Casey Kelly and Career Leaps, Graphic Design and Public Art

Casey Kelly is a designer, consultant, and educator. She works directly with clients, brands, agencies, and people who are passionate about what they do through Buffalo Design Studio and teaching. Casey has worked at Crowley Webb, and GRAMMY winning design studio, White Bicycle. Currently, she runs BDS with a focus on brand design and strategy, and teaches graphic design full-time at Rochester Institute of Technology. 

After having Casey design and paint a meaningful mural on my garden wall in South Buffalo, I had the chance to pick her brain about working as a designer and about major career shifts, of which she has first hand experience. Without further ado, here is my conversation with Casey Kelly.

Casey and CJ Discuss Career Leaps, Working with Designers and Public Art

01 - Casey KellyFULL

 

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Full Conversation Transcript

CJ Maurer:

What's up everybody CJ's here and I'm back with a, another episode of the podcast, a little bit of a summer low than busy, been enjoying life. Just excuses for not doing things that I should be doing all the time, but nonetheless, super excited to be connecting with Casey Kelly. Casey is somebody who I've known, not very well for a long time, but I've gotten to know a lot better over the past couple of months. And we're going to talk about you know, her experience as a designer and a teacher and all the fun stuff she did in a really cool project she did at my house. But first of all, Casey, thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.

Casey Kelly:

Thanks CJ. I'm excited to chat with you and I, I wouldn't discredit all the work you're doing. I think we're all busy in our own respect and fitting things in like this is, is, you know, not always on top of the priority list. So thanks for fitting things in.

CJ Maurer:

Well, thanks. I, this was something I wanted to do for awhile. And once quarantine happened similar to my vegetable garden and my mural, this was one of the things that I realized if I didn't just do it now, then I just be the chump who always said he wanted to do it. And didn't so

Casey Kelly:

Yeah, you kind of have to force yourself to do things. I find myself doing that a lot too, whether you make as much progress or not, as you originally thought, you know, just baby steps is sometimes a good thing. So credit to you.

CJ Maurer:

Thanks. I appreciate that. It's been excruciatingly hot recently and you're somebody who likes to do like mountain biking. So tell me, is this a conducive for that activity or is it almost too hot for that?

Casey Kelly:

So coming off of a morning ride at 7:00 AM I would say generally any time before 10:00 AM seems to work and mountain biking is actually quite nice in the summer early in the morning with the shade and the trees and things. So I would highly recommend it 90 degree days. I'd prefer to be in the woods then, you know, out on the road running or doing those kinds of things. So it's, it's great for this time of year. Either early in the morning or later at night, you go out in the middle of the day, just bring, you know, a bag of ice and some beer or something.

CJ Maurer:

Yeah. Something I like to run. The two activities that I do it's running and I also do CrossFit shout out to cross with Buffalo. Right now Jim's were not included in phase four of reopening in New York state, but then they kind of acquiesced. I'm not sure how this whole thing went down, but now Jim's are allowed to work out outside. So either way, any of my activities constitute like being on the black top in the beating sun. So needless to say, I have not been extremely active the past week or two.

Casey Kelly:

I mean, you could literally go outside and just stand on the blacktop and get a workout. Right.

CJ Maurer:

That is true. That is true. And I'm less hungry when I'm this hot,

Casey Kelly:

Ah, I'd say, yeah, I'd have to agree with that. Although this whole working from home COVID thing gives me you know, there's that meme that I've seen in several different forms of a little puppy walking in the kitchen for a snacky snack and that's been to be a lot this summer.

CJ Maurer:

That's so funny. I just saw a hilarious meme on Instagram and it was a picture, you know, those like those zip off those pants where you can like zip off and they turn into shorts that

Casey Kelly:

Those were all the rage back in like 1998.

CJ Maurer:

I was just going to say, and then, and then like, I'm sure I had a pair of pants in middle school just like that. Well, somebody just posted that on Instagram from, you know, some meme account and, and the caps, the caption was, it was like, Hey Doug, it's 95 degrees outside. Now's your time. If not now when, because he still had them zipped up, you know? And that's a good point.

