© 2017 margins

Sabrina Dorsainvil

So tell me a little about yourself?

 

A​ ​common​ ​thread​ ​through​ ​my​ ​work​ ​is​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​the​ ​way​ ​people​ ​interact​ ​with​ ​each other,​ ​objects​ ​and​ ​their​ ​environment.​ ​In​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​ways​ ​an​ ​added​ ​lens​ ​to​ ​that​ ​thread​ ​is understanding​ ​the​ ​way​ ​we​ ​engage​ ​with​ ​ourselves.

 

I​ ​was​ ​born​ ​in​ ​Boston,​ ​MA​ ​to​ ​Haitian​ ​parents.​ ​My​ ​family​ ​moved​ ​around​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​during​ ​my​ ​childhood but​ ​I​ ​spent​ ​my​ ​formative​ ​high​ ​school​ ​years​ ​in​ ​Lawrence,​ ​MA.​ ​I​ ​studied​ ​industrial​ ​design​ ​as​ ​an undergraduate​ ​at​ ​Massachusetts​ ​College​ ​of​ ​Art​ ​and​ ​Design​ ​and​ ​received​ ​my​ ​masters​ ​in​ ​science in​ ​Design​ ​and​ ​Urban​ ​Ecologies​ ​from​ ​Parsons​ ​the​ ​New​ ​School​ ​in​ ​New​ ​York​ ​shortly​ ​after.​ ​The graduate​ ​program​ ​there​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​social,​ ​spatial​ ​and​ ​environmental​ ​justice​ ​in​ ​an​ ​urban context.  

 

Right​ ​after​ ​grad​ ​school​ ​I​ ​spent​ ​time​ ​working​ ​on​ ​furthering​ ​personal​ ​projects​ ​and​ ​freelancing​ ​but ultimately​ ​found​ ​myself​ ​in​ ​the​ ​design​ ​consultancy​ ​space​ ​as​ ​an​ ​envisioner​ ​for​ ​Continuum.​ ​After my​ ​time​ ​there​ ​I​ ​further​ ​questioned​ ​how​ ​I​ ​could​ ​use​ ​my​ ​art​ ​and​ ​design​ ​practice​ ​to​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​social issues.​ ​I​ ​then​ ​joined​ ​former​ ​colleagues​ ​as​ ​design​ ​lead​ ​for​ ​their​ ​social​ ​impact​ ​design​ ​studio, Designing​ ​the​ ​WE.

 

Fast​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​now,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​the​ ​Civic​ ​Designer​ ​for​ ​Boston’s​ ​Mayor’s​ ​Office​ ​of​ ​New​ ​Urban Mechanics​ ​(MONUM),​ ​the​ ​city’s​ ​civic​ ​innovation​ ​team.​ ​Our​ ​team​ ​is​ ​made​ ​up​ ​of​ ​folks​ ​from​ ​all walks​ ​of​ ​life.​ ​​ ​Our​ ​work​ ​emerges​ ​from​ ​mayoral​ ​priorities,​ ​what​ ​we’re​ ​hearing​ ​from​ ​residents​ ​and the​ ​departments​ ​we​ ​collaborate​ ​with.​ ​We​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​building​ ​things​ ​people​ ​want​ ​and​ ​need, making​ ​the​ ​city​ ​more​ ​delightful​ ​and​ ​asking​ ​a​ ​new​ ​set​ ​of​ ​questions​ ​about​ ​the​ ​role​ ​of​ ​city government.​ ​On​ ​any​ ​given​ ​day​ ​we’re​ ​prototyping​ ​projects​ ​in​ ​the​ ​streetscape,​ ​housing, education,​ ​civic​ ​engagement​ ​and​ ​more.​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​a​ ​member​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MONUM​ ​team​ ​for​ ​a​ ​little​ ​over two​ ​years​ ​now.​ ​My​ ​role​ ​was​ ​a​ ​new​ ​one​ ​for​ ​the​ ​team​ ​and​ ​the​ ​city​ ​as​ ​it​ ​centers​ ​around​ ​design​ ​as a​ ​visual​ ​practice​ ​and​ ​one​ ​of​ ​design​ ​research​ ​and​ ​strategy.​ ​More​ ​importantly​ ​is​, ​the​ ​focus​ ​on deepening​ ​our​ ​understanding​ ​of​ ​the​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​Boston’s​ ​resident​ ​and​ ​visitors​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to thoughtfully​ ​design​ ​with​ ​and​ ​for​ ​them.  

