Artist Conor Grebel unpacks the relationship between his personal experiences and creative work

Liam Spradlin
Aug 7 · 24 min read

In this episode, Liam speaks with Conor Grebel about how lived experiences inform and are conveyed through creative work.

Our conversation traces Conor’s journey toward creative work and the “ingredients” that help him craft soothing art for himself and others.

Note: The first half of this episode deals with topics of panic attack disorder, anxiety, and psychological abuse.

Listen to the interview 👆


Transcript

Liam Spradlin: Conor, welcome to Design Notes.

Conor Grebel: Oh, thank you.

Liam: To start out with, I wanna know about the motivation and the journey that has brought you to your current work and how that has influenced the sort of things that you’re making.

Conor: Yeah. It’s a bit of a story. That’s okay. Yeah.

Liam: Yeah. Tell it.

Conor: Um, I wasn’t always gonna be an artist. That wasn’t always gonna happen.

I was born and raised in Southern California, and then my parents moved me when I was ten years old to Wisconsin, which is not inherently a bad thing, but I think the place we went heavily affected my journey a little bit. We moved to Wisconsin in a place that individuality and creativity was not respected at all. At first, I wanted to be an entomologist actually, and a lot of that still kind of exists in me. I’m really, really interested in insects, so, I wanted to be an entomologist, and then, when I got into understanding that I was terrible at studying, that died.

I always loved drawing, always wanted to be an artist, but going to a high school where being a creative, unique person, was grounds to like, beat you up, and then, my high school didn’t have an arts program at all. My arts program was just like drawing instead of taking notes.

So after that, all hopes of wanting to be an artist, all confidence in that was completely gone. So I graduated high school with like, a D average. Didn’t have plans to go to college. Absolutely did not think I could be an artist. And I traveled a bit. I traveled a bit and went to Japan and I was decent at speaking Japanese. I would categorize this part of my life as like, the times in which I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I didn’t have any confidence. Kind of like, whatever roles that society put out there, like, “You need to go to college,” “You need to do this,” “You need to work in business or something.” Because I had no definition of myself, I just assumed that stuff.

So like, I went to Japan. I thought “Oh I can speak Japanese. That means I can go to college now.” And that meant I was doing something right with my life. So, I decided to get into school, with the help of my high school teachers, and they had confidence in me that I did not. So they wrote some recommendation letters for me and they got me into UW Milwaukee through a second chance program, which means that for my first year of school, I had to take special classes. It was pretty cool, because everyone that was in that class really appreciated being in college, so I made some really good friends there. Everyone there was not supposed to go to college, but they’ve been given a chance to do it. They had to take these special courses to like acclimate themselves to getting good grades and being a good student again or something. But, it was a really cool class actually. It was really awesome.

I, at all points in my life, don’t relate to anyone of my generation. When I was in high school, I hated high schoolers. When I was college, I fucking hated college kids.

Liam: (laughs)

Conor: I never went to parties. And I definitely don’t like people my age right now.

Anyways, this is all leading towards me hitting rock bottom and then giving up on listening to what anyone else tells me to do. And then deciding to be an artist. That’s leading towards that. But this is like me, ignorantly walking towards that bottom.

So, studied Japanese language. I think I was pretty good at it. I was able to pass into a higher level. Transferred to UW Madison, which is a really good college, and like the second in the nation for learning Japanese, and I went as hard as I could in the wrong direction. This is me going as hard as I can in the wrong direction with not any concept of what I’m gonna do with my life later. Like, ah, I’m studying Japanese ’cause I can do it. It’s the only thing I know how to do well. So, I graduated with a Japanese language degree in six, (laughs) yeah, it took six years because I was paying for college and working and a terrible fucking student. I’m a bad, bad student. I’m really bad at school.

So I graduated, and this is key in explaining why I make the art I make now and what informs the decisions I make and why I even want to be an artist.
The key is that in college, of course I was very depressed, and I didn’t know it at that time, but one of the most driving forces in my life has been there since the beginning, and it started to first rear its head in college, which is panic attack disorder. And, in college for the first time, it showed itself in a way that I didn’t understand at that point yet.

For some reason, every time I would ride the buss to school in the morning, if I could not sit on a seat, I couldn’t breathe. And, I was standing on the bus. It was ever morning. It didn’t make any sense. I w-, I didn’t know how to diagnose it, ’cause it wasn’t like, oh, there’s something wrong with me because I, at random times, would feel nauseous and lightheaded, I’d be like “Oh. Something’s wrong, like physically.” It was like a mild panic attack before I knew what a panic attack was. And it would happen every morning. It didn’t make any sense.

