Designed the brand identity and visual system for The Black Woman is God: Assembly of Gods exhibition held at SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, CA. Photos by Emily Monforte.
Viewpoint is a board game designed and developed in response to two previous projects (Percival Magic Cards and Hidden Beauty). Initially, borrowing from board game vernacular (Battleship, Tic Tac Toe and rolling dice), I sought to examine an individual's response to simplified visual symbols.
Each player was given two sets of black and white cards. One set used only pronouns (I, He, She, Me, You, etc.) while the other side used only oppositional words (Alone, There, Beside, Among, etc.). The second set of cards used pronouns (to indicate to the player their outward facing "viewpoint"), while the other side used black and red visuals (to visually convey their "viewpoint" to an opponent).
The object of the game was to have both players interpret the visual card from their opponent and put down a corresponding word on a blank square on their board. By the end the players would a have series of 5 rounds of cards that they could be rearranged and ordered on Board 2 to prompt a new discussion.
Holiday card designed for family and friends.
Tweet Tweet / Cuckoo Cuckoo is a direct response to the racist and misogynistic tweets by President Donald Trump. The frequency of his divisive posts on Twitter, has made his messages hard to avoid and in constant public view. To address this phenomenon, I created a relationship between two onomatopoeic words “tweet” and “cuckoo.” In this piece, the repetition of “tweet” connects with the countless tweets, while “cuckoo” corresponds to Trump’s foolishness. Both words also refer to the distinct sounds made by birds and symbolize the competition of opposing voices in a single space.
Fresh Prince + Martin is a pattern series inspired by the logo identities and opening credits from the popular mid-90’s sitcoms Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. By eliminating the original typography from each logo and maintaining the characteristics of their unique visual language, I developed two new abstract compositions. With these forms, I created two interchangeable repeating patterns that became the basis for textile prints. While the Martin print plays on geometric shapes similar to African Kente cloth, the Fresh Prince print plays off stereotypical urban street graffiti as its cultural reference. The ultimate goal was to translate both onto yardage of fabric, producing a contemporary apparel line including t-shirts, bags, and other printed ephemera.
Broadsheet poster inspired by two sculptures from the RISD Museum Gallery Collection ("African Venus" by Charles Henri Joseph Cordier and the "Bust of Madame Recamier by Joseph Chinard). The project explored the topics of exoticism and beauty in the female form. I wanted to explore the similarities and differences in the material qualities of both bronze and marble sculptures, through folded paper, typography and photographs. The final poster was an 18" x 27" broadsheet poster that folded down into a "6" x 9" rectangle.
Hand silkscreened fabric print inspired by zig zag shapes and alphabet letterforms.
Pattern exploration using custom linoleum cut stamps on recycled cardboard. The pattern was then reproduced and formatted for wrapping paper.
Kindred was an art exhibition that I co-curated with Tia Blassingame. Kindred presents a selection of art and design work from artists who identify as being of African descent. The assembled graduate, undergraduate, and alumni students are among the 83 students on the RISD campus (during the 2014-2015 academic year) who share this African ancestry. The artists featured in the show demonstrate a cross section of ethnic affiliations which include Black, African-American, African American-European,Haitian, Trinidadian-Puerto Rican,Jamaican-Japanese, Caribbean-Filipino, Guinean-American, Nigerian-American, and Swedish-Ugandan. The students work in and outside their formal disciplines to highlightthe complexities of race, identity politics,gender stereotypes, homosexuality, religious freedom, Afro-futurism and the connections between nature, physical objects and the human condition.
Over a 6 month period, we engaged in a process of meeting artists, conducting studio visits and selecting artwork. Through our interviews we began to gain a greater understanding of how race and identity informed and inspired the students’ creative process. Some artists addressed the marginalization felt when race was at the forefront of their work and the cultural implications of privileging race as it could impact their reach to a wider audience.
Through the creation of the branding for the show, wall labels, posters, digital graphics, exhibition catalogs to a coordinated panel discussion with artist talks, I worked to provide an art historical, cultural, and institutional context to the exhibit, in order to create a deeper understanding of themes that were explored in the show.
