Episode 22

Jacinda Walker — Decoding the Creative Beast

Welcome to Works In Process / Ep 22

I always encourage (young people) that you should believe you can do it. That thing that you think is a disadvantage might very well be the best down thing you SHOULD do. 
You’ve got to believe it’s possible. Because there will be people, there will be forces, there will be places and organizations to tell you otherwise. If you don’t, you better start believing quick!”

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That’s my guest Jacinda Walker , Jacinda is renowned for her work in design, diversity, research, and strategy. She is the founder and creative director of designExplorr, a social impact organization whose mission addresses the diversity gap within the design profession. Her research on Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines has been hailed as breakthrough work. This solutions-based thesis explores diversity in design disciplines and investigates effective strategies to expose Black and Latino youth to design careers. Ms. Walker’s future goals are to help scale diversity in design initiatives within education institutions, corporations, organizations, and museums.

It's for her continued drive and advocation for young people that I have Jacinda on the show. I look to learn how she instills the passion for design at an early and what we should do, as a community, do to foster this change alongside her.

Enjoy!

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Mentions

Design Explorr

Design Journeys

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Other links Jacinda wants you to know about:

Follow GUEST NAME via: Jacinda's Facebook page /@designexplorr on Instagram / Jacinda's Website / @designexplorr on Twitter

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Credits

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About the Works In Process Podcast:

A podcast series by George Garrastegui, Jr. — designer, educator, and creative catalyst. Works In Process is a collection of discussions that explore and demystify the creative process. I interview individuals to gain more insight into the ways they work and the projects they produce.

 

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Transcript
Jacinda W:

And so if I was talking to the younger my

Jacinda W:

younger self or any young people, I always encourage them,

Jacinda W:

that you should believe you can do it. That thing that you think

Jacinda W:

is a disadvantage, it might very well be the best down thing you

Jacinda W:

should do. It might be the very, very thing in gotta believe it.

Jacinda W:

You got to believe it's possible you got to believe it can

Jacinda W:

happen, you got to believe you can do it. Because there will be

Jacinda W:

people that will be forces, it will be places and organizations

Jacinda W:

to tell you otherwise. If you don't, you better start

Jacinda W:

believing quick.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Welcome to work in process. The podcast

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

series where I design an educated George Garrison Jr.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Have the conversations you wish you had. I talked to designers,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

artists, educators and creators to find out the hows and whys of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

their creative work. Through experiences and inspiration, my

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

guests explore the techniques and observations that have

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

helped them navigate their creative career. Thanks for

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

joining me to explore how creativity is fueled by

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

intuition, motivation, and most of all process. And that was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

today's guest to send a walk to senators are renowned for her

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

work in design, diversity research and strategy. Her

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

research on design journeys strategy for increasing

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

diversity in design disciplines has been hailed a breakthrough

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

over this solution a thesis explores diversity in design

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

disciplines and investigates effective strategies to expose

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

black and Latino youth to design careers. Just in his future

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

goals are to help scale diversity in design initiatives

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

with education institutions, corporations, organizations and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

museums. Recently Jacinda was featured as an unsung hero by

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the Cleveland Public Library, and received the 2021 mentor

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

award from the Chicago based project osmosis. It's for her

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

continued drive and advocation for young people that I have

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

just in the on the show today. I look to learn how she instills

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

passion for design an early age and what we as a community can

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do to foster this change alongside her. Ages Linda,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

welcome to the works in process podcast.

Jacinda W:

Hey, thank you for having me. Thank you for having

Jacinda W:

me. I appreciate you.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Oh, no problem. No problem. Um, before

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

we get into you, and what you are as a creative, I'd like to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do something fun as the beginning of our podcasts. It's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a rapid q&a questions. Are you ready? Yes, I am. Give it to me.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

All right. So first is a series of this or that questions? And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this or

Jacinda W:

that? Got it? Got it.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Coffee or tea?

Jacinda W:

Tea,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

eggs or cereal?

Jacinda W:

Oh, I like them both both.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Both analog or digital?

Jacinda W:

Analog

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Cleveland or Akron

Jacinda W:

216 Every day

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

workshops or speaking engagements.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Both know you got it. You got to pick one.

Jacinda W:

workshops or speaking engagements, workshops or

Jacinda W:

speaking engagements, workshops.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

All right, there you go. And now

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

some quick word association. Right. So the first thing you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

hear when you hear these words, okay.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Creativity,

Jacinda W:

design,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

determination.

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Black women.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Business.

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Risk,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

failure.

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Fail Fast, fast.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Community.

Jacinda W:

Cleveland,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

education.

Jacinda W:

design

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

mistakes

Jacinda W:

all the time. Exactly. Right. Exactly.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Skills.

Jacinda W:

Lots of history. Gotta have it.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Opportunity.

Jacinda W:

crushes come on commodities.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Accessibility

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with everything.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Future

Jacinda W:

now,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and last but not least, process

Jacinda W:

is a must.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Definitely. Right. I totally agree. Yes.

Jacinda W:

I work with so many young people. And that's usually

Jacinda W:

one of our first conversations like, do you even know how you

Jacinda W:

do what you do?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Such a big one.

Jacinda W:

They're still learning. And they're usually in

Jacinda W:

school or having these experiences where they're trying

Jacinda W:

to learn about the profession and learn about the work, right?

Jacinda W:

And you get so far out and you're like, oh, no, what do I

Jacinda W:

need? Eat, remain creative. You know, this thing called a career

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is a long journey. And if you don't ask yourself that early

Jacinda W:

enough, you'll slip up. It was totally above and not being

Jacinda W:

paying attention to it. So being able to talk about that when

Jacinda W:

you're a young, creative, critical, critical and so that's

Jacinda W:

usually a big conversation that we usually

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

agreed. And so now let's get a little

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

bit into kind of what I call your origin story, right? Let's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

find out how you were introduced into art and design.

Jacinda W:

Well, I talk often I talk about often is not private.

Jacinda W:

I am from an incredibly creative mother, my mom, she was so

Jacinda W:

special, she could cook and she sewed clothing like, you know,

Jacinda W:

she sewed me and my brothers clothes into like real boobs.

Jacinda W:

And she cooked she made clothes, she did hair. My mother was like

Jacinda W:

the the neighborhood building hairstylist. She did a little

Jacinda W:

bit of makeup. I mean, she was she crocheted, you know, like

Jacinda W:

the string crocheting, not just knitting, but like string

Jacinda W:

crochet, they make the doilies that a lot of women have during

Jacinda W:

the 1920s on their tablecloths. And so she did those. And we

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always work creative in the house, like it was something

Jacinda W:

that we did as a hobby, never in my right mind. And I think that

Jacinda W:

this was something that you could do as a career path. And

Jacinda W:

so in high school, when my teacher, she was pregnant, and

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she went away on maternity leave, she was replaced by this

Jacinda W:

gentleman's name was Mr. Apple bomb. And he was a commercial

Jacinda W:

artist. And he started us using typography, and making ads. And

Jacinda W:

he even took away our paint our watercolors and brushes, and he

Jacinda W:

replaced them with Prisma colors, and T squares and

Jacinda W:

repeater graph pins. And, you know, he changed everything. And

Jacinda W:

he told me that he thought I was pretty good at this, and I

Jacinda W:

should think about it. And I didn't believe him. And I know

Jacinda W:

at 16, I had loss of attitude. And I did it was really bad. I

Jacinda W:

look back on it, like, Oops. But I lost that attitude at 16. And

Jacinda W:

I went ahead, I cut class and I went to the guidance counselor

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to ask them, Is it this thing called design? And what is it

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and where is it? And for me, you have to understand this is

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before Google. And this is before the internet, right? So

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like, I just went and they had binders of books. And in the

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whole guidance counselor office, it was only three that had the

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art and design stuff in it. So it for me, I feel like it

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narrowed it in the what, and the where and the how, very, very

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quickly. And as the oldest child in my family, my mother refused

Jacinda W:

to let me go out of state. She was like, I was like, Oh, my

Jacinda W:

music school in Florida. What you're gonna do there? You can't

Jacinda W:

do design here. You know? But will you need to find how to do

Jacinda W:

it here. She was like, you can go, but I'm gonna need to stay

Jacinda W:

in the state. And so that's kind of the origin story of how I

Jacinda W:

kind of got into this area.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Wow. So. So with that, right, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

answered a lot of questions I was gonna ask in the beginning,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

which is awesome. So we can we can bypass that right? And so

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

what was your first creative job? And how did you stumble

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

into it?

