What led you into design?
So for me, it started with a love for art. The thought of being able to create something from nothing was always exciting to me. At first, it was just drawing, and then I got an old VHS camcorder where I would make these ( terrible ) movies lol.
As I got older, I jumped around between learning different mediums like stop motion, 2d cell animation, 3d, etc. In hindsight, I don't think I really understood the difference between design and all of these other interests I had. I just thought of them as part of this more extensive artistic career.
I chose a really broad degree program that taught a little bit of everything about the design industry, and I really identified with some mediums compared to others.
My focus shifted, and I started to think about how I could use photography and video as a medium and how I could tie in animation to incorporate some of those studies as well.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day for me varies, but I try to keep somewhat of a routine. I normally wake up and do some form of exercise. More often than not, it's likely a long walk where I think through my day at a glance.
After this, I normally make a cup of coffee or espresso, sit at my desk, and start my work day. I feel like I can get the most done before 1 or 2 and then the rest of the day is more planning, research, etc. On days when I have shoots, I'll generally set up everything the day before and shoot the following day.
What's your workstation setup?
Where do you go to get inspired?
Inspiration is always a hard thing to pinpoint for me. The short answer is everywhere, both past and present. My creative process kind of works like an unfinished puzzle where each "piece" of an idea sometimes reveals itself out of order. As more pieces are revealed, the final idea for a project becomes clearer.
I grew up playing Gameboy and watching anime in the late 90's and early 2000's. I was obsessed with the worlds and dynamics within a lot of these storylines, and I pull a lot of inspiration from that era. I've been focusing a lot on web3 mechanics and how things from the early internet can tie into where the new internet is going
My current work has been focused on some form of narrative between nature and technology and how they overlap. I think the digital and real world line is becoming increasingly blurry, and I think there's something interesting about that line.
What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?
Although some consider this controversial, DALL-E and some of the other AI Systems have been top of mind.
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
I recently wrapped up a 100-piece collection titled "Digitization. This is an ongoing archive of curated pieces of natural flora and fauna specimens minted on blockchain.
The collection started as pieces of artwork and quickly evolved into something with it's own larger narrative. I collaborated with designer and artist Devin Jacoviello to create Digitization. Wiki, which is an interactive experience for the project.
Initially, I pulled a lot of inspiration from these early 1700s naturalist documents. Where some of these people were seeing and writing about these species for the first time, and I started thinking about what that even felt like to be the first person to discover a specific species of flower or butterfly.
This feeling of newness correlated over to web3, where a lot of exciting things are happening for the first time & I think the project speaks to this as well.
While creating this collection, I wanted each piece to hold the integrity of the natural specimen while representing something new with its own narrative. Applying the pixelation and distortion to the originals creates this space between reality and the playback that resonated as dreamlike to me.
What design challenges do you face at your company?
I wouldn't say at my company, but in my art practice and freelance career, I always feel challenged by time & burnout. Creating work with your mind is both challenging and rewarding. I try to think about my work from a long-term perspective; this helps me stay motivated, creative, and positive.
What music do you listen to whilst designing?
Any advice for ambitious designers?
Just stay focused and true to yourself! Trends are cool, but they can come and go. Try to make and share the work you identify with, and eventually, you'll be surrounded by like-minded thinkers and creatives.