Kojo Boateng

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

You're listening to the revision path podcast, a weekly showcase of the world's black graphic designers web designers and web developer through in-depth interviews. You'll learn about their work their goals and what inspires them as creative individuals. Here's your host Maurice Cherry. Everybody welcome to revision path. Thank you so much for tuning in this week. I'm your host Mariz Cherry head before we proceed look I. Know. It's rough, super fucking rough Tom Right, now between protests, the outside police response, and of course this overwhelming presence of the global pandemic. There's just a lot of shit going all right now and I wanted to post something last week episode three forty nine right before it went to production, but the way things escalated in cities all across the world over this past week, and a half, or so really made me think about like. What if anything could this podcast even? Say to help you know all of you that are out there. Listening to this podcast, we just people all over the world so I started talking to people I started asking questions and one of the folks I talked with. Kendall House you might remember from Episode Three Twenty Six back in December of twenty nineteen. Th. You don't go check that out. He's a designer. He's a facilitator. He's even someone who has his own black liberation hard for pump Bam, which is Super Dope, and I really couldn't think of a better person to really help contextualized, not just what's happening right now, but also to offer up some action items that designers developers or any creatives that are listening to this show can do during these times, so I'm going to read off a list of things that he told me and you know this is if you're listening if you've. been in the streets protesting if you given money. If you feel like there's not anything you can do if you can't do either of those things, hopefully, this list will give you some ideas of stuff to do. First off can design a product. like a t shirt buttons greeting cards, etc, sell or Raffle does to make money to donate to black lives. Matter causes core to reputable bail funds. That's a really good idea. donate website revamps to nonprofits. Need support organizations I know there are few past guests on the show who have started doing that via twitter. For those of you who worked in House hold your employer accountable representation, diversity and inclusion. especially outside of posting a regurgitated support message in white type on a black background like if your company did that at some point within the past seven to fourteen days, hold them accountable for that. And also just seriously commit to making inclusion including accessibility fundamental to everything you design. I, know it can be easy to just design from specific viewpoint, but really take into consideration the fact that once your design kind of leaves your hands. It belongs to everyone. And if you can, if you're able by the time. You know get out in the streets like everyone else, but just please be saved. Wild Shit happening out there. we're going to skip the sponsor message for this week at least for the intro and we're just going to go straight into this week's interview. I caught up with Koh Tang. He's the creative director at PBS news hour in Washington DC. Remember, Kolja was episode one twenty five way back in February of two thousand sixteen. You believe that. It's almost five years later. This is a really great time to catch up and talk to him about everything that's happened since then so I hope you enjoy the conversation. Let's start the show. All right, so tell us who are and what you do. My name is coach watching and I'm a director at PBS Newshour. Now you, we've been on the show for episode one twenty five, so if people WANNA really like, go back and listen to your origin story. I guess you could put. They can listen to that episode I? Kind of want to talk about how things are going sort of right now. You know we've been asking this with people that have been on the show recently given the time that we're recording. How are you holding up during this pandemic in this quarantine period? Yeah, so how I'm holding up during the quarantine here it is really interesting. In DC and West still in a lockdown until I think tomorrow where they're going to start removing some restrictions, so be interesting to see what that looks like as far as work. I'm working a remote knee and I've only been a PBS for `bout two months I think I started. Working Pbs Newshour whilst me with your in lockdown, so actually I haven't even been into the office and seeing the space. King I haven't met any people who I manage manage about four people never met them before O'Neill's skype and zoom and teams that kind of stuff. To be honest. The transition into working has been pretty. Because, I had a background in us, so there's a law things that feel familiar modern, working remotely for and kind of freelance for the last five years. So what can slack and teams in all? These other things doesn't feel strained. Adding just trying to find inspiration creatively can be challenging and just trying to make sure you get enough exercise enough ever. There's overseas so many different facets that people's lives in his work. Can this family and kids homeschooling? Sort of that's been an adjustment, but to be honest with you. As, we said Folkston. Pretty Awesome right now. Yeah, well, that's good to hear. Let's get to here. So, let's talk a little bit more about your work at PBS. Newshour, that's that's really interesting that you started it during the quarantine period I wanna say there's been maybe about four or five of the past guests that we've had in the past few months. Whereas with a very similar situation, they just started a new job. They transitioned into a new job and it's right during this kind of like weird and stressful time, so you talked about these different tools. Slack teams, etc. What are your workdays looking like now? Because you're not like in studio? Yeah, so the what days a PBS Newshour, a very structured, and they generally structured around a number of editorial meetings every day. I have a nine o'clock meeting where there's about seventy people on the cool, and we talk about the stories of the day, and also like a retrospective of the night spro costs before so we can talk about any issues that happened generally speaking by the often. We have an idea of the type of stories that are going to be covered so right now we're right in the midst of all of the craziness. You know the horrible situation that's happening in Minneapolis as well as was happening with trump on social media, the momentum, the pandemic etcetera, but once we kind of know who. The stories of the day all than we're basically working to create graphics for the day as what is looking ahead to any special programming that we've got coming up or any sports special projects that happening within PBS Newshour that we need to look at too so the days generally quiet structured that probably can be quite stressful because they're oversee some communication issues, but the technology actually is a real help, and I just read just recently got a CPA vase computer as well. Well back thing like sharing files. You know huge kind