Jacinda W:

Did not stumble walk face first into it, smack bed

Jacinda W:

and my first design job. It was an internship at Hickok

Jacinda W:

engineering. It's here in Cleveland, they work for Ford,

Jacinda W:

and they make car parts. Now realize, you know, here in

Jacinda W:

Cleveland remanufacturing time, we're still town, you know, and

Jacinda W:

these kinds of nooks and crannies, exists all in

Jacinda W:

Cleveland, but I didn't know anything about it. And I had an

Jacinda W:

amazing sixth grade art teacher. And she became the computer

Jacinda W:

design teacher, right? Like she taught us like computer literacy

Jacinda W:

and coding, you know, all that kind of stuff. And then when I

Jacinda W:

got out of college, I had, you know, you have like summer

Jacinda W:

breaks. And so I would always go back and visit my high school, I

Jacinda W:

would always go back and visit the middle school. I still had I

Jacinda W:

have a ton of siblings. So they were still. So it was easy for

Jacinda W:

me to stay connected. And when she found out I was looking for

Jacinda W:

work. She was like, Oh, I know some people and I'm thinking,

Jacinda W:

Okay, well call me. And she did. And I met the gentleman at

Jacinda W:

Hickok engineering. And he was like, Oh my gosh, you know how

Jacinda W:

to design. And I figured he was just gonna hire me to make

Jacinda W:

coffee and go do errands and go find stuff, right? Like, that's

Jacinda W:

what I thought. And he was like, oh, no, we're gonna have you

Jacinda W:

make something. And I'm thinking, I can't make anything

Jacinda W:

I don't even have like, I just barely got a two year degree. I

Jacinda W:

don't think I'm qualified to do anything. And he was like, he

Jacinda W:

was like, how did you make this stuff in your portfolio? And I

Jacinda W:

told him, I use this program called PageMaker and Quark

Jacinda W:

Express and he was like, really? And I said, Yes, you know, we

Jacinda W:

got max at school. And he was like, well, we want you to make

Jacinda W:

our newsletter, and so forth. For the next three months,

Jacinda W:

George, I had personalized training from the writers from

Jacinda W:

the mechanics, from the entire automotive team, the Photoshop

Jacinda W:

designers, like the people who did the retouching and the

Jacinda W:

cleansing, because you know, when you see the magazine, when

Jacinda W:

you see the car parts in the magazine, they don't always look

Jacinda W:

that clean all the time, somebody's got a nail look like

Jacinda W:

that. So I got a chance to work with each of these

Jacinda W:

professionals, so that I could create and design this

Jacinda W:

newsletter. And when I finished the newsletter, and I went back

Jacinda W:

to school, and went back to University of Akron, it was

Jacinda W:

crazy, because I had already begun to evolve. I saw it in my

Jacinda W:

work. I saw it in my abilities. And I was able to see it in my

Jacinda W:

classmates, like, oh, wait a second, we're talking about

Jacinda W:

something different now. Right, like, some of us have had

Jacinda W:

different experiences. And I'm seeing now, right, and this was

Jacinda W:

maybe like my second into second year. So it was it was really

Jacinda W:

early still, like it was still super early in my career.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

It's not the the great point of an

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

internship, right to expose you to things a lot quicker than you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

would do in school.

Jacinda W:

And, and the internship provides an

Jacinda W:

opportunity for you to really think, is this what it could be

Jacinda W:

like it like, if this internship became a full time job? Could I

Jacinda W:

be happy doing this? Would I be creatively challenged? Right?

Jacinda W:

Like internships allow you do that? How are you messing with

Jacinda W:

other people? Right? George, what are you wearing to work

Jacinda W:

every day? Right? Like because you know, coming out of college,

Jacinda W:

you got like, one good pair of slacks, maybe two good shirts,

Jacinda W:

you know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

but as you broke, you are a college

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

student. We are broke,

Jacinda W:

right? Like, so what do you wear to work? Like, how?

Jacinda W:

How do you plan this part of your life out? Right? How do you

Jacinda W:

afford work clothes? I remember asking so many of my older women

Jacinda W:

friends, where do you buy stuff that's not for school. But

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

how I mean, it's it's such a learning

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

experience that like the quote unquote, real world allows you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to start considering things that you just didn't do. When you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

were in school. Because you're upping the game, maybe you know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you're learning because of the experience, or you're just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

realizing like you mentioned to yourself that, hey, I'm now

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

having a different conversation than the rest of my classmates.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So I need to actually kind of, you know, step it up, because I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know that it's a difference. Right? Yeah. So in that, when

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

did you first consider yourself a creative? Genius, I

Jacinda W:

think I'm still working on that every day. I'm

Jacinda W:

not even the creative I was yesterday, every day is a new

Jacinda W:

learning spirit. I'm taking I'm taking a social impact class.

Jacinda W:

Now on Wednesdays, after Fah. It's from seven to nine. So I'm

Jacinda W:

still learning. And in fact, that's usually one of the things

Jacinda W:

I usually tell young designers when they talk with me about

Jacinda W:

this, like, if you are not going to be dedicated to lifelong

Jacinda W:

learning, you need to start right now. You meet and go any

Jacinda W:

further, if you are not willing to dedicate yourself to lifelong

Jacinda W:

learning, because that's what it is to be a designer, it's not

Jacinda W:

good enough just to have a degree and think you're gonna

Jacinda W:

keep that job. There's lifelong learning. Here. They're updating

Jacinda W:

the software every day, there's new software out every day, I

Jacinda W:

was trying to teach myself Adobe XD a couple of months ago. Now I

Jacinda W:

know how successful I was George, but I was I was trying

Jacinda W:

to learn

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it. That's the whole point.

Jacinda W:

Every every at Lake, so if you're not going to be

Jacinda W:

dedicated to continuing and nurturing your craft, and

Jacinda W:

learning, you may as well just go on a start right now. Do

Jacinda W:

yourself a favor, find something that you can do. That doesn't

Jacinda W:

require learning?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Exactly. I mean, I totally agree. I think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there's, there's a point where, you know, if you consider

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

yourself like I've reached the pinnacle of anything at an early

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

age, then you need to stop, right you need because you you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

don't have the wherewithal to kind of dig deep into anything

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that you're doing to really push it to really push yourself and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to go to that next level. If you think you've kind of achieved

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

whatever you think you should have achieved at 2025 30. Right,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you really haven't dug deep and I'm not going to speak for you.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But you know, I've been doing this design for at least 20 plus

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

years. Right? And like you said, every time you're learning but

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

every time you're doing things at a different level. I mean,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

George, I don't

Jacinda W:

I even would love to know, how designers 50 years

Jacinda W:

ago, kept their skill sets up, right because this is before the

Jacinda W:

internet. So like, where were the conferences? How did you do

Jacinda W:

online like, you see what I'm saying? So I know this piece

Jacinda W:

about this lifelong learning has evolved with the profession, as

Jacinda W:

well as with professionals. And what But that piece of it is.

Jacinda W:

And so if you're not able, even at this, you know, the, as you

Jacinda W:

said at 20 years for me 25 plus years, right? Like if you're not

Jacinda W:

able and willing to say, Okay, I did not know how to do that, how

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do you do that? Right? I'm working on a project right now.

Jacinda W:

And they use airtable. As we have up the game on Google

Jacinda W:

Sheets,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there's so many, so many levels to all

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of that, right? salutely? Absolutely.

Jacinda W:

So you're you're constantly, especially if you

Jacinda W:

enjoy the work, if you enjoy, if you are intrigued and curious,

Jacinda W:

right? If you're if you're curious than this not really

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difficult for you to try and learn different things. If you

Jacinda W:

don't like that aspect of it, then this is going to be

Jacinda W:

challenging for

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a grid. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

A little transparency to our audience, right, me and just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

send I've known each other for a little bit, for a little while,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, we were part of the AIGA dei Task Force. And with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that, I've always known you as design Explorer. And when I was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

researching you for the episode, I saw that you've worked for the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

city of Cleveland. Yep. As a designed instructor, a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

programming associate for a museum. Yep. So let me ask you,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

what inspired you to shift from being part of these larger

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

organizations to starting a social enterprise?

Jacinda W:

I know, right, right, I get that. You know, I, my

Jacinda W:

specialty was as an in house designer, with publications. And

Jacinda W:

so I specialized in publications, branding,

Jacinda W:

marketing, communications, helping with messaging, I also

Jacinda W:

was responsible for doing the vendor quoting. So if we needed

Jacinda W:

to hire a photographer, or if we needed to hire a printer, if we

Jacinda W:

needed to hire another creative professional, I would

Jacinda W:

responsible for going through the process and bringing that

Jacinda W:

person on board. And for the longest amount of time, George,

Jacinda W:

I thought that was going to be it. I really thought that was

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going to be at work for some of the largest organizations here

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in Cleveland. I like to remind people I designed for Cleveland

Jacinda W:

Public Schools, we had 122 schools, seven administrative

Jacinda W:

sites, we designed bilingual publications in three different

Jacinda W:

languages. And I answered directly to our CEO at the time.

Jacinda W:

Then I moved over to Cleveland Division of Water, where I

Jacinda W:

designed for 500,000 customers, again, bilingual publications,

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city ordinances, government spaces. I also designed for the

Jacinda W:

Department of Public Utilities. Georgia even did a couple of

Jacinda W:

projects with the mayor's office. So that space, I was

Jacinda W:

like, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

so you're doing small jobs.

Jacinda W:

I was I was like, in it. And you know, I'm a little

Jacinda W:

bit ambitious. And so I was also volunteering. So I volunteered

Jacinda W:

for like five different organizations. And I started,

Jacinda W:

you know, as you say, Well, how and what I started mentoring,

Jacinda W:

when I was at the school district, I quickly because I

Jacinda W:

was the only designer there. I got tired of explaining that,

Jacinda W:

right? They didn't know what design was. I was like 2726.

