Featured Member: Logan Dulski

Our Featured Member series spotlights the amazing people who make up AIGA DC. If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone else to be featured, sign up here. This week we’re featuring Logan Dulski (they/she). 

Tell us a little about your design career and the work you do.

I am a multidisciplinary designer and front-end developer. Currently, I am a web design instructor and project coordinator at the Sitar Arts Center’s pilot program ArtsAdvance: Career Studios. I instruct D.C. youth  18- to 24-years-old in web design, Adobe certification testing, and portfolio crafting. I am also a project manager and coordinator for our apprentices to take on real life client projects and support the apprentices’ advancement throughout the program. 

How did you first get interested in design?

I fell in love with design as a student at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. I took an elective class in the fundamentals of graphic design, and it stuck. From there, I took as many free online classes as I could outside of school, learning about design, color theory, illustration, and more. When I transferred to American University, I decided to major in audio technology and minor in graphic design. It wasn’t until I took my first web design class with Professor Yana Sakellion that I fell in love with graphic design, web design, and web development. I immediately switched my major to graphic design. 

What’s a piece of design that’s stuck with you or inspired you?

I don’t have a single piece of design that’s stuck with me or inspired me. I find inspiration sometimes in the smallest, silliest things. Instead, I like to collect bits of art, books, games, or memories that can serve as inspiration for me later. Right now, I’m inspired by a combination of folk art, poetry, and the Art Nouveau movement. 

What most excites you about design?

What excites me the most about design is the community that creates it—the creatives who recognize its importance, beauty, and potential to bring people together. It has the ability to cause people to think, even if it’s for a millisecond, about someone else or something else. In a nuanced way, it reveals privilege through a visual medium. If you’re not thinking about something that affects the lives of thousands to millions of people daily—that’s privilege— design takes that privilege and throws it back in your face. You can’t ignore it when it’s on websites, billboards, social media, t-shirts, etc. It’s visual communication at its finest.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?

My favorite project is Oneself, my capstone project that I completed during my junior year at American University. Oneself is a free resource and learning tool for anyone who wants to know more about their body, gender, sexuality, and pleasure. Oneself was a project born out of a long-standing passion for learning and teaching sex education. It was a desire I had to create content out of necessity, not only for myself but for my community. My goal with Oneself was not only to create a visual identity and website, but to create a resource that helps to teach people about sex education and human relations, emphasizing sexual and porn literacy. Oneself provides resources, informative articles, and tools without a paywall for those without access to sex education or a safe space to explore their sense of self. It was the culmination of years of personal research and my time honing my design skills to create a free resource and archive for people to gain a sense of bodily autonomy and control over their sex lives. 

What’s your dream project?

My dream project would be to have my work be tied to fellow artists and creatives whose work I admire. Whether it’s a product design, motion graphic, a website, merchandise, or even branding. I would love to work with any of my favorite content creators and artists, like Drew Afualo, Brittany Broski,  Laufey, Chapelle Roan, the Last Dinner Party, Not Another D&D Podcast, or Tales from the Stinky Dragon, to help spread the joy and laughter they’ve given me. 

Who’s your creative role model?

Tyler the Creator is my creative role model, not only for his music but for his art style and creative process. Tyler the Creator is renowned for his sense of style as a designer, musician, and artist. I rewatch his 2022 All Stars Series: Tyler Talk on repeat whenever I’m feeling stuck creatively. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “You clearly wanna make some sh*t, so why not just make it?” It reminds me that not everything I have to make has to serve some profound higher purpose but that I can create to simply create. I don’t have to limit myself with labels, specialities, or genres. I can figure it out as I go and create just for me. 

What’s your favorite design tool?

Figma, 20 out of 10, is my favorite and number one design tool. But Illustrator and Photoshop have to be tied for close second.

What other hobbies or creative pursuits do you enjoy?

My hobbies include playing Dungeons and Dragons, crocheting, writing poetry, watching WWE women’s wrestling (specifically for Rhea Ripley only), playing video games, and illustration. Whenever I’m not doing any of those things, you can usually find me playing with my dog, Dobby, listening to Laufey on repeat, or rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy (the extended edition). 

Where are your favorite places to find creativity and inspiration around the DMV area?

I love camping out at any coffee shop or cafe in DC. The atmosphere and products they sell always inspire me. My go-to spots are Teaism and Foxtrot. Those shelves are covered in design inspiration, and they have great snacks for working on the go. I’ve spent way too much money buying random products for the packaging alone and taking them back home to clutter my space. 

Are there any local designers/creatives whom you admire?

There are too many to count! My friends and mentors, Keith Pinkston II, Phim Her, Aykys Salachak, and Hannah Cisternelli, inspire me as a creative to always keep pushing myself and expand my design knowledge. They all entered my life during times when I felt stagnant or imposter syndrome as a designer. Their support and insight helped me pick myself back up and keep on creating. I am so grateful to have them in my life and a part of my journey. 

As a recent graduate, what advice would you give to seniors that are about to graduate?

Start building meaningful relationships, especially within the creative community. Find mentors, organizations, clubs, and activities to put yourself out there and find your people. Build a “board of directors” for yourself, as a small handful of people who are invested in you and your growth, not just as a creative but as a person.  You have to be willing to open yourself up and build meaningful connections with people, not just transactional LinkedIn messages or emails asking to grab coffee sometime. Instead, ask to hear another person’s story. If you’re looking for a mentor or someone to add to your “board of directors,” keep it diverse and avoid echo chambers of people who share every single opinion you do. Enter the relationship knowing that you’re willing to listen and learn from another person’s lived experiences, acknowledging the vulnerability it takes from them to share their past mistakes for you to learn from. Take all their feedback as constructive and know that revision is a necessary tool for growth. Let go of the “shoulds” and how-to-guide’s for building the life or career you want. Once you release those expectations and stop trying to close the gap of who you want to be vs. who you are now, you’ll slowly come to realize that you are enough. You were always enough, even if others didn’t realize or acknowledge that. Know that once you graduate, everything will change, subtly or radically, but that change is good. If you have your community to guide you, know that you’ll be okay. 

What insights would you like to share from your job search?

I’ve recently begun noticing a trend with entry to mid- level design job postings. It seems that everyone wants a multifaceted designer skilled in photography, illustration, motion graphics, web design, user research, typography/hand-lettering, project management, etc., with at least 5+ years of job experience. They want someone who can manage multiple high- priority projects at a time, and work independently but be a team player if necessary. Someone who can create multiple complex, quality designs within the span of a day. The real kicker is that they want all of that for the low, low price of $25/hr (if you’re lucky). Which is why it’s so important to know your worth, especially if you’re a woman, person of color, or a part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Do not risk burning yourself out or overworking yourself for the prestige of a fancy sounding job title or company. Employers who are incapable of paying you fairly for work or acknowledging the importance and vitality of your creativity aren’t even worth applying to. Invest in yourself, whether it be through learning a new trade, skill, or trying freelancing. Do not water yourself down or make yourself digestible for the sake of others, or in this case, employers. Know this: your creative success is inevitable. 

Instagram: @loganstjohn.png

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/logan-dulski/

By Stephanie Rudig
Published May 21, 2024