BGBS 071: Maurice Cherry | Creative Strategist | The Restorative Power of Play
Maurice Cherry is the creative strategist for CodeSandbox, an online code editor tailored for web applications. Prior to this, he served principal and creative director at Lunch, an award-winning multidisciplinary studio he created in 2008 that helps creative brands craft messages and tell stories for their targeted audiences, including fostering relationships with underrepresented communities. Past clients and collaborators included Facebook, Mailchimp, Vox Media, NIKE, Mediabistro, Site5, SitePoint, and The City of Atlanta.
Maurice is a pioneering digital creator who is most well-known for Revision Path™, an award-winning podcast which is the first podcast to be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Other projects of Maurice’s include the Black Weblog Awards, 28 Days of the Web, The Year of Tea, and the design anthology RECOGNIZE.
Maurice’s projects and overall design work and advocacy have been recognized by Apple, Adobe, NPR, Lifehacker, Design Observer, Entrepreneur, AIGA, the Columbia Journalism Review, Forbes, Fast Company, and many other print and digital outlets. Maurice is also an educator, and has built curricula and taught courses on web design, web development, email marketing, WordPress, and podcasting for thousands of students over the past ten years.
Maurice is the 2018 recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary from AIGA, Creative Loafing Atlanta’s 2018 Influentials in the fields of business and technology, was named as one of GDUSA’s “People to Watch” in 2018, and was included in the 2018 edition of The Root 100 (#60), their annual list of the most influential African-Americans ages 25 to 45. In previous years, Maurice was awarded as one of Atlanta’s “Power 30 Under 30″ in the field of Science and Technology by the Apex Society. He was also selected as one of HP’s “50 Tech Tastemakers” in conjunction with Black Web 2.0, and was profiled by Atlanta Tribune as one of 2014’s Young Professionals. He is also a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
Maurice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a Master’s degree in telecommunications management from Keller Graduate School of Management.
In this episode, you’ll learn…
- As a creative on the web, it’s beneficial to stay fluid and agile enough to go where the market goes. It’s detrimental to focus on only one specialty because the industry changes so quickly that it may become obsolete.
- When done correctly, brands can put forth an image that is discordant with people’s initial perception of them, through storytelling in marketing. This can draw in an entirely new audience based on the brand’s “personality.”
- Podcasting is not as easy as it looks. Everything is deliberate, and a lot of care goes into each episode.
[8:10] It almost is a detriment to be kind of a specialist, because your specialty may end up getting absorbed or may become obsolescent or something like that. So you kind of have to stay fluid and kind of see where different trends are going and see how you can fit in there.
[12:45] Brands may try to put forth an image of who they are or who they want to be. And that may not even mesh with how people are thinking about them…but it makes people remember them in a way that perhaps people may not think of, and so they may gain a whole new level of audience just based off of that kind of storytelling and interaction that draws them in to who they are as a brand and what they sort of represent in terms of company values.
[1:00:43] I think people will look at the 400 episodes of revision path and just see a monolithic set of people. But I mean, there’s so much diversity within the people that I have interviewed, whether it’s age diversity, whether it’s what they do in the industry, years of experience, there’s men, there’s women, there’s trans folk, there’s folks in the US and the Caribbean, throughout Europe, throughout Africa, throughout Asia and Australia. They’re everywhere. The thing that sort of ties them all together is they’re practicing designers, or they’re practicing techies, or they’re doing something creative on the web that is worthy of kind of falling into line with everything that I’m doing with revision paths.
[1:04:53] I just turned 40 this year. And there’s still a lot of things about myself that I feel like I’ve managed to still keep a very playful spirit and still be able to kind of tap into the restorative power of play, even into the work that I do. I mean, even what I’m doing with creative strategy, it’s kind of playing at work a little bit. I get to really dive into myself and come up with inspiring things that we can do and fantastic campaigns that we can execute.
Podcast: Revision Path
LinkedIn: Maurice Cherry
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Maurice Cherry 0:02
And I started doing these long form interviews, maybe about 1500 to 2000 words or so. But it just took so long to put together. I was doing it by myself. And it was someone that actually was a reader of revision path, who one day wrote me and said that she was a fan of revision path as you would really like to be on revision path, but wanted to record a podcast because she had a podcast that she was doing in Chicago. At the time. I’m like, yeah, we can record that’s fine. thinking to myself, I have no recording equipment. So we ended up recording our interview, the very first episode of revision path on my mobile phone in a restaurant. Terrible quality. I still keep the episode out. I mean, it’s somewhat listable, I guess, I don’t know. But that was kind of where the genesis of the podcast started.
Marc Gutman 0:54
podcasting from Boulder, Colorado. This is the Baby Got Back story Podcast, where we dive into the story behind the story of today’s most inspiring storytellers, creators and entrepreneurs. I like backstories and I cannot lie. I am your host, Marc Gutman, Marc Gutman, and on today’s episode of Baby got backstory, we are talking with Maurice cherry, the award winning podcaster, creative strategist, and designer. And before we get into this episode, I feel so lucky that I get to talk to people. And I get to talk to people on this show. And I get to talk to people on this show, and share it with you, the audience. I truly, truly, truly thank you and appreciate you. If you like this show, and want to show your like an appreciation for me or the show, please head over to Apple podcasts or Spotify and give us a five star review and rating. Ratings really do matter. Apple and Spotify use these ratings as part of the algorithm that determines ratings on third charts. And we’re human. We like likes and follows and ratings too. So thank you for your reviews. I do appreciate it. Today’s guest is Maurice cherri, creative strategist, designer and host of the award winning podcast revision path. past clients and collaborators included Facebook, MailChimp, Vox media nyck Media Bistro site five sitepoint in the city of Atlanta. Maria is a pioneering digital creator, who is most well known for revision path and award winning podcast, which is the first podcast to be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Other projects of maurices include the black weblog awards 28 days of the web, the year of t in the design anthology recognize Murray says projects and overall design work and advocacy have been recognized by Apple, Adobe NPR, life hacker design observer entrepreneur, the AI GA, the Columbia Journalism Review, Forbes Fast Company in many other print and digital outlets. He says the 2018 recipient of the Steven Heller prize for cultural commentary from the AI GA, creative loafing Atlanta’s 2018 influentials in the fields of business and technology was named one of GED USA people to watch in 2018. It was included in the 2018 edition of the route 100. He was number 60 and their annual list of the most influential African Americans ages 25 to 45. In previous years, Maurice was awarded one of Atlanta’s power 30 under 30 in the field of science and technology by the apex society. He was also selected as one of HPS 50 tech tastemakers in conjunction with black web to Dotto. It was profiled by Atlanta Tribune is one of 2014 young professionals. He is also a member of the International Academy of digital arts and sciences. And this is his story.