Jacinda W:

They didn't know a black girl designer, let alone what design

Jacinda W:

was right. So I regularly had to explain what this was. And so I

Jacinda W:

started calling myself the designer, the graphic designer

Jacinda W:

at Cleveland Public Schools, who else was gonna find me for the

Jacinda W:

title. And so when I started doing that, it really made I

Jacinda W:

noticed that it made people respond differently to me. And I

Jacinda W:

noticed it had and made me up my game. Because if I'm going to

Jacinda W:

tell you, I'm the one then I need to know everything. Right,

Jacinda W:

I need to know how to do everything here. I need I need

Jacinda W:

to be able to tell you about our brands, our Pantone cut, like I

Jacinda W:

engulfed into the phrase logo police like I took it serious.

Jacinda W:

Georgia had a badge and a hat like Wrong. Wrong size, wrong

Jacinda W:

tint, like everything. And when I started mentoring, it just

Jacinda W:

took me to a whole nother place. That and the fact George I think

Jacinda W:

you know this as well, I suffer from Big Sister itis. So, since

Jacinda W:

I already suffer from Big Sister itis, and I really enjoy working

Jacinda W:

with young people. When my first mentee came and said she just

Jacinda W:

wanted to see me work and just watch me. And at first I was

Jacinda W:

like Well alright, you welcome to sit there. And she sat there

Jacinda W:

for like a whole day. It was crazy. I would look over she

Jacinda W:

would be taking notes. She would be writing. I'm running lunch.

Jacinda W:

He ran it follow me behind lunch like she think I don't see her

Jacinda W:

like, like she's following me but like she took shadowing

Jacinda W:

serious. At the end of the day, George I was like, Okay, well

Jacinda W:

I'm a bout to go home?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Because I'm gonna follow you.

Jacinda W:

I'm about to go home. I don't know if you have any

Jacinda W:

additional questions or any comments or, and she said, I

Jacinda W:

love to kind of come back tomorrow. Wow. And she said that

Jacinda W:

she that's what she shared with me. She was a single mom. And

Jacinda W:

she was looking to do something in design that could provide for

Jacinda W:

her family. And that that conversation just took me there.

Jacinda W:

Like, I'm not just giving her some words of wisdom. She's

Jacinda W:

trying to take care of her child. She's She is looking for

Jacinda W:

me to provide guidance, so she can keep her family fed. And and

Jacinda W:

that just shook me like, it shook me. And so I just started

Jacinda W:

talking with her and learning what she was doing and how she

Jacinda W:

was doing it and what she had and you know, and we became fast

Jacinda W:

friends. In fact, we are still friends now. She actually has

Jacinda W:

her own business, and I buy stuff from her business, too.

Jacinda W:

Oh, lovely. Yes, I've definitely like when she asked me that. It

Jacinda W:

just took me there. It wasn't just like, one of my sisters or

Jacinda W:

brothers asked me something, right? She was trying to take

Jacinda W:

care of her family. And that just walked me and she was so

Jacinda W:

young, you know. And she was doing the right thing, right.

Jacinda W:

And so I just started working with her. And as I began working

Jacinda W:

with her, my co workers saw because he would come down all

Jacinda W:

the time. And my co workers saw it, and they were like, oh,

Jacinda W:

Jacinta I saw you with your student. You know, my son wants

Jacinda W:

to do this. And I don't want him to be like a regular artist. I

Jacinda W:

want him to get a job like you. So can you talk to my son. And

Jacinda W:

then one person saw me talking today, son, and then somebody

Jacinda W:

brought the daughter and then somebody brought a cousin. And

Jacinda W:

then they the the young people started referring their friends

Jacinda W:

like, Oh, I know a black girl doing this. And next thing you

Jacinda W:

knew, I had 10 mentees like, it just, it just happened. And by

Jacinda W:

time I moved from the school district to the city of

Jacinda W:

Cleveland, Georgia, I was operating a little baby HR

Jacinda W:

design agency. In that office, I'm here to let you know, I was

Jacinda W:

recruiting, I was helping with resumes I was helping with

Jacinda W:

interviewing, I was helping decode job descriptions. And the

Jacinda W:

crazy crazy thing happened, George, they started getting

Jacinda W:

jobs.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Well, that's amazing.

Jacinda W:

I was like, they like, and I just started

Jacinda W:

documenting my process. I started writing down, hey, this

Jacinda W:

is what work this is what didn't, I started taking notes

Jacinda W:

of who was in my network that I could connect them with, like I

Jacinda W:

am and in doing that is really the first seeds. You know, as I

Jacinda W:

look back of what design Explorer was going to be, and I

Jacinda W:

think I time you and I met, design explore became what it is

Jacinda W:

today, because of Dr. Mayo and the whole staff at Ohio State

Jacinda W:

University, they really, really, really took a special interest

Jacinda W:

in my research work. And they helped me to iron it out. I'm

Jacinda W:

talking not just a little Renson, no iron with the steam,

Jacinda W:

and what is the feasibility? How will you sustain yourself? How

Jacinda W:

will this help the profession? how we'd like these deeper

Jacinda W:

research based type of things? And that's really what made

Jacinda W:

design explore possible.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

So let me ask you this. What I also

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

heard with the idea of that person shadowing you, right is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

is something that maybe as young creatives we don't normally get

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

is somebody really genuinely interested in the things that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

we're interested in, right? Because a lot of times such a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

hard thing that sometimes it's hard for us to explain what we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do to our friends or family who don't really understand and to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

have that person shadow you and also, you know, beyond the idea

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that you were like, Oh, she's trying to do something for our

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

family, but also like, somebody gets me. I think that's an

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

important thing, too.

Jacinda W:

I recently met a young man in Detroit and his mom

Jacinda W:

brought him to meet me which I was like, what? And I was

Jacinda W:

speaking at the Heidelberg Project in New York, I mean, in

Jacinda W:

Detroit, and they were like, hey, just send us in cleat. Just

Jacinda W:

send us in Detroit. And I'm thinking, okay, like, I'm just

Jacinda W:

gonna hang out here with y'all. Like, I enjoyed the environment.

Jacinda W:

It's creative there. And I was like, vibing, and this mom comes

Jacinda W:

on, she's like, I heard you're here. And they told me you're

Jacinda W:

here and I brought my son because he likes art like you.

Jacinda W:

And he's thinking about doing something with computers. And so

Jacinda W:

I started talking to the young man, I'm like, Well, tell me

Jacinda W:

what you do. And he starts to try to give me the fluff answer.

Jacinda W:

Well, you know, I do a lot you No, I like creativity. Okay,

Jacinda W:

what's that mean? What'd you do? Well, you know, I like art

Jacinda W:

classes. And I like computer. What do you do? And he's like, I

Jacinda W:

was like, Well, here's the thing. I'm a creative. So I

Jacinda W:

already understand the language, you can just tell me, you don't

Jacinda W:

have to give me the answer that you give everybody else because

Jacinda W:

they don't know, really what you're talking about. You can

Jacinda W:

tell me exactly what you do. And he said, I really liked to make

Jacinda W:

posters. I want to do computer like, hey, I want to make

Jacinda W:

videos, he wants to do trailers, he wants to be able to use his

Jacinda W:

art and technology at the same time. Right? Like, that's why

Jacinda W:

he's like, trying to, that's what his mom is like, I don't

Jacinda W:

know what you're talking about. I need to get you to somebody

Jacinda W:

who can speak that language and help explain it back to me. So

Jacinda W:

after I decode the conversation with the son, then I go back and

Jacinda W:

share with the mom. Okay, here's what he needs,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that you translate, and really you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

translating for her as it's lots

Jacinda W:

of translating, because parents, particularly

Jacinda W:

the ones I've spoken with, George, they genuinely don't

Jacinda W:

know what you have to understand that the design professional has

Jacinda W:

changed drastically. It's not even what it was two weeks ago,

Jacinda W:

right? So it's changed drastically. And so parents are

Jacinda W:

just trying to keep up and keep food on the table, clothes on

Jacinda W:

their back and shoes on their feet. And so your child coming

Jacinda W:

up to you talking about i need a $600 tablet for being able to

Jacinda W:

help parents like okay, yes, he does. Yes, he definitely could

Jacinda W:

use a tablet. But maybe we started away from tablets about

Jacinda W:

100 bucks. Yeah, okay, well, we're gonna get that at. It's

Jacinda W:

this decoding thing, you know, that it's constantly happening.

Jacinda W:

I'm decoding with the young folks that I speak with, then I

Jacinda W:

got to decode for the parents to understand how to better nurture

Jacinda W:

and help and assist and provide this creative beast, because you

Jacinda W:

know, it's the thing that feed, right, like, it's a savage. And

Jacinda W:

you got to feed this creativity. And parents are just trying to

Jacinda W:

understand how, what, how much is. Now they're trying to

Jacinda W:

understand how to do that. And so regularly, I have to decode

Jacinda W:

for parents.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Yeah, I get that. And, you know, it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

also just seems like you're just kind of justifying the fact

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that, that this world that we live in, is a viable profession,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

right? When they're not so used to just they're used to seeing

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

unfortunately, the the doctor, lawyer, things like that, were

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

those just things equal money, and like you said, these

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

families are trying to provide and so they want to make sure

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that their their children get a job that can also do the same

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thing, because they've been struggling with that,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

potentially. So how do you make sure we do that.

