1. What inspired you to become a mentor for the Flag 2021 competition?
I find the idea/notion of a flag to be amazing and I was intrigued by the idea of working with a student designer in the efforts of creating a wide-reaching visual identity piece for the face of Cook county.
2. Through this experience what did you learn from your student, and what did you hope to impart upon your student?
I hope that the student I worked with learned about the since of accomplishment that comes from having a goal and then being willing to revise, rework, and reimagine your tasks so that a goal may be achieved. During the process I had to learn how much of myself to offer and how much to scale back, as my student had a large amount of respect for my practice as an artist, but it was important for me and for the project that we created the students’ design.
3. Tell us about a favorite memory you have working with your student(s).
There isn’t simply one favorite memory. But I will say that the back and forth was fun as I was able to watch the student grow more confident each week as we reworked the in-progress version of the design. As an artist and an instructor, I have a pure enjoyment in watching students learn to be confident in their work.
How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about? (2-3 sentences) As a whole, the flag is representative of Cook County, the place I’ve lived for the past 15 years of my life. Individually, each part of the flag represents some important part of Cook County; whether it be the blue representative of the police force, Lake Michigan, and sky or the white representing the snow and rivers of Cook County. One element in particular that I really like is the star in the middle, a homage to the iconic star on the Chicago flag.
Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition? (2 sentences)| A teacher that taught my friends (Om and Jaylen) posted about this competition, and they in turn let me know about it. As someone who has long been interested in graphic design, I was excited to hear about such a unique and rare opportunity so I drafted and submitted a design.
What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you? (1 sentence) Reading the “Cook County By The Numbers” page helped me learn a lot of surprising facts about Cook County. For example, I was surprised to learn that 1.5 million people received care at Cook County hospitals and there are 9 total regions of the Cook County Forest Preserves.
Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s). (3-5 sentences) Working with my mentor, Denny, was very fun and insightful. His feedback improved by design a great deal from what I started with. In one meeting, we were going over alternate colors and I was blown away with how much better the flag looked after a color change suggestion from Denny. Overall, it was a great experience and I hope to maintain a connection with him even after this competition.
My flag is named “Harmony” because it is a symbol of peace and unity. The top of the flag is blue to represent the dedicated Cook County police force, our clear blue skies, and Lake Michigan.
The bottom half of the flag is colored green to represent Cook County’s forest preserves. The white line in the middle represents the 13 rivers of Cook County and doubles as a tribute to our cold winters filled with snow.
The semi-circles in the inner middle are the initials of Daniel Cook, the founder of cook county, (Cook, Daniel: C,D). The semi-circles come together to suggest the shape of a “C” for “Cook County”. The Y formed by the white lines creates the silhouette of the Chicago rivers meeting.
In the middle, lies a 9-pointed star, to represent the 9 regions of the Cook County Forest Preserves. The star is colored orange-red and sampled from the lettering on the current flag.