I graduated before the time of digital portfolios. We used to mount our work on black foamcore boards which were then tucked into black cases. These portfolio cases had to be physically dropped off at agencies for job applications. Once, I got to see a whole room filled with black boxes and it made me immediately wonder how I could stand out. So I went to Canal Plastics in Chinatown and had a fluorescent orange box made. The brightest color I could find. That became my orange box. After a few years, I wanted to shorten the name and changed it to MyOrb. A personal sphere or point of view from which I operate and create from. I never liked the idea of using my own name. For one, my last name changed three times in the course of my life and I regard it as something more fluid.
Graphic design is a beautiful and effective medium to help people, brands, and institutions define who they are. We are problem solvers who educate and inspire. We identify and clarify core values and translate those into memorable and lasting experiences across a variety of mediums. Our goal is to create emotionally engaging work that is conceptually sharp and visually stunning.
I am currently working on a project that I call Things That Transform. It started as a presentation and is now growing into a project of its own. A set of ten principles that guide our journey ahead. A helping hand and guide for our decisions and ideas. It will live digitally to start and then hopefully find a printed form as well. I want to share it with the design community and invite participation in order to evolve these principles. I find it essential to outline a clear structure/process and form a Weltanschauung I/we can adhere to.
Things That Transform might actually grow into a workshop as well. I can see it as an engaging tool to bring the community together. I have been teaching for almost twelve years now and want to continue and nurture that side. I am curious to see what shape and form teaching can take.
I have worked with some incredible minds and happily seen how past interns and students shaped their own path and continued to grow and influence what communication design can be. For me, mentorship and teaching is a two-way street. I feel a great sense of pride to be able to push someone’s thinking along. My hope is to inspire a shift in someone’s design process and open a new path that might not have been apparent before.
As creatives, we need to come together and adhere to clear and mindful standards. We need to work together as an industry and re-educate our clients. Communication Design is not a craft any longer. That is something we need to understand ourselves and then adapt our mindset. We create value and meaning. Currently, we sell ourselves short, offering everything from free pitches to cheap logos in the hopes that those will lead to larger and more profitable projects. The truth is that we are undermining our industry. It might serve us in the short run, but it has hurt the industry in the long run.
Essentially to love the process. I did not know what to study initially as I loved writing and photography. Twenty years ago my dad asked me what it was that I actually enjoyed doing. He told me to take the final product out of the equation and to consider how I would like to spend my days. Alone, writing? Traveling? This helped me quite a bit to understand what it was that I really wanted to do.