Jacinda W:

And what I've, what I hear from a lot of parents is,

Jacinda W:

oh, he can be creative, but I want him to be able to have what

Jacinda W:

I don't have. And so when parents hear for many parents,

Jacinda W:

when they hear my son or my daughter wants to be creative,

Jacinda W:

they remember these stereotypes. Artists are homeless on the

Jacinda W:

street, paintings that don't sell all my other favorite, you

Jacinda W:

know, the art cart teacher, you know, the teacher in the art in

Jacinda W:

the class, she doesn't have a classroom, she carries art on

Jacinda W:

the car, she got that little train and go down, wiggle like

Jacinda W:

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, chicken,

Jacinda W:

right? You know, they're like, Oh, God, my child is gonna get

Jacinda W:

that job. They're not excited about that. And so the thing is

Jacinda W:

that, as professionals, we have to get better at sharing our

Jacinda W:

stories, telling what's really happening, and what's really

Jacinda W:

happening, not just what's happening, what's really

Jacinda W:

happening. And we have to be transparent about the good parts

Jacinda W:

and bad parts. Because you know, we I find sometimes as designer

Jacinda W:

we we love to be like, oh, yeah, I'm driving this. I'm rocking

Jacinda W:

that I got the MacBook Pro. I got the new, but let's talk

Jacinda W:

about the before. I recently had an opportunity to attend a

Jacinda W:

project osmosis event and present gas Moses was giving out

Jacinda W:

laptops

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to high school students. George, I was

Jacinda W:

on the call like, is he about to get the MacBook Pro

Jacinda W:

to $2,700? So I typed in the chat box straight up, George

Jacinda W:

typed in chat bots. Do you have fonts? If you don't if you need

Jacinda W:

some fonts call me. Don't you know your man was like, I would

Jacinda W:

love to learn more about how to get fonts for the new computer.

Jacinda W:

He don't he's getting his he is getting quote unquote, the

Jacinda W:

limousine the Lexus equipment, doesn't know how to get fonts.

Jacinda W:

Right?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

He got the printer but I got no paper.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Right. Like, he got the best you know, and I think that's one of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the things that like there's things that we just don't talk

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

about, right where like, there's so many different connections to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to what it is and and I was gonna ask you a silly question

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and I'm gonna move past it just because you know, what we're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

digging into is so much more. More interesting, right? And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

what you're, what you're doing is you're talking about one

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

translating conversations for, you're basically bridging the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

gaps, right? between, between students and their families of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like, what this whole thing is. Yeah. And what it is, is the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ability to break down kind of what creativity is, when you're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

talking about art, there's a different thing that we're not

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

artists, we're designers. Correct. And I think a lot of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

people confuse them, because they, they, they think they're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the same. And yes, we might have started out as artists, because

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's just kind of how we navigated the world, being able

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to draw things potentially, but we are people who see things

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and, and create impact with what we create versus just something

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

beautiful. And let people decide based on that

Jacinda W:

is yes, we are vehicles, I like to describe our

Jacinda W:

scribing as we are vehicles where messages and experiences

Jacinda W:

come in, we translate them, we put them on paper or on

Jacinda W:

computers or on social media, or billboards or products or

Jacinda W:

services or experience. And as a vehicle, you know, we are

Jacinda W:

congruence like we are that person that's going to translate

Jacinda W:

this and be able to synthesize it so that the next person has a

Jacinda W:

better experience, a more improved a different experience.

Jacinda W:

And I think that we don't talk about that part of it enough. We

Jacinda W:

don't talk about the evolution of your career. And I think that

Jacinda W:

as we have young people, these are the types of things I

Jacinda W:

recently was at University of California, UC Davis. And one of

Jacinda W:

the design challenges I gave because the school was so nice,

Jacinda W:

the design department, they were like you won't come in and teach

Jacinda W:

a class. I just got off the plane. I'm I'm okay. Like, all

Jacinda W:

right. Well, what do you want to? So one of the design

Jacinda W:

challenges was to ask the student designers in the

Jacinda W:

foundation's classes, what do you think it's like to be a

Jacinda W:

senior designer? Georgia faces went blank, blank, like, what do

Jacinda W:

designers do? Like they were like, I'm like, Have you ever

Jacinda W:

seen one day like, like, so their world is is so I don't

Jacinda W:

want to use the word limited. But their perspective is just

Jacinda W:

very narrow, because they just simply haven't had the exposure

Jacinda W:

or the experiences yet. And so asking them about what your what

Jacinda W:

you might be doing in 25 years? That's a tough question. That's

Jacinda W:

a big question. And they have a vision of that, because they

Jacinda W:

don't see the people doing that, like they don't see the people

Jacinda W:

at 25 a year, they don't see the people at 50. Or they see the

Jacinda W:

people who are in their classes, they see the people who are in

Jacinda W:

their classes, and they see the people who are teaching their

Jacinda W:

classes. That's, that's what,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's what college

Jacinda W:

is all about. So I think that we have to be better

Jacinda W:

at professionals to talk about some of these nitty gritty

Jacinda W:

things, because we just can't keep not only the pretty stuff.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Oh, no, definitely. I mean, that's one

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of the reasons why I think that I started this this podcast

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

conversation is the ability to, you know, like you said, talk

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

about the process of getting here. Yeah, learning from the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

stories that people have, and really trying to realize that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it's not all, you know, sunshine and rainbows, and there's a lot

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of struggle, and too much of it is put on social media. And we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

focus on the beautification of things and the finalization of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

work, right. And we don't ever focus on the struggles that that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

go into it. And, you know, the process or the thinking behind

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it, or the even the teams that you have, right, everybody

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thinks like, oh, only one person did that, like, you know, it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

on their website, they did it. I'm like, No, hello, there's a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

whole team behind that creative from writers, designers,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

videographers, producers, editors, marketers, you know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

accountants I like was I think that's all of the things that we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

don't talk about. Correct. And I think that's one of the reasons

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

why is to allow my listeners to see that there are multitudes of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

ways to getting to a thing, and if they can align with any of my

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

guests and be like, Oh, my God, that's exactly how I used to do

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it, or I'm looking to do something like them. To me,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's where the magic happens, right? Because then they realize

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that it's not just what's happening out there on the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

surface. It's actually also what's happening behind the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

scenes, and a lot of stuff behind the scenes is where the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

magic happens. Like to me that is the big thing. GEORGE That's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

awesome. Magic.

Jacinda W:

Think about this, you print your annual report. Guess

Jacinda W:

what happened? You put it on the shelf. You spent six months on

Jacinda W:

that. It's printed. It goes on the shelf. You start the next

Jacinda W:

one. Yeah. So if we're not, if we're not talking and appreciate

Jacinda W:

having an appreciation for the what happened to get us to that

Jacinda W:

place of glory, the being able to really acknowledge it and

Jacinda W:

enjoy it becomes very limited. Because because you're not

Jacinda W:

you're not respected any of the stuff that happened before that

Jacinda W:

you only want to talk about this one little piece. Now all the

Jacinda W:

hours I put into it all the the labor, the drafts, pray, like,

Jacinda W:

ask a designer. Hey, I saw that thing you did. How many drafts

Jacinda W:

did you do? Right? Like that's a conversation

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

in itself. But ask us ask a student

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

how many drafts? It's it's a vastly different conversation

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

because of just there. I think what you were mentioning it like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the lack of knowledge, and it's not to take away anything from

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

there. It's just the exposure. And like you mentioned, there's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a there's a lack of exposure to design an early Yes. So how do

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you think we as a community needs to address this? And oh,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's a double quick. Yeah, it was a double. It's a double.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

It's a two parter. And is finding out about design in

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

college? Too late in your opinion?

Jacinda W:

Okay. So I'm a tackled of the last part of the

Jacinda W:

question. I come back. George, as you know, I study education.

Jacinda W:

I love watching educators work. I've been in so many schools, so

Jacinda W:

many teachers. I love it. I love watching them work I love when

Jacinda W:

they let me watch them work I love when they asked me what,

Jacinda W:

like, I just love watching them work, right? I highly respect

Jacinda W:

the work of educators. And in answering your question, I have

Jacinda W:

to say, college is too late. It's too late. And for the

Jacinda W:

students and for all of the young people who decide in

Jacinda W:

college, this is what I want to do. It's not impossible, right?

Jacinda W:

It's not impossible to learn it. It's simply the fact that when

Jacinda W:

you're in that K 12 space, you're in a place of discovery,

Jacinda W:

reflection, that's what they call it, right reflection. And

Jacinda W:

it's much the stakes are much lower to reflect in K 12, than

Jacinda W:

they are in a college classroom. See in a college classroom, my

Jacinda W:

dollars is on the line now. That time for discovery is much more

Jacinda W:

rapid. I gotta figure this out. I got 16 weeks. I've got four

Jacinda W:

years. I got a two year like, so that so that place of discovery

Jacinda W:

happens best in that foundations part of the passage. That's that

Jacinda W:

whole K 12 piece. Plus, maybe you guys are way more fortunate

Jacinda W:

in New York. But see here in Ohio. We start standardized

Jacinda W:

testing in the second grade. Now, George, I don't know if

Jacinda W:

you've ever seen an eight year old have to prepare for tests.