As soon as someone got off a seat and I was able to sit down, it like, washed away from me. As soon as I got off the bus, I could breathe again. I went to a doctor at the time that said, “It sounds like you’re having panic attacks.” And I’m like, “Because I’m riding the bus? I love riding the bus. Like, it’s fun.” And I just kind of let it go.

Of course, this is at a time in college where things were very stressful. I was not meant to be in school, I think. And, every step I took in that direction, was like I was running out of a fuse. It was fuel in my body that was depleting that’s not replenishable. And I was just going in the wrong direction. And every step dug me deeper and deeper towards this black oil that was deep in my body that is panic attack disorder.

So it started to rear its head. I was in a terrible living situation. I wasn’t sleeping. And, uh, for the next year or so of college, I was in a relationship that was really good, for the most part it was gone. But, um, I decided to get a job in Japan. And I remember before I had left for that job, I was fishing, and I loved fishing, and, um, I remember thinking, “I don’t want to leave America. (laughs) I love it here. I don’t want to leave. Why am I doing this?” But I kinda like just ignored that and I went to Japan.

It was a terrible decision. And for the longest time in my life, what happens in Japan, was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I resented it, and I was angry. But of course, now, with perspective, it was a gift. But, I go to Japan to work for a toy company. And I worked in the creative toy department as a toy developer, which I thought was gonna be creative and fun. I always wanted to have a creative position, and this is when I started to have daily panic attacks. I started smoking heavily again, I was drinking heavily again, my ribs were showing. The worst, worst thing though, was that I was brought there through this American HR employee in Japan, and I went through for three months, the most severe abuse in my life. Like mental abuse. This person made a point of making my life hell there in a way that would be illegal in the United States.

Because in a lot of these companies, superiority, you know, and seniority is something that you can’t question. You just kind of have to do whatever they say. So this person could insult me on a daily basis. He could accuse me of things. He would intentionally create situations in which I had to apologize for stuff I didn’t do just to embarrass me in front of my co-workers. He would make up stories and make me apologize for them. He would tell me I’m worthless and I don’t deserve anything that I’ve gotten to this point. On a daily basis. He’d walk into a room, and he’d ignored everything I said, walk up to the person next to me and then laugh at nothing they said, and then walk away. He’d called me into private meetings and accuse me of stealing company secrets and he’d say, “I know you’ve told some company secrets and I know that you have them on an SD card.”

I was like, “I don’t.”

He’s like, “Well you could have deleted them.”

“I, wait, I didn’t do that.”

He’s like, “How do I know? That’s illegal. I have the power right now to send you home.”

He’d do stuff like, take this book on like their corporate sustainable programs. It was a giant, thick, heavy technical Japanese guideline book, and as I was leaving, he was like, “Translate this.”

I’m like, “Oh. Okay. I’ll start translating it.” You know, come back to work the next day, of course it’s like six o’clock, he gives it to me and I didn’t expect to work on it all that night.

He’s like, “Did you finish translating the book?”

I was like, “No.”

“Did you go home last night?”

“Yeah.”

“Why’d you go home last night if you didn’t translate that book?”

It was like, “Fuck man.” Just like everything. It was killing me.

It was like, from the overt to the subtle, he was abusing me, and he hated me. And halfway through, I broke. Everything he said to me was like, the first half I was like, “This is wrong, something’s wrong with this.” And the second half, after he threatened me so many times, I just gave up, and my fight or flight broke. And all I had was nothing.

Eventually, he fired me. Went back home to America, and then for the next two years, the aftermath of that experience set in, and I wasn’t sleeping. I was having daily severe panic attacks, and I had lost a lot of weight, became extremely agoraphobic, which is not necessarily the fear of leaving a house, although it ends up being that because it just means like the fear of encountering something that will trigger a panic attack. And at that point, it was everything, you know. A stressful time in my life. It was just riding the bus. But now it was like, my leg tingling, standing in line, the temperature being a little bit off, being slightly out of breath, not knowing who touched my water glass before I touched it.

And like, all these crazy phobias became part of life. It was very tough. And my body broke down. My chemistry changed. My thyroid got destroyed from all the stress. And ever since I came back from Japan, I haven’t had a drop of alcohol, don’t even take ibuprofen anymore. My body just changed after that point. And this is where it’s leading into it.

