Brandi Davis

Lately, I have been doing a deep dive into the magazine archives of EBONY and JET. While skimming the masthead of one of the old issues, I stumbled across this week’s guest — Brandi Davis! Brandi served as Johnson Publishing Company’s web designer from 2004-2012, and was front and center at the company’s shift from print to web. Wait until you hear her anecdotes about working there!

While we do spend a good bit of time talking about that portion of her career, we also talked about the importance of Black media online, how she has expanded into doing art therapy, and we dive into Brandi’s latest creative project — her own line of custom apparel inspired by her faith, her life, the culture, and her love for the city of Chicago. Brandi’s drive and tenacity are the keys to her success, and I think after this interview, you will be motivated to conquer your own fears as well!

Vernon Lockhart

Have you picked up on the connection between this month’s guests? It can be easy to look at the advocacy work and projects around diversity in design and think it’s a new movement, but the reality is that the work is built on the shoulders and legacy of Black designers like Vernon Lockhart. As an artist, creative therapist, and the executive director of Project Osmosis, Vernon has worked hard to empower the next generation of designers through education for at least the past 20 years.

We spoke about Vernon’s creative therapy practice, Art on the Loose, and he shared how his time growing up in Chicago, attending SAIC, and becoming involved with the Organization of Black Designers helped build the foundation for Project Osmosis. We also talked about respectability politics, the trap of “diversity”, and his plans for bringing more design education to the south side of Chicago. Vernon Lockhart and his work are a testament to the fact that we all have the human right to be creative!

Antionette Carroll

I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this conversation with Antionette Carroll with you. Longtime listeners of the show may remember her first appearance here back in 2014. In the six years since then, Antionette has risen to become one of the design community’s most outspoken advocates, and one of its fiercest critics. As the founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, her advocacy work has been shared around the world.

This week’s episode is a bit different than usual. You’ll learn about the origins of Creative Reaction Lab, hear about her new venture &Design with Timothy Bardlavens (another past Revision Path guest!), and get some candid talk about the country’s oldest professional organization for designers, AIGA. Antionette is proof that one person can really make an impression in the world through hard work, honesty, and determination!

Shayla Hunter

One thing I love about Shayla Hunter’s story is how it’s never to late to pivot to a new career. By day, she works as a strategist at Egg Strategy, helping clients with solving problems through interviews, focus groups, and research. Outside of work, Shayla is the creator of The 100 Black Females* Project, a creative look at what it means to be a Black woman or girl today.

After starting things off with a quick pandemic/work-from-home update, Shayla shared how she began her career in publishing in NYC during the 2000s, including time during her master’s program at SVA studying under Debbie Millman. Shayla also went into why she shifted her career from visual content to strategy, and talked about how The 100 Black Females* Project came to be. Shayla’s success is a testament to the power of hard work and dedication!

Mitzi Okou

If you attended the inaugural “Where Are The Black Designers?” conference a few months ago, then you’re probably familiar with this week’s guest — Mitzi Okou. This interaction and visual designer made quite the splash this year, and now that the dust has settled from this summer’s event, I figured it would be a great time to have her on Revision Path.

Mitzi talked about growing up in Atlanta and shared how her time as a classical cellist ended up fueling her career in design. We also discussed the Where Are The Black Designers? conference, and Mitzi gave some behind-the-scenes info on how it all came together and what she plans on doing next to keep the momentum going. Mitzi has definitely gotten the attention of the design community, and I’m intrigued to see what her next move will be!