Many Georgia Football seasons ago, when I was just a naïve design student living in Athens, Georgia, my teachers always stressed how important it was to become a member of AIGA and attend as many events as possible. They told us how it was a good opportunity for young designers to network, learn about designing in the real world, find jobs, yada, yada, yada. Obviously, I didn’t take their advice too seriously. I attended a few events here and there with my peers, but I have to admit; the free food and drinks were what initially attracted me.
Now that I have some experience behind me, I understand the value of what my teachers were trying to tell us. I have graduated from attending AIGA events for the food and drinks and have become a full-fledged member of the sustainability committee. Talk about grown-up! Let me tell you, it’s a whole different world between being an attendee and a committee member, but it’s for the better. It’s a much more fulfilling job to know that you helped broaden designers’ perspectives one event at a time.
[Look who I ran into at an AIGA Design Conference; one of my talented design teachers from UGA! I’m sure she was proud that her advice got through to me.]
It’s our own responsibility as designers to find and absorb inspiration. Here are some ways to get involved with AIGA:
1. Become a Member: There are several levels of membership, so choose wisely! Some of the benefits include: a view of complete job listings on the AIGA website, event and competition discounts, the opportunity to showcase your portfolio, and access to different resources.
2. Become a Volunteer: Every AIGA event always needs help with ushering, registration, passing out food and beverages, etc. So if you are free to lend a helping hand, become a volunteer! And the plus side to this is that you get to enjoy the event for FREE!
3. Become a Committee Member: This is where my duty lies. I’m part of the sustainability committee because I like our planet, but if that’s not your thing, there are other committees that might interest you. Feel free to contact the committee’s chairperson for more information.
[Yours truly at an AIGA Ink and Drink event at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio]
If you want to attend upcoming events, please find the full list here. But check back often as we’re always coming up with fun and exciting new events as the year goes by. And make sure to say hi!