Rahsaan Taylor

Who are you and what do you do?

Rahsaan Taylor and for a living I manage the design team at Governors State University, but at night, I just read comics and play video games.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Gary, IN (Born and raised) but I live in Crown Point, IN.

How did you get started?

I’ve always been interested in art and computers. In high school I would play around in MS Paint and later in college I got lucky and got involved in the campus paper and the literary arts magazine at IU Northwest and it lead me into the wonderful world of graphic design.

Do you have a side hustle or hobbies?

I sometimes do freelance, but I just like to create and read Manga.

What was one of your biggest mistakes and what did you learn from it?

My biggest mistake… I’d say that sometimes I’ve played it safe at times and didn’t go all out and take that risk. I had a chance to work for a tech company, but I didn’t have that much confidence in myself at the time.

Looking back at it, I might have missed out on a lot of good lessons. Though that company ended up losing a lot of reputation and business, but a lot of people that worked there ended up doing great things afterwards. While it didn’t derail me, it could have been a good stepping stone to something different.

What are the top tools you need to do your job?

Adobe creative suite, patience, rapier wit, creativity, and my trusty camera.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I love music. The mood that music can create can really help with the flow of ideas. While I love visual stimuli, sometimes just trying to create visuals in your head to match sound can take you to a new level or possibilities. Art is communication, so it’s a fun exercise to just sit back and let your mind wander with some great tunes.

I also get inspired by my peers. They are always doing amazing work, seeing friends push the limits really makes you want to do the same. And I don’t just mean fellow designers. Dancers, writers, poets, you name it. Just being around awesome people makes you want to up your game.

What do you love about Northwest Indiana?

Besides that it’s so close to Chicago, I really do love how connected the region is. I’ve been able to meet so many cool and diverse folks just to realize that we have friends in common. NWI is a unique region that feeds off of each other. It’s not too many places like it. Whether I’m in Lake or Porter County, it’s all home to me.

What resources are you finding to educate yourself?

I love conferences, but it’s sometimes best just to have a one on one with a friend to learn something new. I like to be pushed by my peers. It’s fun, and I’m a bit competitive, so it keeps me engaged.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?

Be bold, don’t worry about what you know. Find a rival, it will keep you motivated. Read a lot, it keeps your brain moving. Be diverse, learn from others and engage in conversations outside of your circle. Be inclusive, because only hearing one voice limits your creativity.

What’s next for you?

I’m just trying to rule the world one step at a time. But seriously, I’m working on expanding more into art direction and video. I’m working on a mini documentary and a few other side projects that I’ve been kicking around for years.

Where can we find you? 

My portfolio is at RahsaanJamal.com and you can find me on facebook and instagram at @saan1911 twitter as well, but I’ve kinda stopped posting there. Instagram is my jam.