Back to school for me, but that doesn't mean that I can't do anymore interviews! Today we have another on...
Today on insta5 we have an interview with Keenan Cummings. Keenan is a really great guy, and an outstanding UI designer. He is currently working on a new site called Wander. This site is not up yet, but will be soon, and is accepting early sign ups right now! onWander is going to be a social network of sorts, but after that, I really have no idea. But either way, Keenan was great to interview, and I hope all of you enjoy!
Q. When did you get involved with designing?
A. My first encounter with design was in High School. It started with 'piecing', which was illustrating friends names and phrases in a graffiti street style onto sticker paper that they could cut out and stick on their books or locker. I had always drawn a lot, but I was really fascinated by this radical typography I saw on the streets in LA when I would go in to town with my dad for work. A little later on, I started playing with henna, doing temporary tattoos for friends to make a few bucks. I ordered this plant-based paste from San Francisco and developed my skills with patterns and tattoo style art. The culmination of all these experiments was a T-Shirt label I founded with a couple of friends. We read books to learn to screen print, and made wonky screens out of old picture frames, staples, wood glue, and the magic screening silk. I would design the shirts, then we'd print onto clear acetate, and burn the screens using my closet as a dark room. All of these experience brought together aesthetic and craft. It was only later that I realized what I was doing was design. It was about communicating ideas through images. Once I discovered there was a future in doing exactly that, I knew what I wanted to do.
Q. What would an eighth grader have to do to get involved with Wander?
A. Wander is going to be about sharing your story through places. Junior High and High School was a great time for me to express myself and share who I was. I think Wander will be a great way for friends to share the places they experience together, for distant family to stay in touch, for first time explorers to document their travels. It will be as simple as signing up and trying it out.
This is a great question about the nature of design these days. The next great challenge for designers is to create tools that allow people to express themselves. We create tools enable more creation. To be a part of Wander, you only need to join and start creating. Tell your story.
Q. If I gave you a time machine, what year would you go to and why?
A. I would head over to 2100. I'm a huge sci-fi nerd, but I wouldn't want to go too far into the future and have nothing to talk about. At least in 2100 people will still be talking about Friday Night Lights.
Q. How did you meet your Wander partner, Jeremy?
A. Jeremy and I met through a mutual friend, who is a designer at Facebook.
Q. If you could talk to your thirteen-year-old self, what would you say?
A. I was constantly trying new things, developing new hobbies. I skated, played some football, went through a roller blade phase — but I never got really good at any one thing. I felt kinda down about that at the time but it was the best thing I could have done. If I could pass on some advice to myself, I'd just say keep trying things. Try as much as you can, and be OK with figuring out who you are and what you're all about. Back then people like me were sometimes called posers. Who cares!?! Be a poser. You can be a new person every week while your young. Just enjoy exploring and finding things you love.
How great was that? I really enjoyed speaking to Keenan, and if I were you I would definitely check out Wander
. I predict this will be something you will be hearing about in the news sometime soon. And just remember that you heard it hear first. (I have always wanted to say that!)