Jacinda W:

It is the saddest thing I'm here to It is so sad. George, when I

Jacinda W:

go to a school I know I'm gonna be there a couple couple weeks,

Jacinda W:

couple months. First question out of my mind what mind is

Jacinda W:

testing because I want to be out of here by testing because like

Jacinda W:

it's it's heartbreaking to watch. It's heartbreaking that

Jacinda W:

they're eight. They're eight. So we are starting standardized

Jacinda W:

testing in the second grade so that we can begin to learn what

Jacinda W:

their future likes and interests and capabilities are at at

Jacinda W:

eight. That's George, what were you doing at eight?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I'll tell you what I was I was just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

drawing.

Jacinda W:

At eight. I was drawing. I was having lunch at

Jacinda W:

recess. And I was doing pretty decent at gym because I'm very

Jacinda W:

unathletic, and no one ever picked me. So that's what I was

Jacinda W:

doing at eight. I can't imagine having to make a career decision

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

at eight. Oh, no. But oh, no,

Jacinda W:

that's what we're asking our eight year olds to

Jacinda W:

do. Now, we're asking our eight year olds with standardized

Jacinda W:

testing. What are you good at? What do you like? How much did

Jacinda W:

you learn? What kind of you know, like, we're asking them

Jacinda W:

these metric based questions at eight. When you talk about is it

Jacinda W:

is college too late. When I look at the K 12 system and all the

Jacinda W:

opportunity for discovery and for learning and being exposed

Jacinda W:

to different things. That's the place. Like that's the place. So

Jacinda W:

it's not that it can't happen at the college level. It's just you

Jacinda W:

have time in the K 12 space that you simply you don't have that

Jacinda W:

kind of time

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

at the college level. Right.

Jacinda W:

And then what can we do to have a better under a

Jacinda W:

better acceptance, how can we do this? Is that the question? How

Jacinda W:

can we have a better accept? Well,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, since there's a lack of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

exposure, right, what can the design community do to address

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this

Jacinda W:

threefold answer? It's because realize that the

Jacinda W:

lack of diversity and design is a wicked problem. When we talk

Jacinda W:

about how to solve wicked problems, problems that are so

Jacinda W:

massively large, that one thing, one person, one fix just isn't

Jacinda W:

going to hurt it. Wicked Problems are things that you

Jacinda W:

couldn't even put a million dollars on it, you couldn't dump

Jacinda W:

a billion dollars in education right now fix it. You couldn't

Jacinda W:

dump a billion dollars in public transportation, and fix it.

Jacinda W:

Because this is beyond money. These are how we identify wicked

Jacinda W:

problems, right? Like how massively large and design, the

Jacinda W:

lack of diversity in design is a wicked problem. And so we need

Jacinda W:

to treat it like a wicked problem, and look for multiple

Jacinda W:

people to solve it. Different kinds of people in different

Jacinda W:

kinds of places in different kinds of experiences in

Jacinda W:

different kinds of perspectives. See, that's how we address a

Jacinda W:

wicked problem. And if we began to think of this lack of

Jacinda W:

diversity of design in that, then we would understand that

Jacinda W:

it's not just educators, we need parents, we need professionals,

Jacinda W:

we need organizations, we need businesses, we need all of these

Jacinda W:

people focused and united, to begin to work on that problem.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

That's true. That's true, it is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

definitely something there is a systematic problem that I think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

as you're talking about an eight year old student in the second

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

grade, needing to determine what their life is going to be, you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know, when when we understand standardized testing, basically

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

inhibits creativity. And it allows only students or

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

individuals to only focus on what is being asked versus what

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

can they potentially do, right? And an eight year old, they

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

should be exploring and having these moments of epiphanies,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

versus, you know, standardization, and you need to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

do this as an assembly line, kind of answer your question,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this is what happens. Yes.

Jacinda W:

And that's why, you know, when I when when we do

Jacinda W:

summer camps, it's such a revolutionary experience,

Jacinda W:

because I'm not asking you to do the same thing you did for Miss

Jacinda W:

Jones class. And I'm willing to wait for you to think about it.

Jacinda W:

Well, well, let's time is it over? Because what if I don't?

Jacinda W:

We'll wait, you come back tomorrow, we will talk about it

Jacinda W:

again. But rod is if I don't, if I can't think of it. We're gonna

Jacinda W:

sketch we're gonna draw, we're gonna have some conversations,

Jacinda W:

let's look at our what our friends are doing. Right there.

Jacinda W:

So like, how do I do this? What happens if I can't like it? They

Jacinda W:

just having this the struggle. And so because they've been

Jacinda W:

taught, like, Hey, I told you eight facts, I need you to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

give me eight answers. The conditioning

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

is the

Jacinda W:

is that conditioning, and then they come to design or

Jacinda W:

creativity? Well, we're like, what do you think? They're like,

Jacinda W:

Well, what do you think? How is it? I don't know, how do you

Jacinda W:

like it? Well, what if I don't? What do you like? They're,

Jacinda W:

they're like, I had one student once. I was like, Can you answer

Jacinda W:

one of my questions? I did. Like, don't you?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But just what was the question I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

asked?

Jacinda W:

Well, I don't know. I really don't. What do you think

Jacinda W:

it is? That's what I was asking you. I don't know, either. What

Jacinda W:

we what do you see,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's one of the biggest things I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

always see is, is as educator myself is the idea that that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

they consider design us, like we have solutions, not answers. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Solutions is a very different case based on a bunch of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

different factors that go into account to say, you know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

because of these things, this is potentially an option. Versus an

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

answer, obviously, is, you know, something that is proven to be

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

true. And this equals this, and one of the things I tell my

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

students is exactly what you're getting at is the fact that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you're trying to uncover things, and it's not going to be as

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

direct answer. And if you're looking for me to give you an

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

answer, then, you know, we're gonna have this runaround

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

conversation of just well, what are you all day?

Jacinda W:

And I excel at this conversation? What are you like,

Jacinda W:

I don't know, what are you having? What's going on? Well,

Jacinda W:

what did you see? What did you hear like, oh, we can go I can

Jacinda W:

take you know, I spent a lot of time with eight nine year olds,

Jacinda W:

so I can play this game. Really Well, I think really,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

but I think to do that is to uncover

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the ability and for them to understand like it's you're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

breaking them from this cycle of answering what the like needing

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

an answer and I think the discovery Part is cool. Like,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I'd love to think about okay, two and two does equal four, we

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

get that. But in what situation? Could an equal five? Let's just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

have a conversation. George,

Jacinda W:

if you do it right, sometimes one plus one can

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

equal 11. Right, right. And so it's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

being

Jacinda W:

able, it's being able to own and discover. And so when

Jacinda W:

you ask, like, how has it happened, I believe that it's

Jacinda W:

happened, because the expectations I've set for

Jacinda W:

students are different. I don't expect you to tell me the last

Jacinda W:

thing that you told Mrs. Jones and get an A, that's just not

Jacinda W:

how this is going to operate. In fact, I want you to make your

Jacinda W:

own design. And I have plenty of time to sit here and work with

Jacinda W:

you on it. There's not a rush here, we might be using physical

Jacinda W:

tools, we might be doing wacky supplies, you know, because I

Jacinda W:

love to bring like colored packing peanuts or popsicle

Jacinda W:

sticks or, like, I found these little foam cubes at the

Jacinda W:

educator store, right? Like they're like, these could be

Jacinda W:

friends. It could be a building, if you stack I'm like, really?

Jacinda W:

Wow, how can you stack up, right? So I'm not even going to

Jacinda W:

bring you the same supplies that you're using in your other

Jacinda W:

classes, because I want us to have a different context to our

Jacinda W:

conversations. So our outcomes are always different. Because I

Jacinda W:

don't go into a get trying to get the same in deliver the same

Jacinda W:

information, like, so the thinking is different. The

Jacinda W:

ownership of the knowledge is different. That is really where

Jacinda W:

I see young people just thriving, when they, when I'm

Jacinda W:

able to spend 3456 sessions with a group of students, by the end

Jacinda W:

of it, they're like, so you think that was designed to

Jacinda W:

absolutely, like, they can go through that thinking process on

Jacinda W:

their own and make better decisions. And that's how we

Jacinda W:

know the thinking has changed. Right. And that's ultimately

Jacinda W:

what I'm trying to do with designing spore I don't, I don't

Jacinda W:

want people, particularly young people, I don't want them coming

Jacinda W:

to events, or activities or workshops, and not changed at

Jacinda W:

the end of it not changed. And to do that work. It's very

Jacinda W:

laborious, right? Like, it's very, it's very labor intensive.

Jacinda W:

Because I'm not bringing you the same things, we're not gonna

Jacinda W:

have the same kind of conversations, I'm gonna ask you

Jacinda W:

different stuff like, and it's that preconditioning of how

Jacinda W:

students have been thinking that we have to begin to break that.