of like two gig files across the agreed slow network. When you'll crushing to to make time can Munich stressful overall? It's been face moving. The I've been doing this foot such time before, so there's a lot of things that consumers kicked him like muscle memory for me Radia back when I was working at glitch, that was one of the big issues that we also had was. We have in the office? Network Server and we could upload to the server, but like it's really slow with. It's more than one GIG. It might time out as sometimes. You have to restart the page, so you can get the connection back could be a lot of issues with that sort of stuff, yet is true and I think why found is that even today? I was working on something with reporter and I've never met him before, so festival is kind of reductions in on his staff, and then get to the what could okay. I've done the work than how am I gonNa, be able to. Let Him. See a preview of is so today I basically just sent. Lee Supernova that he's to six full. Team so we can see. We had a conversation right now. You know I'm reading. Encouraging the people I work with to not just communicate by email gallon the phone and told people and I. She stopped building those relationships. Wall Square in this remote situation so that we can kind of get some kind of what cadence understanding what the pressure's off from each other. Sure that they're on any holes they you know. And also the phone, honestly, especially, if they're all the same time zone in the same general geographic area, the phone is a whole lot easier. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely debate. You'd be surprised how reliant people become with email to cleanly. You guess script till you get a graphic quest. You know you're looking at it. Sometimes, everybody writes differently, too. So everybody's requests in the way in which they put things is different. I had one person the other weeks and we like. To page thing and I was panicked thinking my goodness. GonNa have to get a couple of people on this on when I. She dug into giving me some information. Actually, it was just like fifteen stills that needed to animate to his words that was it was really simple. Another people might just give you something which seems sympathies actually when you dig into it, it's a lot more complex in needs to have that conversation in terms of making sure that we can be allies tougher the story correctly. As there's four people that are on your team, but like overall how many people help really put the show together I? Think there's about one hundred people who were on the news hour, and you know one of the things that made me want to work. There was some amazing reports, and particularly in this time now, where local news journalism is under threat. felt that PBS news hour more than any other station is actually making a real difference different voice out there and I think that we. We might expertise as well. I felt that I could definitely make a difference to the work that during their our executive dussehra adjusts. He's amazing. She ABC News. A Judy Woodruff Oviously I'm not wild James Balloon News specialist producer, and of course Michele single. Who's been doing some amazing work as White House correspondent on currently welcome on the Minneapolis story right now, so those people that kind of ticked me over the edge in terms of one into God. What they're not so it's really cool. Cool. How did you first like find out about an opportunity and get started there? How I found out about the job was sort on link to in old Gloucester or something like that and I wasn't actually going to apply for it. Initially, I was working previously to the contracting on a project to the University of Maryland you MDC cannot educate edge tech educational tech platform. And I was just kind of thinking I would just stay in product, but you know I was visiting looking for new opportunities. Opportunities and I wanted a new gig necessarily during I was doing the time, and this job came up, and I wasn't going to apply for, but my wife suggested I. You should just apply for any way. then. It was interesting just going into the interview process that there were just so many things that would just familia is cut. It's hard to explain so much like being a box of the twenty years in, and then not having boxed for ten input you picking up gloves, you know. Just kind of comes back to you the language the terminology just how you postal rates together understanding whether gaps. This really just is really quite scary to be with you. How smooth transitions been at? Your question. No, no, the dude. And, now what we I spoke, it was back in twenty sixteen, which feels like fifty years ago at this point. Here in the UK, then what made you decide to sort of hop over the pawn? So the speech? The reason I moved to us was because my partner at the time is American and I decided that I didn't want to long distance anymore. So I moved I was fortunate enough to be able to get a job which allow you to take see where we live now and that Khaimah time interesting, the last vision I was definitely in a transition period I think probably working it in the UK News Company for about fifteen sixteen years i. think during the lost. William, podcast I'd NEST ITN on I was retraining as a product designer. And the reason is interesting in product was because basically got tired of US felt, that was heading towards a career cul de sac. You know news is great, but you can definitely get stuck in if you're not careful and I've been doing it a very long time so once I moved to the states. I kinda was much less to gain ready from being craved right to managing a team. What can these huge projects in the UK and then coming to the states, not knowing anybody not really having a career. Path outlined having all these new skills having a of money, but not really any idea of where this is. All heading was really interesting on coupled with visa stuff. You know just like the technicalities of what you can. Khandu and I had a she social security number. You realize to the UK when you are of age in UK, you get something quarter national insurance number, and he's basically the thing that's like you'll get tax code. These social security number in the US is much more insidious kind of thing you know you nothing without no, sir, never so many kinds of challenges to deal with and to be you know a Novus the English the slack group with you. You guys too, but I was seriously on him under employed for the lost three years, when still really trying to find a way to figure out what my path was? And you know just where I wanted to be as a designer read craved designer, even on those things as well having all of these skills in having people tell me I was overqualified or underqualified, or whatever, even though of Twenty five years experience. Yes, it was pretty, it was pretty challenging time transitioning to a new country bomb, fortunate of support, my family of some some friends who were able to connect me with people and slowly, but surely I kind of was able to try to stop building community here in DC is what well Nice. That's good to hear. It's interesting. You mentioned that that transition period because I kind of feel like. I might be at that. Point Myself Right now. Offer, folks that are listening