 

This​ ​past​ ​year​ ​I’ve​ ​revisited​ ​teaching,​ ​this​ ​time​ ​focusing​ ​on​ ​design​ ​research​ ​with​ ​undergraduate design​ ​students.​ ​I’ve​ ​also​ ​continued​ ​my​ ​personal​ ​design​ ​and​ ​illustration​ ​practice​ ​and​ ​it​ ​has allowed​ ​me​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​organizations​ ​on​ ​projects​ ​that​ ​range​ ​from​ ​playful​ ​to​ ​strategic. My​ ​work​ ​has​ ​been​ ​on​ ​displayed​ ​in​ ​several​ ​galleries​ ​in​ ​the​ ​past​ ​year​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​been​ ​a​ ​whirlwind seeing​ ​the​ ​different​ ​directions​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​able​ ​to​ ​explore.​ ​Improving​ ​the​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​everyday life​ ​has​ ​been​ ​a​ ​goal,​ ​art​ ​and​ ​design​ ​has​ ​the​ ​capacity​ ​to​ ​do​ ​that​ ​in​ ​an​ ​array​ ​of​ ​ways.​ ​I’ve​ ​been trying​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​my​ ​practice​ ​both​ ​within​ ​my​ ​work​ ​at​ ​City​ ​Hall​ ​and​ ​as​ ​an​ ​artist​ ​and​ ​designer​ ​in​ ​a broader​ ​context.

Sabrina’s talent for visual solution runs far and wide. From public art to civic design to illustration, her work focuses on the “how” of communication and engagement.

Your​ ​career​ ​has​ ​crossed​ ​many​ ​platforms​ ​from​ ​illustration​ ​to​ ​civic​ ​design,​ ​how​ ​did​ ​the intersection​ ​of​ ​all​ ​these​ ​media​ ​come​ ​about?​ ​How​ ​have​ ​these​ ​experiences​ ​contributed​ ​to your​ ​efforts​ ​in​ ​social​ ​engagement?

 

Art​ ​was​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​my​ ​life​ ​from​ ​a​ ​very​ ​early​ ​age.​ ​You’d​ ​find​ ​me​ ​doodling​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​the​ ​tv,​ ​making everything​ ​from​ ​food​ ​to​ ​household​ ​goods​ ​for​ ​my​ ​action​ ​figures​ ​and​ ​dolls​ ​out​ ​of​ ​crayola​ ​model magic​ ​or​ ​illustrating​ ​holiday​ ​cards​ ​for​ ​classmates,​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​family​ ​members.​ ​I​ ​went​ ​to​ ​a technical​ ​high​ ​school​ ​and​ ​found​ ​myself​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Graphic​ ​Communications​ ​Department.​ ​This​ ​meant I​ ​was​ ​learning​ ​how​ ​to​ ​operate​ ​a​ ​press,​ ​use​ ​desktop​ ​publishing​ ​tools​ ​like​ ​QuarkXpress​ ​and​ ​Adobe, and​ ​creating​ ​visual​ ​art​ ​with​ ​ink​ ​or​ ​pastels​ ​among​ ​other​ ​mediums.​ ​During​ ​my​ ​final​ ​years​ ​exploring art​ ​and​ ​design​ ​as​ ​a​ ​practice​ ​at​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school​ ​I​ ​began​ ​working​ ​as​ ​a​ ​graphic​ ​design​ ​and​ ​video production​ ​teaching​ ​assistant​ ​at​ ​Movement​ ​City,​ ​an​ ​arts​ ​based​ ​youth​ ​development​ ​program,​ ​I also​ ​became​ ​a​ ​member​ ​of​ ​the​ ​green​ ​team​ ​at​ ​Groundwork​ ​Lawrence,​ ​an​ ​environmental advocacy​ ​non-profit​ ​and​ ​had​ ​a​ ​co-op​ ​position​ ​as​ ​a​ ​prepress​ ​operator​ ​for​ ​a​ ​box​ ​company. Experiencing​ ​each​ ​one​ ​of​ ​those​ ​spaces​ ​simultaneously​ ​during​ ​those​ ​years​ ​made​ ​me​ ​itch​ ​to draw​ ​the​ ​connection​ ​between​ ​the​ ​things​ ​I​ ​loved:​ ​art​ ​and​ ​design,​ ​youth​ ​and​ ​community development,​ ​social​ ​and​ ​environmental​ ​justice​ ​and​ ​the​ ​“behind​ ​the​ ​scenes.”​ ​My​ ​journey​ ​to MassArt​ ​carried​ ​those​ ​same​ ​desires.

