I Wear Many Hats
Joe Chehock is a UX Product Designer living in Silicon Valley.
consultant, freelance, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley designer, 408, 415, 94111, interactive, branding, print, UI, UX, video, training, software, graphics, graphic design, photography, marketing, illustration, print, 3d, animation, Adobe, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, artist, designer, creative director, art director, instructional designer, trainer, teacher, instructor, curriculum developer, presentation designer, BFA
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I Wear Many Hats

A Case Study on Identity

I Wear Many Hats

The hats project is a personal case study on identity.

Our individuality is shaped by the broad strokes of experience.  A detailed canvas rich with layers of texture, tonal variation, shade, and lines of varying thickness.  With each new stroke, our personal story grows in definition, a constant evolution of unique characteristics. This organic body of work is a fluid blend of each moment, and never an absolute. It’s always growing and changing.

I see the world through a creative lens.  I’m passionate about art & design, human optimization, music, popular culture, fashion, creative spaces, and tech trends. I love pushing myself into difficult situations, and entering flow state on a kiteboard or pair of skis. I wear many hats – sometimes at the same time. 🙂

I started The Hats Project in 2010 when I was lecturing at Raffles Design Institute in Shanghai China.  I taught a design & subculture class to a mix of Chinese and international students. Throughout the term the idea of self identity was a strong theme. The definition of subculture in traditional Chinese culture was an odd subject for many of the students. Despite the size and diversity of Shanghai, the majority of the group hadn’t heard of subcultures found in the US, UK and Western Europe. We explored the definition of identity, and challenged each other to articulate the unique characteristics, patterns, and ideology that defines a subculture. Through symbolism and language, photography, film and music, our group defined what it meant to exist outside the mainstream bubble.  The course  became a means for students to explore their own personal identity, and define the social influences, both internal and external, that shaped their unique individuality.


The project grew from the ideas and conversations we explored in class. Questions around personal identity, musical tastes, fashion, ideologies, and cultural & societal connections. It became a photo log of the different influences that have defined my own identity – personal interests, themes, roles, and activities that have shaped me as a creative.


I’ve had many roles as a creative: from UX, UI, interaction, visual, branding, print, motion, video, and 3D animation, to management, lecturing, technology training, marketing, and biz dev.  As an educator I’ve authored design curriculum and courseware used at over 60 college campuses, and lectured on design topics throughout the US and China.

It is necessary to any originality to have the courage to be an amateur. - Wallace Stevens