Written by: Amanda Young
From Intern to Creative Group Head, Cassie Deogracia is an inspirational professional in the industry and community; luckily for us at Brunet-García, we’ve had the pleasure to watch her grow as a designer, a professional, and a leader as she achieved so many of her goals.
Today, we sit down with Cassie and discuss her appointment as President of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Jacksonville chapter.
Can you tell us a little about what AIGA Jacksonville is all about?
AIGA Jacksonville is the local chapter of the profession’s oldest and largest professional membership organization for design. We advocate for, inspire, and enhance professional development among Jacksonville’s creative community through programming, education, and design-centered communications and initiatives.
How did you get involved with AIGA?
I first got involved with AIGA in my Junior year of college. They brought a speaker to campus, and I was so inspired that I decided to become a board member of our Flagler College chapter, eventually becoming President of that chapter and joining the Jacksonville board as a Student Liaison.
What have you found to be most beneficial about your experience with AIGA?
I’ve made amazing friends and professional connections throughout my time with AIGA. These relationships have grown really important to me that I wouldn’t otherwise have without AIGA. Additionally, I’ve learned so much and have a constant source of inspiration from the events and education that AIGA offers.
What do you think helped prepare you the most for this leadership role as a chapter president?
I would say that time on the board has prepared me for where I am today. I’ve served various positions over my eight years, from Student Liaison to Membership, to Programming. This gave me an understanding of how various aspects of the chapter work and gave me experience managing smaller teams before I took on a larger role.
I’ve also had the opportunity to learn a lot of leadership skills through AIGA events, leadership conferences, and my job here at Brunet-García!
What does this recognition mean to you?
I’m endlessly grateful for the opportunity to serve as President of AIGA Jax. My passion for Jacksonville and our creative community runs deep, and I’m excited to inspire, connect, and uplift designers and creatives in a way that benefits individuals and our community as a whole.
What types of events does your organization host, and can anyone attend?
We host a variety of programming – from our monthly networking mixer Cocktails and Creatives, workshops and speaker events, and educational events like our Portfolio Review. We welcome anyone and everyone to all of our events (no membership required). It’s a great way to meet new people and learn.
Describe an especially enjoyable event that you were part of and what made it so valuable for you.
My favorite AIGA Jax event is our Design + Music poster show, in which creatives can design posters for their favorite song, band, or album. We host a gallery show of all of the posters and have local bands perform music throughout the event. It’s a great way to connect two aspects of the Jacksonville creative scene (music and design), and it’s always a blast to attend!
What’s the most valuable part of membership in AIGA?
There are a lot of benefits to being an AIGA member, from discounted or free entry to events and professional development. Still, I would say the most valuable part is the local connection to the community and a national network of creatives who share the same passions and values. I love that when I travel to another city, I can meet up with members from their chapter and instantly be able to connect and make new friends. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with/for various organizations through AIGA and Brunet-García, and I look forward to getting more involved with the community as I can.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time, I love to write, read, go thrifting and spend time outside either hiking or lounging on the beach—anything to get me away from the computer for a little while and seek inspiration.
Where do you see the field ten years from now?
We’re seeing an evolution in the way we characterize “design.” What used to be seen as a niche field is growing for the better as design thinking becomes implemented among various industries, access to design software becomes more accessible, and technology evolves. I think 10 years from now, we’ll see a more diverse industry with a renewed focus on storytelling and connection to bring a human element into what already is a largely digital landscape.
To learn more about AIGA Jacksonville, visit https://jacksonville.aiga.org/