While I have many childhood memories of sculpting horrific busts of my elementary school teachers’ heads in ceramics class, I think the earliest memories that got me thinking about the power of design are from when I was in an undergraduate at Occidental College, making protest posters and banners against things like police brutality, the Iraq war, and the stolen 2000 election. That’s when I really began to think about how design shapes ideology.
I maintain a practice entwining fine art, design, curating, and writing, but most of my time and effort goes into my work as an educator teaching graphic design, illustration, and a variety of critical theory, art history, and cultural studies courses in the Communication Arts, MFA Graphic Design, and Liberal Arts & Sciences departments at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles.
1. I’ve been in love with Tom of Finland’swork for years. I’m constantly amazed by how his drawings of happy, hairy, homos resonate through masculine visual culture, both gay and straight. And yet they can still shock people. Tom now. Tom forever.
I just completed a project where I left strange postcards in dozens of places in various cities across Europe. I asked people to send me content for postcards and to tell me where to leave them on my journey. It was an engrossing experiment inverting the typical way one behaves as a tourist, someone who gathers postcards to send to distant contacts. Instead, my trip was deeply impacted by things other people wanted me to experience, and mementos left behind instead of collected and brought home. In the end, most of my social media postings from my trip from Rome to London consistedof other people’s cards held up in front of disparate locations, from The Eiffel tower to a public urinal. Plus, the postcards were simply awesome.