 

In​ ​undergrad​ ​I​ ​was​ ​heavily​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​student​ ​leadership​ ​and​ ​student​ ​groups​ ​while​ ​working​ ​a part​ ​time​ ​job.​ ​Though​ ​it​ ​was​ ​sometimes​ ​difficult​ ​to​ ​balance​ ​everything​, ​I​ ​was​ ​passionate​ ​to​ ​keep those​ ​threads​ ​alive.​ ​I​ ​learned​ ​so​ ​much​ ​about​ ​process,​ ​research​ ​and​ ​making​ ​from​ ​my​ ​design program.​ ​I​ ​also​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​issues​ ​of​ ​identity,​ ​culture​ ​and​ ​representation​ ​—​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​my work​ ​in​ ​industrial​ ​design​ ​to​ ​respond​ ​to​ ​things​ ​like​ ​trauma,​ ​interdependence​ ​and​ ​agency.​ ​My degree​ ​project​ ​strayed​ ​from​ ​a​ ​traditional​ ​product​ ​and​ ​became​ ​about​ ​an​ ​experience.​ ​All​ ​of​ ​my extracurriculars​ ​sustained​ ​my​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​find​ ​an​ ​application​ ​for​ ​the​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​art​ ​and​ ​design​ ​that remained​ ​true​ ​to​ ​my​ ​values.  

 

When​ ​I​ ​made​ ​my​ ​way​ ​to​ ​grad​ ​school​ ​I​ ​was​ ​pushed​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​more​ ​critical​ ​lens​ ​on​ ​my​ ​practice and​ ​assert​ ​my​ ​role​ ​in​ ​helping​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​more​ ​just​ ​city.​ ​My​ ​final​ ​project​ ​centered​ ​around​ ​building an​ ​archive​ ​of​ ​narrative​ ​around​ ​urban​ ​development.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​repurposing​ ​creative methods​ ​and​ ​tools​ ​from​ ​the​ ​practices​ ​to​ ​allow​ ​people​ ​to​ ​view​ ​the​ ​city​ ​through​ ​a​ ​different​ ​lens and​ ​work​ ​toward​ ​being​ ​empowered​ ​have​ ​a​ ​say​ ​in​ ​what​ ​happens.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​fantastic​ ​echoing​ ​of where​ ​my​ ​interests​ ​lied.​ ​I​ ​didn’t​ ​want​ ​to​ ​solely​ ​make​ ​things​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​do​ ​it​ ​collaboratively, provide​ ​tools​ ​to​ ​make​ ​opportunities​ ​accessible​ ​and​ ​build​ ​the​ ​collective​ ​reflex​ ​in​ ​understanding the​ ​world​ ​around​ ​us​ ​to​ ​address​ ​some​ ​of​ ​our​ ​biggest​ ​concerns.​ ​Simultaneously​ ​my​ ​artwork​ ​has consistently​ ​been​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​people​ ​and​ ​narratives.​ ​The​ ​need​ ​to​ ​center​ ​the​ ​work​ ​on​ ​people​ ​is​ ​a guiding​ ​force.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​so​ ​many​ ​moments​ ​in​ ​my​ ​journey​ ​that​ ​have​ ​pointed​ ​to​ ​what​ ​feels​ ​like was​ ​always​ ​there.