that probably know this announced it on twitter, but I was recently laid off. It's sort of a cookie side effect of this whole pandemic in you know other sorts of business issues, but I know it's sort of a point where I'm taking a bit of a break before I decided to kind of really get back out there and start looking for work, but I get that feeling about what you're saying about like being under employed, it's. Start to get you know people have been contacted me about Oh, you should apply for this apply for that. All kinds of recruiters have come out of the woodwork. Because I've mentioned on link dinner. Whatever it I mean. They're all over the map in terms of the quality of work, some of them are like straight up internships. Some of them are in feels that I have zero experience in like Java engineer. I'm not a job in your. You know, but like it's. It's coming from like all fronts so I'm trying to think like. What is it that I wanNA do next because while I came up in design I had my own design studio back when I worked for my former employer I didn't really do a ton of design work. It was more like around marketing in media now I did help establish our design department there, but like I. You know only did some design work here. They of like jack-of-all-trades. If they needed me to edit audio, I could do that and it video could do that. Make something design I can do. That is not an Australian logo and illustrator. I can do that something in Photoshop. Whatever sketch sigma hop into all of those things and just kind of understand it gets work. That kind of makes it tough when you're looking for new jobs, 'cause there's not like a jack of all trades position. You kind of have to narrow yourself down to. What it is that you WANNA do to fit whatever roles are out there yet, but you know I hear you that and let me tell you something I left my previous position when I was in the UK. I walked somewhere. You know afterwards. which I thought would be an amazing opportunity. I essentially was. Let go from there. which was you know for someone like me? Who is pretty kind of pretty methodical in a way in which my brain must way which I think was like my whole world opening up on. The world opened up in swag me. I had no idea what was going to have proven. My mug. Good friend! I was in tears I had no idea. Let me give you. Some highlights of some of the things that happened in between that time that make you at ease off leaving that job. Three months later I ended up. What a prince video with somebody who was introduced to me by the lady who is now my wife, okay? I moved to the states out what to numerous companies in the states three ounce albeit to a degree underemployed opportunities. What can capital one of what you G.? Done programming directing for AIG a design week last year made friends from through AIG A. PBS You know so. There are so many things that can happen and I think sometimes you know there's that saying as one door closes, another opens. Actually as one to close as many doors open you just into the decide which door you wanna go through the other thing I would say is. Is that I I? Suffer from the same thing as well kind of not being a generalist off somebody. WHO's t shaped? Ms Benefit but I also think as a black designed. We need that you know when you're obliged. Designer unique to be able to relate a bricks and the foreman. You know. I mean you need to to cook the food and service. And Duly administrative things and I think that puts you in good stead, because you never know when something is going to happen, that means that you actually do have to rely some other skills. You know I think for me. One of the challenges has been that particularly in tech. You either fine people who want something very specific so a you X. person has what's in education or has done Sass or is done, aws order. Order, these things all you have somebody companies who just want a visual designer or they want somebody who can Adiel Code and I think the me wide realizes that you never stop learning, so I like to learn new things and I like to do things that keep me interested in. I think that occasionally there were some rare people that come into your life, and they see those things and they'll be on with them A. Shout to agent, heroin or Audra from capital one who I just met randomly, and they gave me an opportunity to welcome the team. So you never know man I just feel like. If you stay true to yourself and key creative and have leasing yourself the right things come along used to be patient a no way. You WanNa go. So now that you're here and you're settled, you're you're working? Of course you know even in the midst of this quarantine in everything, what has the design and the creative seen been like for you here in DC but design and creative seeming DC is very interesting. Because on the surface, it would appear that the see is quite dry. I always found it quite transactional when I used to go to meet ups initially. But when you scratch, the the self is, there's a law things going on in DC you know, and I think that you know A. G.. A. Comes in for Love Slack. Flak rather hope generally particularly with like designers and minority designers, but the DC chapter of Aig is doing some really great kind of work on the ground, and there's a real design community here and I'm really happy to. Be a Paul via and I'm not saying it's perfect I think that they also open to hearing about any issues at Cetera, so there's some really crave things happening aside from. Jay's doing my work with a guy called Kennedy tolls on mural festival CO POW so I'm Kelly. Remember how MC think. Diane Holton actually and powwow is a huge Niro festival that happens in DC. Is going to be an October. September October this year. Pandemic willing, and essentially what they do is they have about ten designers based in DC and ten designers rotties from outside, and they come, and they basically paint huge mules crossed the city. There are kind of much more kind of grassroots organizations shout to shout in jazz who are creative hip hop outfit out here in DC. Who doing some amazing community work? They do a thing called. Can I kick it, which is film screenings which are scored using a hypnotic J., so they'll take film lake, seven deadly venoms, the martial arts film, and they'll school the film with hip hop and breaks in. It's awesome, so there are some really really interesting things happening and I I think that with this pandemic. DC THE DC. Crave communities reading enough to think hard about how they kind of do things actually so we're already thinking about these design weakness year, and how that's going to be kind of on I'm not working directly with it, but you know I'm GonNa be doing a couple of events program some events with them. Yeah, the these DC has a really robust, creative community, small, but mighty, small but mighty. Interested to see how you know design events start to. Sort of become more virtual in the future because I I wonder now if people are just kinda burned out on. The sort of. Squares looking. Like event experienced for everything from you know. A Primetime television show to in is live battle to a conference at also looks like work in a way. It does I agree I mean I think that you know it's interesting, because know site at night, me and Mrs