Under the Radar: Brad Woodard

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Today I volunteered at/attended the AIGA Brad Woodard talk. I’ve been following his work for years (and forgot he was involved with this great brush pack that I own). He was a very funny and humble guy, and as a result he gave a great talk. Apparently he moved to Austin a couple years back.

Also, this is the first time we had to start turning people away; Lewis Carnegie was absolutely packed!

Volunteering @ AIGA: The Consult

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I volunteered yesterday at a portfolio advising event hosted at St. Edwards University. I basically was an assistant advisor to Will Chau, someone I’ve looked up to in the Austin design/advertising community.

After a panel discussion, the students were split into small groups with a panelist, and we discussed big ideas and the type of work that should go into a portfolio. Will has a advertising background, so I tried to provide a more generalist point of view (which is basically my career so far).

I admired the students that were at this event. I definitely would have got to an event like this when I was in school. I also learned a few things myself.

Design Ranch 2015 – Photo Recap

This will likely remain a mostly picture post. I had a grand ol’ time at Design Ranch.

Hokey highlights included meeting the incredible Aaron Draplin, meeting up with old colleagues and former classmates, late nights under the Texas stars, meeting and befriending the lovely Equinox design team from New York City, delicious (delicious) food, and rekindling my love of traditional and hand-made work.

I heard a rumor that the next Design Ranch may be in 2016. Hopefully I can make it again at some point!

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Under The Radar: Trina Bentley

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Tonight was the fifth Under The Radar talk with AIGA Austin, with Trina Bentley of her own Make & Matter (also check out her great blog here). She a local designer who does fantastic, very clean package design.

She’s one of those people who’s funny without even trying, so her talk was educational, inspirational, and amusing. And she was a delight in person after the talk. If you’re local and haven’t made it to one of these Under the Radar talks, I highly recommend it!

AIGA: “Finding Work” Panel

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Tonight, AIGA hosted a small panel (that’s a part of a series) above the Royal Blue Grocery on Congress called “Finding Work.” It was a great networking opportunity, and I met some great people. Thanks to Eli Perez for the heads up about the event!

Some good advice that I heard tonight (some of which I have heard before):

– “Stalk” Junior Designers at places that have been hiring to see the kind of work they’re looking for
– Someone looking at your book would rather see 5 “blown out” campaigns, rather than many smaller projects
– Write your cover letter, then reduce it by half. Say more with less words.
– If you are unhappy at your current job, a good way of being gracious about it at an interview is turning it into a positive: “It’s been an adventure, and I’m ready for the next one.” (to paraphrase Scott McAfee)

AIGA: 2012 Obama Campaign App Talk

This is the kind of thing I love Facebook for. I checked FaceBook during my lunch hour at work, and saw that a friend posted that they had two tickets to the “Obama Mobile Design and Strategy” AIGA event. I PMed them, and voila, I got to go after work. Thanks Khristine/Oen!

I also got to see who else I might have known that was going to be there. Yeah, it’s a little creepy-creeper, but still handy! I met up with a former classmate that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

So Thirteen23 is a local interactive design studio on Congress downtown. They got tapped by Obama’s people to create the 2012 campaign app, since they’ve done great work before with organizations like LiveStrong and Netflix (my favorite is that Austin Food Trucks one).

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After the fairly short talk (done by Creative Director Ryan Hovenweep), they allowed questions. I asked if they were aware at all of the small backlash against the president and his openness to new technologies like social media (he was the first to have a Twitter and Tumblr, not to mention the hour stint he did on Reddit not too long ago). Some people think he’s only doing it for the “cool” factor, the youth vote (which may very well be true). And if they were aware of this backlash, if this is something they kept in mind during development.

And since I can’t keep my mouth shut, I also asked how they juggled clients during this time, since they had such a quick turn around (two months in development, after months of discussion). They also weren’t allowed to announce (or tell ANYONE) that they were the firm that was working on the app. He said they split the house into two teams… and didn’t sleep much.

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I went up to personally introduce myself (and to apologize in case my first question came across the wrong way). Ryan was extremely friendly, and gave me an invite to their SXSW party that’s next week! I’ll be sure to go.

FYI: They’re currently looking for a mobile developer and a designer!