This past winter/spring season I made good on my New Year’s Resolution to get out and be more involved in the local design community once again. One cannot live and work in a vacuum, and Chicago has a great community: due to it’s large size, there are always events or show openings going on. By far the best event, or rather program, I have discovered so far is AIGA Chicago’s Mentorship program.
The Summer Interview Series continues this week with Mig Reyes, a designer and self-proclaimed cookie eater from Chicago. He’s now two years out of college, and has already worked at some amazing design studios such as Rule29 and Segura, Inc. After a stint at an ad agency, he realized that just wasn’t for him. Now he has found a home “within the confines of awesome,” creating for the web at the best t-shirt company in the worldâ€”Threadless.
Humble Pied is such a great resource for students and young professionals…but…why Pie? With you being such a cookie man, why not, say, Smart Cookie?
I’m definitely into cookies, but Humble Pied wasn’t so much a kitschy name as it is an actual reference to a slang term for humility. As young designers, it’s easy to caught up in our early successes and build an ego. To eat the humble pie is to be taught humility, something I think every growing designer needs to practice more. With Humble Pied, I wanted to curate and archive bits of honest advice that will ultimately help inspire and nurture fledgling creative types.
The Show and Tell Show is a great (free!) program for Chicago designers. Everyone has a favorite show and tell experience as a kid: what’s yours?
Without a doubt, I was (probably still am) a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. I went home with a fairly good report card, so parents got me the Technodrome. My mind was blown: it was the coolest playset on the marketâ€”I had to show everyone. Fast forward to now: it was a huge honor to be a guest on Mike and Zach’s Show and Tell Show, sharing my early experiences with Threadless and a passion project I had in the works. Keep a look out, though. I may or may not be playing a role in The Show ‘n Tell Show now, and I hear there’s some exciting things planned for it!
Merge, AIGA Chicago Mentorship program, AIGA Social Media Liaison…I’m sensing a theme here. Share your thoughts on the importance of making connections and how social media is affecting our profession.
I credit most of my success in my career to the mentors and peers I’ve met along the way. That being said, I also disagree with the way people consider traditional “networking.” I once wrote about how I felt about it, and presented this idea at the HOW Conference. Simply put, networking is bullshit. I always sought to make friends and build relationships, not add contacts and swap business cards. Bevel-Emboss and Merge were events setup to help people meet people who are passionate. I’m involved in Dawn Hancock’s AIGA Mentorship program to pay my experiences forward.
For those of us that missed the HOW Conference this year, give us 3 things (either from your presentation or others) that everyone should know.
The general vibe I got from this year’s (really great) HOW Design Conference in Denver was that you need to capitalize on your passions and do what makes you happy now, not later. Mike Perry offered to everyone that you need to just “Make Stuff.” In my presentation, I touched on how inspiration is temporary, so when you have the itch to pursue a potentially great ideaâ€”do it! I could pitch to you this idea I have for a “place to store a bunch of video interviews,” or I could actually act on the idea and make something like Humble Pied. People talk about real projects and things that are tangible. A designer I met out there, Laura Sanders, also doodled some notes from my presentation.
You love to experiment with type: what are you working on now?
I’m actually still experimenting with bringing proper typography to the web. I relish moments when I can figure out hanging punctuation or small caps on the web. I also have a few experiments that I plan on turning into a series, like the illustrated Lego typography and the Google Maps typography.
All images Â© Mig Reyes
A couple weeks ago, Jason Schwartz challenged me to do A Project A Week (APAW): something that I have since included in my Design Resolutions for the year. The past two weeks have been spent finishing up projects that were already in progress. This week, I hope to start working on some new work.
Week 1: Prost! Tea Towel
Week 1 was spent finishing up the embroidery work on the third tea towel in my series (see the first two here). I still need to iron it after washing before I can take better photos, but thought that I would go ahead and share the sneak peek photo. I feel like this pattern allowed me to experiment a bit more with various satin stitches. Note the Prussian Blue? I tried to make the blue/creme motif match the colors on a Meissen vase I bought during my first trip to Germany.
Week 2: Behance Page
This past week I worked on slowly migrating my AIGA portfolio over to Behance. I must say that I’m rather impressed with all of the customization options that Behance offers. I’m not quite finished uploading everything, but will slowly make more projects public as I finish the descriptions. You can view my page either by clicking on the badge to the right or by going here. Any one else on Behance? I haven’t had time to look around for other people…
What’s Next for APAW?
This week I plan on creating some goodies to share: watch for them to be posted this coming weekend.
Well, I officially handed over the reigns of Social Networking Chair to the Kansas City AIGA chapter last week. On one hand, I am really going to miss it: it’s been a great year of learning, meeting people, and getting involved. Through my tenure, I am very proud to say that AIGA KC has been looked to by other AIGA chapters as the standard of how to do social networking “right.” I met so many wonderful people both through the Kansas City board and across the country through our outreach efforts. So a huge thanks to everyone involved: you made it a wonderful experience!
On the other hand, it has been an incredibly busy time the past couple of months as I tried to juggle my Chair duties with preparing for a cross-country move, looking for a job, and getting adjusted to a new city. So that said, I fully intend to spend all of my new-found “free-time” to focus my efforts here and on my twitter feed. While I will continue to update both with inspiration and personal news, I also plan on incorporating some features I used to post on @aigakc and the KC Discussions blog: most importantly, links to other designers I find inspiring and guest posts/interviews such as my most recent one with Jason Schwartz. So get excited, because big things are ahead!