Casey Kelly:

I suppose, just a stream of water comes off with the bottom part of those pants because of how suffocating those things are. I think they have like a wax interior when I used to wear them back in the day. And I'll, I'll mention this right now while we're talking. I apologize. My dog's growling a bit. I mentioned this to you. Of course I recording, but he's a maniac.

CJ Maurer:

What's his name again?

Casey Kelly:

His name is Brody Lester Burton, Kelly

CJ Maurer:

Brody, Leicester Burton Kelly. Blbk nice

Casey Kelly:

All after graphic designers. Really? Yes.

CJ Maurer:

Cool. Well, if you ever, if you want to put blbk up in your lap at any time to make them feel better, please feel free to do so.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. I'm going to try to at some point, but she's enjoying a good game of tug of war right now.

CJ Maurer:

Oh, nice. Yeah. yeah, I don't think I've ever had a dog on the podcast before, so that'd be, that would be welcome.

Casey Kelly:

Oh, right.

CJ Maurer:

So I think there's a couple of interesting things to talk about with you. So I, when you were at white bicycle and I've actually, I had, I chatted with Brian Gruner at a couple of months ago. He was a guest numero two. Oh. And we had a really good long conversation as, I mean, that's kind of redundant cause there's no short conversations with Brian Gruner, but

Casey Kelly:

They're all very fruitful, so

CJ Maurer:

Oh, absolutely. And I hope he, I hope we do it again. But yeah, so you, I met you when I was doing some collaboration with White Bicycle, primarily through Brian A. Little bit through Kyle. So I knew you existed him. I know we had bumped into one another couple of times at coffee shops and things like that outside of just like what's that

Casey Kelly:

We kind of knew each other in passing, you know, I'd say on the periphery and I'm, I'm glad, you know, we'd gotten to know each other more. It's been great so far.

CJ Maurer:

It has been great. And we're going to talk about the kickass mural in a second. But before we get there, I think that your, your career path is kind of interesting because one you are super talented graphic designer worked at a very widely acclaimed design studio in White Bicycle here in Buffalo. And and I know you said that you've absolutely loved it there. And before we get into like what you're doing now, why don't you talk about like, I mean, you're, you're teaching kids now to, almost to what seems like to kind of follow the trajectory that you went on to pursue a career in graphic design. So tell me how you got into design and what you love about it.

Casey Kelly:

Well, I'll, I won't go too into depth without boring everyone, but I'll give you kind of the cliff notes version. When I was in high school, I loved drawing and painting and art. And I was looking into colleges either for physical therapy or for art two very different things, but I'm also very into sports. And I, I was always interested in that. And when I had looked around at colleges and things, I found out about what graphic design was and, you know, maybe it's different now, but back when I was in high school it was, it was great. You learn how to draw and paint, but there were no computers. And I really didn't know what graphic design was. So I kind of read about it and found out about it and took the leap into deciding to study that at Damon for undergrad.

Casey Kelly:

And I ended up absolutely loving it. I think there are things that you can infuse in relation to creativity and art. And it was, I don't want to say commercial, but it was a good, it was a good way to go to apply my fine art skills in a way that are marketable. Especially in relation to Buffalo in Western New York, there are, as you know a lot of really great studios and agencies and freelancers and people who are involved in not only the design, but overall marketing, advertising community here. And

CJ Maurer:

I always say there's really an embarrassment of riches when it comes to that point, creative town here. Quite honestly, I really do believe that.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. So went to school for that graduated and spent three years in the industry before I went back to get my master's degree. I worked at a place called synergy. And that was a cool place out in East Aurora where we did a lot of sports marketing for Cleveland Cavaliers mentally I'm company, Oxy, Delaware, North, a lot of cool, you know, kind of big brands for someone just starting out and did some cool photo shoots and things worked a whole lot and really enjoyed it. And then I worked at Crawley web for one year, which is around in flourishing a lot of wonderful people there and had had a lot of great mentors along the way. And I think that was back in like 2011 in which I decided to go back for my masters thinking, Hey, I really love design.

