Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with James Olstein

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – James Olstein

We’ve experienced time and again that it’s all about timing (see what we did there?), especially with Dumb Questions. James Olstein has been on our list for a while, but when we saw that he illustrated the theme graphic for August’s CreativeMornings, we knew it was kismet.

Aside from being a lauded illustrator, designer and all around good dude, James and his wife are also expecting their first child (probably when this interview comes out). That kid has big shoes to fill, because James has done incredible for work for a wide range of clients, including BBC, Boston Globe, Scientific American, and much more. Speaking of timing, James has a kids book coming out on September 6th from his Odd Science series, called Amazing Inventions.

We wish James and his growing family all the luck and blessings in the world. We hope one day his kid reads this silly article and laughs. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Victor Melendez

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Victor Melendez

A graphic designer and illustrator based in Seattle, Victor Melendez is originally from Mexico City, but after studying electrical engineering for two years he realized it wasn’t his calling. Victor relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and got a BFA in graphic design from Cornish College of the Arts.

With the spirit of an art director and the eye of a muralist, Victor focuses on work that draws you in and makes you think. He has produced work for SubPop, Starbucks, and more than we can name here.

Victor loves baseball, beer, and thai food. He also loves producing amazing work. We found Victor through our West Coast beer contacts and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he agreed to do our dumb interview. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Courtney Macca

Dumb Questions For Smart Designers – Courtney Macca

Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Courtney Macca, visionary designer and illustrator, currently lives in “the heart of Atlanta” where she works as a graphic designer for a marketing team by day, and focuses on freelancing, hand lettering and illustration at night.

Courtney, a self proclaimed lover of typography, illustration, and branding, is constantly creating new designs to be viewed by the world. In her spare time (though it’s hard to believe she has any), Courtney spearheads an Atlanta-based monthly lettering Meetup group called ATLphabet.

One of the projects that sticks out to us is Courtney’s 100 days of 15 Minute faces, where she worked for 15 minutes each day to create a person’s face, sometimes based off of fictional characters, famous people, or people in her life, using her Wacom tablet, photoshop, and occasional reference photos.

We’re so glad Courtney found the time to join us for our DQSD series!

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Anna Laytham

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Anna Laytham

Anna Laytham is a designer, illustrator and artist residing in Brooklyn, New York, whose focus shifts from digital, ui/ux, and app design, to print design, illustration, sculpture, character design, comics, zines, prints, product design (physical & digital), and pretty much anything else that is interesting and challenging. Anna may not dig our pop culture questions, but interviewing her sure was fun.

She has made a name for herself designing major book covers, and her client list reads like a litany of who’s who in a myriad of businesses and organizations. She has done work for Pepsi, GE, Brisk, MSNBC, The TODAY Show, AMP Energy, The White House, Ben & Jerry’s, Makerbot Industries, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House.

On top of all that, and producing an art show in Berlin, Anna was a former adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, where she also graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. When free, which isn’t often, she enjoys building things, using her hands, and learning about the Universe. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Johnnie Cluney

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Johnnie Cluney

As an illustrator and musician from Illinois, Johnnie Cluney wears a lot of hats, metaphorically. He may be best known for his hand-drawn artist portraits for the Daytrotter sessions (he has fashioned close to 10,000 of them, according to his estimates), but he also used to play in a ton of bands, such as American Dust, Mondo Drag, Quiet Bears, and Romantic and the Sirens. His debut solo album will be released later this year.

In addition to recently illustrating a children’s book, he somehow found the time to let us ask him some seriously dumb questions. Cluney took on the tall task of creating the downtown Davenport ‘Welcome’ sign, which highlights the city, and he describes as ‘mind blowing’.

For all his hard work in design, illustration, and music, Johnnie is mainly a husband and a father. While doing this interview, we could hear his family running around in the background. For the man who finds time for everything, we are super thankful he found time to answer these silly questions, probably while painting and definitely being a working dad on top of it all. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Julieta Felix

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Julieta Felix

As the first person to reach out to voluntarily be interviewed by Dumb Questions for Smart Designers, we knew immediately that Julieta Felix would have a great sense of humor, but it turned out she is also an absolute delight. If you want to talk about design, eating vegan, or Mad Men, you should get in touch with her, because she will lift your spirits.

