My Vision

Social Change through Design.


St. John has limited resources, old mindsets, and a small town mentality.
That makes the people resourceful, full of experience, and dependable.
Every negative has a positive. Every problem has a solution. It has driven my curiosity and pushed me to many facets of my career. When I moved to NYC with a BFA in Photography, never did I think I would be a lighting technician on a Victoria Secret shoot or a Director of Photography and Editor for an art film with Tyra Banks. I did not know I would be an Art Director for an international company or the brand consultant for a major marina development in the Virgin Islands. Moreover, I never thought I would be in politics as the Communications Director for a senator.


The focus of my work has changed as I have grown. Though I still enjoy the occasional high concept art piece, my work has become more socially conscious, more pertinent to my community. I have focused on making positive impacts on the people around me. My education both in college and working has undoubtedly made me a better creative, but I feel that has reached a plateau, a barrier I continually strive to break. For this reason, I returned to Savannah College of Art and Design for a Masters of Arts in Design Management.

Solving problems keeps me hungry. When you live on a small island, and your home is decimated by two major hurricanes two weeks apart, troubleshooting is all you have. It can be fixing your generator, starting a fire, or finding the right picture and copy for the post of your Senator’s visit to the small island. They all have major consequences as well. Power to your refrigerator, the ability to cook food, and the appreciation of the community for their elected official.

I want to solve problems, socially relevant problems, for companies that make a difference in people’s lives. I want to be the driving force behind an organizations message and how communities feel about their missions. Even though I find myself working in that capacity already, I need more knowledge from industry leaders. I cannot grow here the way I wish to. It requires learning from people smarter than me and networking with those further along than me.


Cooper Penn
Design Thinker