Casey Kelly:

I could see myself teaching at someday. I don't know if will, but I want to take the leap into potentially doing that. So somehow I had the foresight to do that when I was younger, after a few years in the industry making sure that I liked it which was a good move because I don't know if I'd have time to go back full time now. So I went back and I took a lot of business classes, industrial design classes and design courses. That was a couple of years in Rochester. And then I was exploring a couple different job options. I almost moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft, which is an odd thing.

CJ Maurer:

Oh, that's right. You told me that.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. But Brian, who I met during undergrad was kind of someone I really looked up to and I still do. He's a wonderful human being mentor designer business owner. And I had an opportunity to work for him at a grad school. So I did that first six or seven years before I took the teaching job. And I didn't ever see myself necessarily leaving there, but the teaching job presented itself. And I don't know if the time is right or not, but I've loved every minute of teaching design. And it's also allowed me to take on a pretty steady dose of freelance work to with both agencies and direct with clients. So it's been a fun path. I've, I've bounced around a lot, I guess, for lack of a better term, but not, not because I hated any of it. You know, there are just some things that I guess you say take the cookies when they're passed. And I kind of did that and here I am now, I don't know if it's the right path or not, but I've enjoyed it so far. So

CJ Maurer:

Yeah. Well, aside from the fact that we're recording a podcast for public consumption like, and it is people would expect somebody people to say nice things about one another.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah,

CJ Maurer:

I know for a fact, based on private conversations, you and I have had that you have talked about how much you loved it at White Bicycle. And I know from private conversations that I've had with Brian that, you know, he talked about how much they value, how much they loved having you there. So tell me about,

Casey Kelly:

And just say that, how much did you pay him to say that?

CJ Maurer:

Yeah, right. No, I mean he, and I remember him telling he we happen to catch up around the time when you I guess had you know, let them know that you were deciding to leave, to go teach. What was it like to just basically leave a place that you really loved to do something that you knew you kind of had to do now? I'm sure there must've been something inside you that, you know, had been latent and, and like compelling you to try this, but like, explain to me like the thought process and how you knew, I guess here's the, here's what I'm really curious. You were at a design studio that you loved doing a job that you're really good at. Like tell me when you knew that you had to pursue a different calling at the expense of what was a really great situation.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. so I,

Casey Kelly:

I worked with Brian and Kyle also shout out to Kyle Morrissey, who's partners with Brian there. Now he's one of the best creative people I've ever met and he's keeps things on a DL he's always on vacation. So he doesn't show his face in public very often. That's a euphemism he's usually working or with his family. But the three of us, I think became really close during the six years that I worked with them. And it wasn't necessarily a, Hey, I need to go do something else. Because there, there were a lot of opportunities there and there were a lot, there was a lot of change happening and things that I wanted to be a part of the teaching position kind of, I don't want to say it fell in my lap because I, you know, applied to it and everything. But they had asked me if I was interested and I said, yeah, I mean, there, it was a tenure track position at Damon. And I was like, well, if I'm ever going to figure out if I like teaching or not now is the time. Even though things were kind of headed in a great direction at white bike and they still are I took the leap, not necessarily knowing whether it was a good idea or not. And I I'd say

Casey Kelly:

Whether, if I stayed at my bike, I think it would have been a good idea. And I do think that making that move is a good idea for what I like. It's, it's made me realize that I, I absolutely love teaching students trying to push them to find their potential. And, and, you know, just as much as learning from students, I think they've pushed me to be a better designer. I've really kept up with a lot of the tech and practices and our industry is ever changing. So it's kind of fun to think about, you know, how I can tweak lesson plans or change things based on some things that are out there or pull in somebody from the industry locally and collaborate on a class project together. That's one of my favorite things to do because it just makes things feel real because they are, and students get a really good grasp of what it's like to be a designer. So I, that's not a straightforward answer. I just kind of, I guess, fell into it a bit. I was adjuncting before I took the position. So I knew that I kind of liked teaching. It wasn't a giant pay increase or anything. I did it because I knew I wanted to mold young minds.