I am here with Maurice cherry who is a creative strategist, designer and podcaster. You may know him from his very popular podcast revision path, and that’s because they just recorded their 400th episode which is a major, major milestone Marie’s Welcome to the baby. Got back History podcast.
Maurice Cherry 5:01
Thank you so much for having me, Mark, this is great.
Marc Gutman 5:04
That’s so great to have you here. Why don’t we just hop right into it? I mean, you, you have this varied what I’d call a hybrid background of creative strategist designer podcaster. Like, how did that come to be like, like, how do you make that all work in today’s environment?
Maurice Cherry 5:24
You know, I’m kind of still trying to figure that out myself. I’m lucky to be able to kind of remain a bit fluid and hybrid in some sorts as it relates to my skill set, which allows me to kind of go where the market goes, but I mean, my background, I have a undergraduate degree in mathematics. my graduate degree is in telecommunications, management’s. I’ve worked in media, I’ve worked in web, I’ve worked with nonprofits, I’ve worked with tech startups, I’ve had my own business for nine years. So I’ve done a little bit of everything and a lot of different places. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with everyone from, you know, startup founders and entrepreneurs to like, captains of industry at fortune 100 companies. So I’ve kind of been a little all over the place. And like I said, being able to remain fluid has helped me as things have changed in the market. I mean, I started off working for companies here, I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, I started off working for companies here and then quit the last place I was working out, which was at&t and working as a senior web designer, started my own studio did that for nine years, sort of wound that down and then jump back into working for places design working for tech startups. And just kind of going from there. Yeah, and
Marc Gutman 6:40
you use that word, fluid and fluidity. And you know, the old way of doing things used to be very specialized used to be very siloed not not bouncing between disciplines. Why do you think it’s important to to be fluid in in your skill set in your career? What advantage is that given you,
Maurice Cherry 7:01
um, for me, the advantage that it’s given is being able to have the perspective to see where commonalities lie, as the market, or as you really the industry sort of changes. I mean, when I first came about on the web, you were either a web designer, a web developer, or a webmaster, like those are kind of the three particular titles that you had. And now you’ve got all different types of product designers and UX designers and things like that, despite the fact that there are new titles and the way that things have changed. There’s still some sort of common threads between a lot of these different types of titles. And even as companies have come along and introduced new types of technology into the world, which therefore mean that there are new types of people that work on these things. Like, there’s conversation designers, there’s mixed reality designers like you know, a couple of weeks ago, I was first introduced to the metaverse, which sounds like something you’d hear in like a 90s sci fi afternoon kids show her something. So there’s so many Tell that to say that the market and the industry changes so much, it almost is a detriment to be kind of a specialist, because your specialty may end up getting, you know, absorbed or may become obsolescent or something like that. So you kind of have to stay fluid and kind of see where different trends are going and see how you can fit in there.
Marc Gutman 8:29
I want to be a part of the metaverse like that sounds awesome. I don’t even know what that is. But I want to like tell people that I am part of the metaverse or that I work in the metaverse, that’d be great. And it’s really interesting because the person that introduced us, Douglas Davis, who is appeared on this show, he was talking about something really, really similar in his conversation, his interview, which was a lot of what we’re doing today hasn’t been invented yet. Right? And we’re kind of in this next wave of, of that. And so he gave the example back when he was starting out, like no one had really invented, like how to build web pages and websites. And so it was real time, right? And then we started to grow up in no one had invented how to be an expert on Twitter when Twitter first came out, we all just kind of did it, you know. And now you know, what I’m hearing you say is that business is again, moving technology is moving so fast. And it’s you know, they’re intertwined, right Business and Technology and it’s moving so quickly, that you have to be fluid that you have to be nimble, and you have to be kind of you can’t be an expert at anything, if anything because it’s moving so fast, but what you probably can be is a really good thinker and a really good strategist in order to bring all these disciplines together. Did I didn’t get that right.
Maurice Cherry 9:52
Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. I mean, the the beauty of my particular title of being a creative strategist Is that no matter what business that I’m put in, I’m still able to kind of function because what I do, but one of the top one of the things that I’m sort of tasked to do is kind of be a company’s in house creative experts. So I’m working across teams to discover opportunities for storytelling. I’m working maybe with a marketing team on campaigns, I’m working with a sales team on ways that they can reach new audiences. So I can kind of be very flexible, you know, no matter what sort of business that I’m putting in, which is pretty good.
Marc Gutman 10:31
Yeah. And that sounds like awesome, like, I hear you talk. And I’m like, wow, I want to be a creative strategist, you know, how, you know? How does that show up in business? are more and more businesses recognizing the need for it? And what really is the the, the impetus for bringing on a creative strategist? Like why? Why do they say like, hey, Maria, we need you to come in and help us out.
Maurice Cherry 10:55
In my experience has mostly been when it’s boiled down to needing help with storytelling, or with some sort of brand awareness or brand campaign strategy tends to be tied. In my experience, that strategy has tended to be tied to branding fairly easily. So say, at the past few places that I’ve worked at, I’ve done a lot of sort of brand centric work with what they’re doing in order to take the story of what their business is, and what it is that they’re trying to sort of put forth to their customers. And then really kind of, I don’t know, tell that in a way that their audience would find compelling or that potential audiences may find compelling. And that could be video, that could be a podcast, that could be a really well done marketing campaign. It could be a drip campaign of newsletters, it could be a series of white papers, it can really sort of manifest in a number of different ways, depending on who we’re trying to reach and what the story is that we’re trying to tell.
Marc Gutman 11:51
Yeah. And so as I think about it, I mean, I get excited about this idea of creative strategist and working at a brand level across departments, because that’s typically where we run into problems, right, is that this type of initiative is siloed, into the marketing department into the creative department. And so having that influence across departments is really, you know, what I see is the magic of this type of work. But when you were, in your experience, when you look at this, what do brands that get this right? Like, what do they do? What are you seeing them do to get this this type of work? Right?
Maurice Cherry 12:31
One thing I’m seeing is that they’re doing a lot of listening, they’re listening to their audience there, whether that’s through social media, or through any sort of, you know, other channel or back channel, they’re listening to what their audience is telling them. Oftentimes, brands may try to put forth an image of who they are or who they want to be. And then that may not even mesh with how, you know, people are thinking about them. Sometimes that works to a brand’s advantage. Sometimes it doesn’t. I think we’ve mostly seen this on social media, where you see brands like, Oh, God, what’s a good brand that that’s kind of subversive stay comes. The stake of his brand, for example, is weirdly stoic and philosophic. On Twitter, which you would not associate with a brand of like frozen meat products, like, why are they so deep right now, I don’t understand this. But it makes people remember them in a way that perhaps, you know, people may not think of steak gums. And so they may gain a whole new level of audience just based off of that kind of storytelling and interaction that draws them in to like, who they are as a brand, and what they sort of represent in terms of company values. And such, I certainly thinks that as social media has grown as that and and as more people have tapped into social media, they’re kind of starting to hold brands accountable a lot for the causes that they find the people that they hire, a number of companies get taken the task for these sorts of things that have nothing to do with their actual product at all. But if you’re hiring someone who might be unknown abuser, for example, that’s going to look bad on the brand. Or if you know your your company is funding a politician that might be taken away, or might be funding voting rights or something well taken away voting rights or something like that. These are the kinds of things that people are now keyed into. And they’re looking at brands to kind of be these while they’re there. They’re wanting to make sure that the brands that they support with their dollars are also kind of, you know, in accordance with their values as well.