While visiting the Providence Public Library, I was introduced to the John H. Percival Magic Collection. The collection consists of magic books, articles and other printed ephemera dating back to the early 1920's. In the collection are all the notes, pictures and business contacts that local Providence magician John Percival had amassed throughout his life. The 10 double-sided 6" x 9" cards I designed, were a response to his network of friends and my interpretation of magic and illusion.
Originally apart of a collective publication entitled "d4: Discourse on Visual Culture." The publication included 16 articles on design. I designed Steven Heller's article "That Pesky Television Test Pattern." Each article was folded accordion style and hand assembled in a limited edition of 60.
Print inspired by the powerfully charged illustrations from artist Emory Douglas for the Black Panther Newspaper.
Can I Touch Your Hair? explores the relationship between black women, their hair and the beauty salon. By pairing 30 found images from Black Sophisticates Hair Styles and Care Guide Magazine with an eclectic assortment of audio sounds, this interactive iPad app sheds light on the various supplies and tools needed to achieve certain black hairstyles. In the original photographs, each woman poses in profile or with a 45° tilt of their head on a brightly colored background. Their posture suggests a hyper idealized beauty standard, reinforced with flawless skin and perfectly pinned strands of hair. I cropped these images to just under their eyes, in order to emphasize the complexity of hair textures (natural, straight, weave, loose, curly or kinky) and the intensity of the black female gaze. The app elicits a sense of curiosity and playfulness from its users in order to model the encounter of someone unfamiliar with black hair care.
Upon a single touch of an image, a video is cued and synced to the appearance of image and text fragments as they transition into the scene. Among the text fragments are names of popular black hair products (B&B, Ampro Pro Styl) and the naming system for purchasable packets of hair (1B/Yaki). The last element to transition into the video are the durations of time black women can spend in the salon. By indicating the time in green, the user is also exposed to another layer of information that is sometimes unclear outside of black culture. While some videos are accompanied by music heard in the salon, others are matched with the sound of rain as a metaphor for washing hair or the sound of a frying pan to that of hot comb pulling through the hair.
Poster based on the "First Things First Manifesto" from 1964 and 2000. I hand drew each illustration, based on the various products and objects mentioned in both manifestos. The orange text was then silkscreened on the top layer.
Proposed poster design for a fictitious sculpture exhibition entitled "Sculpting the Ordinary." Inspired by the work of artist Tara Donovan.
The Brands of Hip Hop are a collection of collaged posters inspired by iconic fashion brands mentioned in Hip Hop song lyrics dating from 1986–2014. The visual perception of black culture can be attributed to the complexities within black music, fashion, language, and geographic location. By locating the cultural shifts in media over time, I learn which visual markers have remained the same or have drastically changed. In 2014, I am curious whether contemporary black cultural artifacts and representations are considered to be “post-racial” or still form a racial disconnect for black people. It is in these disconnects, that I find the most important aspect of my design practice: the formation of an alternative narrative that emphasizes voice, space and place. Each poster is 22" x 36."
I was the lead designer on the Our Health California Voters landing page for the 2016 election, while at Blue State Digital. Included are three design iterations of the landing page design. On scroll, users were able to access more information regarding each proposition.
View the live site here
Hand silkscreened fabric print.
Inspired by the graphic representation of Motown artists from the 60's, I developed an interactive website that users can explore to examine artifacts from the past. All posters, photography, video and music were found during my research of this period and highlight the various artists that all had a role in shaping the "Motown Sound."
Video compilation inspired by songs of 12 Motown Record artists and world events from the 1960s.
Proposed poster designs for the performance entitled "Return," by the Rhode Island based dance troupe Aerplaye.
Worked directly with the Senior Designer and Design Director on the website redesign for the 2016 Museum Relaunch. Primary designer for the 2016 redesign of SFMOMA's monthly email newsletter and graphics for their online social media presence.
The Standard English Test Booklet (SET) was a collaborative project with fellow RISD student Oge Mora. Drawing inspiration Vershawn Ashanti Young’s book, Other People’s English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy, our test brings the African-American Vernacular into the standardized testing space and challenges its singular authoritarian voice. In this exploration, we explored the concept of code-switching and code-meshing, the ability to blend different languages from private and public spaces. In our design of the SET, we expanded the notions of what qualifies as English and questioned the existence of a “standard.” Inspired by standardized testing, we wanted to address how your knowledge of "Standard English" often determines your success on tests such as the SAT not necessarily your aptitude.