ABC’s of February with Dameon Williams

Episode 432 LIVE on February 15, 2023 at 7:30 pm GMT / 2:30 pm ET / 11:30am PT / 9:30am in Hawaii

There are so many benefits of having a regular creative practice. Starting your own challenge, celebrating during a specific month, or even joining in with others during something like inktober aids you in getting better.

This week we talk to my friend Dameon Williams. He is an illustrator, UX designer who is someone I look up to. His creative learning practice is something I have been trying to emulate. Dameon makes learning and mastering a new technique or tool look easy. But he has been practicing learning and developing his flexibility with illustration and illustration tools for years.

He has tackled the ABC’s of February challenge for the past few years. Dameon has come up with unique ways to highlight Black History month by featuring historical figures, inventions, and cultural influences in his daily illustrations and informative posts.

This is the perfect time to do this episode as this month we are lifting people, encouraging others, and this week is focused on you.

Listen here

Week 3 is RECHARGE

Maybe you are like me and I am so far down on my to-do list I never prioritize myself and sometimes even my own business. This week I am hoping you will commit some time to do some self-care and restorative work on you and giving you what you need this week. Shoot a picture and use the hashtag #loveondesigners this week and let us know how you are taking care of yourself this week.

Below are some ideas.
Take a walk or a hike.
Do yoga.
Give yourself a spa day, or maybe just get a massage.
Watch a movie.
Take a nap.
Take a class. Set aside time to create just for you, no client.
Do something that refuels you, take a picture and use the #LoveOnDesigners

Here is how to enter to win one of the five giveaways this month:

I am focused on growing my YouTube channel and one way for me to do this is to have more engagement and comments. GIVEAWAY TIME! To enter the drawing for some of my favorite drawing and mixed media tools, plus a few cards to send to friends and people who inspire you, postcards which you can hang in your office, and a few special surprise bonus items here’s what you have to do.

Five total winners will be randomly selected. Each week I post on YouTube @creativesignite. Anyone who comments on any of my YouTube videos will be entered to win. I will be randomly select a winner each week (Feb 1–15) (three YouTube winners). To be entered to win all you have to do is:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel @creativesignite.

Comment and share the video with a friend.

OR for the two LIVE SHOW winners

Come to the live show and make a comment. The more you comment the more chances you have to win. The last two weeks I will choose a person during the Feb 15th live show and during the Feb 22nd live show. All you have to do is: Come to the live show and comment in the chat during the live show.

Questions for Dameon

  1. Dameon, can you give everybody a little background about your start in design and what you are working on this month?
  2. How long have you been doing an extended illustration challenge that connects to black history?
  3. Have you come up with these themes on your own? How have you decided what you will do?
  4. What are the themes and styles you have done in the past? (Can you show us these?)
  5. When do you start planning and creating this project?
  6. How has this project been able to showcase new styles of illustration for you?
  7. Is there a style you have worked on during a project like this that you have really loved? Really not loved?
  8. Have clients referenced this work when you get inquiries? Or have you gotten inquiries based on this work from other designers because you have shown you can execute a style for an extended period of time?
  9. What kinds of creative habits do you have that help you do extended projects like this while doing freelance, working a design job, being a dad and husband?
  10. Do you use these challenges to develop different styles? Can you walk us through your process of learning and experimenting with a different style?
  11. Why do you like to bring history into your work? What about history and sharing lesser known history makes the project more rewarding?
  12. Have their been any unexpected benefits from doing these ABC’s of February challenges?
  13. What are some of the hardest parts about doing a challenge like this? How can people prepare better to avoid getting derailed on these bumps?
  14. What is the thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last year, that has been most impactful to your life or business?
  15. Since it is love on designers month, and this week is RECHARGE your batteries. What are a few things you do for yourself to recharge your batteries?
  16. What is next?

Follow Dameon


[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Not Plumbers Unite, but we’re recommending plumbers in Frederick’s, Maryland. Um, but I do have a great plumber to recommend there, but it is Creatives Ignite and I am here with my really good friend, Damien Williams, who I went to pick up from the airport, well the airport shuttle.

[00:00:25] And he looked like he had never met me in my life. And I was like, [00:00:30] I told you three weeks ago I was going to pick you up. And it was like, we called it Uber. I’m like, well, I can be your Uber, you know, like get in the car . Anyway, it sort of was like he was scared of me and I’m really short and small and Damien’s seen me many times in real life.

[00:00:47] I didn’t think I was. Was it just, you were shocked?

[00:00:51] Dameon Williams: I was, I was shocked. Um, I, you, we, we had spoken and you said, yeah, you were gonna pick me up. So true to your word. But now, [00:01:00] anytime I call Uber, if I don’t see you now, I’m alarmed and, and, and scared. . So you ruin that experience. Thanks a lot, Diane. Well

[00:01:10] diane: now, uh, you know, you always have a, uh, a ride.

[00:01:13] Hi Amy. You always have a ride. So we got some other people obviously from, um, your area, Raleigh. Mm-hmm. , um, I know more as in Carrie, North Carolina. So we got North Carolina. You are in North Carolina, you are in Durham. I don’t know if you’re in Durham, right? The second. Yeah, [00:01:30]

[00:01:30] Dameon Williams: right this second. I, I live in Raleigh, but currently I am working in Durham.

[00:01:34] diane: Okay, so you’re working in Durham? Living in Raleigh. My sister lives in Raleigh. So you know, Damien’s all good people. So I get to, I get to talk to Damien once every two weeks, if not more than that. And. . I love hanging out and uh, Damien and I have done some fun. He’s taught me things on the iPad. He’s an amazing illustrator.

[00:01:55] And that’s one of the things we’re gonna talk about today is that, um, [00:02:00] he does this really cool thing in February. Mm-hmm. , you actually do a lot of challenges. You’ve done, I mean, other people’s challenges you do. Oh, yeah. Not like ink. I mean, it’s something you’ve used to help you grow and Absolutely. Um, this is a, this week on the podcast is about what we’re hopefully supposed to be doing is about recharging your own batteries.

[00:02:26] So this whole month is love on designers, love on [00:02:30] illustrators, love on creatives, and at other weeks we’ve like helped other people and picked people up. But I really think that this exercise that you’re gonna talk to us about today, has really been a, a booster for you at, in recharging your batteries.

[00:02:47] Now he will work regular, right? But on his lunch break, he’s doing skills share and he is learning things and he is connecting and all, and he has grown so much. You learn things so fast, I [00:03:00] think. But I think it’s because you have this, uh, uh, habit of learning and habit of practice, and you grow and you try new things.

[00:03:08] So just in case people don’t know, tell ’em who you are and where you are and what you do.

[00:03:15] Dameon Williams: All right. Uh, my name is Dameon Williams. I am a illustrator, a designer. I’m currently doing that full-time. I’m happy to say. Um, yes, but prior to that, for years I was working, it [00:03:30] did design out of school and then went into something completely foreign, which was healthcare, which.

[00:03:37] uh, was awesome. Did that for 20 something, 20 something years. 20, 24 years. Not, not a big deal. Yeah.

[00:03:44] diane: Um, but it wasn’t so it, it still is caring for people. Mm-hmm. and you were solving things and you did, had to do a lot of UX in Oh yeah. Right. While you were there. Yeah.

[00:03:56] Dameon Williams: You have to, um, you, you, there’s a lot of brainstorming, a lot [00:04:00] of different things.

[00:04:00] Cause I’m trying to fit people in wheelchairs and then take care of them with oxygen. There’s a lot of stuff you have to do. Um, very s because I mean, at the end of the day, it’s always about how we can better help the user or client or patient. And, um, I would do that. And, uh, I’m, I’m loved the fact that I worked in the hospital, the empathy part was what essentially I needed to pick up as a early designer coming outta [00:04:30] school, it was great, but I was, um, a little big-headed, uh, And, and

[00:04:38] diane: I can’t imagine

[00:04:38] Dameon Williams: that, to be honest.