Robinson Bats Kenner and beating. On the buses and you know we were riveted. Literally. Know Mirror in our phones, the TV and just jamming. You know so I think that there's no accounting for a great idea. Great content you know, and if you can find the rhyme medium to do that I, think that there's a bit of a kind of like a Zombie location of what's happening right now. Everybody's. Everybody thinks they can do a podcast. Everybody thinks they can deejay live in, but he thinks they can do in it. Live chat, but if the contents not good people are GonNa? Fall off! You know so I. Didn't what all of this is done is accelerated the idea of how we're GONNA. Stop thinking creatively. I mean my partner, my wife she was for the Smithsonian. She's been doing some amazing work. You know thinking about a. A are and how you can kind of experienced a existing exhibits to your phone, if you're actually being able to be at the physical location, I think these kinds of innovations or new ways of thinking probably would have happened, but it takes something like this kind of accelerate workers and accelerates these things I think it's just a really. There seem great opportunities out. Ages have to kind of think about him into. Try Stuff, yeah! I wonder if we'll start to see. Like hybrid virtual in person kind of events, because right now a recording this every state in the United States is in some form of reopening. So that means some venues are open, but the the attendee count has to be pretty small, so if you're at a restaurant, the capacity has to be I think fifty percent less, or if you're doing gatherings. They've gotta be. Be Ten. People are less or something like that I wonder. If there's a way to kind of bridge, the in person with the virtual in some sort of way I think that's GonNa come within the next few few months or so yeah. I mean. I think I think that will be I. think that you know There's a friend of mine here in DC. Joe Furious Oh. He's A. Collect took, and he had a. he has a gallery which he just opened just before law. All of this started you know, and you know one of the things he was thinking of doing was having. You know private viewings where you can come by appointment CPR and you know. Put some cheese and wine for you in everything sanitizing super clear so I think. To some degree, I think the physical physical experiences will definitely change BIOS I feel like as a black person. Guy No way. So I'm not trying to go out there and have anybody coughing on me right now. Simple simple as that you know we, we're all going to be wearing mosque, and who who'd a thought life four months ago, a few said you know we're going to be like Beijing or Tokyo that the everybody was moss, because pollution is stuff that we'd be doing that. This is the new normal so I. Feel like they're definitely opportunities. In terms of how we are going to experience these events, but there's no getting away from a good idea is gonNA is gonNA be some Super Dope to get me out right now. Agree I totally agree I. Mean here in Georgia. It's been different because we've been quote unquote. Now for I. Don't know about a month I. WanNa say like they lifted the shelter in place order at the end of April, and then they started opening up businesses, waves, and so I have already sort of put on my calendar that the Friday or Saturday before Memorial Day was going to be my first time kind of venturing out into the city just to kind of see what it's like. Like so I did that on Saturday and it was amazing like a lot of people were not wearing masks. Many people are just out and about like it was a regular Saturday. I would say thirdly terms the number of people that were out it was it was much less like I felt kinda weird, because people that weren't wearing masks were definitely walking by looking at me, sneering like Oh. You're wearing that thing you know and it's like. Let me just get what I need to get and go home. You know 'cause I feel like there's GonNa already be the stigma where people have already attached stigma to wearing masks, just in general because of the pandemic, but then there's also the additional racial component and what that might cause people to think or do or say. Say as we've seen from kind of some recent things where people are calling the police and all that sort of stuff like yeah, totally I mean I feel that yet i. he won that Aaron DC if I come out my house, just walking on the street I would say sixty to seventy percent of the people just outside wearing the moss. Obviously, it's mandatory if your in. A grocery store, a whole foods or wherever all day the to wear Marx's in this, you have to wear a mask. To a store? Okay, so but. Just various sliced segue own of this stuff. The if you've seen that movie, is it nine hundred and sixty you with the first World War One, nine, thousand, seven hundred. Hundred Seventeen. All the people are going over the top at the western front. That's black people. That's not cool. Who Frontlines and want us to? You know so I'm not going anywhere. Simple. I'm not going anywhere without mosque. I've gotten several masks. I wanted to make sure I had one that would. Fit Right that would look right. You know because they're all not made equal. Of course you can get those little disposable mass but I. don't see myself leaving enough to really need like fifty disposal masks in a box like I'm not going out every day, so yeah, I've been getting a few different types of mass to see which one fits esteemed like overnight. A swear to God like overnight. Every company was now showing masks. Because, most Sydney sneakers lawsuit new t shirts. Oh boy, bessette. Yeah. You see the with valves without vow they've got. Designer masks, To. To create this. Really create ones out. ME. So one of the things I've been seeing you do when you've been talking about fences, you mentioned. It's a group called five points. Can you talk about? Yes, where that idea came from the idea for five points was stat of our friend here in. Code Matt Green. He also is one of the CO founders of district, running collective, which is black running out the. Met Matt through my friend Charlie Doc also is for the UK and has a running. And Web designers and at the time I was thinking about i. just moved to DC. Realising off the going to allow of UPS. You know what you do when you go to me. That's no predominantly black people going there you sit down and then you turn around and you do account right. How many of you and consistently going to these events and realizing that there wasn't really anything which was a safe space for lack designers and I wanted to do an event code create, which wasn't just speaking to like design, but everybody but Matt wanting to do something specifically. Ethan blight designers so I think we've done about three or four five points events now and essentially. Essentially what the event is is a speaker series where we find designers, a black designers in creatives from a multitude of disciplines can come in, and they'll basically just talk about that. What career path, but interestingly was happened as the events is gone on, it's almost like each event has been a chain letter so the first event we had on the Renzo Wilkins and. Gen Y., Johnson. Raising photographers designer from. Maryland reading and she teaches a belief on, so she