Langston Wells

CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

Raised in the heart of Amish Country, I never knew what design was until I graduated high school and began designing album covers after a failed attempt to move across the country to California to start a boy band. With the work I do now, I enjoy crossing the boundaries between illustration, animation and design to create pieces that move people to action. The problems I enjoy working on most are when I know people will be directly influenced, whether on an emotional or psychological level, because I believe fully in the power art and design has to change the heart and minds of individuals. I believe there are necessary stories in the world that are untold that simply need a spokesperson to tell them and I hope the work I do can help communicate those stories to others through visuals.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW

I was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and currently hop back and forth between Lancaster, Pittsburgh and Charleston SC

STUDYING ON-CAMPUS OR ONLINE?

While most of my classes are online, I work as an RA so prefer being near my dorm and studio to work whenever possible.

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?

I’m a morning person for the first half of the semester and evening person for the second half.

FAVORITE MOVIE?

Any movie I get to watch with my love, Emily.

FAVORITE BINGE WATCH?

I don’t really do a lot of binging but I always tune in for Corridor Digital’s “VFX Artist’s React…” series on Youtube every Friday as well as Wandavision.

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?

I don’t hang on social media too much either but I like chatting with my Communication Design class in our Facebook chat. We’ve grown really close over COVID through that chat so it’s been awesome to see that little community develop stronger together.

FAVORITE PODCAST?

Definitely “Dumb People Town” or “Hidden Brain”.

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?

In terms of more contemporary, fine artists, I absolutely adore the work of Isabelle Arsenault and Manolo Ide, and for more traditional, fine artists, I would definitely say Lyonel Leininger. His use of shapes, color and lighting to convey atmosphere is unparalleled.

FAVORITE BOOK?

Where the Crawdad’s Sing. The most beautiful storytelling I’ve come across in years. The way Delia Owens paints scenes and emotions through words and metaphor is remarkable and something to be experienced.

FAVORITE CHARITY/CAUSE?

Moreso projects and causes than charities, I love the work of the “Imaginary Friend Society” and “The Monster Project” for the work they do with bringing children’s imaginations to life and by calming those unknown battles and challenges children will face after a cancer diagnosis.

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY DURING THE PANDEMIC?

I’ve really enjoyed baking when I have the time and spending time with my fiancé, browsing the interwebs, oohing and aahing over Wes Anderson’s set design, or cooking delicious dinners together.

HAVE THE CHALLENGES OF 2020 CHANGED HOW YOU THINK ABOUT THE ROLE OF GRAPHIC DESIGN AND DESIGNERS?

Definitely. I think my work has a higher sense of urgency than it did previously because of the focused spotlight being placed on the often invisible, but pressing, issues facing our nation and world. I’ve also realized how important it is for designers to bring their own emotional state into the work and not separate the brain from the heart, because some of the most influential and important designs I’ve seen or made, have been when designer’s craft from both simultaneously.

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