The Great Discontent interviews designer John Maeda about his path in life, his mentors, taking risks, and lots of great stuff. This point about being a part of a community caught my eye.
Is it important to you to be part of a creative community?
Creative or not, it’s important to be in a diverse community with people who have different backgrounds and skills. I think that’s why New York is such a great place to live. There’s so much diversity. I’d rather be a creature in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef that is teeming with life of all kinds than in someone’s pond with carp.
Couldn’t agree more. Limiting your learning environment to those like you limits the amount of things you can learn overall.
If I had to make a shortlist of graphic designers who continually inspire, Michael Cina would be so near the top. He’s not only a designer, he’s an artist, a typographer, you name it he’s probably better at it than you. Recently he had an interview featured on The Great Discontent and it’s a wonderful. My favorite part:
You have to take risks in order to move forward—I feel very passionate about that. I always say that if you feel uncomfortable, then you know you’re doing something right. I’ve recently had a new vision for where I want to go, and I’m going for it. If you don’t have a solid vision for where you want to go, you’re just going to meander around without doing the kind of work you really want to do. Last year I made up my mind to get larger branding jobs, custom typefaces, and more gallery exhibits. This week I landed two gallery shows.
I’ve always thought that with the decreasing readership of print it wasn’t that it needed to keep up with the times but rather retarget itself. It seemed to me that print could be kept alive not by dumbing down but by smartening up and aiming itself at a new audience. You only need to take a look at some of the most recent additions to the magazine world to see I might not be far off. Editors and Designers are putting far more emphasis on creating something that will be read rather than skimmed. Filling a niche for a quality travel magazine aimed at women is SUITCASE, run by 23 year old Editor-in-Chief Serena Guen. With its feet in culture and fashion, SUITCASE has received much accolade and without sounding superfluous looks on track to perhaps become the feminine Monocle.
I spoke to the adventurous and ambitious Serena on the origins of SUITCASE and her outlook on learning and work.
We started TGD as a digital publication, and we’ll continue to release digital issues, however, we’ve always dreamt of making a physical magazine. And now we’re doing it! The Great Discontent Magazine, Issue 1, will be a beautiful way to preserve some of the content we’ve featured online and allow it to be enjoyed virtually anywhere.
The magazine will be a gorgeous, full color piece around 240 pages. It will feature 15 interviews with individuals who have also taken leaps, including Sara Blake, Scott and Vik Harrison of charity: water, James Victore, Zack Arias, Elle Luna, Ike Edeani, Debbie Millman, Joshua Davis, and more! Select interviews will include updates and/or commentary, and we might throw in a surprise or two.
Tina and Ryan are such amazing people and it’s inspiring to see them follow their dreams like this. Supporting people like this is important to our industry as it makes all boats rise. It brings together creatives and makes our digital world a little bit smaller. I think it’s also important to note that the magazine is being designed by the ever-talented Frank Chimero so you know it’ll be beautifully designed.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Great Discontent you can read the interview I did with them from last February by clicking here.
Since graduating three years ago Dan Woodger’s oblong-eyed creations have graced the pages of numerous editorials, like ESPN and The New York Times, and have been part of campaigns for GiffGaff, The Webby Awards, and Oreos. It’s easy to see why. His highly stylized, comic book figures have an all-age appeal to them that’s eager to be snapped by companies large and small to give them the charming and cheeky edge they need.
What I love about his work is the Where’s Wally-esque packed-in nature of his pieces where every element is an illustration in itself. Minimalism isn’t in his repertoire. I spoke to Dan about his work and the role education played in his comeuppance (there’s a theme here!) as well as future projects and how he almost became a golfing instructor, to give you young’uns an insight into the mind of an illustrator.