My name is Maurice Woods and I am a graphic
designer. Design for me accumulates from a lot of different
places. Design is really about a process of thinking creatively and critically about how
to solve something in a way that not only makes sense to people but produces a solution
to a problem. I was born in Richmond, California, that’s
where I am from and I was always tall and that was you know a one of the things in my
neighborhood that everyone was doing was sports and music.
Once I got into basketball, you know, I started growing a lot more and I was a lot taller
than everybody else so it became sort of a more of a viable career option for me.
It allowed me to get a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Washington.
And, through that scholarship at the University of Washington, that’s how I got exposed to
design. I had a experienced two years playing basketball
that I came to the realization that I was probably not going to make it to the NBA.
Me and my mother we were sitting down and I was telling her about how I didn’t know
what I wanted to do and we’re searching through different majors and she said, “What about
graphic design? You used to like to draw when you were a kid.”
And I did used to like to draw. So I ended up going back to graduate school and that’s
really how I transitioned from basketball to graphic design.
I generally work in both mediums. Both uh.. uh.. handwritten stuff – drawing and then also software
like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign. All those different programs often times,
specially when I’m working in print I try to get away from the computer and I end up
doing a lot of sketching. Sketching is really the best way to develop ideas. They think
that the computer can enhance their creativity and it’s faster and it’s more efficient. I
just find that the best ideas come when you’re able to sit down and you’re able to sketch
and sketch a lot of different things. And you get ideas on the table and the computer
is really a tool for manifesting those ideas. The Inneract Project specifically is a program
that, um, I started in 2004. The premise behind the program is simply put to educate young
people in the community about careers in design. What we try to do, uh, with this program very
hard is to give young people a sense of what it means to be a designer and how designers
can use their skills in this world. “How long did it take you to do that?”
“A long time. We were just doodling that’s all.”
“Not very long…” “And you too?”
“Let me see yours!” “No”
Also let them see and feel like what it feels like to be on a college campus which is really
important, specially for middle school kids that are all sort of from underpriviledged
areas. One of the skills that helped me from basketball
that I took in design was teamwork. I’m used to being able to be on teams that where there
is a lot of compromise that needs to be made and on teams where you’re working on designs
together we are all submitting certain things and we’re getting feedback.
You need to be flexible. I want to be remembered for giving back to
the community. Giving back to young people… and being able to use the skills that I have
to develop a young person to be better. I get more joy out of that than anything project
I work on.