[00:04:40] It’s crazy full of myself. Um, you know, like, like some, some younger people can be and, and

[00:04:47] diane: older people. It’s not just a young people disease.

[00:04:51] Dameon Williams: Absolutely. Right. You’re absolutely right. But, you know, we do these things, these different things and sometimes we do it primarily for us. What makes us feel good [00:05:00] about our designs and what, and of course it’s important that we like what we do, but we are trying to do things for other folks, for users to, to help them out, um, or clients or whatever the situation, however you wanna label it.

[00:05:14] Um, and there at the hospital I just, you know, I got the art part right, but I really needed to do the people part and understand that. And it helped me become a better artist. Um, cuz I was still doing a little part-time [00:05:30] work while working full-time at the hospital. And I found that my work was a little bit more informed.

[00:05:35] I had a lot more emotion coming, or I was told anyway, coming from characters, I would draw and, you know, the way they would emote and just relate to each other. These things are hugely important when you want children or adults or anybody to relate to the little characters you put on paper. Yeah. Um, so you know that, all that, I say that to say that, you [00:06:00] know, it’s been a journey, but one that I wouldn’t have predicted, but I’m honestly blessed to continue at this point, to, to live.

[00:06:09] It’s been pretty awesome.

[00:06:10] diane: But last year you made a big switch. You went to mm-hmm. . Uh, design position where you are utilizing your illustration Yes. But you’re also utilizing your people skills. Mm-hmm. in, uh, team building and listening as you’re listening to clients, listening to fellow people in [00:06:30] office.

[00:06:30] Mm-hmm. , yeah. Coworkers. Mm-hmm. . And there’s really, uh, you have such a gift there. And it’s funny cuz as you, you’re like, how in the heck is this hospital job gonna affect me? But it, you know, how does it help me in what I do in design now? And I think you’ve seen, because me and you’ve talked lots, you’ve seen lots of, through ways where you’re like, Hey, I learned this when I was in the hospital, or I designed this because in the hospital nobody used, knew how to use this machine and [00:07:00] I made it.

[00:07:00] Right. Like the covid thing. You, you could Right. You could tell ’em about that if you want.

[00:07:05] Dameon Williams: Yeah. Yeah. Um, we had a situation, well, I mean, long and short of it is, Covid happens. People need, we discover oxygen is an important thing. There are the classic oxygen tanks that we, a lot of us steam, but there are these machines out there that help that, you know, do what oxygen tanks do, except, um, they don’t necessarily run out, not like a tank would.[00:07:30]

[00:07:30] And we were issuing these, these, these things to folks, but we couldn’t go in room, not especially at that point, um, because they were trying to minimize the number of people coming in the room. A lot of nurses didn’t know necessarily how to use this stuff. So for us, it was important to, um, teach, but we had no proper guides to, to help folks are designed one.

[00:07:53] Um, because I was tired of seeing all these frustrated, uh, [00:08:00] nurses and of course I figured the patients are gonna be frustrated. They’re in the middle of trying to recover and you know, you wanna make these things simple and sometimes, Um, these people create great, great things, but they don’t really think about the the end user.

[00:08:16] I mean, they do in a sense that they wanna keep you alive. Sure. But how do I use this equipment, this tool? Sometimes that part is missed or is not as clear, uh, [00:08:30] and I

[00:08:30] diane: worked. Or they’ll think everybody will get it because they think everybody thinks the same way they do. Right, right, right. And that’s, that was the, this was like something just extra you did because it needed to be done right, so that it could communicate so that they could give better care to the patients.

[00:08:45] They didn’t have to poke and prod and they knew how to use, they could use this machine easier. And I just love that you used your design to solve this skill, but it was also the empathy because you knew. But [00:09:00] you could see the frustration either in the patients or in the, uh, medical

[00:09:05] Dameon Williams: staff. Yeah. Right, right.

[00:09:06] Little things like that. And if anybody’s curious, you can always go to my Instagram page is Damien underscore Williams. Oh, I’ve got it. You’ll see it as God knows what post, but it’s, it’s there. I remember it should be there. But

[00:09:20] diane: theirs, they can start looking there as

[00:09:22] Dameon Williams: well. Yeah. Yeah. Just, just dig there.

[00:09:24] You’ll see a whole bunch of different cool things. Okay. It’s a lot of my ABCs in [00:09:30] February. Okay. In

[00:09:31] diane: February. February. Okay. So I wanna talk about this. So this is one of the things. So in this week of Levon designers, you’re supposed to do something. I would like for all of y’all to do something for yourself.

[00:09:42] So sometimes I am often the last person on my list and I don’t, now I’ve got 3000 windows. I’ve tried to open the Instagram three times. I think now it’s like opening three different windows of it. Um, anyway. Um, and I, [00:10:00] so this week, this third week of February, whichever, wherever we are, this is the week that you’re supposed to do something for you.

[00:10:07] So Damien, this was something that was really impressive to me, is that while you were working at the hospital, and even now while you have a design job, you still really make it a priority all the time. Maybe not every single 52 weeks of the year, but you make it a priority to keep learning, right? So, absolutely.

[00:10:27] So how are you, how have you [00:10:30] been able to make that happen? Because you’re also pretty personable. So do you, are you, this is what I would think. If me and you worked in the same office and you were like, I’m going to lunch. I’d be like, I’ll go to lunch with you. Does that ever happen? And you’re like, uh, it’s my learning day, Diane.

[00:10:49] Dameon Williams: What? Um, no, they, they despise me here, so I don’t have any friends. No, no, they don’t. I know they don’t. No. Every they, they know I’ll go off [00:11:00] into the car or whatever and, and watch usually something on skill share, um, love skills share, and constantly learning from that. And, you know, sometimes it will be, uh, the LinkedIn learning or whatever, or YouTube.

[00:11:15] Um, you know, there, there are many ways to learn. You just wanna always, uh, you be curious, see what’s out there. I do it for, for YouTube all the time. Uh, tutorial, God knows there are [00:11:30] tutorials out there. You won’t be in love with all of them, but try, a lot of these things are super quick. It, it won’t take forever.

[00:11:37] Um, if you have at least 45 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, spend the time to, to do a tutorial, post it. Um, and yeah, it will be, Just like everybody else’s, if they want to do their same little thing. And you can know, just tweak, make some minor changes, but it’s more or less about the process. So you [00:12:00] get to know, um, about how other people, creative people like you think, uh, know your tools.

[00:12:08] I use procreate primarily, so it’s a great way for me to, with all the updates, stay on top of the newest, the latest, the greatest to help our process out, make things faster. Uh, it, I mean it’s just, it helps on so many levels. You get to see what other people are thinking you get to learn with as far as the tools and get, uh, [00:12:30] expand, uh, their repertoire.

[00:12:34] diane: So is this something you would do on a daily basis? Five days a week, three days a week? One

[00:12:41] Dameon Williams: day a week? Um, so I’ll do, I’ll try to do something on weekends. So weekends where you have a little bit more time. If you can’t do during the week, definitely try the weekend. A lot. Like I said, these to many tutorials won’t take too too long.

[00:12:57] Um, for me, during the week, [00:13:00] I may not be able to apply that so I can watch the video, but I can’t. And, and for me, I like to have video on, on like my television, um, well, I’m drawing or have it on the computer. Either way. You that’s, but that’s for me, kind of a weekend thing during the week. It’s a little tougher.

[00:13:19] I can, you know, take in the video. But for me, I wanna do video and actively apply it. Otherwise, you know, you may not remember. It’s great. You know, if you wanna [00:13:30] pre pregame it, you can do that too. Nothing wrong with that. So, so

[00:13:34] diane: that’s a, so you have to know how you’re learning if you’re a audible learner, if you’re a visual learner, if you’re a tactile learner.

