Episode 6: This One's for the LAAADDIIEEESSS

This is a month's old episode I recorded before our last sudden hiatus, and I've really kept my goal of a bi-weekly release going (that's an awful lie if you didn't check the time stamps)

The title says it all — or at least most — this episode is all about women in design.

Designing women!!! 

We chat with Char Kennedy and Janine Merkl about being women in design. The “special” attention, practicing confidence, the anxiety of self-worth, and more of the super fun factors of navigating the design and real world viewed as a woman. 

Char mentions the critical design piece the 79% clock which is a clock that rings 79% through the work day signifying the pay gap of 79%* between women and men. 

*79% of course is the figure often cited, but it is shown that women of colour can make on average significantly less than this. 

Thanks for listening in again! We'll have a new episode after the holidays/early 2017. 

Episode 5: What's a Creative To Do?!

(spoiler alert: we don't know)

And we're back!

I know it's been a bit of a hiatus, but summer happened and also imposter syndrome. Maybe we'll dive more into specifics in another episode but for now I give you this.

We're reeling in the world that is a post 2016 presidential election, and as creatives we're wondering what the f*ck to do. 

This episode is just the opening of a discussion we want to keep going, I've got Jean Chisholm and Lydia Okello with me in the "studio", we chat about processing after the election, and how as creatives we can use our skills moving forward to hopefully, do something to make the world feel a little better. 

Stick with me as we're oiling up the thinking and talking machine, getting back into the roll of things! I'm excited to be back, and excited to see where things are gonna go! 


Episode 4: Does Design Have a Diversity Problem?

This week we're coming live (read: prerecorded in the winter) from the 6ix. I visited Toronto, and had to take the opportunity to record an episode with a couple of my favourite ex-Vancouverites/now Torontnians Emanuel Ilagan and Cheryl Li. We sit down with some mulled wine, to chat about diversity in design. 

Note: I never learn, and continue to lose show notes to my ineptitude of saving while working, so show notes will be posted Tuesday May 10th. But I wanted to get the episode uploaded and in your feed! 

Episode 3: Capitalism is a Downer

Listen to the podcast here (or on itunes)

Welcome back listeners! We've made it to four whole weeks of this podcast, and for someone who's a bit of a commitment-phobe about projects we're doing pretty well. 

We've got Seth Parker with us again this episode, and we're talking about the light hearted topic of Capitalism. 

Often as designers — especially as pretty fresh designers who still want to believe that design can/will save the world — we find ourselves having to navigate between wanting to create positive change, but having to create significant amounts of products or waste.  

We come to this week's topic by way of an interview I gave in the fall. I was approached by  WOO (the student publication published at my alma mater that I worked on and eventually became a co-director at) to give an interview with my co-director Sarah Austensen (née Wilson), that followed the issue's theme of what the world is like after graduating from art/design school.

I received my copy of WOO a month or so after the interview, so forgetting all my answers I eagerly read through it, but was taken aback by one of my answers. When asked the question "what aspects of your current work are you most critical of?"  to which I answered

In my own life I'm constantly critical of my own buying/spending/consuming of goods. So often working at a branding and packaging studio where our main goal is to create design solutions that are about feeding into the consumptive capitalist lifestyles creates a kind of conflict

What the frig. I sound like an asshole.

Read more of me being wordy talking about "the real world", and Sarah being lovely talking about her practice as a master's student at the School of Visual Arts in New York

Regardless though, this is something that personally permeates what I do daily. Am I creating more waste by buying something? Am I selling out to the broken machine that is capitalism with every piece of packaging I create?  — the answer to both these questions being "most probably".

Much like plenty of problems, design — from what I believe right now — cannot really solve every problem in one go. What we can do is incite behaviour change, create solutions that make better sustainable choices easier to make, or even second nature. Much like it's pretty common knowledge now the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (though there's a 4th one that we've forgotten, maybe?)

Maybe Ilana is right, it is badgalriri

Sure this isn't the most in depth look at design and capitalism and sustainability. But this is an anxiety that we're working through. I think it's important for us to be critical, and expressive of problems we don't know the answer to — yet. We're figuring out how to figure these things out.

final note: 
From this point on I'm working on releasing episodes on a real schedule. We're doing Mondays here so that you — listener — have the whole work week to find a moment to listen to us.

Episode 2.5: What the F*ck Kanye West

Listen to the podcast here or (on itunes)

This is part 2 of a two part episode about Kanye West as a creative influencer.  If you haven't listened to Part 1, check it out here

We're back with Sami Barker and Chris Glickman to rehash A lot happened to Kanye in the four months between recording sessions. So Sami got in touch, so that we could revisit — and in some points rescind — our thoughts on Kanye West. 

Often I am conflicted with decisions to separate an artist from their work. I want to have strong morals. and stick to my ethics but there are works of media and art that at times I want to engage with, and even enjoy. We waited with great anticipation for what Kanye said would be not just his best album ever, but one of the greatest albums of all time, so when he let loose his #twitterfingers to say some very questionable things, we were all quite disappointed. 


Kanye obviously has a lot going on right now, personally and professionally, but not with out wanting to do more. 

Everyone laughed at, and is still laughing at the Donda chart. Though, with Kanye's network, and his long practice of collaboration it doesn't seem too far fetched that he could achieve some form of success in many of the areas he's listed on the chart. I'm not sure if the world needs a luxury cloud service or search engine, but I'm a mere pleb, perhaps in Kanye's world of the super rich regular google doesn't cut it.

With Kanye's creative endeavours moving from music to fashion does it really seem worth laughing at that he's got his eyes set on other industries? Kanye's age and celebrity probably don't negate that he's still a creative with grandiose ideas, working to figure out what he wants to, and can do next. Granted his ability to pick up a new project, and have some very notable minds and talents to collaborate on is closer to a non-issue than most. 

