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If you’ve read USA Weekend magazine in your Sunday paper, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen Leon Lawrence III’s amazing work. As USA Weekend‘s design director, he’s worked with photographers, copywriters, and other fellow creatives to design the magazine from top to bottom for almost 15 years.

We talked about Leon’s everyday work with the magazine, along with his beginnings as art director of Emerge magazine, his stint as former vice-president of the Organization of Black Designers, and his book “Career Diary of a Publication Design Director“. Leon has an incredible back story and loads and loads of knowledge for current and up and coming design students.

All these gifts just in time for Christmas! Enjoy!

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James and I first crossed paths back in August at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, and I was so glad to talk at length with him!

A self-proclaimed “designer by trade and artist by practice”, James has managed to skillfully balance his digital design work with his artistic practice to create really meaningful work. Along with this, we discussed his work with a few Chicago-area artistic collectives as well as his current t-shirt campaign that helps raise money for organizations supporting the Ferguson community. Powerful stuff!

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If there’s a phrase that I would use to describe graphic designer Britt Davis, it would be “hometown hero”. You can tell that Britt is all about giving back to the community that helped push her to success. On top of her work at UNC Charlotte, Britt also has her own creative agency and is pursuing her MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design. Whew!

We talked about her college years at North Carolina State University as well as her philosophy of community service through design. Thanks for a great interview Britt!

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Allan Cole is a true polymath. Whether it’s graphic design, web development, or music, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and produces mind-blowing results. You may know him as one of the co-authors of Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes, but he’s also done websites and designs for big names like Nike, Okayplayer, Kanye West, Jay Electronica, and Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Arts Society!

(And speaking of music, he’s one half of the music duo The Stuyvesants. Highly, highly recommended!)

We talked about his current path to success through WordPress, creative collaboration, and of course…the music. According to Allan, there are ways to do what you love and make a living, and he’s a prime example of that!

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What a great month of interviews! I’m ending November with the amazing De Angela Duff.

I heard about De Angela through Rashida White, and her bio truly speaks for itself. She’s designed websites for some of the biggest music artists in the 90s, like Alicia Keys, David Bowie, and Britney Spears. De Angela currently serves as the Co-Director of Integrated Digital Media at NYU, working on next-level technologies like augmented reality and brainwaves. Did I mention she’s a diehard Prince fan too? Afrofuturistic!

Press play and learn more about De Angela’s inspiring journey and her current work!

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