Jacinda W:

And that's why As designers, we have to talk more about our work

Jacinda W:

more about our process more about our story, that whole

Jacinda W:

piece of it. It's crazy. It's crazy.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Yeah, what I love hearing about that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

is, is there's no one size fit all. And I think that's some of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the things that, that educators who want to be impactful

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

educators do. They understand the assignment, and they

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

understand that they have to bring differences to all of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

those things, you can't just do the same thing, every single

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

time. And I think that's really where you understand. And you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

see the educators really shine is when they start to look at

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that and they go, okay, cool, I understand what what my goal is.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But for this group of people, I have to adjust. So it is it is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that sense of learning continuingly because, for me

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

every semester, it changes because I got a new group of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

students. So I think the same thing for every successful

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

educator is the same where they say, I understand what I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

trying to do. But I need to adjust based on who I have in

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that room, based on who I'm talking to. And that's exactly

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

what you're telling me is the fact that I'm going to make sure

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that you understand it because you may understand it

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

differently than Bobby su Jamal or anything like that. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's the important part that you

Jacinda W:

get. And that's why so many organizations who work

Jacinda W:

with me, they're kinda like, um, let's listen to we, we had a

Jacinda W:

script and you went off script. Well, because Chris and Mark was

Jacinda W:

looking crazy. I didn't understand what I was talking

Jacinda W:

about. We must go together collectively. This means we

Jacinda W:

must, we must travel together. And I can't leave four or five

Jacinda W:

behind just because two or three got it. i We have to move in

Jacinda W:

unisons. So what happens if I come back here again, and we

Jacinda W:

talk about this, if I don't address the thing that they

Jacinda W:

don't understand? Then what am i What are we going to do? And so

Jacinda W:

a lot of times, it's really difficult for organizations

Jacinda W:

because they're like, Well, what are you going to ask them about?

Jacinda W:

What are you going to say? I don't know yet. I mean, I go in

Jacinda W:

there with the outline. I have some slides. I got some

Jacinda W:

resources. Right I got my bag of motivation, right. I'm a bag of

Jacinda W:

motivation snacks. But we might have different conversations

Jacinda W:

like I I've had conversations about the difference between art

Jacinda W:

and design, like, kids want to understand it. I taught a group

Jacinda W:

of kindergarteners design once, and their biggest questions to

Jacinda W:

me were. So in the art class, we're just going to paint. But

Jacinda W:

in here, we're going to make stuff. I'm like, Yes. They're

Jacinda W:

like, Isn't that like making an art? And I'm like, sort of,

Jacinda W:

they're like, heartless. They're trying, even at that young of

Jacinda W:

age, they were trying to understand the difference

Jacinda W:

between art and design. And what's so wonderful about it is,

Jacinda W:

I had shared with a couple of them, you know, there's some

Jacinda W:

grown people still try to figure that out. So you are for even

Jacinda W:

tackling the topic. Like for even asking the hard questions.

Jacinda W:

That's how I know you're going to be powerful. That's how I

Jacinda W:

know you're going to be exceptional, because you're

Jacinda W:

already asking the hard questions. And they're like, and

Jacinda W:

they're comfortable

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

with that, at that, at that young

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

age.

Jacinda W:

And having a group conversation. One is like, well,

Jacinda W:

if we make stuff is it different with our hands, than if we make

Jacinda W:

it with the computer, they're like, is that? Like, they were

Jacinda W:

trying to figure out that, and I think when I when I look back at

Jacinda W:

like, all the different places that I've taught, and all the

Jacinda W:

different organizations and classrooms, some of my favorite,

Jacinda W:

most comical, most creative, most aha moments was in that

Jacinda W:

kindergarten class, trying to communicate this thing called

Jacinda W:

design to a six year old, who's still learning the alphabet. But

Jacinda W:

you can't use the regular definitions, you can't use the

Jacinda W:

regular techniques, you can't use the regular light Lake, you

Jacinda W:

got to come way deep, because you want to understand it, the

Jacinda W:

only challenge is, there are six.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But you're able to, then you're able

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to drill it down to like its essence, for a six year old. You

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

don't need to use the big words and try to explain it over

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

somebody's head, you're like, hey, this is what it is. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

this is what it's not. Yeah, but also, you let's just have a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

conversation. Yep.

Jacinda W:

And that's why I started taking in the quote

Jacinda W:

unquote, wacky supplies, as we call them, because it equaled

Jacinda W:

the learning and the the the playing field, because sometimes

Jacinda W:

I might have third graders, right, I might go to an after

Jacinda W:

school program, where they clump, the kindergarten and the

Jacinda W:

third graders together, right? They put the you know, they put

Jacinda W:

groups of students together. So like K to two might be together,

Jacinda W:

maybe like three, four or five might be together. So I can't

Jacinda W:

change the entire lesson, I have to be able to teach it in a way

Jacinda W:

that even the six year old, and the eight year old, can both

Jacinda W:

understand it and work and build and design together. And that

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that's a skill. That's a skill. That is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

definitely a skill. And I don't want to take anything away from

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you. Because I think that is the ability to, to create design for

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that multiple audience. And understanding that, because who

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you you know, are engaged with you understand that could be a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

wide variety of ages. And to build that in Yes.

Jacinda W:

And issues, right? We got literacy issues, I see

Jacinda W:

literacy challenges, often. I mean, especially I want to say

Jacinda W:

maybe these last three years, two years to three years, I've

Jacinda W:

seen a lot more literacy challenges, like like, oh, okay,

Jacinda W:

I understand what's happening here. Hey, would you like to

Jacinda W:

work with my one friend, you know, he's really, really great

Jacinda W:

at this, maybe we can do it together. So that the things

Jacinda W:

that you don't do well, he can help with and there's something

Jacinda W:

he doesn't do well, so now that's gonna bring the bar down,

Jacinda W:

and level this up. So no one feels some kind of way, about

Jacinda W:

being vulnerable about the thing that they don't know or can't

Jacinda W:

figure out or,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I mean, that's the ultimate form of

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

collaboration, right, which is what we do, and the ability to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

say, you know, what, everybody has a strength. Let's put those

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

people with different strengths together. So we can all just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

work together. And to do that a younger age allows you to maybe

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

even consider as maybe those young people to be like, Oh, I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

good at one thing, and that other person is good at these

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

other thing we can work together.

Jacinda W:

And my last summer camp, I was assigned a young

Jacinda W:

teenager to be my helper unit. They're like she'll help you

Jacinda W:

with anything you need. She'll help you if you need help with

Jacinda W:

your passing up the art supplies if you need help packing things

Jacinda W:

up, or you know if we for cleanup, she'll help with that.

Jacinda W:

But George, I happened to notice she was having far too much fun

Jacinda W:

working with some of the second graders. Like far too much fun.

Jacinda W:

Finally, by the second week of camp, I'm like, You know what,

Jacinda W:

Lizzie? know how you can really help me she's like, Yeah, how

Jacinda W:

did you bullied the second grade team? She's like, I can you

Jacinda W:

like, yeah, I can figure out this tech piece, you know, that

Jacinda W:

would really help me if you worked with them. Because, you

Jacinda W:

know, you can read a little bit faster than them and they can

Jacinda W:

build and cut stuff up. They could you could really help them

Jacinda W:

with your thinking. And she was like, Can I really? You go right

Jacinda W:

ahead. So instead of see, say, and work with me where she was

Jacinda W:

learning nothing, she wasn't having fun, because we can't

Jacinda W:

have fun with this thing. I don't know how much further we

Jacinda W:

gonna make it. And when I told her to do that, man, oh, man,

Jacinda W:

isn't our rippled through camp, because all the other high

Jacinda W:

school kid, can I work with the sixth graders? Right? That we

Jacinda W:

could we could we can do what like because they all thought,

Jacinda W:

hey, I have to help the adult. But you know, by the second week

Jacinda W:

of camp, I already know where the restroom is, I already know

Jacinda W:

where to park my car, I know where to go get you know,

Jacinda W:

Cantopop. So I'm good that like, if you really want to help,

Jacinda W:

let's help the others. So that we can all have fun together.

Jacinda W:

They

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know. That's that's the whole point.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

And I mean, you talk about all of this. And honestly, I just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

listening to the way you mentor and the way you connect with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

young people is a conversation I believe me and you can have for

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a long time just kind of vibing off of these stories and things

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

like that. But one of the things I also want to understand is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

just designed explore as a company. Yeah. How is it? How is

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

it structured? Is it just you? Or is there a team of explorers?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Well, I will be very Are you the team? For many, many, many, many

Jacinda W:

jobs. George I. A lot of people didn't like yourself

Jacinda W:

didn't know, it was just me. Like, didn't didn't know it was

Jacinda W:

me for many years. I want to say almost maybe like the first four

Jacinda W:

years. I was by myself, I couldn't afford to hire anybody.

Jacinda W:

I don't like to have people work for free. I couldn't afford. I

Jacinda W:

couldn't even really finished 14 to design my own brand, because

Jacinda W:

I had to work to pay for my mortgage and pay for my car

Jacinda W:

note. So I didn't have like, that's how tight it was like my

Jacinda W:

accountant. She's always laughing at me. She's like, when

Jacinda W:

she looks at the books. She's like, Oh, you must be living

Jacinda W:

late like those. She was like, are we going to be able to

Jacinda W:

continue our relationship? Like are you are like what? It was

Jacinda W:

lean those first. It was lean, it was lean. It was lean. And I

Jacinda W:

I just took all the pieces I could. There were lots of there

Jacinda W:

was lots of mistakes, and lots of COVID brought even a few

Jacinda W:

more, right. And I and M all I could do George was keep moving

Jacinda W:

forward. That's all I could do. I I couldn't quit. I refuse to

Jacinda W:

go and just quit and find a job somewhere where I knew I wasn't

Jacinda W:

going to be happy. And so even during the lean times, right, I

Jacinda W:

remember one year I was really broke, I was really broke. And

Jacinda W:

George I took a job at an after school camp. And I made a deal

Jacinda W:

with them. And I said, Hey, okay, I'll come and help serve

Jacinda W:

snacks and watch the children and make sure they're safe. And

Jacinda W:

all that kind of stuff that happens at an after school

Jacinda W:

program. I was like my only exchange my only request is, is

Jacinda W:

that if there's time during the three hours after school when

Jacinda W:

the parent before the parents come, if there's an opportunity

Jacinda W:

to teach design classes, I would like to do that. And George, by

Jacinda W:

the third week, there was like, you know, you could just keep

Jacinda W:

doing this, we'll just call you on like, because the kids

Jacinda W:

started loving it. I would bring my art supplies in and they

Jacinda W:

would be like, are you going to the third grade class? No, today

Jacinda W:

I'm going to the first grade us with them already. What you know

Jacinda W:

on Mondays I go to the kindergarteners Tuesdays I come

Jacinda W:

to the first grade like they're like oh you already you should

Jacinda W:

come to the third grade class on like, trying to negotiate

Jacinda W:

negotiate carrying art supplies start by I'll help you Mr.