“​The​ ​need​ ​to​ ​center​ ​the​ ​work​ ​on​ ​people​ ​is​ ​a guiding​ ​force.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​so​ ​many​ ​moments​ ​in​ ​my​ ​journey​ ​that​ ​have​ ​pointed​ ​to​ ​what​ ​feels​ ​like was​ ​always​ ​there. ”

​How​ ​has​ ​your​ ​creative​ ​process​ ​changed​ ​over​ ​time?

 

I’m​ ​always​ ​doodling​ ​whenever​ ​I​ ​get​ ​the​ ​chance!​ ​In​ ​terms​ ​of​ ​my​ ​illustration​ ​work​ ​I’m​ ​always​ ​trying new​ ​mediums​ ​—​ ​the​ ​reasons​ ​range​ ​from​ ​curiosity​ ​to​ ​convenience.​ ​Listening,​ ​storytelling,​ ​and asking​ ​questions​ ​is​ ​a​ ​core​ ​part​ ​of​ ​my​ ​process​ ​both​ ​as​ ​a​ ​designer,​ ​an​ ​artist​ ​and​ ​a​ ​researcher. When​ ​I’m​ ​working​ ​to​ ​visually​ ​design​ ​something​ ​with​ ​a​ ​collaborator​ ​or​ ​for​ ​a​ ​client​ ​I​ ​ask​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of questions​​ ​to​ ​help​ ​ground​ ​me​ ​in​ ​the​ ​context​ ​and​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​the​ ​piece.​

 

​Whether​ ​it​ ​be introspective​ ​to​ ​my​ ​personal​ ​practice​ ​like:​ ​“How​ ​can​ ​I​ ​depict​ ​this​ ​emotion​ ​in​ ​a​ ​drawing”​ ​or​ ​part​ ​of my​ ​practice​ ​at​ ​work​ ​as​ ​a​ ​civic​ ​designer​ ​like:​ ​“How​ ​might​ ​we​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​residents​ ​have​ ​access​ ​to welcoming,​ ​connected​ ​and​ ​creative​ ​spaces​ ​in​ ​our​ ​city”,​ ​I​ ​often​ ​start​ ​from​ ​a​ ​point​ ​of​ ​inquiry. Some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​things​ ​we’re​ ​working​ ​on​ ​aren’t​ ​always​ ​tangible​ ​and​ ​clear—​ ​especially​ ​when​ ​you’re working​ ​with​ ​systems.​ ​So​ ​as​ ​we’re​ ​working​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​invisible​ ​visible​ ​and​ ​then​ ​address​ ​it —wonder​ ​and​ ​curiosity​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​valuing​ ​context​ ​is​ ​crucial.

I’m​ ​always​ ​picking​ ​up​ ​new​ ​things​ ​to​ ​try​ ​from​ ​folks​ ​around​ ​me.​ ​I​ ​do​ ​think​ ​that​ ​think​ ​my​ ​quest​ ​to find​ ​a​ ​thread​ ​between​ ​the​ ​things​ ​I​ ​was​ ​passionate​ ​about​ ​has​ ​prepared​ ​me​ ​for​ ​this​ ​quest​ ​of navigating​ ​the​ ​complexity​ ​of​ ​everyday​ ​life.

 

 

​What's​ ​the​ ​best​ ​piece​ ​of​ ​advice​ ​you've​ ​ever​ ​heard?