gave Aridi. Amazing presentation her work teaching, and over the course of a few events, it kind of tuned into events about crave entrepreneurship as well as some. He had brother Dwayne rollins common speak, convince Angus speak about creative entrepreneurship, so not just looking at the creative side of design and how to get job. Also how could potentially start? Your own business will turn your side into A. A business all the mechanics of accounting bookkeeping, and the importance of that so reading, looking at design and black people at a much more holistic and inventing way and the name five points comes from kind of the Black Panthers Template Program so we have five points kind of like a five point program, which is around kind of community, building and entrepreneurship in creativity in all of these things, but the interesting thing about the events also is that. Each speaker comes to fly points. They have five points that they want to share with the people that come. And then the people that come also shared five points if you got five people in the audience than twenty five points, plus the five points from the person S. that's thirty cool tidbits that you can leave with you know so. That's essentially the idea. Really five points. I like that kind of lake, additional aspect like sharing five points as well like I like how that sort? Sort of feeds into the the name and everything like that at first I was gonna I was wondering if it was a hip hop related, I was thinking of of five points in New York. City yeah I, mean it's interesting because there's also like a five points I can't remember which state it was in, but it was. It was like a real kind of black. A Black Wall Street type place comment, which they it was now and I think as well in DC. Because of the shape of the district has while also has our point, so there were many there's about three or four different kinds of epidemiologic coup of. Ways you call him. But. Yeah, it's been. It's been really cold. It's been a really cool event. Suddenly because of the pandemic and you know schedules, we haven't been able to do one recently, but you know it's been a real a really powerful way for people to get together, and there's something to be said for forty or fifty black and Brown people. A kind of has a slightly different VIBE. People immediately feel comfortable and able to share a lot more about their experience than they would may be in another environment, which is really great. Yeah, when we did the first live show this year out in Los Angeles in Lamar Park. Did that back in February for black history month there with Aig Los Angeles at it was great. It was great dislike. The energy in that room, and like a lot of people stayed afterwards, and not only did they help clean up and put chairs away, but like there was just fellowship like people left after that and winning got drinks and got dinner together and stuff like that, and I'm like I love that kind of fellowship aspect. Of Black Design events that is totally not present when I go to other design of is just not there prior to all of this quarantine stuff, I had been talking with other chapters DC, actually being one of them talked with other chapters about doing similar live shows there, and then the pandemic happened, and the place that was working for it canceled. All travel and travel now is even still kind. kind of an iffy proposition, part of me thought about reaching back out those chapters. Olas do virtually, but when I really thought about it, I want that live experience like I wanted to be a space of fellowship like a physical space fellowship for people to like actually see another black designer and talk to them in real life. That like you just can't get that same feeling in Zoom, call. I Don know I wonder if we're kind of looking at it the wrong way. I agree with you that you know being physical space is tricky. You know on as soon coal byles. About the experience when you're on it how it's kind of a hey curated for how is kind of organized? A said as I think back to a lost weekend watching bound to catering beanie, Madonna versus last Saturday. We felt you're in our living room, but we felt like we were immersed in I. think that there's a fourth wall that can be broken with any kind of event that. Way You feel like your your kind of getting. Something just depends on how it's done I think increasingly just back to your previous question. This is the new normal man, so we didn't have to get wise to ways in which we can engage in if you're interested in doing something. In DC, we should definitely talk yeah. That absolutely, maybe you know especially now that I've got Tom says I'm not working. Reach back out to those chapters Kinda see like where they are in terms of planning and events because I feel like this is probably upended a lot of events schedules everywhere, so they might be clamoring for some some type of content. Yes, indeed, what impact has hip hop music hat on your design work? He pop music has had an enormous impact on my designed work coming from London. You know growing up in the eighties late seventy seventies eighties where you know the emergencies people. It was the music in the culture that essentially got me into design. You know I used to have a peace book where I would do my Bilo outlines in my little tag and you know it was a way in which I could just kind of express myself away, moving forward I got older. Older I wasn't a huge record collector. I definitely appreciate the artwork and the flyers and know London has a really diverse music scene in the sense, that is a real helpful. All kinds of music not just hop so is a real kind of education in music, following the dots and learning about breaks and other kind of derivative forms, hip, hop, jungle, and Drum Bass and jungle and now grime. UK version of some would argue simple AMMO derivative of it, so it was a huge influence on me a lot much friends in London off deejays and emcees and todd culture, so opposite must I'm used to video, will the live shows and sadly one on my very close friends musician radical tie. He passed away from Cova. Nineteen about two weeks ago. Had that had a huge impact on me. And you know my my kind of circle of friends, and in fact, with tie I was the I remember because he knows the are as well in new idea, power as well and I remember taking to when I was doing my masters in. Our members taking him to my university to introduce into the Internet and I sat him down able to have an email eddie. Oh, power and I said to him and visit a website the economic the saints him. Your New York now. You're on a new. York. Public site in combat how you'll music travel around the world. And, then with him kind of designing some of his the kind of single covers, mogos t shirts in that kind of stuff. In a way aside from the career of had professionally is always kind of been Paul of. Why do you know and some of my good friends? You know have gone to even bigger things in the music industry so? Like. There's a design Orleans. Who is a really close friend of mine who? Come to create event man. He did album covers. I didn't even know he did when I met him, so he didn't like the most black star album. He designed the logo for boys in the hood. He did the loss gangsta album. So many kinda great covers, and he