Marc Gutman 14:37
Absolutely. And it’s, it’s crazy and amazing at the same time to me, I mean, I love the amount of power that consumers have on brands at the same time. Everybody has a voice right? And so how can brands even navigate all this? pressure and criticism to be something Different, right? You can’t You can’t please everybody all of the time, like, where do you see the challenges for brands in this new landscape?
Maurice Cherry 15:09
I mean, I think the biggest challenge that happens is just making sure that you are being consistent with your voice. Often times I’ve seen brands try to like adopt a certain kind of you know, cheeky haha Twitter voice or whatever, that may be completely discordant with how they treat employees or, or you know how they treat customers or something like that. This is particularly the case I’ve seen with a lot of tech startups that try to like get in on certain little you know, punny things that are happening. But then something hits the verge where they mistreated a number of employees or something like that. And it’s like, oh, you can’t be you can’t be cheeky and sarcastic on Twitter, and then you’re treating your employees like crap, you know, behind the scenes. So I think love just trying to be consistent throughout everything that you’re doing is one thing that that companies should think about as they kind of navigate the space, I would, I would also say, you know, it helps to just be agile and nimble, because sometimes these you know, if a certain catastrophe befalls a brand, sometimes it happens completely out of the blue for something they don’t even know about. So, for example, say, a company has a particular actor or actress as a spokesperson. And this actor or actress did something on Instagram. Well, the first thing people are going to do, yes, they’re going to take that particular actor or actress to task, but then they’re also going to take the company to task and think, Oh, well, is this the kind of person that you want speaking for your product? And now it’s like, oh, now we have to kind of go into crisis mode, and figure out how do we either distance ourselves from this? Or say, Yes, we are a part of what it is that this actor actress is about, here’s what we’re doing, as a company or as a brand to support them. So it’s, it’s tricky, but you have to kind of be, you know, pretty nimble to these sorts of things, because they can happen really out of the blue.
Marc Gutman 17:08
Yeah, and there’s a lot going on. And so, you know, it really lays out the, you know, the the framework for why a company might need a creative strategist. Yeah, there. It’s not just this omni directional unit, or is it? I mean, I guess it’d be one directional conversation. It’s not a one way conversation, right, this massive dialogue, and there’s comments and insights and, and opinions, ping pong all over from every direction, and to really have someone at a higher level thinking like, how are we going to manage this conversation as something that is no longer a luxury for brands, but really a necessity?
Maurice Cherry 17:44
Yeah, there’s a lot of thought that has to go into so many things, the imagery that you use the hashtags that you use, the colors that you’re using, all of that ends up sort of falling under the purview, usually of creative strategist. And I will say, you know, a lot of advertising firms employ creative strategist as well. So they know fully kind of what it means to have someone that’s really thinking about the brand from like this 360 view, but also from this bird’s eye view of being able to zoom out and really see all parts of where a particular campaign or something may touch, and realize those sort of points where something may go wrong, or maybe misconstrued and try to figure out a way to kind of circumvent that or fix that issue, you know, so it doesn’t occur.
Marc Gutman 18:29
Yeah. And so switching gears a little bit, you mentioned that you’re in Atlanta. Now. Is that where you grew up?
Maurice Cherry 18:35
No, I grew up originally in Selma, Alabama. But I’ve been here in Atlanta now for a little over 20 years. Now. I came here in 1999. So I’ve been here for what that’s 21 years or something like that. I’ve been here longer than I’ve been in Alabama.
Marc Gutman 18:56
Well, looking back to Alabama, assuming that you were there when you know, Murray was a young Murray’s, like eight years old and you’re hanging out. And were you there in Selma when you were eight?
Maurice Cherry 19:06
Yeah, yeah, I grew up there. went to elementary, middle and high school there. Cool. Cool. So
Marc Gutman 19:11
eight year old Morrison, did he think he was going to be a creative strategist?
Maurice Cherry 19:18
I’m pretty sure eight year old Mario had no idea what a creative strategist was. I think eight year old Mario is probably either wanted to be a firefighter. I have an uncle, that’s a fire chief. Or probably a writer. Probably one of those two is when I probably wanted to be at that age.
Marc Gutman 19:37
Then I was gonna ask, but a writer might fill in this answer. So did you have a tendency towards either creativity or strategy or both? or What were you into at that age and as you started to matriculate through through the years and sama
Maurice Cherry 19:54
Oh my god, eight years old. I really was into writing. I mean, that sounds like such an old hobby for a kid but I had been writing probably since around, let’s see eight years old. What’s that like, second grade, second, third grade, something like that. I have been writing since first grade like stories and also drawing along with them. I have an older brother, he’s four years older. And he’s really like, the super visual creative in the family, he paints he draws he sculpts. I mean, he’s, he’s a fantastic artist. And I remember growing up wanting to be like him, but I could not draw, I could do like little stick figures or whatever. I would say my work was very abstract at that age when I look back on it now. But I would draw that I would write these stories that would correspond with the drawings. And I remember, my teachers would give us this sheet of paper where it’s like, blank on top, and then there’s ruled lines on the bottom. And so you draw whatever top the picture or what have you. And then you write your story. Down below, I remember doing a lot of those, I have a whole, like binder full of those in my storage unit from when I was a kid, like just doing a ton of writing and drawing and exploring, I guess, I mean, trying to explore my creativity in that rather limited space. I mean, Soma is a is a very small town in South Central Alabama, most people know about it from the civil rights movement. I can tell you growing up there as a kid, I mean, it’s the country, it’s not super fun. Like, there’s not, there’s no, you know, big amusement parks, or movie theaters and things like that, that you would, you know, kind of hang out and do stuff with as a kid. So it was very much, you having to kind of find your own entertainment, maybe you’re hanging out with other kids, maybe you’re at home. A lot of people would be in church, because almost a big church town is like 100 plus churches there. So that’s usually kind of what you were doing. You were trying to find something to do. Maybe watch TV, let’s see eight years old that I haven’t intended. I probably had an intent though back then also. So I was most likely playing Super Mario Brothers or pro wrestling. Probably pro wrestling, I was probably star man in pro wrestling back then.
