Spotlight on: Lenny Terenzi

Name: Lenny Terenzi (aka @heymonkeydesign)
Professional Discipline(s): Graphic and Web Design, Branding, Screenprinting

Why are you involved with AIGA Raleigh?
After years of working for myself and for the most part by myself and going through some HUGE life changes I knew I needed to get out there and connect with other local creatives. Really become part of something. It’s funny but I used to look at the membership fee as the reason I held back but then I said “Spend the money and make it worth your while” What I mean by that is become involved, make your voice heard and get your hands dirty and help make the chapter stronger. I figure if I put my mouth where my money is then it will be money well spent. And within a few months I feel every penny was well spent. I plan on taking a more active role in AIGA Raleigh in 2013 for sure!

What is your overriding professional goal?
To make the world look a little better than it did before.

How do you explain what you do to “regular people?”
Not sure I know any “regular” people and for that I am proud! Seriously though. I cant say I have had to truly explain what I do on a granular level. Everyone I meet seems to get it and is more interested in what I have done in my profession than the profession itself.

 What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
That for better or for worse I am still here almost 15 years doing it on my own. And let me tell you I still am not doing it all right but I must be doing something right and that keeps me going!

What is your non-work creative outlet?
I am a musician. Drawing, Learning how to screen print (2012 Pursuit Fund Grantee right here! – THANK YOU AIGA RALEIGH!) playing video games. Spending time with my daughter making up silly songs. Spending time with my girlfriend making up silly songs.

What’s your biggest design-related pet peeve?
That it is seen by so many as a step or extra that can be thought about later or tacked on. So many start ups and business don’t even budget for design and then wonder why their message isn’t getting out there or isn’t as effective as it could be.

What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
A dance my daughter came up with that can be done to any song in any style and the last move just cracks us both up

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?
The ability to know the cause and effect of my words before I have said them. Time could freeze and a pop up window would say “If you say XYZ then this will happen.”

Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Hmmm… Calvin and Hobbes together. What a simply sublime view of the world. Also Ren and Stimpy.

What have you gained or what do you hope to gain through your involvement with AIGA Raleigh?
I already have gained so much in the awareness of how incredibly passionate the design community is in this area. I am the proud recipient of one of the Pursuit Finds for 2012 and I have been working on some ideas that will give back to AIGA and the community at large! I am looking forward to becoming more involved as a volunteer and perhaps even more in 2013.

What led you to volunteer or join the board?
I haven’t officially yet but I have made it known that I am interested in helping grow Design for Good! Also looking forward to some portfolio reviews in the future. I’ll be actively ramping up my participation in the new year for sure!

What have you done as a board member or volunteer that you are most proud?
This is more a personal thing I am proud of. I am proud that I took the leap and finally after so long became a member. I feel I am part of something and after so many years of working solo that feels nice to have.

What goals do you have for the future of the chapter?
Educating the community about how important design is for social change and momentum, business growth and the overall benefits of having such a creatively strong force right here at home.

What have you seen other chapters do that was really cool?
I’d like to see some big name speakers come in and give talks. Even hosting a honest to goodness design / arts conference would be amazing. We have an amazing area that could offer so much. Something similar to Weapons of Mass Creation in OH. AIGA Chicago occasionally did series-based guest speakers around a particular subject. As an example, Chip Kidd, Lorraine Wild, and John Gall all spoke over a series of presentations about book design. They seemed like a great way to bring in the local design community, which presents a prime opportunity to tell more people about AIGA.





By Amy Lyons
Published December 2, 2012