The Conscious Creative

Host: Esther Sunghee Byun RGD

Moderator: Rupsha Mutsuddi Prov RGD


Book Club Recap

The virtual RGD Book Club had its third meeting in May, which highlighted the book of the month, The Conscious Creative: Practical Ethics for Purposeful Work by Kelly Small RGD, an actionable guide that shares mindfulness and practical ethics for any creative professional who wants to make a living without selling their soul.


Our author's discussion with Kelly was insightful, as they mentioned that it can be difficult to live according to our values in a complicated world. As most of us know, we are currently in a time where capitalism seems most unforgiving but the need for paying work remains high, especially with freelancing on the rise. Our Book Club members all shared how it is important to learn how designers can be more mindful and intentional about our impact, whether that’s personal, social, economic, and/or environmental.


As designers, we can all admit that we have complicity in problematic systems and encourage each other to take on the responsibility of letting our own conscience guide our decisions.


About the Author

Kelly Small (they/them) is an award-winning creative director, designer, educator, and author of bestselling The Conscious Creative: Practical Ethics for Purposeful Work. Kelly’s career is driven by the pursuit of practical action toward ethical, inclusive, and sustainable futures. 

Founder of creative agency Intents & Purposes, professor of design ethics with the School of Design at George Brown, and affiliated design researcher with Emily Carr University, Kelly holds an interdisciplinary master’s in design and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for their research into social impact, social innovation, sustainability and the ethics of commercial creative practice. 

Kelly is currently authoring a book about practical ethics for a youth audience and serving on the board of directors for The ArQuives, among the largest 2SLGBTQ+ archives in the world.