 

One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​pieces​ ​of​ ​advice​ ​I’ve​ ​heard​ ​was:​ ​“You​ ​can’t​ ​get​ ​what​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​ask​ ​for.” Although​ ​I​ ​heard​ ​this​ ​advice​ ​in​ ​reference​ ​to​ ​salary​ ​negotiation​ ​I’ve​ ​referenced​ ​it​ ​to​ ​many​ ​other aspects​ ​of​ ​my​ ​life.​ ​It​ ​signifies​ ​to​ ​me​ ​the​ ​call​ ​to​ ​take​ ​a​ ​risk​ ​and​ ​put​ ​yourself​ ​out​ ​there.​ ​If​ ​it​ ​is​ ​about a​ ​question,​ ​the​ ​worst​ ​that​ ​can​ ​happen​ ​is​ ​receiving​ ​a​ ​no.​ ​In​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​design,​ ​a​ ​former​ ​professor and​ ​mentor​, ​Judith​ ​Anderson​ ​once​ ​told​ ​me​ ​that​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​great​ ​designer​ ​I​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​be comfortable​ ​with​ ​ambiguity.​ ​I​ ​think​ ​that’s​ ​also​ ​an​ ​important​ ​thing​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​in​ ​mind.  

october 2017
illustrator
civil designer
sabrinadorsainvil.com

Who​ ​are​ ​some​ ​artists​ ​that​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​have​ ​impacted​ ​your​ ​own​ ​practice?​ ​

I​ ​am​ ​constantly​ ​being​ ​inspired​ ​by​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​folks.​ ​Sometimes​ ​I​ ​get​ ​the​ ​pleasure​ ​of​ ​working​ ​with them!​ ​I’d​ ​be​ ​lying​ ​if​ ​I​ ​said​ ​there​ ​wasn’t​ ​an​ ​ever​ ​growing​ ​list​ ​of​ ​people​ ​or artists​ ​​that​ ​push​ ​me everyday​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​the​ ​work​ ​that​ ​I​ ​do.​ ​I​ ​keep​ ​company​ ​with​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​people​ ​who​ ​have​ ​me​ ​in awe​ ​more​ ​often​ ​than​ ​not.  

 

I’d​ ​say​ ​that​ ​I’m​ ​currently​ ​inspired​ ​by​ ​several​ ​artists​ ​and​ ​social​ ​practitioners​ ​like​ ​Elisa​ ​Hamilton whose​ ​inquiry​ ​based​ ​work​ ​touches​ ​on​ ​the​ ​invisible​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​the​ ​everyday.​ ​I​ ​recall​ ​Candy Chang’s​ ​work​ ​as​ ​being​ ​a​ ​jumping​ ​off​ ​point​ ​for​ ​me​ ​to​ ​attend​ ​grad​ ​school​ ​and​ ​focus​ ​in​ ​on​ ​cities and​ ​collective​ ​social​ ​psychology.​ ​Folks​ ​like​ ​Hank​ ​Willis​ ​Thomas​ ​allowed​ ​me​ ​early​ ​in​ ​college​ ​to cast​ ​a​ ​critical​ ​eye​ ​at​ ​how​ ​black​ ​bodies​ ​exist​ ​and​ ​are​ ​objectified​ ​in​ ​our​ ​society.​ ​Van​ ​Jones​ ​was​ ​a figure​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school​ ​that​ ​pushed​ ​me​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​a​ ​different​ ​set​ ​of​ ​questions​ ​about​ ​how​ ​we​ ​aim​ ​to

address​ ​some​ ​of​ ​our​ ​most​ ​complex​ ​issues​ ​like​ ​climate​ ​change​ ​and​ ​the​ ​mass​ ​incarceration​ ​of black​ ​and​ ​brown​ ​people​ ​of​ ​color.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been​ ​inspired​ ​by​ ​the​ ​group​ ​Climbing​ ​Poetree​ ​at​ ​a​ ​young age​ ​to​ ​use​ ​my​ ​voice​ ​and​ ​lift​ ​up​ ​others​ ​around​ ​me.​ ​But​ ​again,​ ​I’d​ ​say​ ​that​ ​everyday​ ​I’m​ ​blown away​ ​by​ ​so​ ​many​ ​activists,​ ​social​ ​scientists,​ ​educators,​ ​musicians,​ ​you​ ​name​ ​it.​ ​I​ ​openly welcome​ ​inspiration​ ​wherever​ ​it​ ​may​ ​lie.

