Community Spotlight: 7 Questions with Product Designer Jaime Quirarte

Jaime (pronounced “Hai mēh”) Quirarte’s association with In/Visible Talks is one of our favorite success stories. A Product Designer with a background in business administration and entrepreneurship, currently with Pacific Gas & Electric Company, he volunteered at the first conference in 2018. “I made good friends and got great advice,” he says, and the experience inspired him to start Jolgorio de Diseño, a Meetup for Latino creatives and advocates in the Bay Area to meet, share stories, and connect.

We love that! And we can’t wait to “Go Beyond” with him at In/Visible Talks 2020.

Now it’s Jaime’s turn in our Community Spotlight, where we celebrate some of the amazing people we’ve gotten to know through our conferences, salons, and events. Here are his answers to our questions.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“A constant struggle between hustling and planning for down time and play time.”

How or where do you find inspiration?

“In nature, reading, making cocktails, and talking to people.”

What are you working on right now?

“Keeping the lights up. Literally.” 

What is something you learned in the last year that you wish you knew when you started your career?

“To make authenticity the number one goal in a difficult situation, rather than acceptance or approval. Great advice from Brené Brown.”

Who should we be paying attention to right now? Anyone you want to shout out or elevate?

Ana Teresa Fernandez.”

Who was your favorite In/Visible Talks speaker?

“I liked Marta Harding’s talk on how to overcome a creative blackout, and I also really enjoyed Laurie Rosenwald’s candor during her talk (“How to Make Mistakes on Purpose”; find the video here).

What other kinds of programming would you like to see from In/Visible Talks?

“Happy hours for creatives in the Bay Area.”

November 2019 Design & Art Event Hotlist

In case you’re starting to feel there’s nothing new under the sun (pumpkin spice anyone?), here are some fabulous San Francisco Bay Area design and art events that will reinspire your muse to innovate and create. From exhibitions featuring light and fire to an evening with legendary designer Susan Kare, check out the top picks list for this month, curated by In/Visible Talks’ co-founders (and long-time practicing designers) Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller.

Notes on Icon and Design with Susan Kare.

Susan Kare is the designer “who gave the Macintosh a smile”. She created the user-friendly icons, typefaces, and other pixel elements that gave the Macintosh its characteristic—and widely emulated—look and feel. Like…wow. Come hear her stories and learn about her thought processes and methods for solving design problems at Apple and Pinterest, where she has been a Creative Director since 2015. Free. November 5. 6:00 to 7:30 pm. San Francisco Public Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.

DZINE Gallery Presents: Bone Black.

Top Bay Area artists will exhibit works of art in various media that explore the intersection between logic, geometry and instinct, and the direct engagement of the ineffable. San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company will perform excerpts from their current season throughout the evening, and the exhibition’s local maker, Artist Liza Riddle, will present a new series of ceramic sculptures colored with soluble metal salts. Prosecco and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Free. November 8. 6:00 to 9:00 pm. DZINE Gallery, 128 Utah Street, San Francisco.

Burning Man Block Party.

This super-sized, immersize, multisensory, Friday night extravaganza launches a weekend of Bay Area–wide programming from Burning Man artists throughout Oakland and beyond. Come for the art cars, dancers, DJs, marching bands, and, of course, fire, and marvel at the spectacular artwork and large-scale installations from one of the most widely celebrated cultural events in the world. $21. November 8. 5:00 to 10:00 pm. The special exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man runs through February 16, 2020. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland.

Info about the Block Party:

Info about the exhibit:

Holiday Art Shop 2019.

Check off all the good kids on your holiday gift list with unique and affordable art—then get something fabulous for yourself. There will also be a selection of items on sale to inspire your own making, from apparel to wrapping paper and notecards to art supply kits. We love everything about Creativity Explored, and we’re happy to support their mission of giving artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community. Join us at this fun and festive event, where 50% of the proceeds go directly to the artists. Public reception on November 15 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Runs through December 31. Creativity Explored, 3245 16th Street, San Francisco.

Night Bloom.

For six weeks only, experience dazzling lights, rainforest soundscapes, and art by HYBYCOZO at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Inside, with the one-of-a-kind plant collection, and outside, before the structure’s iconic façade, this season’s event promises a spectacular display with even more lights and installations than previous years. Also new, for guests 21 and older, food and beverages in Bloom Lounge, an illuminated, inflatable dome. Free to $29. November 22, 2019, through January 5, 2020. Timed entrances. San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, 100 JF Kennedy Drive, San Francisco.

Want more? Check out the In/Visible Talks blog for reviews of design and arts events we’ve attended recently and to learn about upcoming opportunities.

Creative Flow Recap: Cannabis and Creativity with In/Visible Talks and Mighty Self

Every other month, In/Visible Talks invites guests to step away from the computer and get back to our roots through hands-on creating experiences at Creative Flow events. On September 24, in the In/Visible Talks offices in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, the flow-inspiring media included paper, pens, pencils, watercolors, and cannabis.

Upon arrival, participants were introduced to the Mighty Self team, the event’s cohosts, and sampled their FOCUS capsules. A blend of full-spectrum, whole plant extract with THC, CBD, and other nutrients, this supplement is designed to enhance focus and productivity. “We want to explore ways that cannabis can support our creative work,” says Dava Guthmiller, Co-Founder of In/Visible Talks. “Of course, this depends on what form you consume, what terpenes and cannabinoids, and how much,” she notes.

The list of ways cannabis might have an impact on the creative process is intriguing. In addition to affecting attention and focus, cannabis may improve episodic memories (so you can use past experiences for inspiration or solving a challenge), improve pattern recognition (and the ability to draw conclusions from data, visual, mathematical, and philosophical input), and increase blood flow to the brain.

