Posts tagged schickel
June Recap

We’re off for a two-week summer vacation by train to the Pacific Northwest. That means the studio's closed (even our inbox). It’s an exciting time for Trischler Design Co. because of adventure ahead and because there’s a lot of great work to look forward upon our return. But, let's not get too far ahead ourselves. Instead, here’s a few good things to reflect on from an abridged month of June.

Painting by William Schickel

Painting by William Schickel

William Schickel on The Web

We were introduced to the late artist William Schickel earlier this year. It was on a visit to the William Schickel Gallery run by his son Joe Schickel in Loveland, Oh. We were immediately struck by the depth and array of William’s work. There was great excitement when we were asked by Joe to make a website for the gallery. Up until this point, he hadn’t been much of a web presence. The goal of the new site (created on Squarespace) is to introduce people to William's life and work, make it simple to schedule a visit the gallery, and to sell resources, prints, and merch via an online shop. Ultimately, we hoped to give others a glimpse into a man's life who, in only a few months time since our introduction, has had a profound impact on us both inside and outside of the studio. 

Photo:  D  aniel Smyth

Welcome to Pamland!

If you live in Cincinnati and don’t know Pam Kravetz, well… you should. Pam’s one of the Cincy's greatest cheerleaders along with one of it’s most dynamic artists and educators. We launched a Squarespace site for Pam earlier this month to help her share her story and works with a broader audience. Meg Farmer worked with us on the copywriting. Beyond words, Meg  helped push the site design to another level. Collaboration for the win.


New Work!

We’ve been working with Breakthrough Cincinnati on their 2018 Annual Report (as mentioned last month). It was printed and shipped last week. For those of you on their mailing list, keep an eye out for a square envelope. The rest of you can link over to the work section of this site to see images.


Looking Forwards/Backwards

My fellow Northside Depot studiomate, Chris Glass, and I joined a group of Cincinnati based designers to create flags for Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods. The project will crank up in July with neighborhood convenings where designers will listen to community member stories, and perspectives. In the meantime, please go to the Cincyflags website to share what makes your neighborhood unique.


Here's what we enjoyed reading and listening to in June. 

Was introduced to Michael Chabon’s writing after listening to an interview on FreshAir about his new book on being a dad/son, “Pops, Fatherhood In Pieces.” Proceeded to get that book from the library, enjoyed it immensely, and grabbed a couple others for vacation (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Werewolves In Their Youth). Feeling good about fiction-only books for the next two weeks of travels.

This article on personalism by David Brooks was a captivating short read on the complexities human beings. It’s a call to not treat each other as “data points” or stereotypes, but instead as equal individuals. Complementing this article well is a podcast interview of Brooks by Tyler Cowen. It’s a deeper dive into his spirituality and political viewpoints. There’s also some especially good thoughts on vacation and calling shared.

Last but not least, one more long, but good podcast. Hadn’t listened to Tara Brach before. Wishing a connection was made sooner. Her episode on radical self-honesty was a breath of fresh air. The premise, that we need to connect with the realities of our life (both the hard stuff and the good stuff). Meditation or mindfulness is a way to do that.

How does this all connect to design? Maybe it doesn’t. Perhaps it does. We’re whole people, not just our titles/stereotypes. What we read, contemplate, and consume influences what we produce whether it’s a logo or loving-kindness towards a neighbor. All that to say, and without getting too deep, remember, you are what you eat.


Proposals and Evenings with Authors

It’s been quite a week— these last few days have been busy with some new potential projects and evenings capped off by listening to some incredible writers. At last count, there were at least five project proposals in the hopper, and I was lucky enough to hear authors Min Jin Lee and Neil Gaiman speak and read from their work.

I tend to romanticize the art of writing. I usually imagine Hemingway in Paris— waking and writing from an old drafty apartment. He labors over a manuscript, and the room warms up as he types away on his Royal Quiet de Luxe stationed next to a crackling fireplace. He steps away after writing something utterly profound, and goes for a walk, an espresso, or maybe brunch with his buddy, F. Scott.

These days, I’m interested by writers’ thoughts on the art of writing. The observations of Anne Lamott comes to mind— her book on writing, Bird by Bird, is a favorite of mine. I wish designers explored/reflected on their processes as well as writers do. Perhaps writing about writing as a writer is more natural than a designer writing about design.

But I do enjoy the act of writing. I don’t think I’m particularly good at it, but it’s something I want to become good at. (That’s why I’m here.) Blogging is enjoyable, but unfortunately there’s no attached paycheck to take home. Project proposals do the trick— or rather, that’s the goal. 

So in this last week, I’ve had a change of mindset on my process of drafting project proposals. What if I found a way to make them just as fun to write and read as writing a blog? I can’t say I’ve mastered this shift in methodology, but this new question does challenge me to try a new approach, especially if a particular method for a proposal doesn’t end up being successful. (On a similar theme, it was encouraging to hear Min Jin Lee talk about all of her rejected proposals even as a successful author.) 

So keep writing. “Ass in the chair,” as Mary Heaton Vorse put it.