We talk about the spectacle that was the Yeezy season 3 release in Madison Square Garden; Kanye's latest collaboration with contemporary performance artist Vanessa Beecroft. 

Yeezy season 3 wasn't released without plenty of problematics, ranging from the art direction of the show being a reference to an image taken from the Rwandan Genocide, to 1,000 model extras being paid meagrely for a bizarre and poor experience

Personally, I'm torn on my views of Kanye. It's 2016, and being a "crazy" "genius" shouldn't be an excuse to create work that's controversial for — as I see it — controversy's sake. But that seems to be Kanye's gig right now, his whole life is a performance is fucking shit up.

Kanye is known for not wanting his personal life to be as public as his art. Perhaps the controversy that surrounds his public-personal brand and his artistic work is a part of his attempt to have his audience (be it fans or just public onlookers/gawkers) to separate his art from his life.  But that's a thought I'd have to digest a bit more. 

I miss the old Kanye, straight from the 'Go Kanye
Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye
— Kanye West

Every Kanye from Pink Polo Kanye to a Post TLOP Kanye, has had his fair share of controversy. In the end, what will we remember Kanye West for? So many previous artistic geniuses that we now uphold were men said and did shitty things. It feels in comparison to many artistic geniuses who were extremely exploitive and abusive, Kanye having quick twitter fingers and an arrogant ego seems to pale in comparison*. 

I don't know if I'll always be a Kanye fan. And even after hours of talking about Kanye, after reading articles, absorbing his work, and recording these episodes and writing these show notes, I'm still conflicted. I don't know if I'd call him a genius right now or a villain. 

we still love Kanye
And I love you like Kanye loves Kanye

— Kanye West


*as it stands at time of publishing this in April 2016, because who knows what Kanye will do next. I don't trust celebrities, or their public images and I don't want to be eating my words years from now when Kanye does something awful and this post is on the internet forever. 

Episode 2: Who the F*ck is Kanye West

Listen to the podcast here or (on itunes)

A quick preface to the episode. We originally recorded this episode in November 2015, and because it took so long for me to actually release episodes I had previously recorded this episode is a 2-parter. This part, being created months before the current Kanye. If you want to hear what we think about a post TLOP (and everything that came with that) Kanye be sure to check out Part 2. 

Welcome back! Thanks for sticking around for two whole episodes. 
This week things are a bit different. I know, two weeks in and already switching it up, but it happens iterative process and everything.

This week we're taking a bit of a detour from talking about our own creative pursuits to chat a bit about multidisciplinary creative influencer Kanye West. 

(probably) a common reaction to a Kanye episode

This we we're chatting with Sami Barker and Chris Glickman. Like Mr. West, Sami and Chris both work in the fashion industry by way of other creative pursuits. 

I've had plenty of conversations with people regarding Kanye, he's all over the media and has never ceased to be controversial in his presence. Many of these conversations either surround Kanye's status as a genius creative, or as a media villain, and hardly a single conversation ends in a clear understanding of what he is. But we just know that there's so much to talk about, and unpack with the world of Kanye. 

Between the three of us we discover that Sami has been the Yeezus prophet, and even though we have our memories of Kanye from Before Sami Era (BSE), she really brought Kanye appreciation to another level. 

But here's a sampling of songs that first introduced us to Kanye, and other songs we mention in the episode. 

One strength of Kanye's creativity we note is his strong collaborative nature. His work has always been a product of collaboration, and this is the route that so many design articles and practices push, yet it seems to the greater public collaboration is seen as grounds to easily dismiss a creative process. Dismissed by the masses, but a great example for creativity. 

We also talk on how of course race and politics are a strong influence on Kanye's work and is that not true of the world? What influences one more than the systems of oppression and injustice ingrained in our society?

This train of thought leads Sami to reference a conversation she's had video (a personal favourite of mine), where Ice Cube speaks on the Eames house, and how it can be percieved that because of knowing him as NWA member, ganster rapper he is locked into a perception of who he is, and locked out of "more englightened" conversations". Jokes on the jokers who think that though, because people are complex, and Ice Cube Celebrates the Eames is fantastic. 

Conversations of race and politics are always heavy, but anyone who knows me knows that's where I tend to go when there's a little too much liquor in me. But Chris helps round out the episode by reminding us that even though Kanye's career is heavily steeped in politics, and controversies; he's also just a person, who's whole life isn't always a performance. 

Here's Chris' favourite Kanye thing. Kanye West eating ice cream. 

Episode 1: Let's Get Personal!

listen to the episode here (or on itunes)

Our very first episode!

Welcome to Influenced listeners!

This week we're talking all about personal projects with our guests Jean Chisholm and Seth Parker

Of course we're talking personal projects because this sweet little podcast is my baby of a personal project. 

We chat a bit about a personal group project we all took part of right out of school called A Pop-Up Affair. Here's the video we put together back when for kickstarter. 

Jean's beautiful personal project (that I'm obviously jealous of) can be found at hometownproject.ca .

Here, admire some of the work and her and her design partner Janine Merkl have created for this project in its current iterations. 

and of course Seth's beautiful candle sticks and candelabra

One last note: Our theme music is made by Jean's partner Corey. I asked him for something cheesy like a game show or Spanish Flea. He fully delivered. Thanks Corey.

Thanks for listening to this week's episode, and the baby stumbling steps of the podcast. We'll see where it goes, will we finish our first season? Will we make it to episode 50? episode 100?! That seems outrageous!

As with design process and learning, with every episode I learn a little more. This is a growing living thing that takes practice; every episode a new iteration and experiment in what's working! So thanks for joining in on this exciting time.