Photo via Mighty Self

Paper from Neenah Paper and drawing and watercolor supplies were made available, and 45 minutes were spent in open creativity. “Zero drawing skills are required to participate,” says Dava, a standard practice at all Creative Flows. This was followed by a 30-minute challenge for everyone to “GO BEYOND”, a prompt inspired by the theme for In/Visible Talks’ upcoming conference.  

At the end, everyone shared and discussed their creative pieces. “The range of work was amazing,” says Dava. “We saw everything from ‘Google, What Does Go Beyond Mean’ to ‘Seeing the Forest Though the Trees’ to a typographic piece called ‘You Are Infinite’.”

We hope you’ll join us at the next Creative Flow.

Photography via Mighty Self

Learn more about Mighty Self here. Neenah Paper is launching a hemp folding board line later this month. For samples, please email Chris Lambert. 

In/Visible Talks brings people together for conversations about the art of design. Check out our blog posts for reviews of past salons, interviews with creatives of all stripes, and information about upcoming Creative Flows and other events—including the conference in January 2020.

Community Spotlight: 6 Questions with Creative Director & Designer David William Scott

We love learning about the creative individuals who have attended In/Visible Talks events over the past couple of years, so we reached out to several members of our community and invited them to step into the spotlight. Today we hear from Creative Director and Designer David William Scott.

David’s first encounter with In/Visible Talks was at a salon co-founder Dava Guthmiller moderated, an event held in part to build anticipation for the inaugural conference in January 2018. David has since gotten inspiration from In/Visible Talks’ diverse speakers and panels from a variety of arts and design communities, including 2018 speakers Heather Day, Brian Singer, Jenny O’dell, Jesse Genet, and Kelli Anderson, and 2019 speakers Christina Amini, Ivy Ross, and Laurie Rosenwald. “In/Visible Talks creates interesting dialogue and thought-provoking ideas,” he says, “and really celebrates thinkers, makers, and do’ers.” That’s exactly what we strive to do.

Check out David’s work at David Scott Design Office, and read on for his answers to our questions about his creative life.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“For me, it’s going into the unknown to the known and back again, from dark to light, dim to bright—every day. I tackle this process by being a consummate problem-solver open to all avenues, paths, roads, twists/turns, and perspectives. As a visual storyteller, I navigate it, embrace it, and guide it effectively.”

How or where do you find inspiration?

“Inspiration is everywhere, all around us, if you’re open to thinking of new ideas. I’ve learned to train my mind to always be thinking of ideas, concepts, stories, or treatments. The only challenge is to capture them all without losing a single morsel.”  

What is something you learned in the last year that you wish you knew when you started your career?

“Work to find your fit in your profession, where you want to design and what you like to make. And be honest with yourself about what you like and what you don’t. For example, in-house vs. agency. Square pegs can be hard to fit into round holes as you get more senior.”

What are you working on right now?

“I’ve been tackling quite a few broad-reaching global brand design projects. The work usually errs on the conceptual side of design, painting a vision for the brand that speaks to what the company’s about and presented to diverse audiences. After the big (visual) idea gets designed, it sets the tone for all design that comes after.”

Who should we be paying attention to right now? Anyone you want to shout out or elevate?

“I’ve enjoyed keeping an eye on startups popping up in the health/wellness services space. Design for this category has never been this awesome. Check out Hims and Hers, Care Of, Keeps, Beam, Candid, Methodology, and Thistle.”

Anything else you’d like to share with the In/Visible Talks community?

“Dava and Arianna Orland are wonderful curators, educators, and entrepreneurial woman. Let’s support them as creative leaders for all they contribute to the Bay Area design community and beyond. Go, D & A!”

Five Questions with Melissa Miyamoto-Mills: Designer at Ueno

Curiosity is like our jet fuel. It’s what gets us up and to our workspaces before the alarm goes off. It’s what keeps us pushing boundaries in search of solutions. It’s the happy juice that feeds our muses.

Ueno designer Melissa Miyamoto-Mills knows a few things about this topic, and she’ll be inspiring us at In/Visible Talks 2020 with her talk on “Cultivating Curiosity”.

Melissa describes herself as “a concept-driven designer who operates at the intersection of art, design, technology, and culture.” She interned at HUSH in New York, helping to create branded experiences for Nike, Viacom, Yahoo/Tumblr, and Zaha Hadid. In the Bay Area she’s worked at Office, NewDealDesign, and, currently, Ueno. Check out some of her experiments on Instagram at

Melissa recently shared some insights into her creative process. Naturally, we’re now even more curious about her.  

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“Tumultuous! I used to get really down on myself, like on a personal level, when I was not feeling creative. Now I treat the process more like endurance training. It’s less about peak performance every day and more about putting in the time and effort to build a base that makes starting less intimidating. I focus a lot more on creating an environment and headspace before I embark on projects.”

How or where do you find inspiration?

“Instagram is, of course, a big one. I think it’s amazing that you can watch an artist progress, experiment, and change day to day. I also love how stories can show you the personality attached to the entity, and it’s a good platform to see works in progress.”

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

“As long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. Somewhere down the line I decided that wasn’t a ‘real’ job, but I continued to be drawn to drawing, painting, sculpting, metal-working…and eventually digital design.” 

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

“Honestly, my mental health. I have a tendency to make my work my worth, and that can be crippling for creativity. That’s why it’s super important for me to keep things in perspective and do other activities that give me some endorphins every day.”

What drives you to create?

“I think I’m always searching for beauty. I had a professor who said she tried to let her eyes feast on as many things as she could in a day. I feel the same way, and it’s that much sweeter when you’re the one creating.”

Bonus Round: What’s on your desk?

“Fidget cube, photo of my boyfriend and me at Ueno’s 5th birthday, visa mugshot of a co-worker who moved to Iceland, and many many Post-It Notes.”