CJ Maurer:

I love it. I mean, if not now when kind of thing.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. And I mean, Brian would always say this, I've always had a bit of wanderlust. I don't get sick of things easily, but I'm, I get excited and enthusiastic about nearly everything. And it's not, it's not, it's not fake. I'm, I'm truly passionate about people and their interests and helping them out. And I like to learn a lot of new things, which is perhaps why I'm, well-suited to be a professor is because I think I want to go through life, not feeling comfortable, you know, wherever I'm working. I like to be on my toes and you know, bringing the midnight oil here and there and figuring out new ways to do things. And I I'd say that the flexibility of teaching is great. We have, and I'll say this in quotes, we have the summer off obviously teaching but it's the summer I've been busy the whole summer doing freelance work. So it's been a great balance between client work and teaching. So that's another kind of benefit is that there's a wide variety of things in the career that I ended up taking or choosing. So, you know, to all the young designers who might be listening to this or, or people that are considering different paths I think even if you take a pivot from your, your current path that you're on, you can pull and grow and learn things, even if it's not directly related to the choices that you make. So,

CJ Maurer:

And now, I mean, is it presumptuous to say you almost have the best of both worlds? Cause obviously you've, you've started Buffalo design studio, so you can still do design work. You could still get hired by clients. You could still do awesome murals at, you know, on residential walls, right? Like, is it fair to say that you still kind of can, can do, do the thing that you love while still, also, I guess another thing that you love?

Casey Kelly:

I would say for me, it's the best of both worlds. I've also learned a lot of things about working on my own that I like and equally don't like I'm, I'm rather extroverted and I really love working with other people because I think ideas are generally stronger when you have people to push you in directions or to challenge what you're, you're thinking. So I try to do that with my clients now because I'm not necessarily working with other designers. So I'll make them as much a part of the process as possible, you know, from the beginning. Especially if it's, you know, working on a brand and things like that. So I do miss working with people being on my own, but definitely the variety is something that someone like myself is suited for. And it's been a good move in that respect.

CJ Maurer:

I heard somebody say once specialization is for insects and it was just really refreshing to hear because like, how often do you hear whether it be through like just, you know, marketing strategists like me or, or career consultants, right. Niche down the riches in the niches focus. Right. And I think there's a lot of truth to that through a variety of applications, whether it be marketing and positioning your brand or positioning yourself, right. Marketing yourself in your, in your career. But that's never really sat well with me to a certain degree because similarly maybe to a lesser degree than you, but similarly I do have a lot of interest and I, I am passionate about a lot of things and I like to try things and I don't like the idea that I wouldn't be incredibly experienced with the best in the world at it to discourage me from doing it.

CJ Maurer:

A perfect example is actually this, because one of the thoughts that I had before I started doing this podcast was it's not going to be like the best production value. It's not going to have the widest audience. And by the way, who am I to have a voice on a pie? Like, you know what I mean? Is it a really arrogant thing to think that like people deserve, like people should hear, like, my voice deserves to be heard by a bunch of people, you know what I mean? And so I was like, I was going through that. And then the more I thought about it, I was like, those are really like these, these, this self doubt was really the only reasons I had in my head against doing it, why I wanted to do it is because I wanted to try it. I want to experiment.

CJ Maurer:

I want to see if I like it. I want to see if I'm good at it. I want to see if any good comes out of it. And I liked the idea of practice. I liked the idea of putting yourself out there, being a little bit in over your head and trying something new because I think growth really just happened that way. And I, and the only way to do it is with other people. So, you know, and I'm okay with the fact that like, I'm never going to be the best podcaster in the world because I, like,

Casey Kelly:

We are, come on now.

