AIGA Raleigh did it again! Last week, creatives from across the country came together in Durham, NC for the second annual THRIVE Conference, a creative conference packed with 6 impressive speakers. This year there were also workshops that ranged from hand lettering techniques to business strategy. The inspirational aspect of the talks and the skills taught in the workshops made for a well rounded experience.
The Durham Fruit Company, an art space and event venue, was an awesome host. The rustic exposed beams and concrete flooring contrasted with the bright THRIVE branded banners and made for a cool, creative atmosphere.
Here’s my take away’s from the talks:
Create Your Craft
There are a multitude paths to design. Many of the speakers at THRIVE didn’t start out with traditional design education, but found themselves in the design world through a roller coaster of experiences. Most creative people have skills from different fields like graphic design, fine arts, journalism, computer science, etc. We can take tid-bits from everything we've learned and apply it to our work to create something truly unique. Find something you want to be good at then put in the time and work to get there. This also applies to design solutions in that there are many paths to get to the end goal. Just “giddy up”, utilize your skills, and you’ll reach it. Remember that being creative is like working out or studying, it takes time and practice!
Push it to the Limit
How do we create better work in a world full of more and more designers? Go to the furthest edge. Take your idea as far as you can and then push it further. You’ll end up with something different, and maybe even a little strange, that stands out among the crowd. Of course it takes lots of effort and failures to get to that point, but once you do it’s well worth it! Make your aspirations braver and the work will show it.
Every speaker at THRIVE noted the importance of the design community and getting involved in it, whether you attend weekly design related meetups or a few conferences a year. Community helps us grow and get out of our own little design bubble. It's also a plus to just chat with people that are as stoked about design as you! Although the general consensus is that “face are better than screens”, getting involved in the design community doesn’t have to be in person. Sharing your work on platforms like Dribbble and Instagram connects you to other designers and opens your work up to beneficial feedback and ideas.