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    • Wednesday, September  6, 2017, 4:34pm

Meet the Designer: Damon Locks!

Meet the Designer: Damon Locks!

Meet Damon Locks! Damon is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician, and deejay. In 2011, CUP collaborated with Damon and Domestic Workers United on We Care, a Making Policy Public poster explaining the rights of domestic workers.

Can you tell us a little bit more about you as a designer? How did you start doing design work?

I started doing album cover artwork in my 20’s. Though I did a fair amount of illustration work for newspapers and music magazines, I think my album artwork design was the number one thing that helped me hone my design aesthetic. After I quit my 9 to 5, I needed to put more focus on design work to make money in a struggling economy. My favorite designs often obscure the information it intends to deliver. I struggle against that often. I enjoy making it difficult to access the information!

How would you describe your practice?

My practice is multifaceted. There are elements of design, sound/music, visual art, teaching, and community building. My practice is all of these things. I put all the things I care about to the forefront so I can be regularly inspired by my job. 

What projects are you working on now?

I am about to embark on a project spearheaded by the Museum of Contemporary Arts called SPACE. This multiyear creative residency places an artist, and their studio, in a Chicago public high school to transform the school space(s) into a site for artistic and civic exchange. Also, this year, my continued work with Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project embarks on a new curriculum that centers long term sentencing. Educator/artist Sarah Ross and I will be orchestrating an animation project at Stateville Correctional Center over the next two semesters. I have a five-piece choir that I have started. I am working with several dancers/dance companies on projects. I have my group, the ever morphing Eternals, and I perform as an electronic musician in different formats. 

Are there other designers that inspire you?

Not specifically designers. I am inspired by all types of things: films, books, movies…all kinds of design, mark making, documentaries, records, you name it. In the design world, Sonnenzimmer does work I regularly appreciate to the fullest.

What was the most exciting part of working on We Care?

The most exciting part was meeting and photographing the people at Domestic Workers United. Their trust in me, a stranger, inspired me to do strong work, to make the project effective and appealing to look at. The idea that the work would have a utility, that the work would interact with people, was exciting to me. 

What was the most important thing you learned from the project? 

I learned that I enjoyed doing work that had an effect, that could be used by people. I learned that it was important to me to make work that was accessible to people on an everyday level, not just a gallery or museum level. That is something to ardently pursue. 

What is your secret skill that has nothing to do with your design work?

I started taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in January.

If you’d like to see more of Damon’s work, visit his website here

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