Mike Nicholls

As we wind down this year’s Black History Month (and our anniversary month — 11 years!), we’ve got a super-sized episode with someone I’ve wanted to have on the podcast for a long time — the one and only Mike Nicholls. Mike is an award-winning storyteller with deep roots in hip-hop culture and design, and is probably most well-known for creating Umber — the design and culture magazine that highlights the global perspectives of Black people and POC from around the world.

Mike talked about how his love for magazines inspired him to create Umber, and shared some of the triumphs and challenges he’s faced over the years as the brand has evolved from a magazine into a media platform. He also spoke about his time as a designer in Atlanta, Philly, and Chicago, how Oakland inspires his work, and talked about how being a designer and a hip-hop artist helps keep his artistic integrity intact.

For Mike, his creative expression is about more than just making ends meet — it’s about creating with a purpose and about telling stories that resonate on a deeper level and embrace the authenticity of Black and brown experiences!

Sponsored by Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit is a strategy and design firm committed to designing a more inclusive and equitable world. They are always looking to expand their roster of freelance design consultants in the U.S., particularly brand strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and Web developers.

If you know how to deliver excellent creative work reliably, and enjoy the autonomy of a virtual-based, freelance life (with no non-competes), check them out at brevityandwit.com.

Sponsored by School of Visual Arts

The BFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts consistently produces innovative and acclaimed work that is rooted in a strong foundational understanding of visual communication. It encourages creativity through cutting-edge tools, visionary design techniques, and offers burgeoning creatives a space to find their voice.

Students in BFA Advertising are prepared for success in the dynamic advertising industry in a program led by faculty from New York’s top ad agencies. Situated at the center of the advertising capital of the world, the program inspires the next generation of creative thinkers and elite professionals to design the future.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for over seven decades. Comprising 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and more than 41,000 alumni from 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.

Katrina Lenzly

I had such a blast chopping it up with the extremely talented Katrina Lenzly. Not only is she an award-winning art director who has done incredible creative work for big brands such as HBO, the NBA, and The Coca-Cola Company, but she’s also a public speaker, and a neo-soul hip-hop artist known as King Cooley. (And I thought I did a lot!) We had an incredibly deep and candid conversation about Black cultural expression, being a working designer, and a lot more.

Katrina talked about growing up on the southside of Atlanta, and shared how she made her way to Savannah College of Art and Design and eventually found her design voice in an unlikely place — a skate shop! We also talked about the realities of advocating for Black-centric narratives and DEI initiatives in the design space, the ebb and flow of support for Black creatives after the summer of 2020, and the power of intention.

This interview with Katrina was really a full-circle moment for both of us, so I hope this conversation inspires you to forge your own path in your creative career!

Sponsored by Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit is a strategy and design firm committed to designing a more inclusive and equitable world. They are always looking to expand their roster of freelance design consultants in the U.S., particularly brand strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and Web developers.

If you know how to deliver excellent creative work reliably, and enjoy the autonomy of a virtual-based, freelance life (with no non-competes), check them out at brevityandwit.com.

Sponsored by School of Visual Arts

The BFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts consistently produces innovative and acclaimed work that is rooted in a strong foundational understanding of visual communication. It encourages creativity through cutting-edge tools, visionary design techniques, and offers burgeoning creatives a space to find their voice.

Students in BFA Advertising are prepared for success in the dynamic advertising industry in a program led by faculty from New York’s top ad agencies. Situated at the center of the advertising capital of the world, the program inspires the next generation of creative thinkers and elite professionals to design the future.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for over seven decades. Comprising 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and more than 41,000 alumni from 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.

Mitzi Okou

When it comes to Mitzi Okou, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. She’s a visual and interaction designer, yes, but in addition to that, she’s the founder of Where Are The Black Designers? — a conference that started in 2020 and since then has evolved into an international, volunteer-run, nonprofit design advocacy organization.

Our conversation began with a bit of catching up, then we spent a lot of time talking about what’s happened with WATBD (and the world) since the summer of 2020. Mitzi and I also discussed what it means to sustain yourself doing community work, the current state of DEI and what it means for Black designers, and she shared a bit about what’s in store for the future of WATBD.