subsequently excuse me to brother who you may have had on the show. June lettuce on. Some amazing work fifty cents on Sunday, the other great thing, so he was episode fifty. To fifty. So. It's kind of think that one of the things that as mentioned briefly earlier, odd been doing this event cold create and. Is Actually about building community, and it is about all of the things that actually the I'm interested in that might be designed. That might be fashioned. It might be A. But really for me I feel like. You can't have designed without culture and design is at the intersection of culture. You know, and that's really what my life is about as well. You can't have culture without design. You have culture about creativity. unsew. That's kind of He. And you know Jamaican Culture in African Coachella. Day. I, if there's been diagram of all of those things right bang in the middle. What is it? That's keeping you motivated and inspired these days it's it's interesting because I think during this kind of pandemic allow. People have been saying. Oh, it's an opportunity for you to learn something and you know you could read that book. You never rare or go for walks and meditates like I don't works. Do you know what? A new state is very busy and you know we have family. We Hung School in. You know my wife is what he as well, but I think I'm doing quite bands reading this book, which was introduced in the cold at right here in it's cold. The company of one and I'm kind of reading looking into kind of like more on the business side of things. Things heading for business training, so I'm kind of just thinking about know new assigned projects that I can be doing that you know might turn into some kind of inspired by the what that said Muffin Kenny. Tolls is doing the POWWOW, so we convict him and just like the last week or two stroke in about hip hop music of always wanting to DJ. Always wanted to learn. I did when I was a teenager, but never really picked up. Coach took over. Decks recently. Eka Sudden Saracho Salaam Nonni all of that on the whole interface, just kind of learning more music. This topic I'm reading interest in game two right now, but you know outdoor cheese eleven and you know she's always homeschooling and everything so trying to keep her motivated. It is was not motivated. I think what's inspiring about what right now. I think I said at the beginning of this interview is the fact that we are in a tremendous period of change right now. And I feel like old is Asians like PBS, which publicly funded unimportant voice to have an so, what's actually inspiring to be honest with you is to have a of that to be a part of that to be able to message Michel Sin Door with a story and say hey. Have you seen this and she hasn't amazing. She mentioned on the program or to be able to. You know people talk about having a seat at the table to be able to kind of talk out the nuances of. Of How you might visualize a story likely sad, a mud or of the young African American man of the days ago. You know something to be part of that is inspiring. A designs side of it is as I said earlier. It's kind of something that I have done before, so it's to degree second nature but I'm actually really grateful for the opportunity to be able to make a difference in hopefully make the news hour bath than when I came to it. If you knew that you couldn't fail in your professional life, what would you try to do why we try to do is take more wrists, but I think the quiet safe kind of person quiet can be quite methodical. Knowing that you everything will be okay. I think you know it's a really tough question to ask a person WHO's working class. You know I think that we are. I am anyway a prebuilt with kind of flashier already embedded with of fear of failure in this kind of quite antiethical now continuing for working in product design way, you know you're supposed to felt fos, but failing Fox for a person of color could be the difference between rent food. China one, but it's. It's an interesting question. You Austin is something that I am constantly kind of trying to push past even in my designed what? Was the choice of typeface old the Colorado. The technique that you use him again goes. That's what I was saying earlier about kind of continuous. Keep on learning, you know. You kind of new forwarding your career. I think one of the reasons. I go out with news in the beginning. Was Because slack a big? Comfy Sofa that you could never get out from when you have a situation where you don't want to change something than that can be kind of detrimental to your career. You know is if you're not reinventing than your. You're dying. And it's a constant I'm saying it comes from kind of sage. Trust me. I have the same kind of insecurities in the same kind of doubt that everybody does, but. One thing I've realized as well though particularly welcome is some people here. Is that most of the time we're betting the people that release places just because they work on facebook. Crap'll these companies doesn't make them any bell? You know they just had the title. Very true just because you went from the Brian. Don't make you to brand. Just makes you number COG in the wheel. Who's maybe just try to do a good job? That's something that I've been thinking about. Particularly like as I looked to see what my next opportunity is like. I feel like at this point. It would have to be something remote one just because the pandemic like nobody's really going back into offices soon. That's the first thing the second thing I've been working remotely much longer than. Than I've been working in offices like the last time I worked. Legit in an office was two thousand eight, and I know of the changes even back with my old employer, I would maybe work there like a week or two out of the year, but like I hated I was like Oh, I, want to get back to my setup at home. Where like I by my right desk and my chair and everything like. Like I'm I'm to am I. Companies Now are going to have to sort of adapt to this new sort of distant workforce, but I think a lot of people now are working from home, and they like it, and then like I. Don't know if I WANNA go back into the office, or maybe they don't feel like it's safe to go back into the office so now you've got these new sorts of setups which? Which I think opens up the job market in a way one thing that I've been sort of weary of is like Atlanta and the job market here for designers is not great, especially, not here, not an entry level designer. There's not really a whole lot for you. A lot of places will look to hire people like right out of school where they can get them in like a junior position or something, but. When you've got ten plus years of experience becomes trickier and then also with me. I mean bringing it back to me again. I'm kind of at the point where the work that I've done for. The last few years has been more in strategy and media and less about design I can sort of bring my design knowledge over, but then it's like. Where am I going to find these particular? Types of positions in his substance have to create for myself. And is there a company out there? That fits that so like you have all these. Are At least I. Do I have all these sorts of questions around that kind of stuff I totally on that I mean I feel that you know this working from