Featured Follow: Kara Haupt

Please tell us a little about about yourself, what do you do, and how do you like to spend your free time?

I’m a designer. I work at The New Yorker where I work on and oversee art for the newyorker.com. I also have a online media project called Babe Vibes where I act as editor and creative director. I spend most of my free time reading or getting into trouble on Twitter.

Since joining Twitter in August 2009, you’ve tweeted almost 40,000 times! Has being active on Twitter helped to create any funny, memorable, or helpful interactions professionally and/or personally? Have you met people online who have become friends in real life?

Twitter is my favorite social platform, it’s the place where I’ve become closest to many of my online, and now real life, friends. I moved (back) to NYC last year, and between the campaign and Twitter/Instagram I’ve created a really awesome and weird community of friends here. I’ve got job interviews from Twitter, I’ve dated because of Twitter, Twitter is fun. Most of the time.

Before joining The New Yorker as a Senior Designer, you worked as Design Lead for Hillary for America. What were your biggest takeaways from working on a presidential election?

It’s very easy for people assume the political world is cutthroat and shallow, and maybe it is in rooms I wasn’t in, but I got to work with some of the most brilliant, genuine, and hardworking folks who were so invested in making this country better — and their vision still inspires me. I spent the last week of the campaign in North Carolina getting out the vote with organizers and volunteers, and even just seeing the heart that exists within the Democratic Party in local field offices was incredibly invigorating, and so far removed from the cynicism I see from randos on Twitter. So my biggest takeaway is that the Democratic Party is worth saving, you just gotta go, like, show up.

Would you ever work in a design role with a future political organization or campaign?

Yeah, before the election I was fully prepared to never come back to politics but the election results changed that quick. I’m taking a break from full-time political work right now because I need to take care of myself, but I’ll probably be back in the ring to bring that man down.

Looking forward, what do you think will change the most in the next 4–8 years in terms of how campaigns are run?

Ya know I don’t know, I think I’ve learned not to assume anything.

For other designers & creatives, what do you believe are some impactful ways that people can continue to be involved in political and social projects?

Listen to people who are more marginalized than you, in your day job and in your community. Give them money. Make ethical decisions in your day jobs. If you belong to a dominant group in your community, or in your work, know it’s your responsibility to make it better for others. Figure out how to volunteer and canvass for Democratic and progressive candidates. Talk to your family.

You are also the creator of Babe Vibes, a community that curates and promotes the work of creative women. What drew you to wanting to create this community?

I had always wanted an excuse to work with women, and making Babe Vibes was the most obvious way for me to do that at the time.

What other communities are missing their own “Babe Vibes” to surface individuals and their work?

Good question! Probably communities I don’t belong to, they are welcome to email me for suggestions or advice though.

What idea would you like someone to be working on, that given a lack of time/energy, you cannot commit to work on yourself right now? #WhatWouldYouLikeToSeeInTheWorld

I want someone to make a Tumblr, or digital archive, of all the amazing digital interfaces in movies and TV Shows. Start with The Good Wife.

In the past month, what is an article, book, or video that’s made your mind go whoa?

I read it in January, but Evicted by Matthew Desmond taught me a lot about the direct link between eviction and poverty in The United States. I want every lawmaker in the country to read it.

You can learn more about Kara at her website and by following her on Twitter. You should also check out her most recent project DoTheMostGood.Design