GM Designer Talks Economy, Creative Interiors

First black woman in her post stresses forward thinking

That helps us establish our top priorities and makes our choices clear. For example, we want to add as many wow factors for the customer as we can. We know the primary space is the front occupant area, so that’s where we want to make the most impact.

As the first African American female director of design at GM, what have been some of the challenges you’ve faced?

Staying fresh and creative — that’s my challenge as a designer and an artist. Every artist will experience peaks and valleys– it’s natural. As long as you’re challenging yourself to stay fresh and creative, to be on your game – that is my best advice for aspiring designers.

Also, as an artist – especially in industrial design – you are always faced with comments, constructive criticism, viewpoints. You need to know how to filter good feedback and understand exactly what you need to hear to improve your work and your team’s work. I also really try hard to balance and leverage support – but above all keep an open mind. I’d say that’s what keeps me moving up.

How important is mentorship and are you involved in mentoring?

I am involved in mentoring and coaching. I cannot stress enough how important mentoring is. It gives you different perspective on how you are delivering your designs and overall presence. Particularly, if you are working in a business environment, you have to be aware that it’s first and foremost a business, and design is a piece of it.  Your overall presence and how you can communicate your design or your demeanor has an effect on the end decision. I am driven to mentor because I want to stay connect to young designers new to the industry.

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