home? Thing is interesting, because if you're working from home, was home. Look like what? Like what is what is the on lifestyle light? What is your routine? If you always a home, I always tend to take a little bit of kind of. I guess maybe like devil's advocate kind of approach to thinking about things will thinking opposite just to see so okay, so you another for the allow people thinking okay. Maybe just go NATO fun. Thinking about which place on going to work at which is remote, but what if you were actually thinking about starting a business now? In this time it's the best time to stop business right now because everybody's on A. Kind of a great Neville and you know from one of the five points events Mogok. Run run-ins who is us for a nonprofit cooled seats, but he said something. So profound to me. before like how you GonNa stop exchanging hours for dollars how you GonNa do that? Yes, so whilst we will thinking about working for these companies is going back into the same routine again they benefit. The over, but we don't read the benefits of the of the cash. So, what are we? GonNa? Do Tim. Power ourselves so that we can actually have our own businesses off off flourishing whilst working from home, what kind of network we build the The empowers us you know now because to working from home right. So. How did he do that? You know that's kind of where my brains out right now. In terms of my thinking unawed is not necessarily pushing pixels. It's really more about the kind of high level strategy stuff about what designed looks like in this new world potentially right because now like so many conventions have been just up ended with the with the social distancing or even with just. Putting in these safeguards to make sure that people feel safe to resume the activities that they did prior to all of this. I mean everywhere from airlines office buildings, restaurants movie theaters. I saw like some mockup that was showing a movie theater that had just like these clumps of seats like one seat year two seats here three seats there with all the space in between. Part was like that's perfect I'll! Look. But it's not old adage, isn't it? Right? What is a movie theater? The movie theories, not the movie itself is the experience, the popcorn and ultimately that's how they make money anyway. So how do we kind of? The experience and to be. To degree what road playing that? Kinda tons of reshape inexperience will rhode design thinking play in US thinking about that. There's a company who I did a job for recently, their print company based here just down. The road in Maryland there printshop everything locked down. Because you know they're printing business. No one was doing conferences in advance. They didn't need post that they didn't need leisel that kind. kind of stuff, but what they realized was that they had a fulfillment business that actually could handle the logistics of PP. So what did they do? They pivoted that side of the business to start acquiring P P. basically that's how they sustaining themselves right now, sending PP under those kind of that kind of equipment to along the hospitals in the region. So, what does the design side of that? Yeah the. Black Young creatives on the. Interesting question we should be Austin yourself not just. How can I just roll back into the same routine? Sued I can watch Netflix in the morning. Do My work when what right? especially as I think about movies, because here in Atlanta Tyler Perry has talked about. They're already moving forward on production, even in this sort of. You know Kinda like pandemic locked out for the most part here. There is no lockdown at least in the city or the state of Georgia in general, but in Atlanta, we're sort of on this five phase plan to completely reopen the city. People are still out and about still going at least from what I could see from last weekend, so tyler's like we're moving forward with production on my new shows. I think he's like the first studio to go back into I'm interested to see how that's GonNa, work you know because there's. oftentimes dozens to hundreds of people on set like. How would that all Kinda work? Yes, I mean I'm sure. I think bought a log. Stop sounds like her. You know a a health and safety challenge, and again I feel their opportunities and I'm sure there technologies you know what I mean even looking at something like the delorean, and how the show just in three hundred sixty degree essentially kind of message flat screen environment. You know projected environment. I'm sure they were going to be a bunch of innovations that come that help us with this, but as you know I, feel like we are the front line of this horrible disease, and you know we have to figure out ways in which we can remain safe whilst on feeding our families too so. This is going to be a huge challenge in where. This is. Just wrapping your head around the idea that people talk about restrictions being lifted, but we could be in this for free years from now. This revenue at around three years of you know. Of this kind of working, so how do we make sure that our mental? Health and physical health is kind of is just as good as AL wave creative projects with trying to walk on resume slack and teams and all this stuff. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What kind of work? Do you WANNA be. Doing In the next five years, I'd like to see myself. Honestly it sounds quite cliche, but I'd like to see myself during much more product in tech work but. That is an amalgam of all the things I've learned over the years I would love to be in a position where I had my own thing and I think I'm. This create collective which is. A mixture of venison hopefully product. Speak series in so many other things in music and culture, and I think that you know oversee WanNa. Make sure that I remain I remain healthy as well because. All of the the deaths whether by police, violence or food covid that I've been personally affected by these. The covert side had definitely give me pause for thought about where where we WANNA be. You know from now and you know. I would love to be able to travel more, but honestly I think that. One of the things that's happened in the last few years is a think that whereas before I was. Kinda thinking this kind of role linear way know go to Finish High School College degree. Get you for job day second Joe Climate Atlanta become a crave director become the top of the tree already Dumna, and so for me now I think is really just about the opportunity to learn the opportunity to be compensated for that work, but also one of the things. That I've Meyer. My Bravo ties Sunday. Pasta Way and other people is the idea of freedom of crave. Read them. Them and I think when you have tournament, freedom your job or soldering freedom in your life, you feel at least expiring for that. You'd to medically feel empowered creative, and there are no boundaries to what you can achieve. So that's the one thing I would love to have is the competence to feel that I'm free to do. What the Hell I want now one question that have kind of been asking everyone on the show this year as a general theme is about you. You know the the notion of equitable future, and I got this concept from going to blackened design conference last year at Harvard and their whole theme was like Black