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[ 2019.02.18 ] Status Update

New Office:

At the beginning of the year, I moved out of my downtown loft apartment, where I was officing from home in a second bedroom, and set up shop in a shared workspace at Wichita’s Studio School. It’s an interesting arrangement, and I’m excited about its potential.

The space itself is an old classroom, Room 202, in what was originally a public school before it was shuttered in 2012. In 2017, the property was purchased by Logan Pajunen, who founded what he called the Studio School — a place where Wichita artists and entrepreneurs could lease rooms as studios and offices, at affordable rates and retrofitted for their needs. It’s proved to be just about perfect for ours.

There are four of us in the studio space. Myself, still working as an independent designer and illustrator, and still amassing mountains of books and design ephemera. Luke Bott, a friend that I’ve worked alongside in the past, is in the studio full-time working remotely for his employer Mattson Creative. My friend Brad Ruder, who manages the in-house creative department at BG Products, has pulled together a small office and library where he drops in to work on his passion projects. I know Brad through his work as the curator of Tangent Lab art gallery, and the Tilt Union screen printing studio and workshops he operated. And starting this week, my friend and colleague Travis Krause will be in the studio full-time, after taking the leap into freelance. A designer and motion graphics artist, Travis is someone I worked with when I first started out in design, when I interned at a motion graphics studio where he was employed. We’ve been talking about the potential of working together on projects for awhile now, and this offers the best chance yet to see if we can make it happen. Everyone I share the room with is extremely talented and it’s great how this all fell together. Add to this the interactions we have with other creatives working in the building, like photographer Kacy Meinecke who is our neighbor across the hall, and it will be interesting to see what all emerges from the experience.

Beyond those things, it gave me the room I needed for my constantly expanding design library and collection, along with getting my riso out of storage and out where I can use it. And with some room to breath, it makes the workshops I was thinking about hosting something that can actually happen.

New Work:

I need to start putting things out into the world, to let everyone know I’m alive and give new client work a way of finding its way to me. I’ve been coasting too long now, relying on Apigee and Google Cloud projects for the majority of my income. This is not a new problem for me, but it is a more urgent one as those projects are coming to a close. And to get more of the work I haven't been doing, like logos and branding, this will mean self-initiated work showing the sorts of things that I want to be doing. Travis and I are kind of in the same boat here, so there's a chance we'll work together on self-initiated motion graphics pieces — something that could give me some much needed drawing exercise.

Side Projects:

Now that I’m settled in the new office, it’s time to kick some things into gear.

Speculative Identities has sat dormant for too long. I turned all my attention to creating this personal site in my time outside of client work, and I never got back to my Speculative Identities research like I wanted to. It’s a shame, because it’s something I really enjoyed working on. So I need to breath new life into it, and I’m also considering some things that could help make it more sustainable for me, like using Patreon to fund some of the time investment. I hope to have things figured out by the end of the month, where I can get that ball rolling again.

The risograph I own, that I’ve already mentioned, is just a few steps away from my desk. Between the four of us in the studio, we should have no trouble finding ways to put it to work. And once we have some output to show and reasonably reliable results, I can start thinking about hosting riso workshops here in the Studio School.

And more writing. I’ve had it in mind to start documenting and commenting on some of the design material I’ve collected over the years, especially relating to areas of science and technology, and how ideas about the future are realized through graphic design. There’s a place for that documentation here on my personal site, in the Collected section. But I also need to revive a conversation I had going with another designer, where he was hoping to give me a writing platform as a regular columnist on a new website.

Personal Life:

I don't have one. Nothing new there. I guess I can say that the dog is doing fine, which is good. And the Toyota Van is broken down with transmission problems, which is bad.