CJ Maurer:

I am, I know, thank you. But like you, you know, I like to try new things and I like, I like to have, like, I was not this in I'm like, I'm like a well rounded college applicant now I wasn't in high school. Right. Because I didn't do like all the extracurriculars and whatever, but like now I, you know, I do a lot of things and it's fun and that's what I like to do.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. And back to your point of specialization versus generalization, I, I don't have a strong opinion. Whether one is right or wrong, I would consider myself to be a specialist in certain areas, especially in some of the design things that I do. But in general, I love learning things. So I'm, I'm, you know, I'm open to that. And I think a lot of people get too hung up on what is the right direction instead of trying to figure out what is best for you. And I mean, there are some badass specialist designers out there that I follow on Instagram and whatnot, and I look at their work and I'm like, Oh my God, I wish I had the clarity and focus to just do that because they're so seamless. And the work they do is just, you know, next level. And that's a great, great strategy to take with a career that makes you happy. And I don't know, maybe someday I'll, I'll design stamps for a living and only stamps, but I don't think I'll be there anytime soon.

CJ Maurer:

I, I got connected

Casey Kelly:

With a woman named Sarah who runs a marketing agency in the UK, and they specifically focus on content and inbound marketing strategies for Marine based businesses. Wow. That is an incredible specialization, you know, and I really admire that because if, if there was ever a specialization that, I mean, my business, I focus mainly on B2B. And and that's, that's a semi specialization because realizing all the ways you can specialize further, that's only just like a little bit of the way, but anyways so the great tragedy of today is the fact that it is way too hot for me to be recording this outside. Because if, if it wasn't too hot and I wasn't going to be sweating and thought legitimately fear for my computer to be overheating, I would be doing this either on my little deck or my driveway in front of a beautiful backdrop, which is our mural that you designed and painted at my house.

Casey Kelly:

And by the way, when I edit this, you asked, do I edit these usually? No, but I am absolutely going to edit while I'm talking, I'm going to edit a shot of our mural and how amazing it is, and maybe a picture of, of, of my family and a picture of you in front of it. So right here, this is the mural I'm going to do this for the editing right now. This is the mural that, that Casey created. And this is a picture of, of my family standing in front of it. And here's a picture of us and Casey. We could not be more happy with how this turned out. This is a project that I wanted to do for a number of years and for a variety of reasons, just didn't. And I am so thankful that we got connected with, with Casey and Buffalo design studio.

Casey Kelly:

I thought the process was incredibly fun. It was easy. We were able to share with you you know, our vision for what we wanted to represent in terms of the property and our family. And it's not just a piece of art now, but it's also, you know, it's part of our home. And you know, so the, the, the process of figuring out a concept and going through options and refining them all the way down to you're there, you're projecting, you're starting to do the lines and then you're painting over a couple of days. It was just incredibly fun. And I can't thank you enough. Why don't you talk about how you got into murals, and then I want to talk about if you think that we'll start to see, cause we're seeing them pop up more on you know, in commercial spaces.

Casey Kelly:

Right. But I'm, I'm curious to hear, if you think more, more like residential, we'll see more residential murals going forward. Well, well with you pimping what I just did. Hell yeah, I hope so. So I mean first off it, it's a collaborative process. I'll talk about the process in a minute. But I got into, I mean, I've murals in a church when I was in like fourth grade and then on someone's, you know, one of my friend's mom's daughter wanted a dolphin on her bedroom wall. So I, you know, that was probably my earliest actual commission. A, I didn't know what the hell I was.

CJ Maurer:

Was it like a Lisa Frank style dolphin?

Casey Kelly:

No, it was actually I was pretty good at rendering. You know, what is that? The dorsal fin? I dunno. It was pretty realistic. It was after Neil street and then I liked at the time there is some kind of children's book, but I'd say I can credit my likeness towards painting murals. Back to the second grade, when my, my mom and dad turned their hot sweaty attic into an art room for me and let me go buck wild on the walls. I think I painted about 50 renditions of Winnie the Pooh at the time, because that's what I was into. I'm not proud of that, but it got me started and did a couple things when I was younger. And just these past couple of years, since I've been teaching, it's given me the opportunity in the summer to kind of have more time to do things.