[00:13:42] And sometimes there’s combinations. Most of the time there’s combinations in there. So you like to put it on the big screen mm-hmm. and then be able to do and pause. Do you pause while it’s happening or,

[00:13:55] Dameon Williams: yeah, yeah. If you want to be able to pause, do do a rewind if you [00:14:00] need to. Um, for me, it’s a big screen.

[00:14:03] It, it could be on my computer because I’m gonna, again, I’ll work on my tablet, so. Mm-hmm. , as long as I have two different screens happening, they have it all on the same screen. Oh. That, that, that’s not gonna work. Not for me. But, um, if I could do big screen, then just, you know, I could pivot and then move on to Washington from television to actively drawing or, or putting it into practice on my tablet, cuz that’s usually what [00:14:30] happens.

[00:14:30] diane: Okay. So, um, in, I just wanna kind of go back. You’ve done ABCs of February a few times. Um, so what’s this be number six? This is number six. That’s quite more than a few. It’s a mm-hmm. , it’s three couples of a few, right? Yeah, sure, sure. I’m just showing you my math skills. My math, fancy math skills. That’s right.

[00:14:51] So what started you to do it and because. So in Tober you’ve done that as [00:15:00] well. I don’t know how many times you’ve done that, but you’ve done that and that’s like a, sometimes it’s a prompt that somebody else is giving you. Mm-hmm. and there are some limitations. So is ABCs of February similar because I think you always kind of create your own parameters for this.

[00:15:19] Is that how it started

[00:15:20] Dameon Williams: for you? Yeah, well it was, you’re right. I would do challenges like in October and whatever other, uh, challenges that would happen throughout the year, [00:15:30] I would post things on Instagram. It’s just fun to do to, you know, jump into challenge. And it may be daily, it may be, uh, three times during the week or whatever.

[00:15:40] Daily’s awesome. It’s a lot, but you know, you can truly see, um, what you’re capable of. Uh, and that stuff, things like that prepared me to do something like, like the ABCs of February. February came one year, like 2018 or so. And I thought, you know, it’d be cool to, [00:16:00] if I could do from a to Z different people, um, black history, known and unknown.

[00:16:07] Can I do it? Can I even do this? So I’m like, well, okay, let me, let me give it a go. So it was Photoshop I used for that first one, and I told myself I would try to do, um, different styles. Uh, you know, you try to change it up, style of the style, whate whatever style, you know, Harriet Tubman, I’m just [00:16:30] gonna paint it, or this one’s gonna be this or that.

[00:16:33] Um, and it kind of worked. It, it, it worked out pretty well. Um, it was after that that I decided I was gonna do a little bit more of a theme for the whole month of a certain style. But not only that, a theme of, you know, what the focus would be. It’s not just, it has to be, you know, A person in black history.

[00:16:54] This was about people in medicine or whatever the situation, [00:17:00] whatever the thing was. So each one, I have to say, has been pretty cool. There’s been a theme for each and every one. And I, I learn, I learn every year, every time, every time I do it. But it’s fun. It is mostly about the challenge though, and just, just to learn and to hear people after the fact say, man, I, I had no idea.

[00:17:22] Didn’t. I didn’t either. But now we just discovered that this person came up with ice cream scoop or [00:17:30] this person, you know, uh, mobile refrigeration. Yeah. No one thinks about that, but it was a black dude that came up. Crazy.

[00:17:41] diane: That’s awesome. Okay, so, um, I have, I have it pulled up, so I’m gonna share, this is like the very bottom of your, um, right, so this is, oh yeah, this is, I went all the way.

[00:17:53] I remember that. So again, I kind of like seeing all the way back cuz we can see how [00:18:00] far you’ve, how you’ve changed and how you’ve grown. That’s why keep it. So, so I, I appreciate it because it gives me hope, uh, as I am a more of a budding illustrator. So some of these I think, um, let’s just click on this guy.

[00:18:17] This is 2017, so,

[00:18:20] Dameon Williams: oh yeah. Pen and think, pin and ink for that.

[00:18:23] diane: Yeah. Pin and ink, it looks like pin and ink. So, um, and these, this maybe is ink, October or one of the first. [00:18:30] Mm-hmm. Ink Octobers. Mm-hmm . And then, so the ABCs of February, you said in 2018, was that the first one?

[00:18:37] Dameon Williams: I think it was, yeah.

[00:18:38] diane: So is this, uh, this is it.

[00:18:41] So 2018, so you’re seeing styles, so what, was this just you picking things or is there like an ink tober? Is there a prompt list from companies or people who do this? No. List.

[00:18:59] Dameon Williams: Okay. [00:19:00] No list. Like, you know what from I, I think I literally grabbed a book or went to a website and went, alright, black history, all the A’s.

[00:19:09] Mm. And decided I pulled who a person for the A and did it for B and C, especially at this point, that first one. Um, and I was trying a bunch of, um, Different brushes from, um, at that point. Yeah, cuz it was [00:19:30] Photoshop, so I’m sure Kyle Webster. Yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m pulling some brushes and trying a lot of, uh, at that point, his stuff.

[00:19:38] And,

[00:19:39] diane: and stylistically you’re still exploring, so I like, oh yeah, this kinda more grungy. I think you guys can see my mouse, um, some more grungy, but you, you know, there’s definitely like, this is very different than she, and then these guys are more different. And so there’s something that happens later on as you and I love just you [00:20:00] still putting your hand, um, you know, pen to paper kind of sketches as well.

[00:20:04] Mm-hmm. in there. Mm-hmm. . Love that. Um, lots of creative south there. Anybody? Yep. On a volunteer ticket. We got, we got volunteer tickets, people. Um, so then

[00:20:14] Dameon Williams: we have, I’m a volunteer. I’m just saying folks come and volunteer anyway. I’m sorry. That’s right.

[00:20:20] diane: No, no. So I’m just trying to kind of get an idea. So you are, this is June of 2018, so you’re doing maybe some more digitally.

[00:20:29] Um, [00:20:30] and then we’re scooting, we’re continuing on. And I’m gonna get, and it’s very clear when we get to the ABCs, Of February. Mm-hmm. at this point. Right. So we see, um, there’s the ink, October, there’s another one that’s, uh, prompt list, I think. Mm-hmm. , these are all ink. October maybe 2018. Yep. 2018.

[00:20:51] Dameon Williams: Yep. This was for, um, a nonprofit I was working with at a point in time, collecting socks and clothes for homeless

[00:20:58] diane: folks.

[00:20:59] Oh, I love [00:21:00] that. And then we see some that are looking like they’re going in a series. And I actually think this is one of the beauties of doing a challenge like this is so that you can either explore different styles or you can, um, really hone in. And I feel like that’s what you’ve done in a lot of these.

[00:21:18] So you started here, I think this is with actual pen and paper, right? Mm-hmm. ,

[00:21:23] Dameon Williams: that was. Was it or I at this point? I’m sure it was a lot of, uh, [00:21:30] the digital, in fact, I’m pretty sure that was digital.

[00:21:32] diane: Okay. So, but this is the end of 2018, so there is a ton of, um, ex exploration, but that’s kind of, it starts with that sort of line work.

[00:21:43] Mm-hmm. . And then you see some of these from maybe past ABCs

[00:21:49] Dameon Williams: in February from the first, I believe. Or first or second, or maybe the first. Yeah. And that, you know, I put it, uh, on frames, got those things printed on frames, and I think that was my first [00:22:00] outing actually taking it to a cafe and displaying those, uh, and you know, a physical form.

[00:22:06] diane: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. They’re like super low, slow to load. Sorry. So then you always kind of have this, you’ve set. Um, brand for the ABCs of February. So again, maybe you changed the colors and you changed kind of the background, but you have figured out that you are not going to reinvent the title each time, which I think is pretty, pretty nice.

