October 2, 2016

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: LaShun Tines, Leader for Diversity

What are you working on—on the side?

I have committed the better part of the last 10 years to increasing awareness for greater diversity and inclusion in the fields of graphic design and advertising. From becoming a contributor to Ray Noland’s “Go Tell Mama!”—the first ever independent art campaign for Barack Obama’s historic U.S. Presidential bid, public relations chair for the Chicago Urban League (Metropolitan Board), AIGA Chicago’s Diversity lead plus the creation and yearly curation of the “Art of Blackness” exhibition (2012–2016).

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

Milestones. For me, a project isn’t definitive until a date for a deliverable is established: “Sponsorship proposals are due in the 2nd quarter”; “Promotion of the exhibition should begin no-earlier than 3-weeks out”—defining milestones for self-initiated project is key.

Why have a side project?

It’s empathy. It’s the stories I read and the stories that I’ve been told. Those stories paint a very somber picture of the landscape between where we are now and where we could. I tend to look at diversity through the lens of opportunity. So what I see is a blank canvas that really only requires diligence, some dedicated resources, empathy and a dash of color.

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Images courtesy of LaShun Tines.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.

This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.

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