Relearning Techniques​, Writers With Impact

Throughout the readings in our writing course, we have been exploring different methods of writing qualitative research. The authors heavily covered in our course readings were Laura Richardson, Margot Ely, John Creswell, Harry Wolcott and John Swales. Each writer shared their truths of writing, but the concepts from Creswell and Richardson made the greatest impact on me.

jCreswell img6Creswell opened my eyes to writing for my audience. His explanation was very similar to the human-centered approach used in design. Human-centered design is a new way of interacting and analyzing with design clients, so the products and messages are more in tune with the client’s actual needs instead of the designers wants. Creswell suggested being cognitive to the vocabulary and the delivery method in which a writer presents material. He made me realize my role in writing is more than putting words onto paper. As the writer, I am supposed to be describing the material, asking questions, proposing other viewpoints and offering solutions.

Richardson immediately got my attentions when she acknowledged how boring a lot of qualitative research writing is. As I read her work, I wondered if her interest in redefining how qualitative research is written is because she’s female? Is there a connection between the new type of qualitative research writing to the increase of women in the field of education, research and writing? It is well known about the lack of gender diversity in the education and research fields in the early 1980’s. Male researchers seemed to have been fine with the way qualitative research writing was. It seems to me the need for concern, caring and creating connections with other people [the audience] are female characteristics.

Whether you agree with me or not on the impact of Creswell and Richardson, you have to admit that having diverse thinking in qualitative research writing makes an impact that’s better for both industry writers and readers.


Waiting For Design

There’s a quote that says, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Although there is much speculation behind the quote’s validity, three things in it, are clear to me. First, there is a specific time frame attached to the relationship between the student and teacher. Secondly, this relationship has specific learning objectives for the student. And lastly, every student needs a teacher, which I find particularly true if you’re a design student.

Choose Happiness

Today, I had to let go of another thing. As I look back, some things were taken away from me. Some things left me. And others, I left.

frozenCVRA friend once said to me, “It’s always sad when it doesn’t work out.” But does letting go have to be sad? Not at all.

Maybe, what I did shouldn’t be called letting go. I’m moving forward. Anticipating the next step. Choosing me. My sanity. Peace. Bliss. I’m relieved. Ready. This isn’t letting go. Its freeing up space in my mind and mostly my heart. Choosing to finally, move into a new place called… Happiness.

Click here to sing with me!

Dear Practice,

Recently in my writing class, I had the opportunity to read and learn about the work of Ms. Vida Midgelow. Ms. Midgelow is a dancer and writer. She has juxtaposed her improvisational dancing with writing. Definitely, something I never knew or thought could be done. What caught my attention was the letters to her Practice which she began during her creative process. Midgelow’s letters are full of detail and quiet confidence. The narrative in these letters read like wonderfully rich conversations between two long time colleagues. They made me wonder when was the last time I addressed my practice? What would the conversation be like? And more importantly, what would my practice say back to me? So… below is an exchange between me and my practice. Let me know your thoughts.


Dear Practice,
I’m struggling on this project. I don’t know why. It’s no more difficult than other projects have been. But my focus is wavering. I don’t know if it’s the expectation or the implementation. I’m overwhelmed with thoughts of bewilderment for our future together. Should I sketch more? Do less shifting? Command more control. We have been good together, right? Look at all we have done. I don’t just want to do it, I want to do it right. Will you stay? Butterflies are fluttering. I don’t want you to go. There is so much work to do. It’s overwhelming to think about it… But what happens if I quit? Will you finish our work? I guess… I have to go.

Forever yours,

Dear Designer,
Thinking is good. But worrying blocks me. The hard part is over. Control your form. Follow the function. Trust that we are right where we need to be. Go find the others… I will be here when you need me.


Portique Portfolio Reviews

In the highly competitive field of digital design, portfolios are the significant criteria for demonstrating creative ability, execution, technical skill and critical thinking. For years the design and advertising industry has remained a field not readily accessible or identified as a career by multi-cultural students. Portique (pronounced pȯr-ˈtēk, a portmanteau of portfolio and critique) is a portfolio review initiative designed to educate multi-cultural students on current industry standards, best practices and design resources.

Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines

Diversity is a life-long commitment. It is far more than just implementing affirmative action policies and hiring a few women, ethnic and culturally diverse individuals. A commitment to diversity in the design industry will require a significant change from all parties involved to increase the low number of African-American and Latino designers, business owners and educators. My area of focus examines the lack of diversity in the design disciplines and how to expose African-American and Latino youth to design. My research question investigates what are effective tools to expose African-American and Latino youth to design-related careers.

What should I put in my portfolio?

This is a great question and I get asked it often. Now the specifics may vary slightly with your discipline, but I feel your design portfolio should demonstrate five specific characteristics:

  1. The first is that you are a creative thinker.
  2. A strong knowledge of the principles and elements of design.
  3. A knack for organizing various elements in a specific space, whether it be on a piece of paper, a computer screen or in a room.
  4. A good knowledge and use of color , and
  5. An eye for composition and grid structure.

Click here for an example of a great graphic designers portfolio. For the young designers make sure you go over these with a Mentor or trusted friend; for you seasoned professionals out there, drop me a line to let me know your thoughts. I look forward to your feedback.

What should I bring to the interview?

Question: I have my first graphic design interview, what should I bring to the interview?

Answer: Congratulations! You got the phone call. Of course you’re going to bring your portfolio. Make sure your it shows you know how to design the types of things the company does and a few projects that will wow them. If you’re in graphic design, your portfolio should demonstrate you know how to layout elements on a page, work well with typography, know how to use color and work with a computer via print and/or web.

Secondly, take the time to do a little homework and bring 3-5 questions about the company, your interviewer, the work you will be expected to do and more importantly what are they working on now. Asking questions shows your interviewer, you have been thinking about the opportunity. You do this by thoroughly researching the company (and your interviewer if possible). Be prepared to talk about what you read and ask thoughtful questions. Don’t forget, after presenting your portfolio, this is your first opportunity to make a real impact on your interviewer.

Some other “to do’s” I highly recommend are:

  • Showing up on time and well groomed.
  • Watch your body language. Smile. Understand they are “trying” to shake you up, so be prepared for all types of questions. Don’t let them see you sweat.
  • Build rapport with every individual you interact with during the process.
  • Do not discuss money on a first interview.
  • Be observant of the office culture, the people and even the parking.
  • And don’t forget to turn your cell phone off.


Remember, interviews are to judge your fit as well as your flare. So, make sure you do your homework!

Best wishes.