Two months after being elected co-president, I made a choice.
Two months after being named co-president of AIGA Chicago, I’m stepping aside—not down—and looking forward to what’s next. Next for the board, the chapter, the community, and myself.
Of course I feel a bit sheepish leaving my new post so quickly, but I know the feeling of regret—staying in the wrong role for three long years—would have been far worse for me and every volunteer and board member I reluctantly led.
The decision wasn’t easy, but it was clear. Here’s why I made the choice and why I remain committed…
The Dadwell Podcast debuted on Father’s Day 2019. Producing and hosting 25 episodes, I’ve learned an incredible amount about myself and my role as partner and parent. All of which was made possible by humble, honest men who shared their strengths and struggles as entrepreneurs, creators and dads — through interviews, essays, emails, and long phone calls (remember those?). A year into this project, I’m incredibly grateful to this community and to you as a supporter, reader and listener.
As we reflect today — soaking up our kids, eating and drinking something indulgent, sneaking away for some personal time —…
It’s a designer’s nature to question the world. It’s our responsibility to attempt to understand and solve the problems impacting individuals and systems. It’s human nature to console and comfort those around us.
America has witnessed yet another week of unbearable ugliness and violence. We’ve bared witness to incredible — and justifiable — sadness, anger, and unrest. The anguish we see boiling over nationwide is an expression of centuries of systemic racism, bigotry, oppression, and disparity toward Black people and people of color.
In this moment of pain and hopelessness within our country — as bodies fall and buildings burn…
“If the problem can be solved, why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.“ –Shantideva
COVID-19 is sparking our two greatest human fears: the fear of being alone and the fear of death. And as parents, there’s a third fear as we contemplate our children’s future and what we’re leaving behind for them.
This reminds me of when my son was born. I was a complete and total mess. I was upside-down with emotions: fear and panic and joy. My heart was exploding and my head was spinning and I was totally worthless. My…
As VP of Diversity & Inclusion for AIGA Chicago, I’m approached by lots of well-intentioned hiring managers and group directors motivated to diversify their design teams but frustrated their job posts aren’t yielding the creatives of color, queer creatives, and female creatives they’re seeking. Inevitably, as I probe their tactics and what they’ve tried to date, they sigh defeatedly and wonder out loud, “I guess there just aren’t that many [fill-in-the-blank-minority] designers out there, huh?”
This is a dangerous claim and lazy excuse. Just because diverse talent isn’t applying to your job posts, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
It’s impossible to share our mistakes without talking about regret or pain or loss. But it’s also possible to talk about them as lessons learned, facts found, and truths revealed…. In 2019, I was invited to share my “biggest mistake” in front of 275 people as part of a special engagement for Chicago Ideas Week. Below is the essay I read on stage:
I started Dadwell & Co. as an independent media project at the intersection of creativity and fatherhood. The Dadwell Podcast shares stories about maker/artist/designer dads who are managing thriving creative practices while remaining present, engaged, kick-ass fathers.
Each episode I pull back the curtain on a different dad’s creative practice, fathering philosophy, and practical tactics for navigating the stress, fatigue, resentment, wonder, pride, and joy of raising the creative bar while simultaneously raising small humans.
Countless creative people (especially me!) struggle to strike a balance between fatherhood and their lives as makers, artists, and designers. Others grapple with whether or…
The most important decision AIGA Chicago made regarding its diversity and inclusion agenda was decoupling D&I from under the Design for Good umbrella. This established it a standalone strategic imperative and way of being—eliminating any subtext that the chapter’s pursuit of diversity and inclusion was a philanthropic effort or sociopolitical campaign—it would simply be how the chapter “showed up” going forward.
The second most important realization made was that as one of the largest chapters within AIGA (~1600 members strong), we have virtually no visibility into the composition of our membership. Taking on the newly created role of VP of…
In June 2017, the AIGA Chicago Board made the critical decision to create the chapter’s first Vice President role dedicated entirely to Diversity & Inclusion. Recognizing the need for D&I to be pursued as a standalone initiative and establishing a leadership structure for even greater commitment to the objectives of that initiative, I humbly and excitedly accepted the VP nomination.
Committing to the 3-year volunteer leadership role, I understood the gravity of the new position, what it represented to the chapter and what it could mean to the Chicago creative community at large. …
For 🔥 hot takes and UX 📈 trend forecasting! I saved you the time and effort and rounded up the majors below. If you do take the time to dive in, please check out uxdesign.cc’s in-depth State of UX in 2018 — really solid analysis, plus archives dating back to 2016. Enjoy!
design leader, public speaker, educator, illustrator, yearly marathoner, occasional beat selector, Design Strategy @TableXI, founder & host of @DadwellCo