 

 

What​ ​have​ ​been​ ​some​ ​of​ ​your​ ​biggest​ ​strengths​ ​and​ ​struggles​ ​during​ ​your​ ​career​ ​so far?

 

Some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​struggles​ ​I’ve​ ​had​ ​in​ ​my​ ​career​ ​so​ ​far​ ​has​ ​been​ ​my​ ​anxiety​ ​and​ ​confidence. Mental​ ​health​ ​is​ ​really​ ​important​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​so​ ​often​ ​overlooked.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​in​ ​every​ ​aspect​ ​of​ ​my​ ​work and​ ​practice​ ​struggled​ ​to​ ​believe​ ​in​ ​myself​ ​and​ ​fight,​ ​often​ ​physical,​ ​manifestations​ ​of​ ​my​ ​fear​ ​of failure.​ ​Those​ ​feelings​ ​are​ ​very​ ​real​ ​and​ ​sometime​ ​debilitating​ ​but​ ​the​ ​support​ ​of​ ​loved​ ​ones​ ​has been​ ​incredibly​ ​important.​ ​The​ ​stubbornness​ ​of​ ​my​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​positive​ ​impact​ ​on​ ​the​ ​world and​ ​being​ ​my​ ​whole​ ​self​ ​is​ ​a​ ​tension​ ​I​ ​live​ ​with​ ​everyday.​ ​​

 

​With​ ​that​ ​said,​ ​my​ ​artwork​ ​and personal​ ​practice​ ​interrogates​ ​similar​ ​contexts​ ​I​ ​am​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​grapple​ ​with.​ ​In​ ​order​ ​to​ ​be​ ​my whole​ ​self​ ​I​ ​let​ ​my​ ​honest​ ​feelings​ ​show​ ​up​ ​in​ ​my​ ​work​ ​and​ ​try​ ​to​ ​see​ ​vulnerability​ ​as​ ​an​ ​asset. In​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​my​ ​strengths,​ ​I​ ​for​ ​sure​ ​have​ ​an​ ​unwavering​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​follow​ ​what​ ​I’m​ ​passionate​ ​in and​ ​connect​ ​the​ ​dots​ ​between​ ​them.​ ​I​ ​try​ ​my​ ​best​ ​to​ ​admit​ ​ignorance​ ​and,​ ​though​ ​difficult, operate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​ambiguity​ ​and​ ​complexity​ ​of​ ​our​ ​realities.​ ​I​ ​ask​ ​questions​ ​of​ ​the​ ​world​ ​around​ ​me and​ ​reframe​ ​things.​ ​I​ ​strive​ ​to​ ​be​ ​good​ ​storyteller,​ ​a​ ​listener​ ​and​ ​collaborator.

What's in your margins?

I​ ​love​ ​making​ ​lists​ ​(for​ ​better​ ​or​ ​for​ ​worse).​ ​They’re​ ​often​ ​written​ ​to-do​ ​lists​ ​in​ ​my​ ​notebook​ ​or​ ​on post-its​ ​with​ ​the​ ​occasional​ ​illustrated​ ​packing​ ​list​ ​floating​ ​around.​ ​Sketching​ ​and​ ​doodling​ ​is really​ ​important​ ​for​ ​me​ ​and​ ​I​ ​often​ ​start​ ​with​ ​analog​ ​forms​ ​of​ ​brainstorming​ ​when​ ​I’m​ ​working​ ​on a​ ​design​ ​project.  