Jacinda W:

Sinha. If you come to our class first. And and it just it just

Jacinda W:

really, really took off. And George, I had to take a job

Jacinda W:

doing it and I had to make the exchange like, hey, I'll do

Jacinda W:

this. And while I was doing that, I was writing and

Jacinda W:

documenting and researching everything. Like I came home at

Jacinda W:

night I would take notes of what would what went well, what

Jacinda W:

failed. My kindergarteners were infamous for letting me know we

Jacinda W:

didn't understand that at all. Like, was that spell? It would

Jacinda W:

be? Which way does the bee go? They're like, Oh, okay, that

Jacinda W:

lesson didn't work. Let me let me try another one. Next time. I

Jacinda W:

come back And so because of all of that, the volume has picked

Jacinda W:

up tremendously. And it's forced me to develop and engage a team.

Jacinda W:

I'm really excited to say that, you know, I have some awesome

Jacinda W:

young people who have stepped up, I also have to really share

Jacinda W:

that the first round of young people that I mentored, when

Jacinda W:

they found out what I was doing with design, explore. George,

Jacinda W:

they were the first people who volunteered to help me. They

Jacinda W:

were the first ones who helped my website, they were the first

Jacinda W:

ones who offered to help me with my social media, you know, they

Jacinda W:

were the first ones like, Hey, you got to do this thing. And

Jacinda W:

then we this will happen, and I'll show you how to do that.

Jacinda W:

And then we like, they were the first ones to do that. I call

Jacinda W:

them the OGS, the original, the original gangsters, the OG

Jacinda W:

mentees, because, you know, I got three tiers of mentees, you

Jacinda W:

know, I got the OGS, the new GS, and the one of the GS, now you

Jacinda W:

got, you gotta want to be one of these people who are calling me

Jacinda W:

now like, Um, can you help me find the internship, um, I'm so

Jacinda W:

so called me and something happened at my job. And I need

Jacinda W:

to find out what it like situations scenarios in the

Jacinda W:

morning to be GE like they tried to get right. And the OGS were

Jacinda W:

the first ones that helped. I mean, I know I have some

Jacinda W:

pictures circulating around here. And because you know,

Jacinda W:

we've been celebrating the five, the fifth year anniversary, of

Jacinda W:

design, explore, and, you know, they came back and they saw

Jacinda W:

where we're at, and what we're doing and where we're working.

Jacinda W:

They're like, Oh, my God is like,

Jacinda W:

you got an office like, because I've never had before, I was

Jacinda W:

always working out of my home, I was always having activities out

Jacinda W:

of my out of my space out of my garage out of my driveway. You

Jacinda W:

know, I was always doing stuff like that. So they have been

Jacinda W:

instrumental. And when I have opportunities now, I've just

Jacinda W:

gotten so used to giving those opportunities to young people

Jacinda W:

that I don't even seek, I don't seek a lot of adults to help

Jacinda W:

with things. Because I know that the young people will do what

Jacinda W:

they will help guide and direct to what design sport needs it to

Jacinda W:

be. Right. And that's really what I've been doing. So I have

Jacinda W:

a young person who's been operating my social media

Jacinda W:

channels since she was like 17. And I'll let her do what she

Jacinda W:

wanted. So you think we should be talking about what really

Jacinda W:

like where do you find that it? How do you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

explain it. That's it. That's the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

empowerment, you've been able to foster the engagement with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

really young students, you've been able to foster this with

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

people who you mentor. And then if you empower them to think

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

about and be part of your brand, right, which I think is what you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

were talking about with that one student who instead of just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

working for you is actually working with yes, if you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

empowered her to do that, those are the things like even when

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you sit with your internship, right when you get to do the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

actual work, versus just getting the coffee and doing that kind

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of like, just whatever. When you're doing that you understand

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

the importance. And they're like they're paying it back to you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

with saying cool, we understand what you gave us. And now

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

supporting you in in what you've basically allowed them to do,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

right? So if you're mentoring people on design, and they're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

now getting jobs in web or social media management, and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

they're like, cool, I'll just do that for you. Because it's what

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I do as

Jacinda W:

a young man, I've been mentoring, he was deeply

Jacinda W:

affected by COVID. You know, he was going to school in Chicago.

Jacinda W:

And you know, when COVID happened, they closed schools.

Jacinda W:

And so he had to come home. He had literally like two classes

Jacinda W:

left for graduation. Like he was he feelings hurt, rightfully so,

Jacinda W:

rightfully so. And so I just kept calling him. I kept letting

Jacinda W:

him call me. I have a calendar link that I give a lot of them

Jacinda W:

like, Hey, I can't talk about this second, here's my link, you

Jacinda W:

pick a time that you want to talk to me, and we'll figure

Jacinda W:

something out. All right, I'll send you a link, we can talk on

Jacinda W:

the cell phone. And let's have let's put this together and he

Jacinda W:

kept calling. He called me a couple of weeks ago, he said, I

Jacinda W:

got a job. He's like, I'm so happy. Like, I want you to call

Jacinda W:

me if you ever need something. And so, as I though I had a plan

Jacinda W:

for design explore, as we talked about in that classroom, right?

Jacinda W:

The more young people that I talk to the more young people

Jacinda W:

that I work with, the more young people I hear their stories for.

Jacinda W:

It always makes me wonder, should design explorer be doing

Jacinda W:

that? Is that something you know, that I can get into

Jacinda W:

because of the mentoring work that I've been doing? I have a

Jacinda W:

great desire now to teach a gap class, you know, like a gap

Jacinda W:

class. Remember, like back in the day you took a class during

Jacinda W:

the four weeks of Christmas or the four weeks you know of

Jacinda W:

summer break, you know like before summer rake, after first

Jacinda W:

week is first four weeks before summer. And then before school

Jacinda W:

starts in the fall, man, I have a great desire to teach a

Jacinda W:

professional practice gap year class, like, all of these types

Jacinda W:

of things. And because I've been doing it for so long and so

Jacinda W:

much, I now know when a young person comes to me, I know

Jacinda W:

exactly how much time we need to spend together. And I have about

Jacinda W:

maybe three or four young people right now. They're, they're

Jacinda W:

embarking on their one year with me. So I'm already hitting them

Jacinda W:

up. So what are we doing? Why haven't we finished that? What

Jacinda W:

are we like? And they literally tell me stuff like, well, we

Jacinda W:

don't know if we're ready to go in the real world, honey. It's

Jacinda W:

already the real world. And you're, you're,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you've been you've been doing this for

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

a long time. You just didn't know it. Maybe

Jacinda W:

you're already in the real world. It's happening right

Jacinda W:

now. It's happening right now. And they're like, it is it is,

Jacinda W:

it's not coming. It's not starting, it's started, you're

Jacinda W:

using the wrong verb.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Right, right and wrong tense. And you

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

know what, I think one of the things that I'm that I'm

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

listening to, and like I said before, we can honestly go deep

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and all of these little these little nuances. But as we start

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

to kind of like close out as a as a mentor, as an advocate,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

what are you still inspired by?

Jacinda W:

Wow, I am still inspired by the drive that young

Jacinda W:

people have to figure it out. Because sometimes as adults, we

Jacinda W:

get frustrated. We're like, Okay, this just might not be

Jacinda W:

happening. Young people do not do that. George, it fascinates

Jacinda W:

fascinates me that they will figure they have a drive, and a

Jacinda W:

thirst for understanding and comfortability. And like, I've

Jacinda W:

just never witnessed. I know, I talk with my older family

Jacinda W:

members. And I asked them did I do that? And they're like, it

Jacinda W:

was real bad, too. And so maybe this just happens, maybe now

Jacinda W:

that I've aged, I don't see it, you know, maybe maybe adult has

Jacinda W:

maybe adulthood has dropped on me or something. Right? So when

Jacinda W:

you say what am I impressed, like, the drive of young people

Jacinda W:

is awesome. And then to see them grow into their confidence is so

Jacinda W:

wonderful. Like, it's it's so wonderful. And anything that I

Jacinda W:

did to play a part in that helps me

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

sleep good at night. Well, that's

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

amazing. So now, as a business owner, and a creative, what do

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you struggle with?

Jacinda W:

Remember, we talked about failure, fail fast. That's

Jacinda W:

what I That's my motto fail fast. I tried to do it fast.

