Carson Neff: A New Adventure
A month into my residency at People’s Liberty, I’ve:
Animated a short video,
painted on the ceiling of the Globe,
designed a visual system concept,
met the good people at the Know Theatre, We Have Become vikings, Renaissance Covington, and everybody at People’s Liberty and the Haile Foundation,
created a poster with one of my design heroes,
participated in a storytelling workshop,
ate Eli’s bbq,
and designed an instagram ad, all while asking myself: How can I make this neighborhood better than it was when I got here? I think about that every day I’m down here.
This experience is new and exciting for me because of my responsibilities as the design resident. I have the opportunity to truly pull my weight and participate in this community that is rooted in generosity and the willingness to share skills and resources with the world. It feels like my first real design job, when it feels like a job at all.
I think about who I am doing this work for in addition to PL, like our neighbors in OTR, my friends and family, other students, city newcomers and Cincinnatians who have been here forever. I’m finding new ways to tell the story of this place and creating my own projects based on positive experiences I’ve had in the city.
I was inspired by working with Nick Adam in a lot of ways, but mostly by his eagerness to take risks. Leaving a prominent Chicago design firm to teach at RISD and freelance, he chose the path of more resistance, the road less traveled by, in order to grow and just keep learning about the people of the world and the ways we communicate. I was inspired by the way we collaborated on a poster for the Play Library, the upcoming installation in our storefront space at the Globe. We each iterated poster layouts and then swapped files to refine each other’s work. When we checked in with the team, I was blown away by the way he talked about the work. There are multiple levels of meaning in every purposeful design move. His origins in graffiti and his transition to non-destructive forms of public art inspired me to think about the context that art lives in, how art shapes its environment and vice versa. After working with him and feeling the energy of his process, I want to take on as many projects as I can. In the three days he was here, we started and finished a project, encountered logistical problems, and discovered that there are many different potential directions that influence the final deliverables .
Just like Nick's voyage into a new world of design, I feel energized to connect with the community and share my skills and voice with the public to help give people opportunities to share their talents and overcome barriers to creativity that might be holding them back. It's a new adventure for me.