Panic attack disorder became everything in my life. It was all I was battling with for two years and I still am now. This was like 12 years ago and I just got out of therapy last year, because I have relapses and stuff. But, my life became so hyper focused on things that… I would say that I became so sensitive that things that made me slightly uncomfortable before made me feel like I was gonna die now. And things that were slightly relaxing before, were like a drop of water on tongue in hell kind of thing, you know? It was like they saved my life, whereas I enjoyed sparkling water before, now sparkling water helped me get out of a panic attack. It just basically saved my life. I didn’t really enjoy crowds before, now crowds made me feel like I was gonna die.

So I would say that this tool in my mind became hyper sharpened, and it was a gift. It was painful. The world became this landmine of things that I would step on and then it would just send me into hours of panic attack, but it also became this beautiful catalog of things I knew that would make my life feel so much better.

So, things like the sound of a creek, or the sound of like hollow pieces of wood knocking against each other, or the ways in which petals rotate around flower, or one point shadows on like a natural, organic surface. Those things, I may have not noticed it too much before, but I loved them so much they became like a driving force in my life.

And so, at rock bottom I decided, this is what I get for going so far in the wrong direction. This is what I get for not having confidence and not wanting to do what I want to do with my life. This is my punishment. And my reward is that I don’t give a shit about that anymore. And now a core tenant in my life is, I don’t care what you want me to do. I’m gonna do what I need to do to be happy, what I’ve always wanted to do.

And I didn’t give up and I started learning an- the tools of animation and design, and I emerged, literally, from a basement two years later and I decided to jump into the field. And now I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make those sounds that I love, because they’re not just sounds I enjoy, they’re sounds that save my life. They’re not just visuals I enjoy, they’re visuals that save my life.

And I think about them all the time because not only have they literally gotten me out of grips of death, and it makes me very emotional to think about how fucked up that is, but that is like, that’s just what my life has turned into, but I’ve been given a gift as a result of that. And I, I love that about my life. I love my life. I actually do really love my life, and it’s been given to me through all this suffering, I guess. But, these things, these visuals that I make and these sounds that I make, they are directly related to things that I feel have saved my life, because I’ve had panic attacks that were so severe and so long that I didn’t think that I wanted to live anymore. That’s happened many times, but I design with a lot of passion from that experience I guess.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: That was a long story. Sorry.

Liam: No, never apologize-

Conor: Yeah.

Liam: …for that.

Conor: That’s why I design what I design. That’s why I make the music that I make.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: That’s where that stuff comes from.

Liam: I don’t think I have ever gotten as complete an answer to that question. (laughs)

Conor: ’Cause I think about it all the time.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: (laughs) I have to. It’s not like a passing decision just like, “Oh, it ended up like that.”

Liam: You’re creating these things out of a place of experiencing the things again that have helped save your life, but you’re also giving those things to other people.

Conor: Yeah, and that’s the best reward I’ve ever gotten on music that I’ve made. Like the It’s a Trick song, my first album, which I made while seeing the most successful therapist, and I don’t mean his personal success, I mean like the most success on my life was a therapist called Dr. Bob, and he changed a lot and he made me love myself again, and he redirected me towards how to think about my art properly.

And I was working on this album and I was struggling, you know? I was trying to make it. You know, I still get lost even though I have this big revelations, I still get, I still get lost, like you know, I was trying to make music. I was trying to make it sound a certain way. I was trying to like, “How am I gonna make it big on Sound Cloud?” You know? At that time, I was thinking, you know, “How am I gonna make it sound like these other artists who are really successful?”

And he’s like, “What are you doing? Stop that shit. What do you want to hear? Why are you trying to make a song?” It’s not a destination, it’s a journey. You know? He got really Ellen Watts on me. He’s like, “Why are you trying to make a song? Why don’t you just like go play something you like and don’t care if it turns out to be something that’s a product or not. Just like, go home, play some tones that sound good, and don’t have a goal with it. Just enjoy it.”
And I started to think about that more. And everything he said, he would say it and I’d be like, “Yeah, you’re fucking wrong,” you know? And then I would go back and then during the week, before [inaudible 00:15:33], “Yeah, he’s fucking right,” you know. (laughs)

Liam: (laughs)

Conor: He’s always fucking right. He’s an awesome guy. But, I took that to heart, and then that became how I made this album. That’s where all the sounds of my music came from, from that conversation, where it’s like, “Yes, I love hearing these things. I love when it wants to be this way. It doesn’t need to have the structure or fit into some category that I’m trying to fit to. Stop. You’re still trying to fit a role that society has define.”

