I am dedicated to creating products, visuals, and experiences for people of all ages to play, discover, and live with joy and curiosity. Design facilitates relationships: between two people, a person and an object, or a person and an idea. As a designer and artist it is my responsibility to learn about and create for healthy and positive relationships to encourage learning, joy, and justice.
Animation allows for a unique opportunity for time and space manipulation. This stop-motion puppet animated film "Home in the Wallowas" tells the story of a parent sharing the outdoors with his young child, and how their relationship allows both as individuals to more completely connect with the land. I mix pieces of reality (such as moss in the set) with pieces of fantasy, connecting the obvious construction of this film with the human construction of nature and wilderness. The film is intended to inspire joy and encourage intentional relationships.
I screen print primarily with single stencils, meaning that each image I create is a fun problem to solve: how can I play with foreground and background to convey an idea while keeping the stencil structurally connected? I like the simplicity of two-color designs, and the challenge of turning them into usable stencils. Silk screening is a particularly powerful media because of its reach: it can be worn and used in people's every-day lives. I sell my designs on my Etsy shop called Damao Designs, and by commission.
At right, a shirt my Women in Science series: Grace Hopper and the first computer bug. I have found that a surprising number of people are eager to increase awareness of women in science and tech through purchasing and wearing the t-shirts I create.
Effective communication of scientific ideas, data-based or theoretical, is a difficult design problem: how to preserve scientific complexity and integrity while making a concept digestible for a learner?
I worked with the in-house scientist at Benchling, a tech start-up in San Francisco, to create three molecular biology figures for a how-to guide about CRISPR, the Science Magazine 2015 "Breakthrough of the Year."
In a collaboration with psychology doctoral candidate Jennifer M. Gómez, I created a visualization of her "cultural betrayal trauma theory." In this visual, I attempt to tell a story of the process of cultural betrayal trauma that sequentially adds complexity to a hypothetical social situation. This visual is in a paper currently under review in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and has been used in presentations across the US and internationally.
In graphic communication, I am interested in playing with texture to add dimension to designs, such as in the sharpie-drawn umbrella's textured block color. I find it especially powerful and meaningful to design for messages I believe in, such as when I worked as a Graphic Design Intern for the Foundation for Sustainable Development. FSD was founded in 1995, and did not have a consistent graphic style across communications. I worked directly with the Communications Manager and Executive Director to re-brand the organization, and to create materials that would be useful long after my internship ended. One such project was a slide deck template for presentations.
For 30 years my parents saved wine bottle corks for future art projects. When I moved into my apartment in San Francisco, I brought a box of them with me. I created this organizer primarily out of need, and to be functional: such as with the wide separators between sections for ease of fast grabs in the drawer, and a semi-symmetric organization of forks, spoons, knives, and chopsticks for minimal time deciding and searching for the correct implement. Aesthetically, I tried to make it sophisticated and spontaneous, just as my parents were in saving the material, through grids of purple-stained cork ends contrasting with the wide, horizontally-oriented cork dividers.
INDUSTRIAL & TOY DESIGN
This small stuffed toy's one large eye and curved, question-mark like head add to a creature that appears quietly but endlessly curious. The material is soft and strong, encouraging play and touch. In toy and game design, I strive to encourage interaction and curiosity through simple, delightful, and fun toys for learners of all ages.
I love making spaces warm, elegant, earthy, and friendly. Here, I painted a cave-shaped room I lived in in college to feel like the outdoors, with Giant Sequoias growing over the bed, and Oregon Cascades hovering along the horizon. When I moved to San Francisco, I was inspired by Sunset Magazine-style simple, California lines in a corner of the apartment that gets lots of natural light with recycled materials (thick cardboard and garden twine) and Tillandsia air plants.
Painting and two-dimensional canvas/wall art are particularly salient media to many viewers, and so much fun to work with as an artist. I enjoy doing large pieces that create emotion in home spaces. "The Joy in Freedom" (4.5' x 3.5') is a mixed-media piece of acrylic paint and newspaper that I created while inspired by the beauty and scope of changing and falling autumn leaves. I created "Orange Rose" (4' x 4') for my brother's house in Berkeley; I was inspired by the fiery colors in roses in a garden I saw during travel to Christchurch, NZ.
WANT TO SEE MORE?
See more of my work here.
all material copyright Sasha Johnson-Freyd, 2017