[00:22:27] I think maybe this year it changed a little bit, but [00:22:30] for this one, for the second volume as we kind of scroll up, so we see it’s in a circle a lot. Mm-hmm. , but what then a lot of exploration as well here. So arm procreate. Was there a theme or did you think about doing a theme yet for this

[00:22:45] Dameon Williams: that should, I didn’t, didn’t necessarily say that.

[00:22:49] And this was the first year where I actually had the ABC as of February as a title. Um mm-hmm. . Cause I didn’t really have it the first one. This one I knew. I went to do the circle thing, as you can [00:23:00] see. And it was all about inventors or, um, trailblazers. Yeah. So it was about inventions and people that, or trailblazers of some sort.

[00:23:11] diane: Awesome. Okay. So color palette, you’re kind of trying different things. Even style of people are, you know, how you’re doing their nose or how mm-hmm. , this is more cartoony. I mean, I love this perspective there. So just all different, I mean, you’re really [00:23:30] exploring, I think it’s helpful to see is, as you look back, are you seeing anything like, oh yeah, I should, I mean, like, I see this sun and I think that is one of your styles.

[00:23:41] I see. Do you see the sun I’m talking about Right. The and you’ve got the retro. Yeah. And, and just like the stylistic of the, like, it’s kind of big in that face. And then there’s that sort of retro supply, and that’s limited color palette, right? Mm-hmm. , no, you, and then we [00:24:00] have, um, more like this probably looks like what the person is, and that’s something else you and I have talked about when.

[00:24:07] Excuse me. When you’re doing your ABCs in February, sometimes there’s not a photograph of the

[00:24:13] Dameon Williams: right

[00:24:14] diane: of the person, the the subject, right? So you have, you’re kind of just guessing.

[00:24:20] Dameon Williams: Yeah. Sometimes you would just have to do whatever, like in the baby buggy, um, there were, I don’t think there was a picture of the, the person, but there was a [00:24:30] picture of the actually invention you can see in the background with the, um, when they had their little blueprint.

[00:24:37] Um, so then, you know, if I can’t do the person, then I’m gonna at least do, uh, the actual invention. So there was, there are ways around, around that.

[00:24:48] diane: Okay, so then I’m just, I just want people to be able to see, um, look, there’s me and you. Um, so then we have, see this guy with his little, that’s kinda like your son.

[00:24:58] I think that as like one of your, yeah. [00:25:00] One of, one of your styles. You do have multiple styles. So one of the questions I had asked is how long you’d been doing this? So this is your sixth year. Um, you do love history. So this is something that you’re now able to connect history Oh yeah. And your illustration.

[00:25:17] Um, and then for this, for the next year, so I don’t know what year I’m in right now. Um, how do you, uh, maybe this,

[00:25:25] Dameon Williams: no. Yep. 1619 project, uh, when it first came out, [00:25:30] uh, I was just absolutely now is a Hulu, uh, television series, but in, in a book. But at that point it was, um, just a New York Times essay. . Uh, and, uh, I, you know, it it, they, it was a podcast made and, uh, for each of the episodes I wanted to do, uh, one line, uh, drawing.[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] Mm-hmm. for the theme of the episode. Uh, or see if I can do it, it again. It’s always a challenge. Can I do it? The menstrual show? I did that little menstrual version there.

[00:26:11] diane: Oh my gosh. I know that is, can I do it super hard? Yeah. So these are digitally on procreate. So some of these are challenges. This is all still while you’re working at the, at the hospital.

[00:26:23] Very much so,

[00:26:24] Dameon Williams: yes.

[00:26:25] diane: So, so then we do ink tober and we see, um, we see more [00:26:30] of a, like, these are like monopoly people, kind of, you know, um, Martha,

[00:26:34] Dameon Williams: yeah. I wanted to right that little, it was, I was trying to find a mid-century ish character. Or create one. Mm-hmm. or take elements from. And so I’m like, okay, I’m gonna base it around this dude.

[00:26:47] diane: It, it even expands, um, just because you’re creating more scenes or more things that are going on. But this is like a really 30 days of a style of, [00:27:00] right. Right. So this is one of the first ones that’s really cohesive and really long, cuz it’s hard Right. Sometimes to do something like that. Okay. So that’s October.

[00:27:09] And then, and then we’re gonna see where it says volume three. Okay. So then we have ABCs of February again. And I see where those lines from the 1619 where you were ex exploring mm-hmm , you found something that you liked. You thought, hey, this is, what are some of the things where it’s something that you’re doing daily and maybe you do a little bit of [00:27:30] pre-prep, but you know you have to fit this in.

[00:27:32] So what are some of the parameters? If somebody like me was gonna start doing something, what are, after doing six of these. what? I mean, we can see that they, they get more cohesive, but they’re also maybe, um, you have a clear style. They’re not any easier to figure out how to do a one line, but you know how long something like that is gonna take.

[00:27:55] So what, what are some of the parameters that you kind of look [00:28:00] for when you’re gonna do a project like this

[00:28:02] Dameon Williams: or something like this? Because of where it set in February, and we’ve talked about this before. I’m going to, it’s gonna be October. Honestly, for me, and I’ll think about it throughout the year, but October is a time when I’m really trying to nail down, okay, do I feel good about doing, uh, theme of music or whatever the situation.

[00:28:23] And I get to start, I, I start with the research and I’m taking, I’m taking [00:28:30] notes of different things from A to Z, but just, you know, just notes. Whatever, you know, we’re not necessarily wor worried about that, the, the letters at that point. Let’s just, uh, draft something together and get as much inform information as we can and then you can kind of fill in the gaps as you get closer to February for me, if we are getting a week’s work, a week, a week’s worth of, of stuff [00:29:00] done for that first week and have it done prior to February starting, uh, cause I, I like doing things as the month actually goes on.

[00:29:08] So if you could do a week or two weeks, then you’re feeling really good by the first, uh, February or the first of whatever your month is. So just do some prep work. Give yourself a few months, um, to kind of prepare mentally and, you know, just creatively for, for whatever you’re gonna do. Or give yourself some time.

[00:29:29] It [00:29:30] may not have to be months depending on what you’re dealing with, but, um, You know, day to day you’re gonna feel the pressure of, uh, submitting, like today, I, I’m actively doing, but I don’t think I submit it for today. And, you know, typically I try to do like something in the morning, but sometimes things happen.

[00:29:50] You get tied up. And as long as I do it before the end of day, uh, then I’ll be, I’ll be good. And for, for the most part, [00:30:00] most of the people that follow me are pretty cool about checking it out when they check it out and not giving me grief about it. So, you know, give yourself some grace and some space. But, um, kind of pace

[00:30:11] diane: yourself.

[00:30:11] I just wanted to bring this up since this was one of the ones we talked about in the beginning. That’s right. Um, this is that piece. If you are following, I will put it, um, I’m gonna copy it and paste it and I’ll put it in the chat, but I’m also going to put it in some notes for myself or later [00:30:30] so that I can make sure I add it to the site.

[00:30:33] Um, yes, because this was not, this was again, something that we talked about earlier. Do you wanna just give a little recap on this one and then I’m gonna go back to the ABCs of February?

[00:30:43] Dameon Williams: Yeah. Uh, uh, like I said before, this little, um, this little ox machine, we call it, this particular brand is the oxy like machine, but it essentially just gives you ox oxygen, provides the oxygen, uh, for, for the, for the [00:31:00] patient.

[00:31:00] It doesn’t run out. You plug it up. Um, it’s, it’s taken from the air and kind of reproducing so that you know, you have. Full oxygen there, but, um, and this, this was done procreate as most of my stuff these days. You know, it’s coming from that program on the iPad. Right. Um, I, I know the basic steps of what I teach people, so I try to make it as simple as possible and work on, [00:31:30] um, you know, my phrasing and, and pull some pictures from, uh, from websites and put just, you know, put smack this thing together, put it together, and, uh, display it in a way that, you know, kind of moves from one to four, uh, as easy as possible.

