I love hands-on creative projects. 

When I’m not teaching, writing, or doing design work for clients, I love creating beautiful things. Whether it’s making seed bead earrings, painting murals, photographing vernacular typography on my travels, or creating composite images, you can usually find me involved in some kind of creative project in my free time. Check out a few of my recent projects below.

Crochet project, 2022
Mural creation, 2021

Recent Projects

Here + There Composites

Here + There
Composite photography, 2021

Seed Bead Earrings

Seed Bead earrings, 2024

Vernacular Typography

Typographic exploration, 2022

Here + There Composite Photography

Exploring the Space Between Two Places through Photo Montage

In January 2021, I started a personal project called Here + There. For this project, I used composite photography to explore themes of identity and place in my own life. Each composite photo combined images from at least two places that I had lived. My initial focus was on scenes from Southeast Asia and Virginia (my two most recent places of residence). I posted these images to my Instagram account, @ekvernen, using the #herethereimage hashtag. 

As I continued experimenting with these images, I decided that it might be interesting to expand this idea into a workshop for local students from refugee or immigrant backgrounds. The Here + There (CWS) workshop, Here + There (Skyline) workshop and Dreams Unfolding workshop are the result of these further explorations.

Siem Reap, Cambodia; Lyndhurst, Virginia
Halong Bay, Vietnam; Blue Ridge Parkway & Harrisonburg, Virginia
Hanoi, Vietnam; Chimney Rocks, Virginia
Hanoi, Vietnam; Harrisonburg, Virginia

Seed Bead Earrings

In 2024 I started making and selling seed bead earrings locally in Harrisonburg, Virginia. You can see the variety of patterns I’ve created on my Instagram account, @ekvernen. Commissions are available upon request!

Vernacular Typography

Documenting Hanoi’s Vernacular Typography through Photography

I lived in Hanoi from 2016–2020, and in this time the urban landscape drastically changed, as much of the city’s vernacular signage was taken over by a bland and uniform version of corporate advertising. During this time, I began to document some of Hanoi’s distinctive hand-lettered signs and typography on my Instagram account @ekvernen. Check out my images using the #hanoitype hashtag and enjoy experiencing some of the authentic local typographic flavor of Hanoi.

Fint out more—watch my typewknd 2021 presentation about this project!