Futuristic Mike. What does it look like for Black People in the future Mike? How do we use what we have to sort of make that happen for us? So how are you using your skills to help? Build that more equitable future? How I'm using my skills to build a acceptable future is really to me. ME, about networks and I think that a point you know in your in your question. You told about black people and I'm from England than when I think of black people I think of the diaspora, not just America and so much friends in London. You're Jamaican. All Nigerian Ghanaian we already have a connection on here in the states, always looking for ways to empower them. I had my friend Harris. It is an amazing stylists. You should look him up. Must Stein US an? Came to DC did an amazing talk with Brent rollins about that extensive careers, and I think that what we're doing in our in our small network of black creatives on friends is trusting each other and helping each other where we can and realizing that for me anyway, equity isn't about getting necessarily again. A seat at the table is about building your own table. And building people on with it and you know I did a tool. how university sometime last year account number when it was maybe around September October and I tick to them. Look one of the things that me to people eighteen inclusion. Designs Design Business and high. We'll black designers. Simple you know don't wait for facebook's two percent quota. Do It yourself right in a way is kind of the reason why. Matin I've been doing five points a while doing create, and you know a y of been helping out with design week is because for one. I see an opportunity to learn i. see an opportunity to work with people who have a similar mindset either within A. Gao within my own kind of friend network, but ultimately it's kind of about China Doofus, self as well you know waiting for somebody to hand something to you. You spend a whole bunch of time complaining about how facebook or another company on employing too many of you all you could support a brother who has an idea whose Stein out and just on the phone call like I did the other day helping the guy had an idea for an didn't know what to do. When I was starting at this as design designer, I had people who I could lean on. No matter race, you know trusting people who could offer advice and I think Pau the thing about creating an equitable future is about sharing that knowledge in you know kind of too possessive about it. I really feel like these ideas quite cyclical and I, kind of believe in commerce while you do, something goes to. SOMEBODY IS GONNA. Come back around and might not be immediately, but it might just comeback around the time when you just need it, you know when you've been laid off from my job, and then you get in Kumasi, Hey coochie design a flyer you know for me. It came with I was literally at my mom's dinner table with my Amex sounded dinner table. I moved back home, and my now wife calling me. Long story show. Hey This is Prince Video, do you? WanNa work on it and neutrally odd, I, write today with on amazing. Guy Could Royston Smith and you know we did that content anybody now. Kinda can cause Sadly, but you never know what next opportunities come from from so Kana? Keep in mind Oakland the afraid to. Be afraid to give. You ideas to trust the people I sale that to. As low cut my list of things I've got. Four things. More here on a sticky note. says. Don't work for free. Don't put out fires. You know when people call you in this I. Need this last minute in China to work for free. Don't compromise on money and don't do favors. An undue favors for people trust. Diane's I created critiques not really about from business. Continuity. kind of serious. This is a serious thing, so. Happy to help people not much, but you have to. Give respect back or at least pasta on. Someone else well said well. We'll just kind of wrap things up your Co. where can our audience find out more about you about your work online? You'll audience at revision. Paul confined more about me on social media twitter instagram at Cape, blotting as K B O, a t and G, and also if you're interested in five points, you can find us at five points, the sea, and also for create collective at creates this C- Eight undisclosed community on instagram all right sounds good. We'll co-. Job Watteau I, WANNA. Thank you so much for coming on the show for talking about how to just like giving us an update on what you've been working on since we last had you on the show. I mentioned on the show back in twenty sixteen i. mean you know since then you really gotta become part of the revision path community, and you help people out with advice with just being a good sounding board, and so I was really really glad to be able to talk to. especially at I think this really fraught time where people need to really just kind of. Here's some advice on what's the next thing to do because we're all in this situation together and don't really know what the way out is. It's kind of good to be. Be Able to bounce these ideas off of each other like that yet me and I wanNA. Thank. You also worries for all of the amazing. What you're within the design community I mean new are up there man seriously doing such great work and you know when when I think about networks, you know. Gabrielle Smith these the be my mighty introduced me to you, and even in my transition to the states, just being Paul I'll collective has been an amazing opportunity. Suggest kind of share ideas of that. You know. We met physically in new. York DC. Become friends with gene. It's amazing, so thank you, thank you, brother for what you're doing is really a great thing. At any time you got you anytime. Off. Big thanks to coach Tang, and of course. Thanks to you for listening. You can find out more about Co. Joe and his work through the links and the show notes at Vision Path Dot Com. And of course, thanks for sponsor for this episode facebook designed. To learn more about how the facebook design community is designing for human needs and unprecedented scale. Please visit facebook dot design. Revision Path is brought to you by lunch a multidisciplinary creative studio in Atlanta Georgia. Are you looking for some creative consulting next project maybe. podcast then let's lunch visit us, at Yep, it's lunch dot, com put a link to it in the show notes. This podcast is created hosted and produced by me. Maurice Cherry with engineering and editing by RJ. BASILIO Our intro voiceovers by Music Banbury with. Music by Yellow Speaker. This week also just want to give a special thanks to kindle house for those great tips that I talked about it in the intro chat out to him. Check out his episode. If you WANNA learn more about him. And I'm just curious. What did you think of this? The Three Hundred and Fiftieth episode? Technically it's the three hundred and fifty third episode. If you count the bonus episodes, we had but canonical. We'll just say three fifty. What did you think of this episode? Did you like the conversation with Kodjo hit me up on twitter instagram, or even better by leaving a rating and review on Apple podcasts? I'll even review right here on the show. As always thank you so much for listening. Thank you for three hundred and fifty episodes. We will see you next time.

Coming up next