[00:31:47] I would try it with, with folks and the patients to see if, if they understood it, this happens to be the, this is the English one, but if you flip it, you’ll see it in Spanish. Um, because we [00:32:00] have an English and Spanish population huge where we are. So it’s important that it was easy for everybody to kind kind of.

[00:32:07] You know, especially because this was primarily for a lot of people with covid, right? They don’t have the time or the patience or even maybe the energy to, you know, try to figure out how to work this, this machine. So this, this little card here, uh, hopefully did the job and, and, and made a, made a difference for, from, [00:32:30] for some folks.

[00:32:30] Absolutely. That the staff and the patients

[00:32:32] diane: and it combined empathy, ux and then your illustration, which I, which I think is a really unique, um, Trifecta that you have. So we see these kind of illustrations in here, and I know I’m still on his Instagram handle. Mm-hmm. . And you do get more detailed. I think there’s more detail and there’s more tonal in this one because you maybe had more time, but you have actually, people have [00:33:00] come to you, clients you have done these longer projects.

[00:33:04] Mm-hmm. , um, that, that we can see and that we’ve just seen in. So we’re now in the next October, and this is the volume four. And so we have a different, um, um, a different theme for this one. Mm-hmm. , um,

[00:33:20] Dameon Williams: revolutionary War. Pardon? The US Revolutionary War. Okay.

[00:33:25] diane: Revolutionary War. So color palette, you kept it simple, right?

[00:33:29] [00:33:30] Keep it simple. Um, it has a feel of like a kid’s, uh, maybe retro, uh, Little book that we would go through, right? Mm-hmm. , so mm-hmm. . And that was what you were going for, um, because you wanted to be able to teach something, but you wanted to also be able to, um, capture, you didn’t have to wanna do the whole scene if you didn’t.

[00:33:53] Cause sometimes you don’t have that much time, right? Yeah.

[00:33:56] Dameon Williams: Sometimes you don’t. And then honestly, do we need a [00:34:00] whole scene? You we’re trying to introduce that one person. So it’s easier to absorb when we simplify it. Mm-hmm. and, you know, stick to, in this case, I think I did the most, uh, colors, but I’m also being mindful that I’m doing this on Instagram where you do have three next to each other and it’s gonna be stacked a certain way.

[00:34:22] So, yeah. A lot of this was thought about when it comes to where you happen to be posting this [00:34:30] thing. If, if you’re gonna do it on Twitter or Facebook, it’s gonna be. Displayed differently. Right. Um, so you’re being mindful of, of course, the platform in this case, Instagram, just, it, it worked for me for the look.

[00:34:43] diane: Yeah. Okay. So then from this, this is a style that you kind of developed and you, we can see because we’re zooming through your years of Instagram here. Right? Right. Um, and we see where you’re still exploring doing other things. You’re doing, [00:35:00] still has some of an other styles of illustration. Mm-hmm. and then, but you have gotten work from, or you have yo chosen this style or clients have come to you saying, Hey, I like how you do people’s heads.

[00:35:13] We need this. Can you do this? And you can now say, here’s styles. Instead of just being a one off, you actually. Um, multiples to show them. Is that something that happens often or is that something that you’re able [00:35:30] to, um, touch back and then use with a client?

[00:35:35] Dameon Williams: It, it is, especially as I, because you’re having me go down memory lane too.

[00:35:40] Uh, and you know, just recently with, um, uh, Lenore Ryan, uh, at the college and university, uh, I was doing, uh, cover for their alumni magazine and that came up like, you know what? I do like the line part. I know it’s further up there, um, [00:36:00] on my, on my feed. But, um, that was a situation where they had seen so much and they said, you know, so with all that displayed on the Instagram, they’re like, well, you know what?

[00:36:14] I think that same look could work for. Two of our administrators. Mm-hmm. , maybe you can kind of do a, a sketch and see, I sketch it up in pencil, um, they feel everybody feels good about it. Then I go back in pen and do [00:36:30] it. And then I added that to my whole line of the linear, uh, or the one line, um, drawings.

[00:36:39] And so, you know, you’re just building upon what you do. So that now it’s at the point where for all of these projects, a lot of people will go to my Instagram and say, okay, I like such and such and this, this and this. Can you do that style for whatever project I’m pitching to you? And I’ll say, yeah. [00:37:00] And then we kind of move from there.

[00:37:01] And for the most part, it stays in that same, uh, ballpark. So I use this like a portfolio and they’ll go and find what they like. They’re gonna find something or something close to what they’re imagining. And then we kind of run, run with it from there. So yeah, that happens all the time.

[00:37:20] diane: So, and then, uh, and I had you and uh, Josh on, and you talked about, um, the Tulsa race massacre, the, how y’all kind of put [00:37:30] this little book together.

[00:37:31] I mean, it is like a book cuz if you go back, you can go through the whole thing and each day has multiple, um, I don’t wanna rehash this cuz we’ve already done this, but was, so I saw another one where it was in that, uh, the line in the circle mm-hmm. where you were teaching something kind of like you were here in the Tulsa, uh, race massacre.

[00:37:51] So up here, like with this one and maybe with the Alice Walker one also there is, so you add some, uh, animation, but then there was also either [00:38:00] this quote which, so had, had you done this, that sort of teaching more. So it seems like the in volume two or volume four of ABCs, it was more of like just one.

[00:38:14] Page, it wasn’t a lot of carousels going deeper. Right? Is that

[00:38:19] Dameon Williams: correct? Yeah, that that is correct. It was Josh because it’s, uh, many projects Josh had had at that point, he’d done [00:38:30] with the use of carousels that made it so much easier. And little mini books, he was doing almost like little golden books.

[00:38:36] Mm-hmm. . Um, and you could, you would read it and you feel like, okay, I got everything I needed from that. And it worked so well that when we paired together and he brought a lot of that, that, that aspect, um, to the ABCs, it just made sense. I felt like I was getting way too, um, [00:39:00] wordy too, too verbose with some of my posts prior to that.

[00:39:05] And it allowed me to, uh, not bore people to death and give them the, the, the, the, the quick blurbs. So that, you know, it was enough that if they wanted to go further and do their own research, they could, but they also walk away feeling like, okay, I did learn one little nugget today, and the carousel made that possible.

[00:39:26] So, um, you know, it was just the [00:39:30] evolution of the ABCs. Uh, uh, and I’m hugely grateful to Josh for, uh, for helping me kind of make that transition.

[00:39:39] diane: Well, and I can just see, I know this is one y’all did together. Um, so we have you, we see where you started. We see how it, it’s expanded and your illustrations have gotten richer as well as what you’re teaching us in, in, in the way.

[00:39:54] And so I think, think this is where we come to this year. Mm-hmm. . So this year you [00:40:00] decided why to do I can’t I tell my mom, I’m like, I, I can’t say that word. Good. Uh, rural. Rural. I know. Anyway, my mom says it good cuz she has a good southern accent. She’s like, it’s cuz you’re from the city, Diane. And, um, but anyway, I rural, uh, rural, rural, rural, yeah, rural.

[00:40:21] Anyway, those, um, why, why did you decide, um, was it something you heard? Was it a podcast? Was it something you read? [00:40:30] And tell us about that and then why you decided to execute it in this woodcut way.

[00:40:36] Dameon Williams: I, um, I was thinking about music, um, as it, um, pertains to the black community for quite some time when it comes to ABCs.

[00:40:51] I would’ve done this, you know, probably years ago, but I feel like, okay, this was, it’s been on my mind. Let me actually do, [00:41:00] do it this year. Um, and this was before Ken Burns. Well, uh, Ken Burns apparently did a, uh, docu-series on the history of country music and the different people had, you know, a part of that.

[00:41:16] I never really gotta see it, but I heard bits and pieces. Uh, there was a cool website now host that site, uh, I can’t remember it now, that covers a lot of, uh, black Americans in the different music [00:41:30] genres, um, over the, over the decades, um, or centuries in the United States. And the country part came up and folk came up.