As a visual designer, Julieta loves typography, branding, and illustration, as well as the intricacies with user experience. She grew up in sunny Mexico and came to the U.S. by herself eleven years ago with only a dream and $100 in her pocket. It sounds cheesy but it is true.

Julieta’s reputation precedes her; she has done work for Make-A-Wish, American Airlines, PayPal, Disney, Pepsi, and Macy’s, just to name a few of her global clients. She is currently Senior Product Designer at Target and founder of Busy Vegan, a plant-based recipe blog.

Join us in welcoming Julieta (we say it with an attempted accent) to the DQSD lineup!

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Randy J Hunt

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Randy J. Hunt

Randy J. Hunt is a design leader, creative director, and author. He writes and lectures about design, and has been a visiting designer, as well as critic at many colleges and universities. His first book, Product Design for the Web was published by New Riders. It is a breakthrough introduction to modern product design.

The former Creative director at Etsy, Hunt is now head of design at Artsy, a resource for art collecting and education. Previously, he founded and ran Citizen Scholar, Inc as a design studio. He also co-founded Supermarket, a curated design marketplace.

Randy grew up in Orlando, Florida, where he appeared on the Nickelodeon television show Legends of the Hidden Temple. Even with years of expertise, Randy still exclaims that he is just getting started. If there is ever a reboot of that show, Randy should be in charge of everything from design and UI/UX to thinking of the obstacles and even hosting. Read More

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Dumb Questers for Smart Designers with Jennifer Heuer

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Jennifer Heuer

Jennifer Heuer is a graphic designer, illustrator and freelance art director. She primarily specializes in book cover design. Using custom typography, illustration or her own photography, she centers the cover around a concept or visual theme within the manuscript. But don’t judge Jennifer by her book covers, because she is much more.

Jen has written about women in book design on LitHub’s blog, and her work has been featured in various other publications including Print Magazine, The New York Times, and more. She is a visiting professor in Pratt Institute’s ComD department, where she was also a graduate.

We have been sitting on this Dumb Questions interview for a while, but to no fault but our own because we have been very busy, but this one with Jennifer Heuer is definitely worth the wait. She was a ray of sunshine, as we did this interview toward the tail end of summer when Jennifer was on vacation at the beach. We are thankful that she made the time and for her witty answers, plus we apologize for taking so long. She still hasn’t Tweeted in a while.  Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Syd Weiler

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Syd Weiler

In addition to being an exquisite visual development artist, illustrator, and animator, Syd Weiler is a partnered Twitch Creative streamer, as well as a current member of the Microsoft Creator Council and a 2016-2017 Adobe Creative Resident, during which she grew a creative community through streaming. Currently, she is creating Photoshop brushes and building an archive to refine the tools.

She infamously created the viral internet sensation Trash Doves, a digital sticker pack for iOS, licensed by Facebook. After her little ‘Trash Dove’ artwork unexpectedly went viral overnight, she had to quickly learn how to navigate the positive and negative aspects of online stardom. The country of Thailand is still feeling the effects. We don’t want to get into it, so just Google it if you’re feeling feathery.

Syd also helped develop and kickstart Jenny LeClue, an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure mystery game with memorable characters, a unique aesthetic, and an apically tangled mystery. She is a proud graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, where she studied animation and illustration. She loves video games, hats, tea, hair dye and her dog Beezly. As you will soon realize, her interview is hilarious and filled with surprises. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Kendrick Kidd

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Kendrick Kidd

Be nice, work hard and make the magic. That is how Kendrick Kidd lives his life and it seems to be working out for him. An Art Director by day and freelance Graphic Designer by night, Mr. Kidd’s focus spans illustration, branding, packaging, apparel, lettering, and typography.

His work is playful and fun, yet masterfully executed. He has created for mega clients, such as American Horror Story on FX, ESPN Magazine, WIRED UK, The Hollywood Reporter, Billabong, and a wide range of breweries across the United States.

Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, when Kendrick isn’t working hard, he is being a father, a husband, and trying to fit in a morning surf or skate session. The perfect combination of design, family and real life is what makes a day’s magic for the incomparable Mr. Kidd. Read More

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