Hey, Google Creative Lab!

Please consider this my application for the Creative Lab Five Program.

Professional Bio Stuff:

I’m Sarah, a designer, illustrator, and strategist in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m the person you call who can inject a little weirdness into something traditionally pretty dry. People hire me to solve tough, design-driven problems, which can be anything from branding new initiatives within existing organizations, or figuring out how to translate complex regional planning terminology to the average layman.

Ok, but REALLY:

I am known for pushing boundaries, for lifting others, and for making a difference.

I’ve been freelancing for five years.

Totally on my own, too – besides designing, I manage my projects, run the sales, write proposals and contracts, do my accounting, and everything everything freelancer. No family money, no financial support network, no nothing. This maybe sounds boring, but I’m really proud of this fact. My design practice is stable, but not stagnant.

The downside of this is that doing it alone is isolating. The design community in Atlanta is very small, and I have functionally no mentorship or collaborators.

My client list includes:

Here are some of the things I’ve been able to do with that freedom:

I gave a TEDx talk in 2013 about a collaborative memory mapping project I developed for my thesis – this was before “placemaking” and “interactive public art” were a thing. Note: It was absolutely terrifying!

You can watch that talk here, if you’d like.

In 2019 I was featured in a segment on HLN, building out a snack stadium on live TV (it’s a long story, but was really fun to shoot). The spot ran once an hour throughout the entire Super Bowl weekend.

Here is that segment.

In 2020, I launched my own grant to give away $500 to artists and technological experimenters, funded with my own money. My goal is to get money into the hands of people who can make something incredible with it.

Here is information on the grant.

I believe in sharing information.

Just this month, I partnered with Creative Mornings to lead a workshop on how to build community-based projects without using code, and talked about the impact of some of these projects I’ve created and/or seen out in the world.

Here’s where you can watch that workshop back.

Here’s where you can see the communal Google Slides doc we made.

And next month, I launch a program on Teachable designed to help understand design from a basic level and be able to community more clearly. The goal here is to ease relationships between the creative community and the rest of the world. This is 7+ hours of recorded content based on the past 10 years or so of experience I’ve had working as designer.

Here is the landing page for that course.

Here are some projects on my wishlist for this year and beyond:

My specific brand of interactive art is data-driven – like, the Living Infographics I bring to various events around Atlanta. They’re not just pretty, they function as survey tools. I’ve started working on digital versions of these tools, and want to figure out how to make them work together.

I’ve been working on this site since the project is on hiatus (pandemic), but here is what the data capture looks like.

AR and VR are big to tech folks like us, but most people (that is, most of my clients and friends) don’t really “get it.” I’d like to do more work in this space to help introduce people to this incredibly cool medium.

This is an AR filter I made that interacts with a postcard.

This is an AR-T filter I made for AIGA.

If we learned anything in this pandemic, the world can be closer than we ever thought – I’m interested in building new experiences to make people feel connected, even if they’re far away.

I’m really really interested in projects like Gather and how they bring us together and make the internet feel fun.