So, I changed that. I made that album. That album was made in a time where I was in a very low point in my panic attack disorder. And he was helping me through it, and the music was helping me through it, and I still get Sound Cloud messages like, not as much anymore because it’s just like, you know, four years ago, five years ago, but I still get them like once every few months where someone says, “I was battling with depression, this song helped me so much. I was battling with anxiety, this song helped me so much,” and that is all I care about.

I don’t ever sell my music. People ask to use it for whatever. I don’t ever tell them they have to pay for shit. That is worth it 100%. And, yes, to answer your question, in a long form again-

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: …yes, people do get that out of it and that means the world to me.

Liam: Do you think that there’s something about your mindset and the process of creating this music that somehow translates into the product itself and… I guess what I’m interested in is how that connection gets formed that, uh, the people would have those experiences with it.

Conor: Oh. Yeah, might be more thoughtless when I design. I don’t wanna give myself too much credit. I think it just happens naturally is what I’m trying to say.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: You know, maybe I design thoughtlessly, maybe selfishly, but those things come through somehow.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: With that song in particular, I used to record him, and I sampled some of the things he would say.

Conor: It’s a trick. You just flip it and then you’d understand, you just enjoy. And that’s what he said in the song and maybe those, maybe those direct messages helped, but I try to infuse that stuff intentionally with a lot of my music, but what people get out of it, it must just happen naturally. I don’t want to give myself credit as some like master manipulator of emotions. I think that, that is just all I am, so what I create must be filled with that.

Liam: Yeah. I’m interested in this idea of somehow, unintentionally, there was some intangible thing that is conveyed through our work.

Conor: Yeah. I guess if that’s all the ingredients you have-

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: …that’s all the product’s gonna have. (laughs)

Liam: Yeah, I guess so.

Conor: You know you’re… That’s what you’re cooking with, and they’re like, “Oh, you put a lot of, you put a lot of salt in this, huh?”

It’s like, “That’s all I got. I’m sorry.”

Liam: Yeah. (laughs) Do you think that there’s similar processes at play in the work that you do with animation, for instance?

Conor: Yeah, definitely. I did focus a lot on music in explaining this, but I meant this a lot with visual too, because it’s always paired for me. My dream project in all ends, for anything, is always to make music and then a visual component with it.

Liam: How do you view the relationship between audio and visual? Like, you say that you want to create one work that has the music and also a visual component. Do you think that those two are necessarily tied together, or do you perceive them together, or how are they related to one another?

Conor: Wow. Yeah. Interesting. I don’t know if I’ve really thought that deeply about it. I just… Hopefully this answers it. All I know is that I design some visuals, it has sound to it. I design some sound, it has visuals that I’m thinking of. They just, maybe always happen in tandem.

Liam: Yeah. Something that I’ve learned in type design is the idea of a design space-

Conor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Liam: …and that, when you design one style of a type-face, the other styles are like theoretically in the universe-

Conor: Yeah.

Liam: …somewhere, but you just haven’t captured them.

Conor: It’s like when you’re designing something, it’s pairing is always in your mind. Your Alpha Omega is not the thing you put on the page, but it’s what you page in tandem with what you’ve visualized the context around it. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

Liam: Right. Yeah.

Conor: Yeah, that always happens. If I’m designing music, it’s got a space that I’m listening to it. And that’s actually, I’ve got an upcoming album, and that is the whole theory of the album is like, all of these songs are a place in nature, and a time in nature. All of these are like in the forest as the wind is blowing as a storm’s coming. That’s what this song is.

So, everything I make, it’s context is not limited to the product itself, but there’s a visual component or an audio component that’s always paired with it. Whatever I design visually sounds a certain way in my mind.

Liam: And it sounds like this pairing is not necessarily something that you have to think about during the creation-

Conor: I guess not.

Liam: …but that it’s just kind of there.

Conor: Yeah, through experience or imagination, it’s always there. Maybe it’s never been separate to me, but you can only work on one at a time sometimes, yeah.

Liam: To go along with that, do you know that thing that you’re creating is about the forest when the storm’s coming and like the breeze is blowing, or, or is that something that emerges as you create it?

Conor: It’s very easy, you know, the human mind is full of fallacy, and it’s very easy to post-rationalize-

Liam: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Conor: …and then remember it as though it always happened that way-

Liam: Right.

