brandon Viney

If you’ve seen either the the “Black Girl Magic” video or the Black History Month video this year from Google, then you’re already intimately acquainted with the work of Brandon Viney, group creative lead at Google Brand Studio. He heads up the creative agency inside Google that uses data from the search engine to produce powerful ad spots like these (and many more).

Brandon gave a peek behind the curtain on his creative process when starting new projects, and talked about the Google Brand Studios Fellowship Program and shared what Google looks for when bringing on new talent. He also shared growing up in the Blue Ridge Appalachian mountains of Virginia, attending VCU’s world-renowned Brandcenter, and reflected back on his time working in advertising at Wieden + Kennedy. Brandon is definitely one of the most down-to-earth and humble guests I’ve had on the show in some time, and I hope his story inspires you to push the boundaries of your creativity!

Malika Reid

As we slide into the final month of this year, I caught up with the dynamic Malika Reid, art director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners. While her stomping grounds are usually in the Bay Area, Malika was down in Tulum, Mexico for a much-needed respite from the U.S. (I know that’s right.)

Malika talked about her day-to-day work at GS&P, and shared how her background growing up in south Florida among Caribbean family members and community helped shape her creative approach. She also spoke about how she first became interested in advertising, working with nonprofits, and and growing into her own unique voice. According to Malika, anyone can chart their own path, and her life and career are living proof of that!

Bennie F. Johnson

For our 375th episode, I had the opportunity to sit down with Bennie F. Johnson, the new executive director of AIGA, the professional organization for design. As the first Black executive director in AIGA’s 100+ year history, Bennie is taking on a huge responsibility. When I asked him how he felt about this, he gave me two words: “boldly hopeful!”

Bennie talked about what attracted him to this role, and how he’s managed to grow into it during this tumultuous year. We also discussed a number of other topics, including AIGA and today’s modern designer, diversity and inclusion, as well as some of this year’s recent public exits from members. Bennie is working hard on building (and rebuilding) AIGA, and I’m glad we are having this conversation on Revision Path!

Mark Smith

The journey of a creative is never a straightforward path, and Mark Smith knows this well. As the head of design of Studio Mark Smith, he’s went from designing t-shirts and textiles in NYC for urban apparel brands like Avirex to studying design at Auburn University to serving as the head of idea and innovation for iconic luxury brand Swarovski. Whoa!

Mark and I talked about his current project — a collection of jewelry — and he spoke about his time working in Austria and Denmark. We also discussed his time at Pratt Institute in the 1990s and how that brought him to southern Alabama and the creation of DesignSeed, a project to help leverage local resources to create design-based startups. Mark also spoke about redefining the concept of luxury in our current pandemic times, the challenges of designing for an international audience, and what success looks like for him now at this stage of his career. From the country to Copenhagen, Mark Smith is a true design visionary!

Dana James Mwangi

Dana James Mwangi has really helped put Memphis, TN on the map when it comes to design and the creative community. As a web and branding consultant, Dana helps companies and creative entrepreneurs reach the next level of their business through her agency, Cheers Creative. But as you’ll hear in our interview, Dana is all about striving for excellence while also knowing your value and taking care of yourself.

We talked about how she started Cheers Creative, and walked me through her process for beginning new projects. She also shared some great tips for entrepreneurs on pricing and business, including how she’s kept business booming through the pandemic. Dana also reflected on her early career, spoke on how she built up her confidence as a businesswoman, and spoke on what she wants to do in the next five years. Dana James Mwangi — remember that name, because you’ll definitely hear more about her in the future!