creatives shout out

June 11, 2010

In the design field, I always come across creative blocks. My regular inspiration routine includes galleries, design blogs and Walker Art Center bookstore. In need of an extra creative boost recently, I turned to my former colleagues from MCAD and a few other personal friends  There are a handful of very creative, talented, active and young designers, artists and musicians out there yet to be discovered, so I want to give a shout out here and introduce you to their work.

michael gaughan

electric guitar parts, magazine collage, parachute harness, ball bearing spinning unit

Michael Gaughan works are always full of surprises. Ever since I saw him rocking on this quadshopper electric guitar, I felt in love with him — well, his brilliant work, anyway. Michael came from a positive place and he found himself making art to bring his positive energy and experience to other people’s lives.

This is his newest project:


hannah mae haugberg

Hannah Mae Haugberg majored in Typography in school; she is also a designer and painter. Hannah’s love for music got her into working for a company called Z. Vex Effects. She basically handpaints pedal boards and amps for musicians. A recent signage project for Blacklist Vintage Store near Nicollet:


adam r. garcia

Illustrated backgrounds for a music and fashion feature in Two.One.Five Magazine.

Adam R. Garcia currently lives in Portland and works at Nike Sportswear as a graphic designer. He is also a creative director for Wants VS Needs and different record labels. His attention to details in his work always make me look twice. Adam is a hard working designer; while he was still in school in 2005, he needed a name or a brand to sum up his creative endeavors and he called it “the pressure.” Adam explains that the design process is like the alchemical process of turning lead into gold or the natural pressure of the earth turning carbon into raw diamonds. For him, “the pressure” is giving him the motivation to make good work.


erin nicole johnson

still photograph

“The amalgamation of our artifacts” is how she describes her work. Erin Nicole Johnson is a freelance photojournalist and fine art photographer. Her work is what I see as “in between,” an essence of someone, something or someplace but not in specification of who, what and where. Just a collection of everyday remnants. The dreamy quality of her photographs evokes some of my forgotten past.


daniel keller & nik kosmas

I met Nik Kosmas about 4 years ago in a dingy basement of a friend’s house. He was skinny, pale and had a half mohawk and half wavy mullet. I had never seen his work during that time, not until about a year ago, when I saw various articles online and museum opening fliers. Nik is always into collabo, scratching the surface and finding meaning in “the unmet promises of the 20th century,” as asserted by the curator at the New Museum. Nik met his collabo partner Daniel Keller during school at the Art Institute of Chicago and now they both live and work in Berlin.

“Being ironic is a way to be genuine.” That  basically sums up the direction of their work. “We want to care, we want to be really earnest. But when you’re too earnest it’s too easy for people to…kind of dismiss you…We grew up in the ’90s and people were like, save the rainforests and world love and all this possibility. And then we got Bush instead,” Nik said during an interview in The New York Observer at their OMG obelisk show opening.

I spoke to him couple months ago and he seems very happy in Berlin, and is engaged to Helga Wretman, another brilliant artist and dancer.

One of my favorite videos:

In many ways, these are just a handful of people that constantly surprise me and inspire me. I am grateful to be part of their lives.