Marc Gutman 22:17
Good, good hobby, good hobby. And you mentioned that you know, you were creative with words, your brother visually creative. Were your parents creative? Did they instill this in your Where’d that come from?
Maurice Cherry 22:32
Um, no, they’re not creative at all. Let me let me take them. I mean, I think you know, as I think parents have to be creative to some capacity, just dealing with children, but they weren’t in particularly creative fields. My dad at the time, was an engineer at GE, working on plastics. And my mom was working at the local community college as a lab assistant in the biology department. So they were very much like in the sciences kind of feel. So not a lot of, you know, creativity there, I would imagine, but I did have the opportunity at times to maybe go like with my dad to work or maybe go up my mom to work and like, see where they work and like, see the machines and see the lab equipment and all that sort of stuff, at least get interested in it like, like, know that this is like a possibility for me, perhaps but no one say anything creative. Like we don’t think like someone doesn’t have any, at least not to my recollection, any art museums or, or anything like that, where you would go and like be overwhelmed with visual creative inspiration. At that age, maybe probably when I was a little older, I certainly remember getting a lot of visual and creative inspiration from magazines. So I think probably when I was maybe about 10, or 11 or so I remember us getting maybe I had to be old enough that maybe I was a teenager at this point. But we would get subscriptions to like zillions magazine, which was Consumer Reports. They had this like kids vertical that they called zillions. And I remember we would get vive magazine and source the source magazine and stuff like that. So I’m gonna get visual inspiration from magazines a lot. Growing up,
Marc Gutman 24:18
what an awesome like, sub brand for kids zillions like
Maurice Cherry 24:23
yeah, I don’t know, if they do that anymore. It was it was like they were teaching kids how to be like, responsible consumers. So they would like for example, talk about fruit juice and say how most fruit juice is not made of actual juice. If you check the labels, it’s actually more you know, it’s actually water and sugar and all this sort of stuff. So they were kind of like teaching you how to, you know, be a good consumer as a kid. It was like, it was like a kid’s magazine about money, which was very interesting.
Marc Gutman 24:52
That’s so cool.
I love it. And
as you got older and as you got into high school was this creative like writing And in this creative outlet, was that still coming out of you? Or what were your interests at that time?
Maurice Cherry 25:06
It was, I mean, I was all over the place for people that knew me in high school, I was all over the place I was writing. Let’s see, I think I was in eighth grade or so. And I started taking college English courses in writing. So I was like, always writing something writing poems and like, getting published and stuff. But also right around seventh or eighth grade, I discovered music. And I discovered why once I discovered music, we had a band in middle school. And I wanted to join the band because the band could get out of sixth and seventh period. And I’m like, Well, I want to get out of 67 period. How do I make that happen? And they had like this open session where you, you know, go to the band room and you choose the instrument like, I remember going in and the band director, Mr. Ruffin would say, like, you know, you choose the instrument and turn the instrument will choose you like you just pick the one that you think you’ll do best on it. I really wanted to play trumpet. I was like, yeah, I’m gonna play trumpet, but the mouthpiece was just too small. I just couldn’t get the right on the shore. And then my band director switched me over to trombone. And that was like a match made in heaven. That was perfect. So I played music, from seventh grade all the way through high school, all the way through college, all throughout my 20s. I played trombone, in marching bands, and jazz bands and like, house bands, at clubs and all sorts of stuff. So in high school, I was doing music, I was writing. Also just doing class, I was kept in the math club. I was sort of all over the place in high school, doing a lot of different things. I was really though getting more into music, because I’m with the marching band. My band director also allowed me to kind of try my hand at composing. So I would like listen to songs like mostly songs from video games, I would listen to songs like say the fanfare from Final Fantasy when you beat an enemy. And I would say, Okay, how can I turn this into like four parts for trombone. So that means me sitting down on my keyboard, and like, dissecting out each part, and then go into my section, and then we practice it. And then we take it to the game, and we play it at the game and stuff like that. So I got a chance to really sort of cut my teeth with doing a bit of like arranging and composing there. And then my band director also introduced me to so much good music, mostly, like Earth, Wind and Fire. And he was a big Earth Wind and Fire fan. So he introduced me to like their whole catalogue at the time. And we were also playing some popular songs from off the radio. See, this was 95. So we were playing. Like, this is how we do it. For montell Jordan, water runs dry boys to man that might have been 96. But like, we were playing like radio hits, but then also playing like these, you know, well known songs from like the 70s and 80s from Earth, Wind and Fire and stuff. So I was I was all over the place in high school. I really was like, I was always doing something different mostly with the band, though. I think most people knew me for that. But also, I was just like, in class and making A’s and you know, it was I, I really enjoyed high school. I enjoy high school a lot.
Marc Gutman 28:23
Yeah, and are you still skilled and playing the trombone.
Maurice Cherry 28:29
I haven’t played the trombone and over 10 years, so I don’t know, I would imagine, it’s probably just like picking up, you know, like riding a bike, I would suppose because the trombone, unlike other brass instruments has no keys. And so it’s just one long, interconnected tube. And it’s there’s only seven positions to the trombone are not marked either. So you have to know them just by memory. And you have to get the note right really by ear. So like this a lot of like active listening as you’re playing. And because you’re sort of like varying the length of air in this long tube as you’re playing. You don’t have a lot of room for error. But you also have a lot of room for improvisation, because you can easily slide in between notes without having to exactly know, the right fingering to get there, you can just get there based on how it sounds. And so like even doing something as simple as the chromatic scale, which you know, takes into account all the flats and sharps, you’re just going up and down the slide. And so if you hit an F, then you know, if I need to get down to a flat, I just keep sliding down until I get there. So you sort of in your mind, you know, kind of the connective tissue between the notes that you have to reach. So I say like trombone is easy to pick up but hard to master. Because you have to be thinking about all of that while you’re playing. So sad.
Marc Gutman 29:49
I thought you would be the first guest that we would have on the Baby Got Back story podcast that would break out the trombone and it doesn’t sound like you have one within arm’s reach right now. I’ll give you I’ll give you a pass on that. But
Maurice Cherry 30:02
I saw I saw my trombone when I was 30. Because I was like, I’m gonna hang it up because I really wanted to focus on, like, at the time, like, focus on my career and on tech and stuff, and I couldn’t be playing, you know, like pickup songs and stuff like that, like I was a session musician for a while about 20s. Like, it’s it’s fun until it’s not, you know, like, it’s just not stable. And I don’t know, I wonder what I wonder who I would have been if I kept up with it, though. Yeah, I still have kind of in the back of my mind. Like when all this tech stuff is said and done. To start my own Afro Cuban jazz, big bands. That may still happen. Like when I turned 50 maybe I’ll I’ll make that happen. I don’t know. But it’s in the cards.
