In/Visible Talks Salon: “Feeling Things Deeply” Salon with Artist and Author Carissa Potter

When asked how she wanted to be introduced to the crowd gathered at Chronicle Books’ headquarters on July 19, Carissa Potter passed on illustrator, artist, designer, or author. Instead she went for the collective label that incorporates all her passions and describes many of us: creative.

Labels were one of several topics Carissa discussed with host Dava Guthmiller at the “Feeling Things Deeply” salon. Dava, a Co-Founder of In/Visible Talks, presented questions designed to get insights into creative minds, to explore the things that challenge and inspire us, to stimulate conversations about the creative process, to make the invisible visible.

Carissa is a founder of the Oakland-based small printmaking workshop People I’ve Loved, and the author and illustrator of two books, I Like You, I Love You, and It’s Ok to Feel Things Deeply, which will be available August 14. With Dava, she discussed her experiences of creating her books as well as what motivates us to make and share things, the beauty of creative collaborations, gardening for inspiration, the importance of hugs, and the immortal words of Home Depot (“Let’s Do This”).

The “Feeling Things Deeply” salon was one of many events In/Visible Talks has hosted throughout the year. Check out our blog posts for reviews of other salons, interviews with creatives of all stripes, and information about upcoming events—including the conference in January—designed to bring people together for conversations about the art of design.

Five Questions with Bryony Gomez-Palacio: Principal and Co-Founder of UnderConsideration

Along with her husband and partner, Armin Vit, Bryony Gomez-Palacio runs graphic design firm and publishing powerhouse UnderConsideration. They have been long time contributors, starting in 2002 when they introduced the design blog Speak Up, which earned a spot in the Cooper-Hewitt’s Design Triennial in 2006—the only blog included in the exhibition. Currently she manages popular blogs Brand New and Art of the Menu.

The couple has also co-authored five books, including Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design, and Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling, and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Bryony, like us, is passionate about bringing people in our industry together, and she and Armin created the annual Brand New Conference in 2010. She is a sought-after workshop leader and lecturer, and we’re thrilled that she will be joining us as a speaker at the 2019 In/Visible Talks conference.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“I am in a committed relationship that has its ups and downs.”

How or where to you find inspiration?

“I am not one to seek inspiration for inspiration’s sake. I love to observe, learn, and catalog information in my head for future reference.”

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

“I grew up in a creative household, one where painting, writing, sculpting, and overall ‘creating’ was taking place at any given time. I didn’t know better than to not be creative.”

Who is one of your heroes and why?

“I have many people whom I admire, but I will go ‘current events’ on this one and name Emma Gonzalez. She has proven to my children that we are all capable of rising up while facing challenges and challengers when we believe strongly in an idea.”

What drives you to create?

“The need to breathe.”

BONUS ROUND: What is your favorite color?

“To wear, black. To create, orange.”

August 2018 Design & Art Event Hotlist

Whether you’re a designer, photographer, fine artist, or all-around arts enthusiast, opportunities for creative inspiration are in abundance in the Bay Area. To help you figure out which events are the Must-Sees, each month In/Visible Talks’ co-founders and long-time practicing designers Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller peruse the announcements of every cool thing to do and curate their list of top picks.

August’s offerings include exhibitions where you can celebrate amazing art, a beachy experience where you can co-create, and an annual culinary festival that’s sure to get your creative juices flowing.

We’re all about bringing the creative community together, and we hope to see you out and about at some—or all—of these events.

Judy Dater: Only Human.

This exhibition celebrates Bay Area photographer Judy Dater’s achievements as a pioneering figure in 1970’s feminist art and her subsequent creative evolution. Spanning five decades, this is the first exhibition in over 20 years to explore her career. Through September 16. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden, San Francisco.

The Flag on Paper: Selections from the American Flag Collection of Kit Hinrichs.

Explore the everyday uses of our stars and stripes in political memorabilia, fine art, sheet music, propaganda posters, philatelica, and packaging. Items were selected from the more than 3,000 artifacts San Francisco–based designer Kit Hinrichs has in his collection. Through September 20. San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco.

Wednesday Research Visit at Letterform Archive.

A research visit is a great way to get a feel for what the Letterform Archive has to offer. Tell them about your interests in advance, and the librarians will pull a variety of relevant materials—just for you. Whether it’s a work project, school assignment, or personal endeavor, inspiration awaits. August 1 from 3:00–5:00 pm. 1001 Mariposa Street #307, San Francisco.

American Craft Show.

Before there were craft fairs like West Coast Craft of Renegade, there was the American Craft Council. Celebrating everything handmade, this show features 250 of the country’s top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists. August 3–5. Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco.

Earthscape Artwork Experience.

Co-create a site-specific piece of land art at the beach with famed earthscape artist Andres Amador. Part meditation, part collaboration, all co-creation. Explore your creativity, engage with the beach in new ways, and connect with fellow creators. Bonus: They take aerial photos of the work when it’s done—so cool. Sign up for the August 12th event here, 4:00–7:00 pm. Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Eat Drink SF.