Well, I have made it back from sunny California! What a great vacation: time with the family, first time seeing the ocean, and even a trip to Disneyland (of course). So now that all of the summer excitement is behind me, I am hard at work getting back into the groove of things. I am slowly but surely working my way through responding to people’s emails, phonecalls, letters, packages, twitter mentions, and facebook messages. So if you haven’t heard from me, I’m bound to get back to you sooner or later this week! Aside from that, I have been dreadfully neglecting updating all 3 blogs (and both twitter accounts), but fear not! I have some excellent interviews planned as well as some updates to my flickr feed, etc. that should be popping up over the next couple of weeks. (All of this in addition to client projects, apartment hunting, and tying up loose ends…eep!)
Yesterday, Lindsay Laricks announced that her Fresher Than Fresh Snowcones is featured in the current issue of Food Network Magazine, and I am pleased to announce that my photograph of Lindsay and her FTF stand is accompanying the article. I was thrilled when Food Network Mag approached me for the use of the photo (see below) back in February, and have been dying to share the news ever since. (You might remember the photo from AIGAKC’s Homegrown with Hammerpress/Design Ranch flickr set.) I haven’t seen the article yet myself, but can’t wait to do so. Congrats to Lindsay on the publicity! You can friend/follow FTF on twitter and Facebook to find out where she’ll be this summer with her all-natural snowcones.
Well, I feel horrible for neglecting my blogs of late: both here and my entries over at Stickers and Donuts. (Sorry, Maria!!) To tell you the truth, between blogging, starting a personal twitter, and keeping up AIGA KC’s twitter, Facebook, and Linked-In pages, I’ve just gotten a bit overwhelmed on the social media front. So this past week I (inadvertently) cut back, but I think I’m getting back into the swing of things.
On the whole, this was for a good cause. I spent the better part of the last month gearing up for the Grand Re-Launch of a new blog series on AIGA KC’s blog. Last week I launched it with a tour of our national offices: AIGA’s National Design Center in New York City. While job-hunting there last month, I was able to set up a tour with George Fernandez who is in charge of Membership. I was also able to meet both Jennifer Bender (who heads up the Social Networking Task-Force that I am a part of) and Lydia Mann for a lunch to discuss social media tactics for AIGA. This week’s post in the Series (I’ve yet to come up with a good name…) is an interview with Michael Bierut of Pentagram. Head over there and check it out. Next week, I’ll be posting Part One of my interview with Brand New‘s Armin Vit of UnderConsideration. We had an excellent chat during my trip to NYC: so much so, that I’ll have at least two posts out of our discussion once I’ve finished transcribing it.
So I thought about waiting until Wednesday’s Weekly Reader to post a link to this new series, but then I realized that I’m excited enough about this to warrant posting tonight. My good friend, Linden, just posted the first in a series of four posts on how to use Twitter in conjunction with Sarah of SarahJoAustin.com.
About a month ago when I was learning how to tweet for our AIGA KC twitter account, Linden taught me everything I now know on the subject.While helping me get set up, she realized that there really isn’t a good guide to Twitter for anyone who’s never experimented with it before. Her and Sarah (also of @tweeples_guide fame) started working on this series, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting its publishing ever since. The first post covers Twitter basics, but the next posts promise to cover advanced functions, web apps, etc. So take a look and please share with anyone else you know who has no clue what Twitter is or how to use it!
In totally unrelated news, I just got back from my quick jaunt to New York and am working on several blog posts for here, S&D, and a grand unveiling of AIGA KC’s blog: more news coming soon!
I actually haven’t seen a lot in my feed-reader that I’ve been wanting to share lately. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to announce that I am now tweeting: you can follow me @LorraR. In honor of the occasion, I thought I’d share a few twitter-related links that I’ve been enjoying over the past month.
Who To Follow
- @aigakc â€” I’m a little biased, as this is the other account I tweet under. You may recall my announcement last month that our local AIGA chapter has a twitter account. As Social Networking Chair, I keep our twitter feed abuzz with industry news, local events, and AIGA information.
- @tweeples_guide â€” Sarah Jo Austin gives tips, hints, and links to help you become a better twitterer. I’m really excited for her and Linden (@xgravity23) to release their top-secret-twitter-related project. More details on that when it happens. 😉
- @KrisColvin â€” I’ve really enjoyed reading Kris’ tweets on everything from Design/Web-design to American Idol. She’s also been a great help in getting my background up (along with @DustinTigner: thanks guys! Now to finally update @aigakc’s background…)
- @ilovetypography â€” If you love Johno’s blog, then you’ll love his twitter updates.
Tools to Use
- HootSuite â€” This little app does it all! Schedule tweets, manage multiple accounts, track click-throughs on links you post, search/retweet/reply/etc. Hootsuite seriously keeps @aigakc running, or I probably would have given up on twitter a month ago.
- Twitterfon â€” This iPhone app keeps me tweeting on the go since I’ve put it on m iPod. I love that it highlight unread messages: there’s no way I’d scroll through them on-line. I think I’ve outgrown it though because I need to be able to handle multiple accounts: ready to try Tweetie.
Twitter Articles to Read
- TwiTip â€” Linden sent me here when I first started twittering, and it’s got a wealth of information: from how to use hash tags to etiquette to tweeting on behalf of a company.
- 3 Must-Have Tools for Multiple-Account Management â€” Sarah has a great article about the web apps she uses to manage her multiple accounts.
- Twitter and the Law of Reciprocity â€” On her new blog, Twitterface, Kris breaks down the twitter popularity contest and explains how the Golden Rule applies to social media marketing.
I just blogged today on S&D about all the things you can do while being unemployed. (Because without a job, there’s just tons of freetime…that’s a joke, son, a joke!) But seriously, building onto the Passions posts, unemployment is a great time to pick up some new hobbies/skills. These were just a few of the ones I thought others might enjoy. While twittering for AIGA the other day, I also found a great article by Kevin Fullerton of Springboard Creative: Take the Long View on Your Job Search has some great tips for job hunting in this economy.