Jacinda W:

What do I struggle with? You know, George, I am really

Jacinda W:

looking to always learn more about social impact businesses.

Jacinda W:

One of the biggest challenges that I get often is that people

Jacinda W:

think design Explorer is a nonprofit. I'm like, I never

Jacinda W:

said that the material Don't say that, like we are all about

Jacinda W:

profit, we totally love, profit, and explore. We love profit, but

Jacinda W:

we understand the necessity to be able to take advantage of

Jacinda W:

some of the things that are happening in the nonprofit

Jacinda W:

sector, and apply them in a for profit place, and some of the

Jacinda W:

things that are happening in a for profit place and apply them

Jacinda W:

in a business or an organizational setting. So when

Jacinda W:

you talk about what are some of the things that I'm struggling

Jacinda W:

at, I'm always looking for other social impact organizations to

Jacinda W:

learn from, and to hear how they're doing it. There's not

Jacinda W:

much written or, like, easily accessible about these

Jacinda W:

businesses. I'm in a few impact hubs. I'm even taking a

Jacinda W:

organizational management class right now with the organization

Jacinda W:

here in Cleveland. So I'm always looking to learn that part of

Jacinda W:

it. And I guess like most careers, most most creatives, I

Jacinda W:

struggle with, Hey, don't add those Profit Loss numbers up

Jacinda W:

right? Like, okay, don't put the cop like,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Man match numbers and data.

Jacinda W:

I'm going to tell you some data from the Census

Jacinda W:

Bureau. Oh, I got those numbers. Member book. I got those for

Jacinda W:

days. You're like, I need to add up this whole. Oh, hold on. Let

Jacinda W:

me let me get let me let me check.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I know sometimes when it comes to our

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

own stuff, it tends to be there. I could do it for somebody else.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

But when it comes to me like oh, where's that? I can't wait when

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

I put that info. Where's that receipt?

Jacinda W:

Oh, I'm supposed to do all that paperwork. Oh, my

Jacinda W:

bag.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Right, right. And so on top of that,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

right now, you're also a seasoned professional, right?

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

You've been doing this like you said for a pretty long time, a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

long time. What advice would you give a younger self entering the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

design industry today?

Jacinda W:

I've been talking a lot about this lately, because

Jacinda W:

like I said, I'm coming across a lot of high School students

Jacinda W:

right now. Like, it's crazy, like how many high school kids

Jacinda W:

are reaching out to me right now? I tell them to believe.

Jacinda W:

Now. This believing thing is like multi layered because it's

Jacinda W:

easy to say, oh, you should believe and you're like, Oh, I

Jacinda W:

believe. But do you really? Do we operate and move in ways that

Jacinda W:

we show we believe. Not all the time, George not all the time.

Jacinda W:

And so if I was talking to the younger, my younger self or any

Jacinda W:

young people, I always encourage them that you should believe you

Jacinda W:

can do it. That thing that you think is a disadvantage, it

Jacinda W:

might very well be the best damn thing you should do. It might be

Jacinda W:

the very, very thing. I have a young person right now he shared

Jacinda W:

with me that he speaks Spanish. And he he speaks he reads he

Jacinda W:

writes, right. He has two languages. And he's trying to

Jacinda W:

figure out what to do InDesign. Oh said you have hit the gold

Jacinda W:

mine. Did you know you can do design in language? And he's

Jacinda W:

like, huh, because you know, the school taught them how to design

Jacinda W:

an English. They're designing in your culture, too. So I've been

Jacinda W:

giving him like, read this learn about like, so he didn't believe

Jacinda W:

it was possible. And that's where I'm like, You gotta

Jacinda W:

believe it. You gotta believe it. And,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

and you designed and multilingual

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

things, too. That's why I wrote so you understand that space

Jacinda W:

when I showed him some of the things I did. And

Jacinda W:

when I gave him some of the booklets and we talked about

Jacinda W:

like, Do you realize how many magazines are translated in

Jacinda W:

Spanish, we've got like Cosmo invoke in Spanish not even

Jacinda W:

translated, it's a whole different publication like, and

Jacinda W:

that's an audience that's a that's a vehicle by which you

Jacinda W:

can use your creativity, and your bilingual language, and

Jacinda W:

still do what you want to do. Like you don't have to give one

Jacinda W:

up or hide one, you can have both. You gotta believe it,

Jacinda W:

you've got to believe it's possible, you got to believe it

Jacinda W:

can happen, you got to believe you can do it. Because there

Jacinda W:

will be people that will be forces, there will be places and

Jacinda W:

organizations to tell you otherwise. So if you don't, you

Jacinda W:

better start believing quick. And that's what I've tried to

Jacinda W:

tell them.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Because there's going to be outside

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

forces that are always going to tell you to not do things. And

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you have to be the one to go all in on yourself. Yes,

Jacinda W:

yes, there's a there's a gospel song out there

Jacinda W:

says, sometimes you got to encourage yourself. And that's

Jacinda W:

really what I try to remind them to do. Because those outside

Jacinda W:

forces are real. They're very, very, very real. And with just a

Jacinda W:

little mustard seed of belief, you can do anything. And so

Jacinda W:

that's what I'm hopeful that they'll take away from it.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Awesome. Awesome. So what does the future

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

hold for Jacinta Walker and design explorer?

Jacinda W:

Oh, man, um, what does the future hold for just

Jacinda W:

send up the future for just send us is really, really really to

Jacinda W:

see design, explore, succeed. I've been working for many,

Jacinda W:

many, many, many moons to be able to have a space. And that's

Jacinda W:

what I'm pushing for right now. I am pushing and putting

Jacinda W:

everything into making this thing come to fruition? What

Jacinda W:

does the future hold for design explore? You know, I really

Jacinda W:

love. As I shared before, I love working with educators, I love

Jacinda W:

seeing them. What I'm looking forward to doing in the future

Jacinda W:

with design Explorer is getting more into the curriculum writing

Jacinda W:

space. You know, I've been in classrooms a very long time.

Jacinda W:

I've been in many, many different classrooms and being

Jacinda W:

able to communicate to others. This how to do it is is just so

Jacinda W:

in my face right now, right? Like it i i Just see such a

Jacinda W:

great need to be able to help others to be able to do this

Jacinda W:

type of work. And so those are the two things that I see in the

Jacinda W:

future.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Awesome. Awesome. And lastly, where can

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

our listeners find out more about you design, explore your

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thesis, and ways that they could support you absolutely.

Jacinda W:

Everyone, you can always find me at design

Jacinda W:

Explorer. And you know, everyone knows I say it all the time we

Jacinda W:

spell design explorer with two R's real gangster, d s Hi GNEX,

Jacinda W:

Pl O R R. You can always find me there. You can also find me at

Jacinda W:

Jacinta walker.com. So these two places everything is links, lots

Jacinda W:

of good reading materials, lots of press stuff, resources, we

Jacinda W:

put together a huge resource page or on our design explorer

Jacinda W:

channel. And we're always promoting and sharing out other

Jacinda W:

resources so that we can kind of keep these conversations alive

Jacinda W:

and present.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much to

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

send it it was It was great for me to go a little bit off script

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

as I prepare for an interview like this. But I think the

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

direction that you took this and you know, the dig deep into how

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

your mentorship, how the way you encourage and empower, you know,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

young people to start to get into design was way more

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

important than any other, you know, sticking to my script,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

right? Like you said, I have an outline. And whatever happens

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

during the conversation, I'm able to adjust and flip. And I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

think this was one of those beautiful moments where that was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

happening just the same way you do it, when those people are

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

trying to ask you, well, what are you gonna talk about? So, I

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thank you for this enlightening conversation, because it's one

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of those conversations that I don't think we've ever really

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

had, for the five plus years that we've probably known each

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

other. This is probably the most in depth conversation we've

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

really had about you. But really, how important this this

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

organization and what you put into it is really doing and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

supporting and creating a space for young people to feel like

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

they can be comfortable in their own skin and learn about things

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

that maybe us when we were younger, kind of felt just

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

normal and some students now don't get those same

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

opportunities. And now they're now we need to create these

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

other entities to help facilitate that and you are one

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

of those people who've been doing it and doing it really,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

really well. Thank

Jacinda W:

you so much, George, I appreciate you for having me

Jacinda W:

and invited me and allowing us to have this deep conversation.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

Well, I loved it once again, just send a

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

thanks again for this chat. And I can't wait to learn more we're

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

you know, design explore takes you take care have a good day.

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

This has been works in process. Once again, I want to thank my

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

guest Jacinta Walker, I'm inspired to learn how she's been

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

able to not only help and support young creatives, but

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

also the parents to decode the creative base as well. It was

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

great to take time to learn more also about design, explore and

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

hear how she plans in moving forward. If you want to learn

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

more about the research people organizations mentioned in our

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

conversation, please check out the show notes on our website, w

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

i p dot show. Also, if you really liked the episode, please

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

give us a rating on Apple podcast. You can find works on

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

process and all media platforms such as Apple, Google, Spotify,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

amongst many others. Please follow us on Instagram at works

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

underscore in process. Thanks again. And until next time,

George Garrastegui, Jr.:

follow your gut and trust in the process.

About the Podcast

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Works In Process
The Hows and Whys of creative work

About your host

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George Garrastegui

George is an educator, designer, advocate, and curator looking to elevate the creative process by shifting the focus to how we work over what we produce.