Casey Kelly:

And I I started off kind of doing one for free in Loganville. If you're familiar, we're flying buys and in Buffalo distilling our they're brewery and distillery. So cool little places in the, in the heart of the city. There's this big white wall. It was probably 40 foot by 10 foot. That was kind of decrepit. It was behind kind of hidden behind both of those places. And the Larkin development company owned the building. And I w I was friends with the folks back there and I said, Hey, it would be sweet to put a mural here. And it's kind of hidden. So if it sucks, no one's going to care and you guys can like paint over it or do whatever you want. So on a whim, I remember at the time I was working at white bikes, so white bike was about an eighth of a mile from where the mural was installed. So I would wake up at like five in the morning and paint for two hours and then go work at white bike. And then for an hour during lunch, I go there and it probably took a good four to six weeks just because I was doing it

CJ Maurer:

Well, plus I'd say, that's, I know it's while you're talking about that's a huge wall.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. And it's, I mean, it's not great. It's kind of cool, but I totally just freehanded it and grab some paint that was left over. So the colors aren't my favorite, but it, I realized how much I love doing it because I love being outside. You kind of alluded to the mountain bike thing. I'll, I'll take it any minute outside that I can even on a 93 degree day I just love being outside and standing at a mural wall for 14 hours a day in the beating hot sun during the summer. Sounds like hell, but it's quite enjoyable for me. So that was kinda my first take on it. And then I did the hand lettering in front of Buffalo distilling company. And that turned out quite well. And then a couple other things kind of popped up here and there.

Casey Kelly:

My landlord in the city when I had an apartment in the city asked me to do a residential one and that turned out quite well. And I, I just kind of shared them amongst people who I knew. And every once in a while, somebody that I knew saw what I made and then somebody else a few months later said, Hey, I'm looking for a mural, no, anyone, and somebody might have tagged me online. And that's kinda how things got started. And I mean, the past two summers, I think I did two last summer one this summer and because of what I just did with you thanks for that. There are a couple others that I'm meeting with over the next few months to the potential of it. I don't know if it'll happen or not, but

CJ Maurer:

Yeah, but people are interested.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. So was kind of how it kind of how it goes. I do, I've, I've learned a lot along the way. I bought a friend some veer to, to pick his brain about the proper materials and how to install it. He does a lot of murals in town Christopher comeback. And then lastly, I'll just say, I'm, I'm not an artist. I come from a design background. So the murals that I work on, I would say are more I'd say I'm a mural designer, not a mural artist. There are so many beautifully stunning murals in our city that are popping up. And I look at that on my, and I'm like, how, how can somebody do that? So I definitely have a certain process and approach and I approach it a lot. Like I do branding with clients and things and making sure that we have a good conversation at the beginning, like you and I did with Lindsey or wife and that you guys are as much a part of the idea as you know, the execution of it. So it's, I I'm enjoying where things are headed in relation to kind of the style I've developed. But I also give extreme credit to the mural artists who are out there and just completely killed it and what they do. It's, it's pretty amazing now that I've done a couple of them on it, I'm in all of some of the things that are up in the city.

CJ Maurer:

Yeah. I mean, as we said earlier, there's an embarrassment of riches when it comes to creative talent here. And, you know, I appreciate the comments about the collaboration. As I said before, it was a really fun, seamless process. What's interesting is when, when you're on my side of it, right where we know we want something, but we have some semblance of a vision for it, right. There's the part where you want to provide the designer direction, and then you gotta figure out where you just, Hey, doggy, then you just got to figure out where you stop and leave it off and let you take it over. Because I know this is something that I personally do not possess the skill to execute. Right. And so what I, what I liked is that we, when we were working with you, we felt heard and, and that our vision was interpreted.

