Drink it up: The AIGA San Diego Y Conference at 21

Drink it up: The AIGA San Diego Y Conference at 21

Want to come meet the woman behind Game of Throne’s unique interactive media? How about seeing a talk from the guy behind Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign? Consider this: For two days out of every year, San Diego turns into one of the country’s most potent hotspots for learning and networking among creatives. To celebrate this year’s event, some of the industry’s most prolific illustrators, filmmakers, graphic designers, photographers and more are coming to San Diego for a very special (and raucous) 21st anniversary. Welcome to AIGA San Diego’s Y Design Conference. And yes, it is open to the public. On April 1st and 2nd, AIGA SD, the professional institute of design, is hosting seated talks, local sponsor tables, a bookstore, and after-parties at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice building. Attendees will also have a chance to attend Thinkshops and Workshops to gain direct instruction and know-how from distinguished guests, and meet each other in the process. All the while, guests of honor mingle, impart knowledge, and get to know the community – that’s you. This year’s theme is DISTILL. Not only a play on words for the 21st anniversary, DISTILL is a declaration of each, individual talent within the designer’s tool belt. With this coming-of-age marker in Y Conference’s history soon upon us, we’re taking the time to ask attendees from all points of the career spectrum – young students to the grizzled veterans – how Y Conferences over the years have impacted their careers.

Bobby Buchanan

President & Creative Director of Buchanan Design

“Attending the Y Conference has been a long tradition for Buchanan Design, starting from Y1. We consider this an important opportunity to recharge creatively and spend time outside the office to reconnect as a team. The 2 days are a perfect combination of creative insight, encouragement, motivation, and a time to reflect on our profession. Not to mention the opportunity to hang out with colleagues or exchange business cards with someone new. Truly a highlight of the year for our team.”

Candice López

AIGA Fellow, San Diego City College Educator

“My passion for Y began in 1996 at the very first conference held at San Diego City College. Students and professionals from San Diego, Tijuana and a handful from Los Angeles came together for 2 days of fun and forward design thinking. The conference’s authentic home-grown spirit attracted attention in the design world. Soon speakers and attendees were coming from places like Switzerland, Iceland and India. It’s energizing to be surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds with diverse fresh ideas. The Y has always been about building community and I count myself lucky to be part of it.”

Angelo Outlaw

Web Designer & Developer at CSA Travel Protection

“Y Conference can be a life changing experience for in-house designers who sometimes feel isolated from their creative community. My first Y Conference opened my eyes to the wider landscape of design that’s out there, and it inspired me to get involved. It’s a great opportunity to take a break from your day-to-day routine and spend some time reconnecting with your colleagues, meeting new friends, being motivated by your design heroes, and learning some new skills. And hey, if you’re in-house maybe your company will pay for your ticket!”

Candice Warner

Freelance Graphic Artist, Designer at Red Door Interactive

“As an undergrad student looking for every opportunity to expand my design world, I first had the opportunity to attend the Y conference as a volunteer in 2013. Since then, I’ve attended the Y every year, growing with it, while simultaneously growing on my own. Networking, reconnecting, and sharing with the graphic design community each year brings me back to home base, where my fire for design was first ignited. I’ve approached the conference from many different personal angles (Y volunteer, intern, in-house designer, agency designer and thinkshop presenter), and can’t wait to see what future Ys have in store. Cheers to 21!”

Alana Hawkins

Owner & Graphic Designer at Hawks Eye Design

“I found the Y during a time of wanted change and transition. I wish I had found it sooner. As a graphic designer making the leap in taking side freelance work into a full-time business, the Y gave me the energy, confidence, inspiration, guts and camaraderie to take that leap and trust my instincts. It’s a conference that not only connects you with creative leaders you admire, but also connects you to the creative hive of San Diego. It’s invaluable.”
Graphic by: Alexis Campanis
By AIGA San Diego Tijuana
Published February 16, 2016