 

It’s​ ​hard​ ​sometimes​ ​to​ ​find​ ​time​ ​to​ ​self​ ​care​ ​or​ ​creativity​ ​in​ ​the​ ​form​ ​of​ ​art​ ​making​ ​so​ ​I’ve​ ​tried​ ​a couple​ ​strategies​ ​to​ ​lower​ ​the​ ​barrier​ ​to​ ​making​ ​time​ ​to​ ​draw​ ​and​ ​illustrate.​ ​A​ ​big​ ​thing​ ​I’ve​ ​been doing​ ​for​ ​few​ ​years​ ​now​ ​is​ ​visually​ ​scribing​ ​meetings,​ ​conferences​ ​and​ ​presentations​ ​I​ ​attend. These​ ​days​ ​everywhere​ ​I​ ​go​ ​I​ ​carry​ ​a​ ​notebook,​ ​a​ ​book​ ​(currently​ ​Nayyirah​ ​Waheed’s​ ​Salt), painting​ ​supplies​ ​(a​ ​pocket​ ​size​ ​watercolor​ ​set,​ ​paint​ ​brush​ ​pens​ ​and​ ​sketchbook)​ ​or​ ​embroidery supplies​ ​for​ ​commutes​ ​where​ ​I​ ​can.​ ​My​ ​bag​ ​can​ ​get​ ​heavy​ ​but​ ​I​ ​like​ ​being​ ​prepared​ ​for​ ​any making​ ​opportunities.  

 

A​ ​crucial​ ​part​ ​of​ ​my​ ​process​ ​that​ ​doesn’t​ ​show​ ​up​ ​in​ ​a​ ​physical​ ​form​ ​is​ ​constantly​ ​making​ ​the effort​ ​to​ ​be​ ​reflective​ ​and​ ​ask​ ​who​ ​else​ ​should​ ​be​ ​at​ ​the​ ​table.

Edited by Joshua Duttweiler

What project are you especially excited about right now?

I’m​ ​really​ ​excited​ ​about​ ​the​ ​work​ ​we’re​ ​doing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​mechanics​ ​in​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​“Third​ ​Spaces.”​ ​The area​ ​emerged​ ​from​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of​ ​engagements​ ​in​ ​our​ ​housing​ ​work​ ​that​ ​​asked​ ​residents​ ​the question​ ​“what​ ​makes​ ​home,​ ​home?”​ ​People​ ​referenced​ ​feelings​ ​like​ ​belonging​ ​and​ ​the​ ​desire for​ ​access​ ​to​ ​an​ ​array​ ​of​ ​things​ ​that​ ​go​ ​beyond​ ​the​ ​physical​ ​walls​ ​and​ ​roof​ ​over​ ​their​ ​head.​ ​We’d interpreted​ ​that​ ​as​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​investigate​ ​what​ ​the​ ​city​ ​could​ ​do​ ​beyond​ ​solely transactional​ ​or​ ​economics​ ​value​ ​adds.​ ​How​ ​could​ ​we​ ​amplify​ ​or​ ​support​ ​the​ ​other​ ​ways​ ​our​ ​city becomes​ ​a​ ​place​ ​folks​ ​call​ ​home?​ ​We’re​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​civic​ ​helming​ ​spaces​ ​that​ ​support​ ​folks dealing​ ​with​ ​trauma​ ​on​ ​a​ ​social​ ​level,​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​support​ ​meaningful​ ​places​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ ​have been​ ​designed​ ​out​ ​of​ ​or​ ​have​ ​not​ ​been​ ​designed​ ​for​ ​in​ ​the​ ​origins​ ​of​ ​our​ ​cities.

 

In​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​my​ ​personal​ ​illustration​ ​work​ ​I’m​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​projects​ ​around identity​ ​and​ ​representation​ ​of​ ​women​ ​and​ ​people​ ​of​ ​color.​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​chatting​ ​with​ ​friends​ ​about​ ​a side​ ​projects​ ​around​ ​safe​ ​spaces,​ ​microaggressions,​ ​contributions​ ​of​ ​black​ ​and​ ​brown​ ​people​ ​in the​ ​Northeast​ ​and​ ​more​ ​—-​ ​so​ ​many​ ​things​ ​in​ ​the​ ​works,​ ​so​ ​little​ ​time!