CJ Maurer:

And then I felt incredibly secure in saying, all right, let's see what we, what she comes back with. And then we had the options and we picked one and refined it a little bit. And then we were good to go. And I think that's something that I've experienced a lot too, whether it be, you know working with other collaborators in my business where clients anytime you're hiring somebody, right? Like normally, like you would, you would hire yourself to do most things. I hire myself to take out the garbage, to water the plants, right. To, you know, vacuum my car, to do a lot of things. Right. But there's a lot of things in life personally, or for business, like you need somebody else to do. Right. And so a lot of times it's, it can be a new experience depending on what it is like, right. Bringing somebody in to help you with it, to, to carry the torch, to do the job, especially when it is something as inherently subjective as art. Right. And I just was ultimately really comfortable with how it, how it ended up. And it was, it was fun.

Casey Kelly:

Thanks for that. And I mean, now that I've been working on murals, I am absolutely no expert. It's a learning process. I, I believe that I have good materials and things that'll last and in good processes. But I, I think from a collaboration standpoint, a lot of times I, I liken it back to like, if you're going to get a tattoo and you want a certain design and a certain style, make sure you seek out a tattoo artist who can execute it in that style. You know, don't force, someone's hand into something that they aren't necessarily strong at or good at, or want to do, I guess I would say. And there's, there's a fine line between that. And I think that's that is also a bit of, I don't want to say difference because there are so many gray areas, but the difference between art and design a little bit is, you know there's interpretation and then there's understanding. And a lot of times you know, the, the goal of goal of a design is to create something that has a very specific message or meaning. And our could be very much the same, but there's a lot of things that are still open to interpretation.

CJ Maurer:

Right. We're designed is more about understanding.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. And I look at all the murals in the city right now, and there are especially the Albright Knox projects. There are, there's that giant wild flowers, one on Washington street, which is my favorite. And then you go a few blocks down. I think it's over on main street near 33, but there's this big, beautiful, it's just big blocks of geometric color on this huge tall building. And forgive me, I don't remember the artist's name, but there's such a difference in style because they're two completely different artists, so it's good to know what someone can do and what they prefer working on so that here's, you know, they show you ideas and you're not completely thinking something else.

CJ Maurer:

I am a huge fan of public art. It is, it is something that the benefits of which cannot be measured, but you cannot deny their existence. Like, I don't know how much it costs to get shark girl. Right. And you know, you know what I'm talking about, like the little girl sitting on the bench with the shark head like that is, and I mean this in like the most complimentary way possible, that is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, and it is awesome. And you can't explain necessarily why that's cool. One, it's just cool. It's memorable. You get a laugh, but on top of that, the amount of people who are natives or out of the area who like now come and get a picture with that, like, it's just good. It's good for civic pride. It's good for marketing a region. And to see all of these murals out there is just really adding to like the collective beautification of the city. And I really hope to see more of it.

Casey Kelly:

Yeah. I, I agree. I think placemaking interests me and having lived in the city for about eight years before I just moved out to the burbs. I, I really felt kind of at home down there and a lot of different places. And it was, it was great to go ride your bike to a couple of different neighborhoods and check out murals. And I mean, I guess in today's world of social media and photo ops visuals and public art are all the more important and all the more noted to, because of people sharing things,

CJ Maurer:

Whatever it takes, whatever it takes, if we need Instagram influencers to help us beautify our city and by, you know, meeting the demand of creative backdrops that they require, then I'm all for it. That's more public art. I'm down.

Casey Kelly:

I heard public art is COVID free too, so,

CJ Maurer:

Ooh, nice, good to know. Good to know. Listen, Casey I got to get running in a minute. I got to do a thing for work and then I got to get a haircut, but I really wish that I, yeah, it's a big day. It's a big day. I'm leaving the house twice today. I actually had my first in person meeting today right where it wasn't on zoom for business first one since early March. So I'm leaving the house twice today. It's a big deal. I wish that we could chat longer because this has been super fun, but I want to say thank you so much for making some time for me. And we, I didn't even get a chance to ask you about your jewelry making, which I snooped around your Instagram and saw that you do that. So maybe we'll have to save that for for another day. Yeah

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