Conor: …which I’m sure that does happen sometimes, um, but I want to say 50%, yes, but 100% before I start these sounds were experienced in some way.

Maybe it is just 100%. There’s a narrative that fully forms at the end, and the narrative isn’t always fully there in the beginning, but when in regards to sound, yes, especially because all my percussion has a memory attached to it because I’ve recorded it all-

Liam: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Conor: …on a hike, or here and there. And I usually layer an ungodly amount of percussion. I love that lushness, just like in nature being in a forest. That lushness is overwhelming and relaxing. And I try to create that in music. Every sound has a memory to it. So, every knock of wood, every coin rubbing against itself, everything is a memory. So I listen to a song and I remember I was here, this is what it looks like, this is what the breeze was like when I recorded that. So, I guess a lot of it is, inevitably, tied to a physical experience with a physical place.

Liam: I also want to talk about how you apply these ideas of creating music and visuals in the same design space as one another to collaborative projects. We were speaking before the interview about the WoodSwimmer video-

Conor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Liam: …and how that was a collaboration where you created the music and someone else created the visual through like this long process. I want to talk a little bit about that.

Conor: Okay.

Liam: So I guess first of all like, how was that created?

Conor: This was a collaboration, and not a lot of videos on my site are sort of that collaboration, but he’s a genius stop motion animator. His films take 10 years to make, and I joke with him because for me, I can make, I can kick out a bunch of animations in a year, you know. Not all of them as deep as what he makes, but he’s got like three films left in his life. (laughs) I was always joke that you gotta pick them right, you know?

Liam: (laughs)

Conor: You gotta really think about them because you got like just a few left, uh, because he takes so damn long. But, WoodSwimmer, he came to me and he’s like, “I got this footage. I’ve just been recording footage.” And if you’ve seen WoodSwimmer, it’s just layers of wood, almost like a MRI scan, layers of organic body, and you see how the layers and veins of wood warp through like a Z-distance through the wood.

He set up this stop motion little robotic camera rig where he had a piece of wood facing the camera, lit right, and, um, he had a camera capture frame, shaved off just a super thin layer, capture another frame, a robotic mill shaved off another thin layer, capture another frame, and it would just run. I think he just kept the frame clean every time. I think it took like 5 to 10 minutes per frame, something like that, and it took half a year to a year to record everything, and he came to me with all this footage and he’s like, “I got all this stuff. I don’t know what to do with it.”

And I was like, “This is so fucking cool, dude. This is a lot that I care about. It’s so awesome. I’d love to make music for this. I’d love to edit it.” And so, uh, we worked together concepting what the piece would feel like and look like. And he shot some more, and I added things together and then tried to make music that felt hectic and like sawing and like eating through wood, and, uh, I really like the song how it came out.

It was a really good collaboration, and it exploded like everywhere on the internet. Even like GQ wrote about. It was very cool. That was fun. That was a fun collaboration. I would say I’m not like the best at collaborating. I don’t think I really am. The things I care about only exist in my mind and I don’t really care about sharing that, and it’s difficult to try to make someone else do that.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: I’m a terrible employee for that same reason. It’s really hard for me to care about something else someone else thought of, unless it like somehow is important to me. So, I don’t know if I’m that great at collaborating. I’ll always try to be, but that was a good collaboration. He’s just, he’s a master, man. He’s really good.

Liam: What was it like to approach that with the goal of creating music for it? How did you-

Conor: That is-

Liam: …translate that concept?

Conor: That is tough for me ’cause I’m only a few times have been commissioned I guess, now I wasn’t getting paid for this, but I guess it’s the same idea. It’s like, I want music for this thing that was born outside of my mind. And so, that always scares me. I feel like I can never really perform well, and I feel like I’ll fuck it up.

So, it was challenging. I just tried to think of like what it sounded like to move through wood and if that felt calming or scary and it just, it was kind of scary. It was like you’re ripping apart going through this like new world, destroying this wood. I tried to capture the sound of sawing and confusion and I had the song change up a lot. And I had a lot of really heavy sawtooth, no pun intended because that’s the wave form of the synth, you know-

Liam: Right.

Conor: …sawtooth synth and it’s got this really like buzzy like vvv-vvv, you know, sound to it. A lot of, it had a lot of air to it as well. And I tried to capture that feel of it, um, and I felt like it came through okay.

Liam: I also want to talk a little bit about some of your more purely visual work.