Although not design-related on the surface, this annual celebration of the San Francisco culinary scene is a design lover’s paradise. Food, wine, and spirits packaging inspiration abounds. And the grand tastings are no ordinary sample fest: the plating of each bite is absolutely extraordinary. August 24–26. Fort Mason, San Francisco.

Members of the In/Visible Talks team are always on the lookout for new ways to get inspired. Check out our blog to read our reviews of some of the other events and conferences we’ve attended recently.

In/Visible Talks 2018: The Right to Do Nothing, Creative Blackouts, and Breaking Things

Artist Jenny Odell entertained and inspired us in her talk about reclaiming the right to do nothing.

Connected through our phones, and even our watches, we are pretty much answerable to someone else 24/7. And more of our precious time has become commercialized and monetized. “When are we not at work?” Artist Jenny Odell asked during her talk at the In/Visible Talks conference in January 2018.

It’s scary when you think about it. So in “How to Do Nothing,” Jenny offered some alternatives to our overly busy and noisy lives, and she encouraged us to pursue them. Sharing experiences from her recent wanderings around rose gardens and her crazy-cool gig as Artist in Residence at Recology SF (aka the dump), she laid out her philosophy. “Doing nothing is a right, not a luxury,” she said, and she backed up her points with quotes from visionaries including John Muir and John Cleese.

Since hearing Jenny’s talk, many of us have gotten hooked on “bird-noticing”. Never heard of that before? You’ll find out about it when you watch the video of her talk.

Photography by GammaNine Photography

Marta Harding, Design Lead at IDEO, shares her tools for designing through a creative blackout

It’s Week 10 of a 12-week project—an $800,000 project—and you’re about bomb. Big time. You’ve got nothing, your team’s got zip, and your client is beyond stressed. “Snap out of it!” you tell yourself. But this is not one of those deadline-pressure nightmares, where you wake up in a sweat and realize it’s a new day and everything is A-OK. This is a real life. And this really happened to Marta Harding.

As Design Lead for IDEO, Marta has had a few opportunities to lead her team through creative blackouts, and the lessons she’s learned have helped her embrace the ambiguity, rediscover the light at the end of the creative tunnel, and restore credibility with the client.

In her talk “Where’s the Light? Lessons in Fumbling Through Creative Darkness,” presented at the January 2018 In/Visible Talks conference, she shared with us some of the tools she uses, including:

1. saying “I don’t know (yet)”
2. shifting from should to could
3. changing the context

Photography by GammaNine Photography

As a Hardware Interface Designer for Google, Basheer Tome knows you have to break a lot of things to build something betterEngineering, design, science, art, and play are all part of Basheer Tome’s creative process. Once you’ve watched the video of Basheer’s talk, you’ll never look at your TV’s remote control the same way again.

In “Faking the Future,” presented at January 2018’s In/Visible Talks conference, Basheer shared images of holding, feeling, studying, and even smashing different gadgets to learn what worked and what didn’t. We laughed at some of the lengths he went to, at the same time we were in awe of how he brilliantly deconstructed and reconfigured products and ideas in the process of designing Google’s Daydream Controller.

If you’re looking for some entertaining inspiration for yours, check out the video of his talk here.


We’ve been hard at work programming the 2019 conference with talks about the process, inspiration, and challenges of being a creative professional. We can’t wait to share it with you. Sign up to be the first to know when tickets go on sale.

In/Visible Talks 2018: Powers of Transparency and the Art of Your Work

Mozilla’s Creative Director Tim Murray talks about powers of transparency and participation.

What changes when you put collaboration first? How does leveraging transparency and participation serve the creative process? Is collaboration for everyone?

These are some of the questions Mozilla’s Creative Director Tim Murray addressed in his talk on “Primal Collaboration” at the 2018 In/Visible Talks conference. As he shared some of his story about the rebranding of Mozilla (the nonprofit behind the Firefox browser), he inspired us to reexamine our values and reimagine how we might interact with our team members and our clients.

Photography by GammaNine Photography

Communications Coach Dia Bondi helps us celebrate the art of HOW we do what we do.

A broad spectrum of designers, artists, and other creatives came together for the first ever In/Visible Talks in January 2018, where we shared different perspectives about the creative process. Speakers and panelists invited us to see the magic in everyday things, explore the intersections of art and design, fumble through challenges and failures to success, and take breaks to do nothing.

In her talk “The Art of Your Work—Knowing What Matters in Doing What You Do,” Communications Coach Dia Bondi encouraged attendees to celebrate not only their finished projects and products, but to also celebrate the unique skills we’ve mastered, the creative processes we employ, and everything we do along the way that makes our craft authentic and unique to us.

We’ve been hard at work programming the 2019 conference with talks about the process, inspiration, and challenges of being a creative professional. We can’t wait to share it with you. Sign up to be the first to know when tickets go on sale.