Meet Sean Garrison, MG art director and generally cool dude.
At work, Sean is a masterful designer creating memorable and effective visual communication tools for MG clients around the country.
Outside of work, and free from the constraints of top level strategy and client reviews, Sean finds community-based opportunities to express himself through design and art. It keeps him challenged, inspired and connected.
Keep A Breast Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, global organization that takes a youth-focused approach to breast cancer awareness. Through art and creative outlets, KAB supports those affected by breast cancer and seeks to educate others about prevention, early detection, and cancer-causing toxins in our everyday environment. Campaigns such as I [Heart] Boobies and #CheckYourSelfie have made the often-sensitive topic of breast cancer more approachable for a younger generation.
This fall, Sean was an invited cast artist for the Keep A Breast PDX fundraiser. He hand painted a white plaster mold of a woman’s torso, turning it into a beautiful, colorful sculpture, which was up for auction to raise money in support of KAB’s programs.
WeMake is a nonprofit community of Portland “makers,” a term that broadens the concept of artist to include designers, woodworkers, print makers and anyone who creates. On a regular basis, WeMake convenes groups for sketch exchanges and hosts workshops to bring folks together to design, inspire, learn and share.
This month, WeMake hosted—as part of Design Week Portland—its annual birdhouse auction: Put a Bird In It. Local makers, including Sean, were given a chance to create a birdhouse for auction in support of arts and music education. Ultimately, the event raised $13,000 for Portland Public Schools!
Sean’s birdhouse, titled Flying Succulent Kitty, was born from his love of house plants and succulents and was inspired by retro animal-themed animal planters he’d found on Pinterest. Sean knew he wanted to use reclaimed wood from Portland’s ReBuilding Center, and chose a neon paint color to modernize and contrast with the rustic salvaged wood. While he didn’t conduct any birdhouse research to inform his design, he’s sure hoping that a nice family of finches moves in and finds it to be a sweet little home.
And a funny ending to this story: Unbeknownst to Sean, a fellow MGer—Jodi—bought his birdhouse at the auction and it now has a great home in her backyard! Jodi promises regular updates on the bird family that ultimately moves in.
To wrap up a whirlwind month, Sean learned that the social media icon he designed and uses personally was featured in a book by U.K.-based publisher Counter-Print. The book—Icon—features about 200 social media icons that demonstrate creativity, intelligence and beauty. Sean’s blue and black trident icon is no exception.
Sean knows that when designing an icon, simplicity is key. With limited space, the design must be straightforward and bold. And social site icons must be compatible with a variety of media and uses. For instance, Instagram icons are cropped into a circle, while Twitter icons are square. For an icon to cross platforms, it must be designed with all uses in mind.