We catch-up with Conrad Crespin a Portland based PSU recent graduate. Conrad is the current curator at Compound Gallery and tells us why he loves his position their, who his top five current design crushes are atm and why parties in hotel rooms aren’t all they are cracked up to be!
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. My mother was an art teacher. I was definitely aware of design before I knew the term for it. Then one day it sort of just clicked and I realize that design was at the intersection of everything I was interested in. It opened up this whole new realm of creative problem solving that has dramatically altered my ways of thinking.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts?
There are a number of books and blogs I appreciate but if I had to choose three, desert island style, it would be:
1. The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero. A wonderful book about creative problem solving that is smart, playful, and thought provoking.
2. The website It’s Nice That. This site is updated daily with the most fantastic content of new and innovative design, art, illustration, and beyond.
3. Design as Art by Bruno Munari. This classic text focuses on the intersection of art and design, a subject that interests me deeply.
Who are your top five design crushes right now?
This list could go on forever but if I had to name five…
1. Cody Hudson. His approach to work comes across very organic and intuitive.
2. Tauba Auerbach. While not a traditional designer per se, her innovative practice is truly an inspiration.
3. Paul Rand. The original gangster.
4. Brian Roettinger. I am extremely enamored by his “proto punk” typographically driven approach.
5. Dan Cassaro. He’s my new Dad.
What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?
Start making a lot of work. Start making a lot of mistakes. Forget about the “right” way and focus of finding YOUR way. Start an IRA. Don’t go to parties in hotel rooms.
Any passion projects you would like to share?
I have been curating exhibitions for the past year and I am fascinated by the opportunities this venture presents. In some ways I see it as community building by bringing together creatives who otherwise might not be aware of each other. It also encapsulates various creative avenues of interest for me such as art, design, branding/identity, marketing, exhibition/experiential design, etc. I currently curate at Compound Gallery in Portland, Oregon.
Whats the big goal in the next five years?
To be financially supported completely by creative ventures. I also want to create something bigger than myself and really contribute something back to the creative community. I am not sure what that looks like yet but I have some good ideas.