Marc Gutman 30:49
The future vision and you know, who knows, maybe we can get a crowdfunding campaign going for Murray’s here to get them a new trombone? It’s Yeah, seems like you should, you should be playing the trumpet, trombone, and you shouldn’t be, shouldn’t be selling your trombone. But as you were growing up in so many getting into high school, what do you think you were going to do? I mean, I see that you went to Morehouse, and I’m sure your parents were very proud. Where are they? What were their hopes and dreams for you? And what did you think you were going to do with your life as you were starting to get a little older, and, you know, into high school and looking into college?
Maurice Cherry 31:24
So I, this is so interesting, and I don’t know if this will make your viewers angry or not, or jealous, I don’t know. But like, I was not thinking about, the only thing I was really thinking about at that age was getting out of Selma. That was like, my number one. Main imperative is like, get out of this town. This is a small town, I mean, to kind of give you some context with this. I mean, I came about in the generation right after, like civil rights movement, Bloody Sunday, all that sort of stuff. And so the city itself already has this, like, deep, like, just ghost of history about it everywhere that you go. I mean, Selma itself is a very haunted town, like there’s a number of haunted houses and things of that nature, but like to live that close to history, and then also be so detached from the rest of the world is a very eerie feeling. I think about that, in hindsight, you know, growing up, like I really did not know, much of the world outside of Selma, until I left. And I think about well, who would I have been if I stayed there? Like I probably would have, you know, I don’t know that a pastor or something. I don’t know, who knows. But it’s such a small, insular type of community. And it’s very easy to like stay in that and never change and never go anywhere and never experienced anything new. For me, the main thing I wanted to do was just get out of Selma. So the reason I say this is because I didn’t really have a plan as to what I wanted to do. My plan was just how do I get out of here? What what way do I make that happen? I don’t care what the way is, it just has to happen. And so in seventh grade, I remember being part of the, I think it was called the Duke talent identification program, or tip for short. And what they will do is they will take like, high achieving middle schoolers, and you would spend a weekend at Duke University. And then they would also give you an opportunity to take one of the like, standardized tests early being the LSAT, or the a CT. So seventh grade, I took the a CT, and I scored a 30 on it. Now, I think the AC T goes up to a 36. So 30 out of 36 was very good that I think that’s like analog to maybe like a high 1400 or low 1500. On the SSAT like it’s pretty good. So when I took that in seventh grade, that pretty much wrote my ticket to any school that I wanted to go to. I didn’t think at all about like, Oh, I’m really want to go to these colleges, so I have to apply or I really wanted colleges were coming to me. I didn’t have to do it. And I don’t mean to sound like a bragging sort of way. But I mean, you know, my mom wanted she tell you to like colleges, were contacting us left and right, sending us all sorts of materials. And I was really for me to just think, Oh, well, where do I want to go. And I didn’t want to stay in Alabama. Because again, my thing was like I wanted to get out of Selma, but really, I just wanted to get out of like the state and experience something new. But my mom was very much like you know, wherever you go, I’m not getting on a plane. So you have to go somewhere close. Like you have to be still in the south because I’m not getting on a plane. I’m not taking a bus anywhere. It has to be fairly close. And Morehouse ended up being the choice because they came to me on my senior awards day and presented me with two full scholarships, which was more than any other The school had presented me with at the time and I mean, like every major school in Alabama and presented it was like a full ride or something. But I didn’t want to go to like, no, no shade to the University of Alabama. I don’t want to go to the University of Alabama. I didn’t want to go to Auburn. I didn’t want to go to Alabama State, no snow shade. The Alabama State. I didn’t want to go there. But Morehouse came and Morehouse has this big reputation. And people are like, Oh, well, Martin Luther King went to Morehouse. And, you know, I should go to Morehouse. And I’m like, you know what, I should go to Morehouse. I want to go to Morehouse. And part of the reason of going was one, I knew that was a quick ticket out of out of Selma, but that also, and I think anyone who grew up in the south, probably in the 80s, and 90s, that wasn’t near a big city, came to Atlanta at some point, like, there was a field trip to Six Flags, it was all your your class, they were on sa t we’re going to Six Flags like everything was going to Six Flags. So there were always all these trips to Atlanta. And Atlanta was always sort of the destination, I think for a lot of us because it was the nearest really big city. Plus around that time. I mean, Atlanta in the 90s was a magical place. I mean, yes, you have the Olympics, but you also had freakness. So you’ve got like this combination of all this electricity happening in the city. And it was just the place like Atlanta was just the place to be. And so I’m thinking, well, if I can go to Atlanta, and it’s a free ride, and I don’t have to pay it, my parents will have to pay. Yeah, we’ll do it. Let’s do Atlanta. And so Morehouse ended up being the choice for me. I didn’t even apply to Morehouse, they came to me. And, and the rest is history.
Marc Gutman 36:44
A common question I get all the time is Mark, can you help me with our brand? Yes, we help companies solve branding problems. And the first step would be to schedule a no obligation brand clarity call, we’ll link to that in the show notes, or head over to wildstorm comm and send us an email, we’ll get you booked right away. So whether you’re just getting started with a new business, or whether you’ve done some work and need a refresh, or whether you’re a brand that’s high performing and wants to stay there, we can help. After you book, your brand clarity call, you’ll learn about our brand audit strategy process will identify if you need a new logo or just a refresh, will determine if your business has a branding problem. And you’ll see examples of our work and get relevant case studies. We’ll also see if branding is holding your business back and can help you get to the next level. So what are you waiting for, build the brand you’ve always dreamed of. Again, we’ll link to that in the show notes. or head over to wildstorm comm and send us an email. Now back to the show.
All I could think about when you were talking about music in Atlanta in the 90s was salt and pepper. So that’s what it triggered for me. But so you went to Morehouse and sounds like you know, first and foremost, you’re like a lot of young people. You’re like, I just want to go someplace, I just want to change my life. I just want to start my life, you know, and kind of figure things out. When you got to Morehouse, what did you think you were going to do with with yourself?
