I have been a “professional” designer for roughly ten years. For the past five, I have either worked entirely alone or as the sole designer on a small team. There are some benefits to this, but there are also quite a few drawbacks. In an effort to fill in some of the gaps that occur in creative isolation, I decided to start a meetup where local designers could critique each others work and offer opinions and advice, complain about clients or simply meet other designers.
The first meetup took place last Wednesday at Coalwork in Scranton and, although I was genuinely unsure of how something like this would be received, I’m pleased to say that the response was overwhelming. A ton of people showed up, we had some great conversations and The Backyard Ale House sent some beer over. If this first event was a test to gauge interest, the local community undoubtedly passed—It’s safe to say that this needs to happen again…and soon.
Being the first event, there are of course areas that need improvement. The consensus is that it was far too long (I agree), making it extremely late when we wrapped up. In the future we’ll aim to stick to a schedule, cap the amount of time for each presentation and leave some time to get to the bar afterwards. I’m working out a system of signing up to present that should help. I also think that our seating arrangement was less-than-optimal, which we’ll also address in the future.
All in all, however, I’m excited to see where things are headed. Stay tuned for Designal Tap #2.
Why “Designal Tap?” Good question. It’s sort of a summation of a few things:
- the nature of the event—a diagnostic check (like a spinal tap)
- the availability of beer
- my fondness of the film “This is Spinal Tap”