Conor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Liam: Like the Cal Academy of Sciences Vortex-

Conor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Liam: …that you created. What was I guess both the motivation and also what was the process like as you were creating it?

Conor: So, Cal Academy of Sciences is an awesome project. I love the academy over there, and this came across so serendipitously because I love science education. I love thinking skeptically about the world. Not cynically, which people always criticize me for. (laughs)

Liam: (laughs)

Conor: It’s not cynicism, it’s skepticism. It’s just about questioning information you have and respecting science and respecting education and respecting people with history and knowledge in certain things, and science education matters a lot to me, and I wanted to like change everything, just to work for the Academy of Sciences on this project, but that’s not financially pliable for them, or me even, but I saw a planetarium show and I thought, this is so cool. This is amazing. I’m gonna come up with a pitch for the Academy of Sciences that I want to come up with a purely like scientific inspired artistic experience. A way with connecting people to top level scientific concept, you know, and mathematics and biology. Just like the repetition of life on different scales. Just opening up people to basic scientific and mathematical concepts because a lot of my calming thoughts come from nature.

So, I wanted to make that happen really bad. I was coming up with this pitch. I talked to a friend of mine and he’s like, “Oh, I know the director of NightLife and the planetarium shows. He’s been coming up with the same idea.”

I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

So like we met, and we literally had the exact same idea. It was like, “Oh this is perfect. Let’s make it happen.”

So, I felt like in rare form, I got a bunch of friends together and tried to make something happen and was like, all right, get some friends together, be the organizer, produce, and design, and try to make everything mesh together well. And I was temporarily a mature designer at that point, and got everybody together to collaborate towards a common goal.

And it was very rewarding, and what you see that Vortex 2.0 show is a teaser, it’s a proof of concept that will hopefully turn into a much larger show. I’ve submitted a budget to the Academy of Sciences and it’s gonna be a slow journey, but I want this to be a reoccurring thing where we take information and concepts inspired by their research, inspired by science, things to trigger peoples’ curiosity. Don’t make it educational. Don’t make it like, “Did you know blah blah blah?” You know, and like explain something. Just take a core concept and then turn that into art in a way that maybe they don’t even like walk away from that knowing like, “Oh, now I know more about blank,” just kind of inspired and curious about like these forms and why this is happening. Somehow inspire curiosity towards science through a purely art music space.

Liam: Yeah. There’s something interesting in there about like creating something with the intent of not directly communicating maybe the scientific concepts-

Conor: Yeah.

Liam: …that you’re trying to convey, but just inspiring a sort of open ended encounter with the work.

Conor: Yeah.

Liam: I guess I’m interested in how you think about that, the possibility of creating something and then putting it into the world where people can encounter and experience it and perceive it in different ways.

Conor: ’Cause it’s really out of your hands.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: You know? However people think of it. Happens a lot with all major works of art, you know.

Liam: How do you think about that in relationship to your work? I mean, I guess ultimately it’s something that you must accept, but-

Conor: It is, but I do have high hopes that what I intend with it is how it’s perceived.

Liam: Right.

Conor: I always have high hopes, especially the more that you pregame a concept. I’ve got a project I’m working on right that I’m basically writing a small book on like the mythos of this world I’m building and how it relates to our existence.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: Death and life and the normal shit that I do. And I’m really hoping that it comes across like that, but same with Academy of Sciences, I’m not nailing into the forefront of the imagery, so maybe it will never come across but if I ever get the opportunity to explain it, hopefully I don’t always need to, but hopefully that adds a depth to it and a curiosity that drives people towards questioning things that I’ve been, that have inspired me towards certain pieces, you know.

Liam: Yeah. Maybe somehow these intangible, imperceptible ingredients that you’re working with are recognized.

Conor: Hopefully. That’s the, yeah, definitely, like I said, that’s like, I really do want that, you know.

Liam: Yeah.

Conor: I know it’s out of my hands, but I wouldn’t be doing it unless I had a mission, unless I had a mission statement for every piece and a way of thinking that I wanted people to share. It is about connecting.

Liam: All right, well, thank you again for joining me, Conor.

Conor: Yeah.

Liam: This was great.

Conor: Yeah. For sure.


Design Notes Podcast

A show about creative work and what it teaches us, discovering what inspires and unites us in our practice.

Liam Spradlin

Written by

Google Design

Design Notes Podcast

A show about creative work and what it teaches us, discovering what inspires and unites us in our practice.

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