Where the design community meets.
Atlanta, GA creator/host of Revision Path Joined over 8 years ago via an invitation from Nathan P.
The thrilling part about entrepreneurship is following your dreams while pursuing your passions. That’s definitely the case for illustrator and creative director Alexandria Batchelor. As the head of her own company, Foxee Design, Alexandria uses her skills in graphic design, branding and illustration to not only provide killer work for her clients, but to also redefine standards in the industry within art and design that represents minorities (primarily Black women). Now that’s change worth supporting!
We kicked off our conversation talking about plans for the summer, and Alexandria talked about how she named her company, some of her notable clientele and collaborators, and the best kinds of clients for her to work with on projects. She also spoke about an upcoming book she worked on with noted authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, and shared some secrets and advice on creativity and self-motivation.
If you’re looking to get a dose of inspiration, then this episode is the one for you. Enjoy!
I was introduced last year to Dr. Kenya Oduor through a Tech Circus panel we both participated in, and I’m really glad to have her on the show now so she can share her brilliance with you all! She is a human-centered designer, researcher, and strategist, and also runs her own consulting and staffing firm Lean Geeks. Very impressive!
We dove right in and talked about her increased focus at this stage of her career, and from there we discussed how Lean Geeks works and what she want to accomplish with the firm this year. She also spoke about growing up in Queens, studying to become a physical therapist, and then pivoting into human factors and user experience design. According to Kenya, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is how you grow, and her path to where she is now certainly proves that!
It’s no secret that the tech industry has weathered the last few years better than a lot of others, and many people are trying to ditch their current jobs and start their careers in tech for big opportunities (and even bigger salaries). But working for companies like Google and Microsoft take more than just talent — it takes the helpful hands and heart of this week’s guest, Anthony D. Mays. As the founder of tech career coaching firm Morgan Latimer Consulting, Anthony uses his 20 years of experience as a software engineer and developer to help his clients to ace tech interviews and get real results.
We start our conversation with a quick check-in, and he talks about starting his firm and finding a good work life balance. He spoke about growing up in Compton and learning BASIC on a VTech PreComputer 1000, studying computer science at UC Irvine, and shared how looking for growth opportunities, and his faith in God, helped him succeed throughout his career. So if you’re looking to work in tech, then Anthony is just the person to make that happen!
We’re off to the Caribbean this week to talk with the incredibly talented Ayrïd Chandler. Ayrïd is the head of her own studio, Ayrïd by Design, where she offers graphic design services with a focus on brand and identity design. She also teaches at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, where she’s helping to educate and inspire Trinidad and Tobago’s next generation of designers.
Ayrïd starts off talking about her goals for the year, and from there we get into the differences between being a designer in Trinidad vs. being a designer in America. She also spoke about what draws her to brand and identity design, and talked about entering Savannah College of Art and Design, moving back home, and how she’s making a name for herself there. Ayrïd’s path really shows us that as Black designers, we share a similar sense of community no matter where we are, so you’re never alone. Huge thanks to Rebecca Brooker of Queer Design Club for the introduction!
It takes a lot of hard work and determination to be a successful entrepreneur, and sometimes, you can lose yourself in your path to success. But not Monique Jenkins! As the CEO of J.kins Creative, Monique bolster the successes of Black and brown entrepreneurs by creating holistic brand identities with thought leaders who deserve to leave their mark upon the world. And she does it be being the best person for the job — herself!
Monique talked to me about what she started her own company, and talked about the varied processes she has to ensure clients receive top-class design work. She also spoke about growing up in Baltimore, how she juggles her studio with a full-time job (and a baby on the way!), and gave some insight on the type of legacy she wants to leave in the world. According to Monique, being an authentic version of yourself is a guarantee for living your best life!
If you’ve been a regular reader of The New Yorker magazine, then you may already be familiar with this week’s guest, Liz Montague. (But if you’re not, then this conversation is a perfect introduction!) Liz is the first Black woman to have a cartoon featured in The New Yorker, and now she’s an author with her first book set to hit bookstores everywhere in the Fall. Everything’s coming up Liz!
Our conversation begin with a quick life update, and from there Liz talked about starting her comic “Liz at Large” as a college student. She also talked about how she began contributing to The New Yorker, and spoke about representation, how that’s reflected in her work, and her future books (plural!) that are on the way. Liz is proof that self-determination and hard work definitely pay off in the future!
With over 220 million worldwide subscribers across over 190 countries, it’s hard to imagine pop culture without the media juggernaut that we know as Netflix. But how do they manage to distribute and create so much, while also maintaining a top-class user experience for so many people? It’s thanks to geniuses like this week’s guest — Husani Oakley.
Husani talked about stepping into his role as Director of Creative Practices during the pandemic, and shared how his team helps define the art and science of great creative work at a huge scale. He also spoke about how his previous stints as CTO of online investment platform Goldbean and CTO of advertising firm Deutsch NY helped prepare him for the biggest role of his career. It takes a lot of work and nuance to create experiences for global and local audiences, and Husani is the right person to make those experiences happen!
If Austin, Texas had a contest for “Hometown Design Hero”, I think Russell Toynes would definitely win the grand prize! Russell is the founder and creative director of Studio Dzo, a multidisciplinary design-build studio that works with developers, architects, interior designers, and other business owners to elevate their work and help bring it to life. On top of that, he’s also an adjunct professor covering portfolio development at Austin Community College, and is a core team member of African American Graphic Designers, the largest collective of African-American and Black visual communicators. Talk about being active in your community!
Russell talked about rebounding and rebuilding during the pandemic, sharing how his team adjusted and how he changed his business focus to keep productivity high and focus on his employees’ mental health. He also spoke on growing up in Austin, working as an art director at Dell, and his love for giving back and helping the next generation of designers. Russell is living proof that you can find success and fulfillment right in your own backyard!
Can you believe we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2022 already? I think now might be a perfect time for a creative tune-up, and this week’s guest is a true instigator of inspiration — Kevin Carroll. As a founder, author, and public speaker, Kevin’s words and his work have influenced hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to tap into their creativity and accomplish epic tasks.
Our conversation touches on a number of topics, including success, longevity, curiosity, and perseverance. Kevin talked about growing up in Philly, being a linguistics expert in the Air Force, his time at Nike, and talks about how you can find your own “red rubber ball.” Kevin’s words were just what I needed to hear right now, and I hope they will encourage you as well. Trust me, you’ll want to listen to this episode multiple times!
Running your own design studio is no small feat, but design professionals like Rob Martin make it look easy. As the founder and creative principal of Majorminor, he and his team have done branding and digital work for a number of clients for over a decade, including ICA, Complex, and Sony. On top of that, Rob is a talented musician and producer who goes by the name RCA. That guitar you see in the photo ain’t just for show!
We started our conversation with a quick 2022 check-in, and from there Rob talked about the ins and outs of running Majorminor, working with clients, and the types of projects he wants to branch out and tackle. Rob also spoke about growing up in the Bay Area, attending Sacramento State University and working for a few companies before striking out on his own. We even chatted about his music and his upcoming gig at SXSW this year! Rob is proof that being true to yourself is the real key to success!
Where the design community meets.
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