WHAT DO YOU DO?
Currently, many of my projects involve creating experiential activations, pop-ups, and events for brands ranging from athletic brands to tech brands.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I started out in my young years being really interested in architecture. One summer in high school I interned at a classmate’s parent's firm. After spending some weeks there, I sat down and had a talk with the head architect. I asked her “Why don’t I find this as exciting as I thought it would be?” I explained to her the aspects I enjoyed about architecture: laying out objects, arranging things, etc. She quickly suggested I talked to the graphic designer on their team. After some conversation with him, I realized I already had spent time picking up some of the foundational skills of the discipline. In the days of Myspace, and over-stylized photo edits, I had taught myself how to use Photoshop and Illustrator.
The next summer, I took formal lessons at Pratt Institute; there I realized this is what I was made to do. Ultimately, I attended Syracuse University’s communications design program which I think gave me a well-rounded education and taught me some of the intangibles of working in the design field. I held a series of internships during the summers, ranging from Complex Media to the Whitney Museum.
I was able to keep in contact with the people I worked with, and during my senior year I was offered a full time position at Complex Media. As a recent graduate, this was a good experience for me because I worked on a range of projects from the print magazine, to branding, to front end web, etc.
More importantly, I was surrounded by people who were willing to teach me the ropes along the way and believed in my growth. After two years with Complex, I decided I wanted to try a creative agency that worked with many clients. Today, I am presently at Exposure America where my clients range from Adidas to Microsoft.
How do you stand out in your field?
I stand out because I have considerable real world experience in design for my age. Yes, you might have great design sense but at the end of the day part of your job as a designer is to deal with team members and clients you ultimately might or might not get along with. You have to know how to navigate this aspect of the job. Also, another thing that’s important is that I don't take things personally. I think as creatives we sometimes get attached to our work, but due to several factors, the end result of a project might not turn out exactly how we may have envisioned. I tell myself all the time these two things: positive mental attitude and not get too emotional about your work.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Currently I’m working with a tech brand to do a series of workshops with a local female entrepreneur in Brooklyn which is happening the first week in June. The goal is to empower young women through technology to bring their side passions a reality. We will also have work sessions with formative female figures in the creative, digital, and social media worlds.
Also throughout the year I’ve been working on a series of activations with adidas. My favorite one was an exhibit we did at the Brooklyn Museum titled “Black History, Black Future.” In celebration of Black History Month, we cast and shot local NYC black figures making a difference in their respective communities. To connect this to the past and also to the brand, we featured worn sneakers of famous African-American cultural figures from RUN-DMC to Wilma Rudolph.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Minimal, edgy, expressive— I’m a firm believer in great looking design, but I also think there should be some logic and reasoning behind it.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Two things are my wishes to focus more on: streetwear and women of color.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I have difficulty finding likeminded creatives to collaborate with on personal projects.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Sourcing materials and producing things. They would essentially be a production assistant.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
If I had to tell myself something after I got my first job, it would be to speak up more. In a male dominated industry, being a woman and person of color gives me a unique insight into things others might not be aware of. I definitely believe I bring a valuable perspective to any team or group I collaborate with.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
It would be great to gain more insight into starting your own studio and sparking social media engagement for a brand or aforementioned studio.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am looking for a range of opportunities that mesh with my passions and allow me to expand the role I have as an art director. Streetwear, fashion, people of color, female empowerment, and social justice are some of the major topics I am interested in working in.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
My ideal client or collaboration is having a mutual relationship where we are able to bounce ideas off of each other in an open environment. They trust and respect my taste, and allow me to take risks in certain respects. We have similar interests and passions for a particular project or cause related to the project. I definitely want a client who is down to push the envelope.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My hourly rate largely depends on the client, project, and project timeline. Right now I’m mainly interested in the subject matter of a project and things I am passionate about, so budget isn’t as much of a priority for me.
As far as salary range, that is much more of a conversation that would be done through talking with the specific company looking to hire me.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
The easiest way to communicate is through email; including an emoji or two wouldn’t hurt either :)
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Pushing boundaries, not recreating them.
This member profile was originally published in June 2018.