Maurice Cherry 38:30
Oh, my goodness, you know, I’m gonna be completely honest with you, Mark, I had no plans in college. I’m telling you that back then I didn’t plan anything. I was such a easy going go with the flow kind of person to kind of give you a sense of that. I graduated from high school in late May of 1999. And then two weeks later, I packed up moved everything and went somewhere else because the the program that I was a part of for my scholarship, had a summer program is called project space. So I was at Morehouse in June of 99. Like, it was such a magical feeling. I’m like I’m in this big city, by myself. No one can tell me what to do. I could do whatever I want. But of course, it’s still like within the confines of college and you have to kind of be, you know, aware of your surroundings. Morehouse is in that it’s not in the best neighborhood. I mean, certainly back then it was it was not that great. It’s probably better now. But back then it was a pretty rough neighborhood that the school was in so they really wanted to make sure that we stayed on campus where it was safe and not venture out into the neighborhood. But we could easily like catch a bus to the train station and like, go to all parts of the city where the train would go and so you know, the city kind of ended up being like our oyster but when I got there, I mean, I had no plans. I was in the summer program. And we were taking oh my goodness, we were taking like calculus two courses and we were taking care computer programming courses and Spelman, the program that we had on the head of cohort at Spelman College, which is the all female college that’s across the street from Morehouse, which is all male college. And so we will take classes together with the girls from Spelman, we would hang out together. But mostly everything we did was kind of in and around. And on campus, like there wasn’t a lot of off campus kind of stuff. Except for the people who were from Atlanta who could, you know, like, they could like get in their car, like take us somewhere, like take it to the grocery store or something like that. But they were they really highly discouraged us from going out and about in the city. And then once the school year started proper, I mean, I was just trying everything that I could like I was meeting new people that were into different things that was sort of my first real deep introduction to like anime, and trans music. Was that Morehouse, I was, like I mentioned, I was also still playing trombone. Just like discovering different things and different people, honestly, I mean, I’m just coming from Alabama, just being like this country bumpkin. Like now I’m all of a sudden, meeting all these people from the Caribbean, and from other parts of the country, and like, you know, them being really proud of where they’re from, and their culture and everything like that. And so, just getting introduced to so many different things at once made it really, really hard to like, focus, like, I’ll be honest, I almost almost flunked out. Freshman year, like first semester was, I was lost in the sauce. As
I was going out to the clubs, I was hanging out late. I was getting back to the dorm room 234 in the morning for and then like sleeping for a few hours and then have an eight o’clock, Cal three class like I was reckless. I was so reckless freshman year, and it caught up to me to the point where I ended up getting evicted from my dorm. I was homeless for a slight bit like about a week or two, and then ended up getting placed into another dorm. And then that ended up being like a weird kind of situation, because the rd was kind of a creepy, like kind of a creepy guy, and got moved to another dorm. And then that was weird because my roommate in that dorm clearly had been suffering physical abuse from his roommate, and was very like, I don’t know, very jumpy, like, anytime I will come around. And he’s like, oh, like, don’t you know, don’t look at me that way, don’t you know or something like that. So freshman year was a lot, at least the first half of freshman year was a lot. During that time. One thing I would say that was like, the stabilizing force outside of my classes was that I had joined a website and started working for them. So there was a website called college club calm. I don’t know if people remember college club. And it was sort of like a precursor to Facebook. And basically, every college had their own campus on college club. And you could upload pictures. Every person had like a college club email, and they had this number that you could call that would read your email to you over the phone. There was live chat. I mean, comms club was lit. I mean, they ended up going bankrupt. for good reason. I think at one point, they were giving away like $10,000 a week to people, they were really just like that early, calm money was coming in. But I worked for college club as a campus representative first at Morehouse, and then for the entire Atlanta University Center. So I had three or four other people under me. And we had devised the system. Why am I telling this might be illegal actually know what comes out of the system? Well, that’s fine. So we had devised a system where we basically would get paid from college club for every account that was created after every photo that we uploaded. So one of my good friends, good good friends, Chris wrote this macro that would allow us to basically just like dump a bunch of photos into a folder, and they would automatically get uploaded to college club. And so we would get, you know, money for that. And then he also came up with this other macro that will automatically create accounts. So we had these cameras, we have these huge Sony mavica cameras that actually were so big, you had to put a floppy disk in it for storage, like three and a quarter floppy disk. And we would go and take pictures and swap out the disk. And then at the end of the night, we would dump everything into this Network Folder. We run the macro, the macro would upload the stuff from the Network Folder, we would literally be making money while we slept. I mean I was making at that point. roughly about $4,000 a month.
Marc Gutman 44:46
Pretty good for a college kid.
Maurice Cherry 44:48
This is this is my This was my, like second half of freshman year and I mean, we did not know how to act with that with that much money we were just doing just spending money on just the dumbest stupid shit just like, go to Linux and like, you know, buy a whole bunch of people’s stuff in the food court or just buying like extravagant clothes. And so I mean, in hindsight, just dumb, dumb stuff. But at the time, you know, you’re 19 was 19 then trying to think now I was 18 and I was 18 then, and just like have money hand over fist. It was it was ridiculous. Um, eventually college club ended up going bankrupt. And so that job didn’t last too long. But for the time that we had it, it was great. And so yeah, I didn’t really have ambition. My freshman year, I was too busy having fun. Like, we would go out to the strip and take pictures and like, and then I mean, I guess I kind of have to set the scene here. I mean, so the Atlanta University Center is six colleges. It’s Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark, Atlanta University, Morris Brown College, they entered the interdenominational theological center and Morehouse School of Medicine. So like six schools, all together and like this one huge meta campus. And now the schools kind of have their own like, sort of divisions like Spellman, for example, has a huge wall around and it’s basically like fort Spellman. But the other colleges, you can easily walk between and through and everything like that. And so the connective kind of tissue between the main colleges is this long brick thoroughfare called the strip. And it’s basically just for walking. So like, you know, cars were coming up and down, it was just, you could walk, there were benches, there were booths, all sort of stuff. So you could hang out all day on the strip, and like, people watch, then walk down to seagulls and like, get some wings and then go sit on the bench and listen to some music and then go to the bookstore, go to the library, like everything was just connected in this big, almost like a marketplace. And then on Fridays, at the very end of the strip at Spelman, they would open their gates and you could go into Spelman to their lower courtyard that they called lower manly, and they had market Friday, and they would be DJs. there and dance. I mean, it was so much fun, that you didn’t think about class, like class was almost like, why would I go to class, but I could just hang out on the strip all day, you know. So that was very easy. That first year as a freshman and you have money to it was very easy to just get completely sidetracked. And I completely fell deep into all of that. Well,