[00:41:41] And then I realized, wow, there’s a lot of people, a lot more people than I realized, uh, in this thing. And no, we, we never really hear about. . I don’t know much about it. Let me dig deeper. And sure enough, I find out about the history of the banjo and, and just a [00:42:00] collection of things that are just fantastic and just not a, it is not a shortage.

[00:42:05] There’s a lot there. Yeah. If you know where to look and just dig a little deep deeper and realize, oh wow, look at this history. I have to cover it. And that easily becomes the ABCs. That’s enough for me to run with it. And that’s what’s going on right now.

[00:42:21] diane: So then why this style?

[00:42:23] Dameon Williams: This style? Um, I work with brush supply a lot.

[00:42:28] Love everybody there. [00:42:30] Love Dustin and Suzanne. And, and Bailey e. Love everybody. Sure. Cuz that’s me. Uh, but they have a, an assortment, a awesome assortment of different digital brushes that, uh, are fantastic. They always lend to the whole vintage retro. look. And I thought, well, if I’m gonna do rule,

[00:42:52] diane: rule, rule, you could say it

[00:42:54] Yeah.

[00:42:55] Dameon Williams: I, I had to commit to that. Like, am I gonna, am I prepared to say this thing? [00:43:00] Yeah, sure. Um, there’s a woodcut and a wood block and they, they have their different brushes there. Um, and the font was there by our friend Brian White. Mm-hmm. . And, but so I have all the elements there. Um, so, and it works for the rule thing.

[00:43:20] Let me do that. I’ve not done any woodblock or woodcut. Let’s go.

[00:43:25] diane: So it was, it wasn’t, um, too, Scary for you to [00:43:30] do kind of a new style. I, I think I can see where your style’s coming, but you’re doing it in a different way. So you’re taking this as a challenge. Mm-hmm. instead of like, it has to be perfect. I have to know how to do this.

[00:43:42] It’s like a different mindset of you’re like, I’m gonna figure this out. I love how this looks. I’m gonna study it and I’m gonna prepare. Um, how far in advance you say you start thinking, you think about it all throughout the year, but when did you start, like, coming up [00:44:00] or doing the research and knowing you were gonna use, um, like a harmonica for, or D four Bailey for d like mm-hmm.

[00:44:09] When do you make, cuz you’re not doing that on the day of the fourth day of February.

[00:44:14] Dameon Williams: No, no, no. You’re, you’re sketching early on when you know you have these letters, then you have to decide, first of all, just like before, do we have photos for everybody? So this, this is a, a time period that covers, [00:44:30] uh, many, many decades.

[00:44:32] Um, and some of those decades did not capture a, a lot of these people were not even known. So, you know, you’re fortunate to get some kind of photo, much less, more than one. Um, so if they do have a photo, then okay, I could do that. But then some of these folks are known for a lot of the instruments. Mm-hmm.

[00:44:53] Lead Belly, who was yesterday, uh, was known for having this huge, uh, guitar [00:45:00] very way bigger than that was necessary. So I’m like, okay, uh, early on, am I gonna do Lead Belly or am I gonna do the guitar? Eh, lemme do the guitar just to change it up. Cause I can have a bunch of folks, their faces. Or I can mix it up, have some faces, or have what they were known for or a thing that, uh, symbolizes them or, um, uh, a part of their, their narrative.

[00:45:28] So, and [00:45:30] that leads to a very diverse, as you can see with that feed. You know, it, it, it’s not boring cuz it, you know, I’ve done the all faces thing before and that was great, but you learn each time to kind of kick it up a notch.

[00:45:47] diane: Well, and you need a new challenge and you’re open for the challenge and, but you have figured out what every letter is gonna be by the beginning of February you’d say.

[00:45:58] Dameon Williams: Mm-hmm. . [00:46:00] Oh yeah. By then. Yeah. Unless our letters have changed and they’re still 26 last I checked. And because February has, generally when it’s not a leap year, has, you know, you have 28 days you’re playing with, I like to have the first day to. Hello, how you doing? Intro. And then the last day is, uh, close, you know, closing it out.

[00:46:21] diane: But I love how you now have incorporated the carousel where you’re teaching us a little bit. It’s not overwhelming. You’re not using [00:46:30] all 10 slides to Right. Teach us something. You’re teaching what, what, however many slides you need to get across. Right. And it’s easy to read on your phone with, with, if you have glasses, you’re probably gonna need your glasses.

[00:46:42] I mean, it’s not tiny, but it’s,

[00:46:45] Dameon Williams: it’s a, I think, and that’s how I think about it, you know, cuz I have to wear these glasses for, for my screens. So yeah, it, I, I can see this on my iPad and my phone, but I have to be mindful that a lot of people aren’t gonna see this on their phone, so I try to make a [00:47:00] text a little larger.

[00:47:02] Um, you

[00:47:03] diane: know. Yeah. And I’m glad. Okay. So, so we’ve done, you have themes, you decide the theme. Do you think you knew the theme by October?

[00:47:15] Dameon Williams: Yeah, I was pretty set on it. Um, yeah, I didn’t have the rural roots part of it. Right. Uh, but I would imagine for me, my brainstorming happens in the shower. When I hit the shower.

[00:47:28] That’s what I’m thinking. Like, okay, [00:47:30] um, this is how I should have the way ABCs in February. Will I do it in colors or something red, black and green, or just gonna be all black? Is is monochromatic, da da da. You know, you work out a lot of those details. I do early on. Um, some things do come on the fly. Like even now as far as with these letters and I’m making changes.

[00:47:54] Uh, an o was gonna be this person. I had written it for [00:48:00] this person, you know, months ago, but I just ran across another o because I’m still doing my research and still digging. Mm-hmm. , now I’m making that change. You’ll never know. Right, but that person did have a last name. So now that first person, oh, maybe I could use that last name for a different letter.

[00:48:18] You know, and just you’re constantly kind of working that whole thing out,

[00:48:23] diane: but somehow it doesn’t stress you out or it doesn’t seem to stress you out.

[00:48:27] Dameon Williams: No. Um, [00:48:30] when you are working with people in a collection of, well, when you work with people and they coming from their different paths or you have children or whatever the situation in your life, we learn to adapt and hopefully not, uh, stress out super, super easy after years of the hospital, especially during Covid, I think.

[00:48:54] doing a letter is okay. Yeah. You’re like, I can fit that in. Yeah. And, and not, [00:49:00] not too much of a problem.

[00:49:01] diane: And so that’s the other thing. I like that if, um, although it is normally 28 days and that makes sense mm-hmm. to have a, a opener and a close that there is some flexibility if you did this in another month, that um, or if someone was doing an a b ABC project, they have some flexibilities on other days, so they need to not, not stress themselves out, but what, what has doing this, um, for six years, what has it done to [00:49:30] you as, um, as you’ve stretched?

[00:49:33] Do you feel like I’ve got this style now and like you feel more confident? Or what has it done to you as an illustrator?

[00:49:42] Dameon Williams: I do feel, uh, you can’t help but feel way more, um, secure. You know, nothing’s perfect. I don’t know. Woodblock and woodcut. Uh, super d I mean, I would do stuff in college with linoleum or, [00:50:00] or wood there, but, you know, so the look of it may, it’s enough to where folks would recognize what’s happening, but the professionals like, yeah, no, this looks like, uh, you know, sure what, whatever.

[00:50:14] But, you know, I’m, I’m trying, I wanna learn. Uh, for me it is, it just, it helps in the evolution of whatever I, I think is my number one style of art, because a lot of that stuff does come back to that, and it [00:50:30] does make it better, even if it’s just an increments. So I see it as, you know, I always wanna do more mid-century looking things.

[00:50:38] I love that, that time period, that look, and if I can get closer and closer to it, um, then, you know, it’s, it is a mission accomplished. I want to do. The goal is to cover a lot of mid-century things the way they. Would appear, but showing different people that weren’t necessarily covered during that time [00:51:00] period.

