Friday Fives: Kristel Brinshot

September 13, 2019

Every Friday we give #highfives to a different designer from our extended family of PNCA students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturers. 🙌🏾🙌🏻🙌🏽 We ask them five questions. They send us five images.

Kristel Brinshot is a multi-hyphenate-renaissance woman: a multimedia artist, director, and creative entrepreneur. She thrives looking towards the future, in subcultures of art, tech, food, fashion, wellness, and VR/AR, mashing it all together to build identities, communities, and moments that transport you out of your comfort zone.

Kristel's collaborations include projects with Adult Swim, MTV, Toyota, Snap Inc, Bjork, Samsung, and Super Deluxe; and her latest initiative is building a brand with her sister dedicated to the advancement of creative women’s entrepreneurship called Hey Sis World.

Kristel is with us to kick off our Design Lecture Series on September 19 at 7:00 pm, and we could not be more excited.

Q: How do you want to shape design?

A: I always want to extract ideas, break them completely to shreds, and build them back up only when they are ready to stand for something meaningful to the everyday person.

[Ed. note: DEFNITELY go check out Kristel's collaboration with Alpine Decline, Dispatch from the Guest House. Still image below.]

Q: What feels vital to the future of design, to you?

A: [Two things.]

  1. Seeing more brown women like me creating content from intense, wildly diverse multicultural points of view. Our culture likes to think it doesn't care about visual language, but our digital life online and on our phones says otherwise. The diversity of people creating what we see everyday on our screens is so important—THAT is what will build much more compelling, emotional relationships with technology that change everyday people's lives.
  2. MORE WOKE WOMXN-FOUNDED STUDIOS that lead with empathy, not fear.

There is so much power in knowing your self worth is not your work. Once you know this, no matter how many times you fall, you are unstoppable.

Kristel Brinshot

Q: What advice would you give your former self?

A: Failure is just here to redirect you to where you are really meant to go. So, ugly cry in your car, get really messy, and go fuck it up BIG.

Q: Is there anything you wish you had known just starting out, that you know now?

A: I wish I had known my worth as a young artist. Women like me in this industry struggle to hodgepodge our way up to success by taking jobs that don't pay us well, sticking around in toxic workplaces being promised opportunities if we only "do better." The truth is, we are always doing the best we can, at any given time. There is so much power in knowing your self worth is not your work. Once you know this, no matter how many times you fall, you are unstoppable.

(Above: first image via @heysisworld on instagram featuring @vivianesassenstudio, second image via @kriztonian)

Q: What question do you WISH you had been asked here? (We will ask the next person! And you can answer it too!)

A: Why do you do what you do? I do it because it not only allows me to truly be the best expression of who I am, I [also] get to motivate other people like me to just take the plunge and DO IT (whatever that “IT” is).

* * * * *

See more of more of Kristel’s work at and on instagram @kriztonian and Better yet, come see her talk at PNCA on 9/19 at 7pm.

Follow along with our #fridayfives on instagram @pncadesign.