As I sit here writing, my foot tapping, listening to a pretty appropriate song, (Pharrell’s Happy), I am still, a month later, overwhelmed by everything I learned at the AIGA conference.
“Because I’m happy…” is among one of the many things that I brought back from NOLA. Happy, organized, chaos was everywhere. I didn’t realize that I would describe it like that until this moment.
Being in a room of 1000+ people who all share a common interest is quite remarkable. I was introduced to designers I was unfamiliar with as well as those I had idolized in college. It was a perfect little dream. I was surrounded by both new and seasoned designers, leaders in AIGA and some non-designers who were there to learn and connect with their colleagues.
It truly is an experience that every designer should take advantage of. We went from hot pink cardboard monster trucks on day one, to the idea of a museum of awe and wonderment on day two, to being inspired by a designer who lost his ability to design and completed the Camino de Santiago on day 3.
Below are top ten highlights and takeaways I wanted to share from my few days in New Orleans:
1. Having a star struck moment on stage with Roman Mars, Michael Beirut, Ellen Lupton, Ric Grefe, and Nelly Ben Hanyoun.
2. Engaging in conversation with Jessica Helfand at a roundtable discussion. Her advice and stories were great.
3. Storytelling is essential as are good presentation skills.
4. Never stop learning. Not just in design, but in all facets of life.
5. Failure is a necessary and an integral part to growing as a designer.