Lorenzo Diggins Jr
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Aside from pursuing my own personal projects and art practice - I take great pride in advocating and strategizing for other artist/creatives by helping them bring their ideas to life through my company, colour bloc creativ.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I built my former men’s lifestyle brand (The Essential Man) from the ground up and during the 7 years of operation, I gained a lot of valuable knowledge; from designing my collections, to learning how to produce all of my goods domestically, to distributing them to different retailers - those experiences have led me directly to where I am now as a creative strategist to others.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Unfortunately there’s a lack of diversity in most fields but specifically in the art book publishing space. As I attend the many different (but the same) art book fairs, I notice the lack of representation from people of color and the more I get involved in publishing, the more I want to occupy those spaces. It’s always a weird feeling being drawn to things that doesn’t seem to have me in mind in the first place, so when I’m creating, I am conscious of that because REPRESENTATION MATTERS.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Aside from simultaneously working on a few of my passion projects ("The Simple Things Project," "The 21 Day Project," and “The 100 Day Project.”) I’ve really been working on solidifying my publishing coming. Currently I’m working on a capsule project which I believe will be the catalyst to fully launching a publication under my company, cbc press.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I have a minimal aesthetic but I really enjoy adding pops of color; I think that juxtaposition is represented in all of my design and illustration work. In regards to my photography, I consider myself more of a photojournalist, so I really make an attempt to connect with my subjects in order to capture its essence for the viewer.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Honestly - I would love to really explore photojournalism. There are a lot of great subjects that haven’t been covered/documented and I believe I could even bring a new perspective to the ones that already have.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I still operate the bulk if not all of my business on my own and if I haven't already, I'm reaching my plateau of what I feel I can continue to do own my (effectively). Currently, I'm working on getting an intern/assistant to help me manage some of the many moving parts of my growing business.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Ha! this is easy - to repeat my last answer, I would hire someone to help me manage some of the many moving parts of my growing business. With all of my projects, I have A LOT of momentum and I could really use help keeping everything in order so nothing slips through the cracks as they have in past when too many things were on my plate. I know an immediate task would be managing the social media accounts.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
In the past I've made a lot of (costly) mistakes due to being too impatient and possibly too eager to "get on". What I would have told my younger self is to simply “be patient and take your time...don't focus on what you don't have...just continue to work on your craft and everything will fall into place.”
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
One of my goals is to have my own brick and mortar store - so If I could talk to an expert about anything - it would be about having longevity as a store owner.
Also I would like to talk to one of these big publishing houses like Taschen or Phaidon to get tips on how they got started and learn how they’ve been able to sustain their business even while the structures have shifted from print to digital.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I would love to collaborate with more brands as a creative director - I know that I have a really unique perspective and when given the opportunity (and creative freedom), great things always come.
Also one of my greatest strengths is bringing people from all walks of life together - so I would love to have more opportunities where I can curate events/experiences for companies.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
My ideal client is with a company like Coca-Cola or even Converse where I could not only help them curate events but also help them produce cultural content/campaigns around their product(s) - a product collaboration wouldn’t hurt too!
Also I would love to have the opportunity to curate a gift shop for a hotel - kinda like what Poketo did for The Line Hotel.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE?
It really depends on the project.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
A simple email always work. Admittedly, sometimes emails slips through the cracks, a simple comment/message prompting me to check my emails always helps too lol. Also if you happen to see me in public - just say hello, don't message me after saying "I saw you but didn't want to bother you" - I promise I won't bite.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
I stay creative by always having some type of passion project that I’m working on. For example, every year I participate in the “100 Day Project” and I always pick a subject that either interest me or a skill I’d like to learn. This year I’m doing “100 Days of Polaroids.”
This member profile was originally published in June 2016, Updated May 2018.