What’s that noise coming from the Red House? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!

Inventionland Designer Karl is fairly new at Inventionland as he began his time here in September of this year. As a designer, he spends his days working away in the Red House.

Before he was a Creationeer at Inventionland, he grew up in Cleveland where he did graphic design at a print shop.

After leaving Cleveland, Karl made his way to Pittsburgh to follow his creative spirit and study at the Art Institute, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts & Animation.

Though that’s the CliffsNotes version of his story, his journey ultimately led him to our invention factory where he seems to be fitting in just fine!

“I’ve definitely been enjoying it so far,” he said. “Every day is kind of different. Plus, I have the coolest manager,” said Karl in reference to Creative Director of Design Tim.

O'Janpa - Red House

So what keeps him motivated to design products in the Red House? The answer is simple; he loves a good challenge and that’s what keeps him going.

“I’m really challenged here, but the challenge is good. [I am] pushed to be better,” he said.

From that, it sounds like his team here inside and outside of the Red House at Inventionland act as a huge motivational factor for Karl.

Whether it’s a project for work or a personal project, he says he is always excited to share the finished piece.

“I really like seeing when [someone] is really happy with the finished piece,” said Karl, who further noted that he finds it inspiring “when I make someone’s day and have a positive influence on them.”

Work isn’t his only motivator. His other source of motivation comes from music!

“It definitely gets me through the day,” said OKarl. “Working on graphics and computers for hours – it definitely gets me through that.”

His go-to music is always New Order. One of his favorite tunes? This one:

Sometimes you might even find him playing a tune on the piano at Inventionland.

Music is his motivator in all aspects of his life – even in his personal life, too. Not only is he a talented designer, but he’s also a music composer of sorts.

“I just became obsessed with music at about age 13. I learned how to play the drums, guitar, bass, piano, triangle, clarinet, and just started learning the saxophone about a year ago,” he said.

His specialty you might ask?

 O'Janpa - Hand Built Synthesizer - Red HouseO'Janpa - Synthesizer - Red House

“I build synthesizers. I play them. I design them. I started like 10 years ago and sort of gradually learned it over time. I decided ‘this doesn’t do what I want it to do, so I will make one that does.’ Especially when writing a song, I wanted a big ‘whoosh! blop! bleep!’, so I figured out how to [make those types of sounds] myself,” said Karl.

His work with synthesizers led him to be signed to a record label by 30th Floor Records of the United Kingdom about a year ago.

 O'Janpa - Brillobox - Red House

“They signed me for all my music mainly,” said Karl, but the record label then approached him about his artwork with plans for Karl to create album covers for them.

In his music and his design work with the album covers, “A big thing that inspires me is nostalgia and connecting with people; bringing them back to a simpler time. I do that with my music and art and everything,” he said.

 O'Janpa - Synth - Red House

You’ll see that reflected in his works.

Here’s a look at an album cover he designed for a compilation of his – a compilation of all the music from “Mortal Kombat.”

 O'Janpa - Mortal Kombat - Red House

“It brings in that nostalgia. When I play video games; and back to when I was a kid riding my bike…” said Karl.

His next compilation is music featured from the movie “Die Hard.”

With his design talents, he also recently started doing 8-bit portraits.

“I was making my own retro video game at the time and I realized I could just quickly do portraits of people. It’s pretty fun. I like how simplistic it is, but still gets the point across,” he said.

 O'Janpa - 8Bit - Red House

That’s just a bit (or 8) about our Designer Karl.  Keep checking back to the blog for more designer insights and inspiration from Inventionland!

Copyright Inventionland, 2015