Where the design community meets.
Atlanta, GA creator/host of Revision Path Joined over 9 years ago via an invitation from Nathan P.
If you have aspirations of being an agency owner one day, then you might get some great insight from this week’s guest, Sean DallasKidd. Sean is the co-founder and chief creative officer of DemonstratexDDW, and he uses his decades of experience to help brands define their story and communicate with their audiences.
Sean told me more about his new role, sharing what it looks like to run an agency from the C-suite and help it stand out from the competition. We also delved into Sean’s background, where he spoke about attending SCAD, getting into the publishing world, and how his shift to agencies helped prepare him for his current leadership responsibilities. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable has been the secret to Sean’s success, and it’s definitely paid off! (Big thanks to George McCalman for the introduction!)
How are your plans for this year going? Good? Not so good? Luckily, it’s not too late to reset, break any unhealthy patterns, and get on track so you can live a life rooted in passion and purpose. And guess what? This week’s guest, Justin Shiels, is just the person to help you make that happen.
We talked about his theme for this year — intentional growth — and Justin spoke about the big life change that inspired him to not only take a break, but to write a book to help others experience their own breakthrough. Justin also shared what it was like coming of age in New Orleans, how his stint as a creative director in the advertising agency shaped his current work, and talked about how he finds joy and maintains his creativity. Justin is a real ray of sunshine, and his energy for changing hearts and minds is what we need more of in this world!
When did you fall in love with design? While some people have always been able to tap into that creative spark, for others it might take some time trying different things until you find your way into design. Such is the case with this week’s guest, independent brand designer Matese Fields. His explorations have taken him all over the country, and now he’s living and working in the creative hub of Portland, Oregon.
Matese told me a bit about some of his latest projects, and then he shared what inspired him to get into design. He also spoke about how his background in marketing helps him in his current work, and gave some great advice and resources for any budding brand designers out there. Matese has been able to make a living and build a life by following his passions, which is something we can all get inspired by!
This is truly a milestone achievement, y’all. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, and we could not have done it without our amazing listeners, guests, fans, and supporters. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share these interviews and show the world that Black designers, developers, artists, and digital creatives are thriving and creating a better world for us all.
So this week, it’s just you and me. I’m pulling back the curtain and telling the story of Revision Path from the very beginning. I’ll share with you what I’ve learned over the years, the ups and down, and the unknown history that’s being made fully public for the first time. Plus, find out what’s coming up in the near future for Revision Path! (Wait, was that a hint?)
Thank you all for 10 years of Revision Path!
A common sentiment shared by a lot of the guests I’ve had on the podcast is that you can’t be what you don’t see. That starts at a young age, too — think about the book covers and other visuals you saw as a child and how that’s shaped you to where you are now. Luckily, there are dope illustrators like this week’s guest, Alleanna Harris, who are creating images that captivate and inspire kids so they can truly see themselves.
Alleanna and I went over some of her recent projects, including a portrait of Will Smith she drew in front of The Fresh Prince himself. She also shared her process on how she conveys a book’s story through pictures while also making them stunningly appealing. Later, Alleanna talked about growing up in South Jersey, attending UArts, spoke on the benefits of being represented by an agent, and told me what she appreciates the most about her life right now. Alleanna is a rising star, and according to her, a career in the world of illustration is possible! (So keep drawing!)
It’s been fun checking up on folks I’ve interviewed on Revision Path before, which brings us to my interview this week with art director Kendell Burton. When we spoke nearly a decade ago, he was just kicking off his career. Now he’s winning awards and staking his claim as one of NYC’s most dynamic creative talents.
We started off talking about his current work at international health agency 21GRAMS, and from there Kendell shared his story of growing up in Brooklyn and getting excited about tech through an unlikely source — Xanga. Kendell also spoke about the high points of his career, gave some tips about working at agencies, and talked about his horror podcast TerrorNova. Kendell truly loves what he does, and I can’t wait to see how his career continues to grow well into the future!
If you want to be more authentic in your work and life, then this week’s episode is especially for you. I sat down with Kirk Visola, creative director extraordinaire, and the founder of Mind the Font, a full-service branding and packaging design agency.
We dove right in and I learned about how Kirk approaches design projects while balancing the want for innovation with the need to stay true to a brand’s established identity. Kirk also spoke about growing up and getting into design and illustration, talked about his podcasting endeavors, and he gave some great advice for aspiring creatives of all stripes. We even nerded out for a bit about comic books and video games!
For Kirk, being himself and sticking to those who encourage and support his creativity has given him a great life, and that’s a lesson we can all take to heart!
If you’ve been at your local Target lately, then there’s a chance you’re familiar with illustrator and entrepreneur Domonique Brown. She’s the founder of DomoINK, a contemporary lifestyle brand including apparel and home décor, all with art by Domonique. Pick up some of her products in Target’s Black History Month collection and bless your space, y’all!
Our conversation began with Domonique giving me a behind-the-scenes peek at her business, and she outlined some of the unique challenges she’s faced as her work becomes more popular. We also talked about breaking out from your 9-to-5 job to do you own thing, her aspirations to go into fine art, and we discussed Black art and mainstream exposure through other Black creatives. Domonique is a woman on the rise, and I know we’ll only be seeing more and more of her work in the future!
Y’all are in for a real treat this week, because I got the chance to catch up with the extremely talented and accomplished George McCalman. He is well known for his work a studio owner and creative director, and he recently published his first book, Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen.
George shared how the idea for the book came about, and he spoke about some of the surprising and interesting things that came up during his research on who to include. He also talked about getting his start in the magazine industry as an art director, shared what convinced him to eventually start his own business, and elaborated on how his style has evolved over the years. George is a master of his craft and a true inspiration to aspiring creatives everywhere!
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.
Maintaining authenticity is an important part of every creative’s journey, especially as you move up the ranks and gain more experience. But does it come at a cost? That certainly came up during my conversation with the highly acclaimed designer Ube Urban. Ube defines a space that is unclear — the innovation space — but he’s learned to wield that in his favor and now he’s on the lookout for his next opportunity.
Ube explained more about what he does, going in-depth with how he first got involved in design and how he works with brands. He also shared his story about growing up in Hawai’i, moving to California for college, and how his early entrepreneurial journey as a creative in San Francisco eventually brought him to Atlanta. We also spent some time talking about how he maintains his authentic self in an industry that often forces you into a box. Ube is so much more than his profession, and I think by the end of this conversation, you’ll see that too!