Enjoy the links, 


Neil Gaiman on why the future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming – I haven’t read any of Gaiman’s works, but I attended his lecture anyhow— and I’m glad I did. He read the above essay to the crowd, and it’s a powerful one. I wasn’t much of a reader until I decided to become a designer. At that point my grandfather (also a designer) said: “If you want to become a designer you need to learn how to read.” I asked if he meant photoshop books. He said, “No, whatever you can get your hands on.” That was definitely a turning point. Reading has changed my life. After years of mostly reading non-fiction, I’m finally diving into novels. My life is changed once again for the better. 

From the Hive, Episode 17: Leslie Hershberger - Intention, Pause & We-ness – This From the Hive interview with Leslie Hershberger is one of my favorites yet. It’s especially helpful to connect meditation practices to every compartment of one’s life. Meg and I are taking an enneagram class with Leslie at The Hive that started this week.

Taking the Empire Builder train across America – Meg and I are taking a train to Seattle at the end of June. This article whets my appetite for the slow adventure ahead of us. This quote from the article has stuck with me: “There is a mindset adjustment required to unlock the willingness to enjoy the journey rather than project forward to the destination. But once that switch is flicked, ridin’ those rails is a lot of fun.”

Social Innovation, Social Justice: Rethinking Design Anthropology – One of the perks of being an adjunct professor is being surrounded by about all the inspiring events happening at the university— like this one coming up at the end of the month. I’m particularly excited about the improv and service design workshops. 

Brain Rules Part 1 and Part 2 with Dr. John Medina on the Buyer’s Mind podcast – Here’s Dr. John Medina on the science behind the brain’s functions and why’s it’s helpful in our interactions with others and yourself.

Kudos to Pat for introducing me to John Medina and Christopher Maier for copy edits. 

Curiosity Didn't Kill The Cat
Mandy Smith in the Oratory at Grailville on Monday.

Mandy Smith in the Oratory at Grailville on Monday.


This week I was confronted with how much I don't know— and it's not the first time this has happened. A feeling of weakness usually follows. To avoid that feeling I try to do and learn things to compensate for my sense of inadequacy. And that's never enough. 

But in a moment of clarity, I realized that there's a better perspective; an option that's less confrontational and more hopeful.

The less I know, the more curious I can be. 

Consider the example of a conversation. With a perspective of abundant curiosity, I am more likely to listen and ask questions. Alternatively, with an attitude of scarcity (or overconfidence), I’ll either become reticent or overcompensate by sharing information and giving advice that’s not valuable to the listener (or me).

Through these thoughts, I’ve had the realization that the world doesn’t need another white male with all of the answers. What’s more valuable is someone who’s curious and humbly accepts their limitations. That's my intention as I continue to write this blog.

You may be wondering what killed the cat?

Maybe it's overconfidence, not curiosity, that killed the cat.

Most of the links below reflect my curious intention for the week. It’s odd how when you think of a word it often shows up in elsewhere. For instance, The CreativeMornings global theme for February is curiosity. Don’t forget to sign up for the Cincinnati event this coming Monday. Tickets go fast.



A Morning With Mr. Schickel
Here’s an artist who wasn’t confined to his medium and let his curiosity transport him from the design of stained glass windows to building church structures that supported those first visual portals. 

Josh Clark, The Era of the Algorithm, CreativeMornings|NYC
Josh shares how machines have an overconfidence issue, which is often a reflection of their creators. He suggests that as designers we become more mindful of the self-importance we project into the tech we create. He calls for “systems that are smart enough to know that they’re not smart enough.”  

Hurry Slowly, Episode 017: Bill Duggan You Can’t Rush Aha Moments
I like the idea that we can only create out of what’s in our memory. Instead of laboring to force a solution, perhaps it’s best to step back and learn. Become curious. It reminds me of a line from Pachinko: 

“’Just study,” Hansu has said. ‘Learn everything. Fill your mind with knowledge—it’s the only kind of power no one can take from you.” Hansu never told him to study, but rather to learn, and it occurred to Not that there was a marked difference. Learning was like playing, not labor.” 

How Jason Kottke is thinking about at 20
Chris introduced me to It's one of the longest-running blogs on the Internet. I go there pretty much daily and find many delightful and thought-provoking perceptions. Reading this interview makes me wish I were involved in the internet’s early days.* At least I get still get to enjoy the curious mind of Jason Kottke and all that he generously shares each day.

*I'd like to write about this more.

Marionettes episode of 'The Crown'
Easily my favorite episode of The Crown so far. It portrays how to be genuinely useful in protest. In this case, it came down to humility and deep respect for the crown. For more on this type of protest, check out the Generous Orthodoxy episode of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast.

Buddhist monks on the value of video games
I’ve quoted this article a dozen times this week. For me, it’s a reminder to forget the carrot at the end of the stick. Be present at the moment whether that’s a video game or meditation session. 

The advantages of organizing knowledge in terms of country and place 
I wish I had a physical space where I could hold clippings and curiosities in designated spots. For now, I have Moleskines, Evernote, Dropbox, and this blog. 

Fine Amnesty Day 
I owe the Cincinnati Library $1.20. Not for long. Thanks to sharing Meg. 


Kudos to Tyler, Chris, Jocelyn, Meg, and Mandy on tips on this weeks links.