[00:51:00] So, you know, that’s kind of a goal of mine. We’re not rewriting because tho those people existed, that stuff was happening, it just wasn’t necessarily recorded. Right. So, um, I,

[00:51:11] diane: or publicized. Right. So, so luckily some things were recorded, but we, some things were recorded, we just didn’t, it wasn’t highly publicized.

[00:51:20] So it’s just giving, um, a ladder or a lift for those stories. Absolutely. Which I think is really, really good and important cuz it’s part of all of our stories. So [00:51:30] if somebody, uh, I just wanna kind of paint the picture. So you have a full-time job, you Yes. Do a good bit of freelance and, um, you’re a dad of three mm-hmm.

[00:51:41] and you’re a husband and you run and you meditate and you do all kinds of things. How? Um, If you were trying to convince somebody, maybe convince isn’t the right thing, but why should somebody that is busy, that has these [00:52:00] things, why should they pour some time into them to learn and to grow, um, in an area

[00:52:08] Dameon Williams: we see now, especially more than ever, that your mental health is super important.

[00:52:16] And for you, do you wanna pull yourself out? Like for me, my, uh, escape would be drawing or, you know, but that’s also what I do during my day-to-day. So [00:52:30] it could still be my escape, but it would probably be better if I did something a little bit different just so I can come back to this and, and feel like I’m refreshed.

[00:52:40] So if it has to be meditation or video games, Or going outside to, you know, play or play with the kids. Just something different. One, my middle kid loves Legos, huge in the Legos, loves building. I’m sitting there with them and build with them. You know, let’s do some things that don’t involve a [00:53:00] screen. Um, those are the things that you know, you, you wanna do.

[00:53:05] Whether it’s a hobby or just something different. Um, that’s, we, we do these things so that we can stay fresh and they keep our head clear. And this is a part of a, this is no different than any other thing when it comes to mental health. So it’s

[00:53:22] diane: part of your, we wanna do mental health pro, like what keeps you healthy?

[00:53:27] Dameon Williams: It Yes. That’s why a person would [00:53:30] want to do it. As busy as you may be. Um, no one said you had to invest everything into this, this side thing. It may just be find a little Lego mini fix it and building. A little something. Just take the time now to, to do something like that and, and then go back to what you’re doing.

[00:53:50] Take a break, give yourself some grace and, and take a break.

[00:53:54] diane: Okay. So I gotta get some of these questions answered. So yes, we’re gonna rapid [00:54:00] fire the rest in the last four minutes. That’s fine. So what unexpected benefits have you had from doing these ABCs of February and have they been different every year?

[00:54:10] Dameon Williams: Yeah. Uh, the learning, everything is just, is so different and it’s so much to learn that we don’t ne it things we don’t necessarily get in school or you learn better as an adult is coming to me and I mean, it never gets old. So I absolutely love that. Take away something different every year. [00:54:30] You can’t help but too because it’s always a new thing.

[00:54:34] Yeah. There’s so much out there to, to learn. Well

[00:54:37] diane: if, and I think about this, if you’re learning something on Skillshare and you’re doing one project, it’s a lot different than doing, doing, learning something on Skillshare and then doing 30 projects or 28 projects or 26 projects that are all kind of cohesive.

[00:54:53] That’s a different type, that’s a deeper, cuz you have to expand and push yourself and work within. [00:55:00] So there’s um, you’ve, you do some, uh, shorter learns and then you do these longer learn projects. Is there something, do you like that amount of space between October and February for like a longer challenge?

[00:55:15] Dameon Williams: Yeah. Um, I’ll kind of count on that so that the, the latter part of my year is, is clear for stuff like that. And then throughout the year, you know, the early, early months, I can do small challenges or [00:55:30] it could be as simple as, for me, I see a article and I’m like, you know what? I don’t think enough people are gonna read this.

[00:55:37] If I were doing a magazine, uh, spot or just a spot illustration, what would I do? And then I can do the illustration and just put a little, a little bit of that news info in my post. And now people see that, they understand where I’m coming from with that. And it’s a good challenge just in case maybe you do want to do more spy illustrations, well now you [00:56:00] have a little something on your Instagram so that people can see, okay, maybe you are capable.

[00:56:05] Come in. Maybe you could do one from my highlights or Yeah, maybe not highlights. That’d be awesome. But whatever the magazine, yeah. You

[00:56:12] diane: should dream big. I mean, I think you could do highlights. No problem. Yeah, sure, sure. I mean, that magazine for kids, I loved that magazine. Oh,

[00:56:21] Dameon Williams: the reason why that’s you talking about, right?

[00:56:23] Yes. It’s alive. It’s alive after all these years. So there’s a reason why it has a fan base.

[00:56:29] diane: Yeah. [00:56:30] Okay. So then, um, what are some of the hardest parts that you would have, if it was me or somebody else in the, that’s listening, what would you have them, um, get ready for, uh, in, in regards to like these bumps that might come up?

[00:56:44] So, um, what can they do to not get derailed?

[00:56:50] Dameon Williams: Uh, you saw in my feed one of the years, I had a child, uh, at a trampoline park. Ended up injuring himself. Had to get [00:57:00] stitches near his eye. And I posted on my stories. I think, Hey folks, here’s a picture of the kid. Uh, can’t post right now. Cause I’m a little tied up.

[00:57:11] Everybody, of course understood. But, um, know that you have your audience and you have a certain relationship with your audience. If something happens, let ’em know. Tell ’em, you know, I forgot this week, about a day. Because I thought I posted and I’m doing all sorts of stuff and realized I didn’t post so [00:57:30] later that evening, I think it was actually the day before yesterday, like, Hey, my bad, missed a letter.

[00:57:37] We’ll double up coming up. Don’t worry. Um, but this is what you have to look forward to tomorrow. Hmm. And you know, so things are gonna happen. It is cool people understand, just let ’em know what’s going down so that’s not stress on you. No stress on them. And it will honestly, it’ll be forgotten at the end of the [00:58:00] day.

[00:58:00] You’ll go back. And you’ll see all of the letters or all of whatever your project is, and you’ll forget about the little hiccups for you to be just one fluid

[00:58:10] diane: thing. But to me, that little hiccup, here’s your little hiccup, right? Mm-hmm. . Um, but really what was beautiful about that is that you remind people that you’re a dad and you, you have your priorities and your priority is yes, doing these illustrations, but my kids come first and I just, I love that.[00:58:30]

[00:58:30] Right?

[00:58:31] Dameon Williams: That’s, so that’s how it works.

[00:58:33] diane: All right. So what is something that you’ve learned about yourself in the last year? So since May the last time you’ve done ABCs of February, um, that’s been most impactful, um, to your life or business or both?

[00:58:48] Dameon Williams: Um, last, uh, ABCs I was working with Josh. And we have done the project before.

[00:58:55] We’re do gonna do another one, um, I’m sure in the future. So I [00:59:00] get to see that, you know, I can collaborate with, you know, two different styles. Sometimes we’re coming from, I can see that I, I can collaborate, we can finish the project. That’s one more thing I feel super good about. I was doing all these things by myself, but to know what I could do once successfully with somebody and we still be having a talking, speaking relationship, we’re still very cool with each other.

[00:59:24] Um, I love him to death. That stuff is important. So I learned, hey, [00:59:30] I can do that. Now when I go into the solo like I’m doing now, it’s back to what I was doing before with an added bonus of Josh is there tonight. Hey, I love your posts from whatever day. And I have his support and I have his take on different things.

[00:59:47] So it’s another, it’s not just me by myself, it’s now a collaborator, uh, whether you know, a past collaborator, but still present. You know, that stuff matters. So now I [01:00:00] feel just more emboldened to do things cause it’s not, it’s not just me. I do have the community. I have you and I have another person that literally did the same thing with me, and we put our stuff out there together and now we’ve shown other people that they can do it too.

