Have you discovered any common themes in your podcast conversations so far?
“Kansas City” is perhaps an overly obvious answer to this question, but it’s the level of energy that creeps into the conversation when the topic is broached that gets me. The growth and comradeship amongst the local creative scene, finding oneself and true passions within the city limits, and a general excitement for what’s on the horizon for the individuals on our show and the city as a whole, are all things that come up in the dialogue more often than not. Folks are excited to be part of KC at what most view as such a pivotal time for the community.
Apart from the pro-KC theme, it’s been incredible to listen to the triumphs of our guests. When we started the podcast, it was easy for me to think, “oh, hey, look at these successful folks doing really awesome things,” without realizing the hurdles some of them have had to jump to get where they are now. From garage beginnings with freezing inks in the winter, to battling depression while building creative campaigns for the masses, to growing up with confusion and torment for being racially mixed—it’s been incredibly inspiring to listen to these folks talk about pushing through all of that to accomplish their goals and pursue the path they chose to take with their life.
How have you tweaked your format or execution now that you have several sessions under your belt?
I feel like the intentional changes we’ve made have been fairly minimal. We’ve tried to incorporate more variety with the questions that we ask. It was an interesting moment of realization when we started thinking about having a discussion for our audience instead of just having a discussion with our guest(s).
I guess the biggest shift that occurred has been our overarching willingness to cover a broader range of topics. When we started the podcast, we thought our emphasis would be design with a capital “D.” It’s funny how limiting that soon began to feel. Kansas City is a garden that is ripe with endless rows of diverse skills waiting to be sampled. Instead of focusing on the areas we know the most about (graphic design for me, motion design for Steve), we are approaching folks that do things we can learn from and that will nourish our demiurgic lives. We want to be the bridge that connects the various creative fields that often niche together.
As a young designer, how has this project helped your own career?
I’ve always had a passion for design, and a career in that field has always been on the docket to one degree or another. Even as a kid I’d make clip-art greeting cards for my family’s birthdays and anniversaries. I absolutely love design, and I love being part of the podcast. Being so excited by a side project has really made me think differently about the things I’m willing to subject myself to, especially in terms of my career. I know, without a shred of doubt, that I’m in the right field. So if I end up being unhappy with any part of my life, especially when it comes to my job, something has to change. There is no reason I should be unhappy doing something that I love. Period.
In more general terms, CMYKC has been an incredible networking opportunity. New friends have been made, additional side projects have started taking form, and the potential just keeps building. I also run the social media for the podcast, which has really forced me to actively hunt down and participate in creative events around the city; Again growing my network and exposing me to new views of the city.
So what’s next?
We’ve got some really cool folks lined up for the next few episodes, and we are in the early stages of generating some CMYKC merch in conjunction with a few local creatives. Our website is underway (cmykc.com). We hope to have our “About Us” page up soonish, and the goal is to post more behind-the-scenes and in-depth content about our interviews at some point.
We’ve started exploring the possibility of sponsorship for the podcast, which would allow for us to do bigger and better things with our merch and site.
We started a monthly meetup series called Review & Brew where local motion designers and animators can gather to discuss their work/inspirations/technical methods amongst like-minded folks. One of the things I’ve missed most about being in school is the lack of readily available creatives to bounce my ideas off of, and since several motion designers in town have mentioned the chagrin that this has caused them as well, we thought we’d test the waters with Review & Brew. The January edition went well, and we are excited to watch that group grow. The next R&B will be at Thou Mayest on Saturday, February 28th at 5:00pm. Folks that attend are welcome to bring any work in progress for critique, technical brain-picking, etc.
What is your latest epiphany?
For me, it comes down to “intention and consciousness.” At the moment, I am completely stuck on paying strict attention to the things that I do, the thoughts that I have, the people I hang out with, and the way I treat myself and others. I’m trying to be as deliberate with my decisions as possible. I analyze the things that are happening and try to pick the best course of action moving forward. I’ve spent so much of my life being miserable over small things that I either could or could not control, but it’s so much easier to be happy than I previously thought. You obviously can’t change everything that exists externally from yourself, but you can change how you react and interact with those things. Life is just an extended exercise in intention and consciousness. The more that you pay attention, and the more deliberate you are with your life, the easier happiness can come.