KDU, The Keystone Design Union, is the world’s largest private creative collective. The collective currently has over 500 members worldwide, and they have developed their network into a proven talent-aggregate. Recently, Aerosyn-Lex, along with his partner David Gensler, has been formally focused on the consulting division of The KDU, offering the business and design acumen of their core studio team.Aerosyn-Lex says, “I think key to our studio’s creative philosophy is the idea of collaboration and network – we view them as facilitators and fertile grounds for creative synergies.” And on the topic of collaboration, he shares: “Collaboration has become a key point for my creative process, especially in recent years with me being at the core of The KDU. I think being in this constant dialogue with so many talented and driven individuals not only hones one’s own skill, but also allows for those creative synergies to spontaneously occur, and in turn, create something completely unique.”
After studying communications and fashion design at Pratt, Aerosyn-Lex left New York to live, study and work in Tokyo. “Whilst there I focused heavily on calligraphic studies as well as immersing myself in Japanese aesthetics, and I believe that’s something which has greatly informed my work and creative approach.” Aerosyn-Lex then began working as a designer and typographer, and has been fortunate to have been able to apply these skills across a variety of mediums. Among his many projects, he is the creative director of URB Magazine, a seventeen-year-old major American music magazine with a focus on emerging artists and cultures.
And, along with his partner David Gensler, Aerosyn-Lex also designs and directs for the fashion brand Serum Versus Venom, which has been in the public eye for a few years now. “I feel that fashion has always been a key form of expression for me,” he says. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to the current dialogue taking place in modern fashion by designing and directing for our line.” In discussing their branding strategy, Aerosyn-Lex says, “We inherently focus on the need for a brand to develop its own narrative in order for it to resonate with today’s often jaded consumer. Of ultimate concern to us is that we make decisions based on long-term trajectories. We want to grow a brand that will be there long after we’ve faded into the ether – we’ll be a part of a story which will be told by our children and their children; or at least that is what one hopes.”
It’s an ambitious story, but Aerosyn-Lex is clearly on the right track. So what is his unique formula for managing his time in order to get his best work done? Aerosyn-Lex offers the following bits of wisdom:
- “I keep mental track of all my to do’s. I find that when list-making or calendar keeping, I usually fall victim to my designer-side and end up focusing more on making a typographically pleasing list – or cool color-coded calendar rather than just using it to keep me on task – so I stick to a mental picture of what I need to get done – and simply self impose deadlines.
- “I also use communication with others as a way to create urgency and accountability. That is to say, by telling a friend that I’m in the process of creating something or completing a project, I then have to finish it because I feel as if someone is expecting to see it. Minor, I know – but it does work.”
- “I think, like many creatives, I function best when under the proverbial gun. That is to say, pressure produces diamonds and I feel that I usually do my best work when the stakes are high and the 11th hour has come and gone. It’s a hard fact to admit, because it’s oftentimes a hash reality to deal with (sleepless night after night), but I’ve been able to offset that need for pressure by creating a self-imposed sense of urgency.”
- “I think after some time at the helm of a studio, one learns to not be so precious with one’s work. It becomes a conversation, a dialogue which is meant to be rebutted and reiterated.”
- “A key to our studio’s success has been the global nature of our network and the speed with which we are able to explore and execute solutions en masse. I think it’s the speed and agility of our network that’s allowed us to create the kinds of projects that we have with such a focused core team.”
“It has become an act of filtration, rather than consumption,” Aerosyn-Lex says about finding inspiration today. “I often think of myself of having to act as a conduit of creativity; it’s as if the intent to create constantly exists – and by being hyper aware I’m able to make sense of how best to resolve that intent.”By following his own advice, Aerosyn-Lex hopes that his work will come full circle. “I hope that as I continue to work and create that I’ll be able to see my life through my works and in turn see my works in the lives of others.”