Kristin Fowler and Jayne Worth are our new Co-Directors of Emerging Designer programming. They serve as advocates for design students, design graduates, and design professionals in the first three years of their career. They will be resources for Emerging Designers and be your connection to the design community and the AIGA Raleigh Board. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet our new Emerging Designers Co-Directors, we’d like to introduce you to them with a little Q & A session.
Where did you study design?
KF: I completed my undergrad at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC where I graduated with a BA in Graphic Design in May of 2011. I’m planning to continue my study in design through graduate school in the near future.
JW: I received my a Bachelors of the Arts in Design from Meredith College, in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2011.
How did you get interested in design, and what led you to your area of specialization?
KF: I’ve always been visually intrigued by design – whether it be in packages, print or on the web. However, I’d always just stuck to strictly studio art until college. I took a leap of faith, trusted my intrigue and was exposed to design programs where graphic design is what I fell in love with. Design, for me, is the perfect combination of art and communication as well as having the ability to interact with people on a daily basis. I love print design, but I’m extremely interested in web design and social media. I’m continuing to learn and that’s the best part about design for me…it’s ever-changing.
JW: I have always been drawn to the arts, ever since I was a child, and I’ve always been a very extroverted and people oriented person, so after some high school graphics classes and years of wondering around various creative areas, I realized that the design field and I were destined to be.
What did you wish you had learned or been more prepared for prior to entering the job market?
KF: I wish I had known more about how to prepare myself as a freelance designer. As an emerging designer, I think understanding the concepts of business practices, how much to charge clients, and the logistics behind freelance would have been extremely beneficial. I also believe it would have been helpful to have more information about the process of applying for design jobs such as how to write a design cover letter, catering your resume for design jobs (what’s most important for them to know) and how employers want designers to showcase their portfolio.
JW: As an emerging designer myself, just entering the work force, there are a lot of tasks and professional goals that I wish to conquer, but it would have been most helpful to have known more about web design/development prior to graduating.
Where do you work?
KF: I work at Meridian Zero Degrees, which is headquartered in Aberdeen NC. However, I work in their Morrisville office as their Web Designer. Even though my main responsibility is Web, I spend time designing print materials as well as promoting through social media.
JW: I hope to learn more in my current position practicing Graphic Design & Marketing at Meridian Zero Degrees, a design and technology company which specializes in self-service solutions.
What is your overriding professional goal?
KF: My continuous professional goal is to expose myself to multiple areas of design, to expand my knowledge of culture and design, to network and meet other creatives and overall to do everything I can to be the best designer I can be.
JW: One of my main overriding professional goals is to find new ways to integrate fine art and hand work with digital work.
Why did you join AIGA?
KF: I joined AIGA because of the impact that it had on me throughout my College career. I noticed how important being involved and networking meant when I began to look for a job. As Meredith’s AIGA Student Group President, my senior year, I really began to see how much AIGA strived for student designer’s success and I wanted to be right in the middle of it. When you truly get involved with AIGA it opens up opportunities to learn like you’d never believe. I was exposed to online resources, job postings, events where I was able to network with design professionals and educators. I gained so much experience from my conversations with others, and attending the events. However, AIGA changed my life when I went from being Meredith’s AIGA Student Group President, to AIGA Raleigh’s Co-Director of Emerging Designer programming. This opportunity developed solely from my active involvement in AIGA events while I was at Meredith. I’m now able to reflect back on my career as a design student and develop AIGA Raleigh events and programming that help students as well as graduates, like myself. I couldn’t be happier that I joined and will continue to promote AIGA to all designers that I know!
JW: I’ve been a member of AIGA since my freshman year of college; I think it is extremely important and helpful to be a member of AIGA to further be connected to the design community and to continue learning more about the industry and people in it. And the plethora of inspiration! You can’t go wrong.
What issues/challenges do you think are the most important to Emerging Designers?
KF: I believe majority of Emerging Designers are challenged with the process of how to get a job that they enjoy and how to get their foot in the door of their dream company. I also think, as an Emerging Designer -from a student perspective- that it’s hard to find the time, outside of class assignments, to network with design professionals or to find time expand their portfolio to the best it can be.
JW: It’s a scary world out there for graduation and young folks just starting out, with the economy in shambles and the competition high for finding a good job. I think most get a jump-start out in the workforce; from knowledge of business, a great portfolio emerging designers just want to make sure they are prepared in multiple areas to & resume, interview skills, and making connections, every little bit can help.
What are your goals for the Emerging Designers Programming?
KF: My goals for the Emerging Designers Programming are to support and encourage them, to plan and provide events that will enhance their skills or knowledge about design and to expose them to network with design professionals in order for them to link to other creatives for support and inspiration. In the programming, I also try and reflect back on my needs as a student and currently as a Emerging Designer in order hone in on what I believe I need and to think they might need that as well.
JW: Kristin and I hope to provide this help to emerging designers by providing resources and support, and ultimately we hope to have a stronger, more connected community of emerging and student designers present in the design community.
What is your non-work creative outlet?
KF: I have a lot of non-work creative outlets – it just depends on my mood. I enjoy writing, drawing, painting, blogging, decorating, freelancing, photography, and researching. I always have a yearning to learn more. I catch myself researching typefaces, bookmarking DIY sites, and finding ways to streamline my design process – through apps or just my own organization. I try to input my creativity into multiple areas of my life and draw inspiration from it as well – it seems to work out for me.
JW: When I’m not on my design and grind, though design is always in the back of my mind, I LOVE to be outside and travel, learn about history and different cultures, spend time with my friends, family, and dogs, and HAVE FUN!
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