I wanted to extend a special thank you to everyone with AIGA and displaceddesigner.com who helped get me to the AIGA Design Conference, provided me with that \”room with a view\” and introduced me to so many other wonderful members/designers. Not only was the conference most stimulating and educational; it was an inspiration to those of us who had been affected by Katrina but were fortunate enough to be able to attend this conference, to continue to develop our own skills and become better advocates for design excellence and our communities despite hardship.
Before Katrina hit, I had a small independent design studio in New Orleans. Business was doing quite well, so I never took the time to put together an online portfolio or worry about marketing myself. After disaster hit however, that situation changed dramatically, as many of my clients were thrown into a situation of uncertainty themselves, possibly never reopening and unable to pay what they owed already.
None of us knew what would happen. Everything just stopped.
I was displaced with only a portfolio and a laptop, but needed to rebuild a business with new clients not affected by the disaster. With no online portfolio and no extra samples of work to send out, I knew this would be a challenge. However, a design team in the northeast who I met via displaced designer and the AIGA conference, came to my rescue offering to take my portfolio, scan in some of the work and post a small website displaying it. I am nevertheless especially grateful for all the generosity I received and the new friends made. I still plan on working with those New Orleans clients who are reopening, but now I also have the opportunity for a new start with work coming in from as far away as California and New York. I will be returning to New Orleans at the end of this week more than 2 months after I left it, and though there is much trepidation in returning to a city so critically injured, unsure of exactly what we will find, I have a new found desire to continue painting and designing.
Thanks much - I’ll be forever grateful!