Marc Gutman 47:37
and as we know, Time marches on. And it sounds like you know, had a very similar experience. I went crazy my freshman year and pulled it together primarily because my parents told me I had no choice. It was gonna be big trouble if I didn’t. But Time marches on, and you get through Morehouse and like, how did you start a career in creativity and strategy
Maurice Cherry 48:00
that really kind of came about almost as a almost as circumstance. So and I’ll try to fast forward through, like past like post college on but so I graduated from Morehouse, I didn’t have anything lined up like I’m to be completely honest. When I graduated, I had no plans whatsoever, partially because our scholarship program, they pulled the funding from it in 2001, because of 911. So they pulled funding from that and funding went to which was then created the Homeland Security Department. So we didn’t have funding to kind of continue out what we thought the end result of our internships and stuff was going to be so with my scholarship program, basically, I would intern for two years for NASA. And then after that, we would get placed at a NASA facility. So in my mind, I’m like, as long as I keep Baba 3.0 I got a job at NASA. So that’s all I have to do. jr came along and completely dashed all of that. And so by the time I graduated, I had nothing lined up. I was working at the Woodruff Arts Center, selling tickets to the symphony, and to the art museum into the theater, just like you know, selling old patriots tickets and stuff like that. And they took away the calculator at my station because I had a math degree, which was kind of degrading but whatever. Did that for a little while, left that job, worked at autotrader. Like, as a dealer concierge is basically just like a glorified customer service rep. Did that for a while, quit that job. And then on a whim, I found in the back of our local weekly newspaper, creative loafing. I found a listing to become an electronic media specialist for the state of Georgia, applied for it on a whim, got the job. I worked for there for about a year and a half left went to at&t as a junior designer. What worked my way up to being a senior designer left there in 2008. After Obama got elected, I started my own studio. I did my studio for nine years. And I would say that was kind of the genesis of this whole creative strategy career. Because even though I had my studio where I was doing web design and graphic design and email marketing and stuff like that, I really was able to branch out and do a lot of other creative stuff like I was able to do. Like DNI consulting for tech companies, like I did that for Vox media. For a while I did that with Netflix for a short period of time, did a lot of writing still, like I was still writing during that time. So I wrote four sight points. And for psych five, and I wrote for media B’s show for a while I taught classes at the Bri and at Savannah College of Art and Design, I did a lot of different stuff in the studio. And so because I was doing all these different things, like I was gaining all this knowledge and other parts of the, you know, the business and the really in other parts of the industry, and was able to really kind of bring it all together. So by the time I Wow, my studio down in 2017, I knew that there was more that I wanted to do that I couldn’t accomplish and sort of the current state that the studio was in. Also the market was changing, like, bespoke web design was sort of going out as more people started to use kind of drag and drop options like a Squarespace or Wix or something like that. So it made more sense for me to kind of phase out of that market and get more into the actual like, strategy portion of it. Because now there are these tools that allow me that allow people to do the things they would pay a designer to do. But the tools don’t really give you the strategy behind why you would use certain things or something like that. And so I tried to kind of brand myself more in this strategy route. As I wind my studio down, um, at the end of 2017, I started at a tech startup, or there’s a tech company at that time called Fog Creek software as starting, they’re just kind of doing content marketing and getting a sense of the business and what they were doing. As I stayed there, they switched over to become the startup called glitch. And then as they were growing, and they look, we’re looking to me, as someone that sort of had this thought leadership that was built up to this point, I was able to then kind of come in on a strategy aspect, and then help out with, you know, bizdev opportunities or partnerships or, you know, things of that nature. And so that really kind of set the stage for me to take all of the cumulative knowledge that I gained throughout my studio time and even the time prior to that working for companies and use that to kind of be this this sort of creative thought leadership at a company that needed it at the time.
Marc Gutman 52:44
And when did revision path come about? Like how did you get into podcasting? Because it 400 episodes, I’m guessing you were a bit of an early adopter?
Maurice Cherry 52:55
Yeah. So I started podcasting, initially in 2005. So I have old shows that will never see the light of day. I have old old shows from back then. And Atlanta, to its credit actually had a very vibrant podcasting. Community back then we had this thing called the Georgia Podcast Network that was put on by this couple rusty and Amber. And I mean, that was big for maybe about five or six years, there were meetups and things of that nature. And it was mostly Georgia, but also included like South Carolina, Tennessee, kind of like that tri state area. So I have been doing podcasting for a while but never really looked at it as a viable thing, then it was sort of this first wave of podcasting. Because, really, it wasn’t something that caught on then like people were more so starting to latch on to video. During that time, it wasn’t about, oh, we’re gonna listen to this podcast. And even then what podcast were normally was just stuff that was on the radio that they didn’t put out as an mp3. So like, The New York Times, NPR, etc, would have these little shows. And that’s how you sort of picked up on like maybe a radio show that you’ve missed, you can subscribe to the podcast, which is really just that day is episode that they downloaded and made into an mp3 or whatever. I first started doing revision path in 2013. And at that time, it wasn’t a podcast, it was gonna be just an online magazine. I wanted to do something which showcased what black designers and developers were doing in the field like peers of mine, etc. to kind of counteract what I wasn’t seeing in design media. And I started doing these long form interviews, maybe about 1500 to 2000 words or so. But it just took so long to put together I was doing it by myself. And it was someone that actually was a reader of revision path is woman named Raquel Rodriguez, who one day wrote me and said that she was a fan of revision paths. She would really like to be on revision path, but wanted to record a podcast. Because she had a podcast that she was doing in Chicago, and at the time, I’m like, yeah, we can record that’s fine thinking to myself, I have no recording equipment. So we ended up recording our interview, the very first episode of revision path on my mobile phone, in a restaurant. Terrible quality. I still keep the episode out. I mean, it’s somewhat listable, I guess, I don’t know. But, uh, that was kind of where the genesis of the podcast started. And then as I continue to keep doing revision path throughout 2013, I would give guests the option to either record, or we could do like the long form interview. So I sort of alternated. And then when 2014 came around, and it was a full year of revision path, I just decided it’s just easier to do the podcast, so switched over to becoming a podcast in March of 2014, officially, but when we launched, we still had about, I say, about 15 episodes prior that we had done. So we launched with a pretty big catalog already. So technically, we launched that like, Episode 16. But we have been recording since episode one. Back in June of 2013.
Marc Gutman 56:11
Yeah, and as you mentioned, you just recorded your 400th episode, you’ve been doing this for a while. I’m terrible at math, but it sounds like about eight years or something like that, which is a long time. Like I’m, I think you’re gonna be Episode 71 for the baby backstory podcast, and I can tell you, I mean, it’s been difficult it you know, sometimes I hear, I hear 71. And I’m like, Ah, that’s not that much. But there is a lot of energy, a lot of effort and a lot of time that’s gone into it, like 400 episodes, do you ever think like, enough’s enough? Are you just gonna keep keep recording?