[01:00:16] They can collaborate and come up with something so, Just, it’s one of those things, a rear view where I just appreciate, cuz when you’re in the middle of doing it, you can’t, you know, you’re, you’re in the middle of the woods, you [01:00:30] need to pull back and, and get a satellite view and now there’s more satellite view.

[01:00:34] So I can kind of reflect and I like that.

[01:00:38] diane: That’s, that’s good. And that goes with just who is, what’s important to you too. Just, I think community is really important for you. So it is. Um, what are some things that you will hopefully do this week to recharge your batteries since it’s, this is the week for love on designers to recharge yourself, um, [01:01:00]

[01:01:00] Dameon Williams: this week?

[01:01:01] diane: Or you can talk about things that

[01:01:02] Dameon Williams: you do all the time. Well, you know, I have, uh, miles to go this, this month, but so far there’s a project we talked about that is complete now a big project. I’ve finished that today, an article. Uh, virtual supply article, done all these different things early in the month.

[01:01:23] I’m like, oh God, it’s gonna be so much. I’m taking these things off slowly. This, uh, podcast [01:01:30] here. That’s one of the, these different things. So now, and eventually when I get towards the end of the month where I have to do a talk, um, you know, I’ll be nervous, but then I will get past it and I will do what I need to do, hopefully.

[01:01:45] And it’s one of those things you’ll reflect on and feel good about. And that just, it’s still stuff that puts the wins, the win in yourselves. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So it could push you further and further out. And that’s kind of what I anticipate and I look forward to. So, [01:02:00] um, it’s constant learning and reflecting.

[01:02:03] That’s what’s happening. Right.

[01:02:04] diane: Okay. I love that. And Jen Close said her friend Katie MCee, she works for, does illustrations for highlights. And she said You should get in touch with her. So I texted you that her link, so Oh, Jen. Okay. So you can, um, you can do that. I love how that’s how we work as a community, all of us that, so I love the people who y’all get to come and you get to watch and learn and ride along with [01:02:30] me.

[01:02:30] And I just appreciate you being here and just all the years that you’re, you do this and I just love that it is this community and that there’s things that Damien’s teaching us, but there’s also things that we need. Um, Damien still needs to be lifted and, and post shared as well as we all do. So. Just love on some people this, um, this month.

[01:02:53] So Damien, what is next for you? I know you have a talk in at Creative Mornings coming soon, so if you guys are in the [01:03:00] Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill area, you, they can see you win. That

[01:03:04] Dameon Williams: will be on the 24th. Um, creative Mornings, uh, you know, it’s gonna be in the morning time, the eight o’clock hour. Are you up for it?

[01:03:14] Um, I’m gonna have more stuff posted on my Instagram coming up, uh, about the time and date and the location. Um, and of course it will be recorded so people can after the fact catch it.

[01:03:27] diane: Love that. Okay. So anything else, anything [01:03:30] else we need to be looking out for from

[01:03:33] Dameon Williams: you? Just hang on to the Instagram. If you, you, if you follow me, I do some things on Twitter, but Instagram is where I’m primarily.

[01:03:44] Um, and there you have the emails and my website and all the fun stuff. You can, you know, go there and it will take you to everywhere else you need to contact me. It’s all, it’s all there or harassed. Diane, she’ll, she’ll let you know. [01:04:00]

[01:04:00] diane: That’s right. I have, I have alls digits. Okay, so I just want in case, oops, I got blurry.

[01:04:05] Um, in case anybody is listening or watching, all the links for Damien are right below this video. If you’re on YouTube or if you’re in the chat, I just popped them in. Um, or if this is, uh, you can look at it on the, uh, creative Ignite website, but here is how you can find more about Damien damien

[01:04:26] Mm-hmm. . Um, and then you can see some of his, uh, [01:04:30] work and then Underscore. There you go, Williams. And then Link, there’s a link tree on that that has a bunch of things that he does. And the retro supply, um, you guys can use that. Maybe it’s a, is that a affiliate link you got? I think it is.

[01:04:49] Oh, thank. Oh, thank goodness. So then if you’re gonna buy some brushes there just burning in your pocket, you wanna buy some brushes, use Damian’s link, then he gets a little bit, doesn’t cost you anymore. Um, I love that. And [01:05:00] that link is right underneath here as well. And then he also has some things for sale.

[01:05:04] And that is also, it was from the Link tree, but I just copied it and pasted it. And that’s n print, i n p r p r n t. So no, I, in the print, in in, I don’t know how to say that word, doin dominicus.

[01:05:25] Dameon Williams: Dominic In Dominicus? Yeah, Dominicus. D O M I N A [01:05:30] C U S. So it’s Dominicus. Yeah, you, you, if you see that it’s huge.

[01:05:33] My email Dominicans.

[01:05:34] diane: Right, right. But I don’t know how to say that. So I really can’t say rural. So anyway, join next week for more rural, but next week, um, not anything rural. Actually it is. We are not gonna be on. Oh. But we do have to, um, Damien will you choose, you’re gonna just randomly tell me when to stop cuz I am scrolling back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

[01:05:57] You just tell me when and I’m going to choose a winner. [01:06:00] You should

[01:06:01] Dameon Williams: stop right. Do

[01:06:03] diane: it right now. Oh, that was me. Okay. So, um, try again.

[01:06:08] Dameon Williams: Okay. The ABC stop.

[01:06:11] diane: Okay. Okay. Oh, it’s Shelby Arnette. You’re our winner today. I will get with Shelby and um, Shelby, I’m writing it down. I know you already left, but I will, um, we, you are one of the love on designer winners.

[01:06:24] This, we have one more winner to choose. I think we’ll do maybe we’ll, [01:06:30] um, we’ll do two on next Saturday. More incentive for you to come on a Saturday. It’ll be normal time. 2:30 PM on Saturday. Jody Collins, he is a illustrator designer in, um, Tennessee maybe. Anyway, definitely designer. He’s done a I G A stuff.

[01:06:49] He’s been, um, he had a huge heart. I can’t wait to have him on. And he has a job job too, so he. He needed a, a Saturday [01:07:00] show slot time. So I will see you guys, not this next Wednesday, but the next Saturday, which is I think the 25th. So, um, I hope you guys have a great day. I knew you had met him, Amy. He’s really, um, he’s really tall.

[01:07:16] Um, and he has a card that says, Something about how tall he is. Anyway, it’s cuz I’m really short and he’s really tall anyway, but he’s really nice. So Damien, I hope you guys click on all those links and go [01:07:30] support Damien. And if you’re gonna buy resupply, click on that resupply button. Uh, link. Cool. Yeah.

[01:07:36] Um, and just thank you so much for sharing this and I’m excited to keep following. I like what I’m learning. I like to learn things. So I appreciate that you’re teaching me and inspiring me at the same time. And always I just love you my friend. So I will see you soon and I will see you at Creative South.

[01:07:53] And if anybody is interested in coming to Creative South and you wanna volunteer, please email me at [01:08:00] And I’ll send you a thing to fill out and then you’ll get a special code and it’s a half price ticket. So it’s really, really good. And you only have to work for me for six hours, but not all in one slot.

[01:08:13] It’s two hours on one day and two hours on another day and two hours on another day. And Damien, how fast does two hours go? They

[01:08:20] Dameon Williams: go by rather quickly when you’re having so much fun. And I mean, you’ll be volunteering with me,

[01:08:26] diane: so, yeah. Yeah. And you can volunteer with Damien, so it’ll be [01:08:30] awesome. Think about it.

[01:08:30] I know it’s a, it’s, it’ll be a treat. So I will see you guys, not next Wednesday, but next Saturday. And I hope you guys have a awesome day. And Damien, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so

[01:08:39] Dameon Williams: much. Thank you. Love you all.

[01:08:41] diane: Bye y’all.[01:09:00]

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