Mitzi has made tremendous strides in the design community in a very short period of time, which is a testament to her drive, foresight, and willpower! I can’t wait to see what she’ll accomplish next!

Sponsored by Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit is a strategy and design firm committed to designing a more inclusive and equitable world. They are always looking to expand their roster of freelance design consultants in the U.S., particularly brand strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and Web developers.

If you know how to deliver excellent creative work reliably, and enjoy the autonomy of a virtual-based, freelance life (with no non-competes), check them out at brevityandwit.com.

Sponsored by School of Visual Arts

The BFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts consistently produces innovative and acclaimed work that is rooted in a strong foundational understanding of visual communication. It encourages creativity through cutting-edge tools, visionary design techniques, and offers burgeoning creatives a space to find their voice.

Students in BFA Advertising are prepared for success in the dynamic advertising industry in a program led by faculty from New York’s top ad agencies. Situated at the center of the advertising capital of the world, the program inspires the next generation of creative thinkers and elite professionals to design the future.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for over seven decades. Comprising 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and more than 41,000 alumni from 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.

A Special Announcement

Today’s episode features an update from our 2023 fundraising campaign, as well as news on the future of Revision Path.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has helped support Revision Path over the years — the guests, the sponsors, the supports, and the listeners.

Sponsored by Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit is a strategy and design firm committed to designing a more inclusive and equitable world. They are always looking to expand their roster of freelance design consultants in the U.S., particularly brand strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and Web developers.

If you know how to deliver excellent creative work reliably, and enjoy the autonomy of a virtual-based, freelance life (with no non-competes), check them out at brevityandwit.com.

Sponsored by School of Visual Arts

The BFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts consistently produces innovative and acclaimed work that is rooted in a strong foundational understanding of visual communication. It encourages creativity through cutting-edge tools, visionary design techniques, and offers burgeoning creatives a space to find their voice.

Students in BFA Advertising are prepared for success in the dynamic advertising industry in a program led by faculty from New York’s top ad agencies. Situated at the center of the advertising capital of the world, the program inspires the next generation of creative thinkers and elite professionals to design the future.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for over seven decades. Comprising 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and more than 41,000 alumni from 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.

Kyra Wells

I’ve been a huge proponent of the Cleveland creative community since starting this podcast — seriously, go back to the early early episodes — and Kyra Wells is continuing the legacy of hard work, perseverance, and great design that only comes from the 216. Kyra is a true creative professional, whether it’s through her own studio Seven Pillars Design Co., teaching at Cuyahoga Community College, leading campaigns as a creative marketing designer at American Greetings, or through her community efforts as co-president of AIGA Cleveland.

We talked about both her day job and her freelance work, and she shared how both experiences have shaped her voice and find her calling as a designer. She also told her story of growing up in Cleveland, attending Tri-C before then going to Cleveland State University, and even spoke a bit about the role of AIGA for the modern designer.

Kyra’s enthusiasm and passion for supporting young designers and helping them overcome self-doubt is truly inspiring, so if you’re looking for a little pep talk at the start of the year, then you’re in the right place. Thanks to Anne H. Berry for the introduction!

Sponsored by Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit

Brevity & Wit is a strategy and design firm committed to designing a more inclusive and equitable world. They are always looking to expand their roster of freelance design consultants in the U.S., particularly brand strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and Web developers.

If you know how to deliver excellent creative work reliably, and enjoy the autonomy of a virtual-based, freelance life (with no non-competes), check them out at brevityandwit.com.

Sponsored by School of Visual Arts

The BFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts consistently produces innovative and acclaimed work that is rooted in a strong foundational understanding of visual communication. It encourages creativity through cutting-edge tools, visionary design techniques, and offers burgeoning creatives a space to find their voice.

Students in BFA Advertising are prepared for success in the dynamic advertising industry in a program led by faculty from New York’s top ad agencies. Situated at the center of the advertising capital of the world, the program inspires the next generation of creative thinkers and elite professionals to design the future.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for over seven decades. Comprising 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and more than 41,000 alumni from 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.