Maurice Cherry 56:48
I mean, at this point, I’m going to keep recording. As we’re talking, I’ve already got episodes recorded through 405. And then I’ve got five more in the queue. So we’re up to like, 409, I think, technically, I, you know, I’ll be honest, there’s really no shortage of people for me to have on the show, I’ve got a running potential guests list in the 1000s of people that I could have on the show. And then, of course, folks recommend others, I’ve started to bring back old guests on the show, just to kind of see what their, their updates have been since they first came on the show, you know, like, so it’s been fun to kind of chart that journey, in some ways. And then honestly, as the industry has changed, what the show has really allowed me to do is keep up. Because I mean, at this point, I’m not really a practicing designer anymore. Like I’m not, you know, in Photoshop, or sketch or figma, or whatever. But being able to talk to so many practitioners still keeps me up to date with what’s going on, and what are the new technologies? And what are folks talking about? What are folks passionate about? It keeps me up to date with, with that sort of stuff. And also just being able to introduce design still to a whole new generation of people that may not have known that there were people in design who looked like them. People who think like, Oh, I’m just alone in this by myself, and then they can look and see no, you’re not, there’s like 400 other people here that you’re in this thing with? So I don’t I personally don’t see it stopping anytime soon. I mean, we’re still, you know, you know, knock on wood, getting funding and able to keep things going. So I’ll keep it going for as long as the industry will have me.
Marc Gutman 58:34
Yeah, let’s talk about that really quickly. You know, you mentioned that revision path is really this outlet to showcase those those folks who typically aren’t showcased and to show people that, hey, there’s other people like them out there. Like when you think about revision path, like what’s the one thing you want people to know, like, really now about what you’re doing with this podcast? Hmm,
Maurice Cherry 59:00
that’s a good question. I mean, I think, off the top of my head, I would want people to know that this is not easy. And I think people will look at what I’m doing and think that it’s pretty easy. And it’s not, I mean, I think that might be the case for most podcasters. But for me, in particular, like I’ve had to continually work and try new things to get to a system that I know works with me and my team, like and it’s bulletproof. It’s a time to get there, that wasn’t just something that I was able to kind of pull out from, you know, from scratch, and it was something I had to build myself. I had to find the right tools to pull in to make sure all of this work. So it’s really about that. I would say for any podcast, it’s really about building systems that allow you to be able to do this work. I don’t necessarily want to say at scale because I think honestly, the the production level that we’re doing is not really changed that much over the years. But it’s refined to the point where I can take long breaks between interviews and not get burned out from this. And I’d say yeah, like, it’s not easy. People will look at me and will look at me and look at the show and think that it’s easy like oh, is, it just seems so easy for you to get people to come on the show. I’m like, no, it’s still, it. Honestly, it’s still a challenge sometimes to get people to come on the show. Just making sure that everything sort of flows regularly. Like, even though we have our system down, that could still be one thing and that system that could cause it all to, you know, tumble like a house of cards or something. So definitely, that it’s it’s not easy that it’s a lot of thought that goes into it. I think people will look at the 400 episodes of revision path and just see like a monolithic set of people. But I mean, there’s so much diversity within the people that I have interviewed, whether it’s age diversity, whether it’s what they do in the industry, years of experience, as men, there’s women, there’s trans folk, there’s folks in the US and the Caribbean, throughout Europe, throughout Africa, throughout Asia and Australia. Like they’re, they’re everywhere, the thing that sort of ties them all together, is you know, they’re practicing designers, or they’re practicing techies, or they’re doing something creative on the web that is worthy of kind of falling into line with everything that I’m doing with revision paths. So yeah, I would say that’s probably the the main thing I think now as the show has started to, I don’t want to say become mainstream, I’d say the older that the show gets. I’ve seen the more people maybe not understand what it is. And I tell people right off the bat, that revision path is a design podcast granted, I do have developers on the show, I have had software engineers on the show. Just lately, like I was talking about the metaverse, like we have all kinds of people doing like crazy things on the show. But to me, it’s still all kind of boils down to design. And I tend to be very deliberate in who I choose, I’m deliberate about the frequency in terms of making sure I try to have pretty equal parody, I want to make sure underrepresented voices just in the black community are being showcased on the show. So I am very deliberate about who I reach out to who I want to have on the show why I want to have them on the show. So it may look easy, but there is a lot of thought and, and care that goes into it.
Marc Gutman 1:02:29
Yeah, and for those of you listening, it’s a it’s won several different awards. I do want to point out that in July of 2019, the Smith’s Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture acquired a selection of revision paths episodes for inclusion in their permanent archives. And it’s the first podcast to be added to the permanent collection. So what we’re talking about here is, is something of merit and significance. We’ll make sure to link to all the resources and contact information for revision path in the show notes. Burris. As we come to the end of our time here. I’d love for you to think back to that eight year old boy and sama who’s just kind of hanging out. What do you think he would say? If he saw you today?
Maurice Cherry 1:03:21
Oh, wow. I think if that eight year old boy saw me today, huh? He I think the first thing he will wonder about is my hair. Cuz I really kept my hair cut close. Probably until I got to college. I think. I think in college, I started like, growing it out. And I was still cut it but like I didn’t think to like keep it as a fro. So that might be the first thing. Um, I think he would be astonished by the possibilities that I’ve been able to kind of create just based off of talking to people. Like, I think anyone that does this sort of media type thing, whether they are a practicing designer, or whomever, like the benefit that you get from talking to so many people and learning so many different perspectives just changes you as a person with every conversation. I would like to think that young me would sort of think that’s pretty cool that I get to talk to people all the time and learn about the work that they do and showcase it. I think he would be surprised that I still can’t draw. That probably be the biggest thing he probably be surprised about that. But I still can draw and probably that I’m not writing as much as I used to. Um, back then it was a lot of writing. And so I think he’d be interested to know I still like video games. I tell him about the switch that would blow his mind.
It will be stuff like that. I think I mean, it’s it’s interesting how you know, even now I’m like, I just turned 40 this year and there’s still a lot of things about myself. That I feel like I’ve managed to still keep a very playful spirit, and still be able to kind of tap into the restorative power of play even into the work that I do. I mean, even like what I’m doing with creative strategy, it’s kind of playing at work a little bit like I get to really dive into myself and come up with, you know, inspiring things that we can do and like, fantastic campaigns that we can execute and stuff like that. And I get to work to make those things that I just thought of a reality. Like, that’s pretty cool. I don’t think that even was a possibility. Back then, in Jesus, I was eight in 1989. I wasn’t a possibility. I didn’t know about that. So I would be really excited to know that that’s an option that I could have as a career I can basically be like, a professional storyteller in a way.
Marc Gutman 1:05:59
And that is Maurice cherri, creative strategist, designer and host for the return path podcast. I could have chatted with Murray’s for hours. So make sure to check out his podcast and subscribe while you’re there. A big big thank you to Maurice cherry. We will link to all things Murray’s and revision path in the show notes. If you know of a guest who should appear on our show, please drop me a line at podcast that wild story calm. Our best guests like Murray’s come from referrals from past guests and her listeners. Well that’s the show. Until next time, make sure to visit our website www dot wildstorm comm where you can subscribe to the show in iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS so you’ll never miss an episode. A lot big stories and I cannot lie to you other storytellers can’t deny