’s the start of a new year, and I think we could probably all use something to make us feel more resilient and motivated. Well lucky for you, I’ve got just the thing — our conversation with the dynamic and talented Nichelle Pace. As the president and founder of Brand Enchanting Media, Nichelle brings over 20 years of experience to the table to help her clients with a variety of creative services.
After a brief 2020 recap, Nichelle talked about her process for working with clients, and we spoke about why she started the consultancy and how the market has changed as culture changes. She also spoke on growing up in New Jersey, as well as her previous careers in film and video production and advertising. We even talked about her popular blog Stylemom and how Black bloggers from the early 2000s grew into some of the cultural trendsetters we know today. Kick off the year with some great inspiring talk from Nichelle!
I’m closing out this unprecedented year by talking with the one and only Kristy Tillman. Longtime listeners of the show may remember her first appearance back in 2015, but since then, Kristy has become one of the leading design voices in our community. As for what’s next for Kristy? Well, let’s just say that tomorrow looks bright.
Kristy shared how her year has went so far, including departing from Slack, becoming an investor through indie.vc and The Designer Fund, and creating the Made in the Future Fellowship, a program for helping underrepresented emerging design professionals. Kristy also spoke on what success looks like for her now at this stage in her career, talked about making time for joy, and dove into the hard-won lessons she’s learned this year. If there’s one thing to take from Kristy’s journey and her career, it’s the knowledge that there are many opportunities available to grow your design career if you stay patient and chart your course.
Quite a fitting way to end off 2020, right?
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.