IF YOU CAN, YOU SHOULD

When I first moved to Seattle, I knew no one besides my husband and his college buddy. It was a lonely business trying to find a job and make friends. We had one car and we were living 20 minutes outside downtown in a townhouse with no furniture. Our sleepy marina town closed down at 7:00 at night and our closest neighbors either worked nights, or dealt drugs from their driveways during the day.

I spent every waking moment trying to get a job to help me escape the absolute boredom I felt. During one of my interviews, the Art Director asked me if I was a member of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) or if I had heard of the School of Visual Concepts. Being both receptive and desperate, I joined AIGA immediately and began taking classes as SVC. Her advice changed my experience dramatically. Instead of pining away, waiting for my employed spouse to return home, I now had places to go and people to meet.

One of the greatest benefits of jointing the AIGA was that it had plenty of opportunities to volunteer. And boy did I. Jumping in with both feet, I helped plan events, as well as volunteered with inner city kids doing art projects, and eventually was invited to join the Board.

Jesse Doquilo, the president at the time, asked what my motivation to join the board was and I told him I wanted to use my talent to give back. He put me in charge of Community Outreach, a brand new position, and told me to define it. And, oh, by the way, you have 70 volunteers waiting for you to tell them what to do. I was given carte blanche.

So...wow. Where to start? Too much freedom can create confusion or stagnation, so I started winnowing the choices down. 

Continue reading the story in an  article I wrote for Communication Arts >>