You are graciously asked by an industry trade pub or group (recently, in my case, The Society of Typographic Arts – Chicago) and generally speaking, you do it for free or a nominal fee. The gig consists of pouring through countless design samples, on your feet, for the majority of a day or two days. You where casual clothes and very comfortable shoes to absorb the force of 8 hours of concrete being shoved up your legs. Yes. There are bagels and cream cheese. Yes. There is a caffeinated beverage, but not without a pre-judging party of lots of food and drink (sometimes just drink because your flight was delayed).
Why do it.
The bonus of judging a design competition is the talent you get to experience. Not only in the samples of award-winning design work, but in the hard-working staff or volunteers that have worked weeks setting up your small 8 hour day. And, you meet the other talent shipped in from the outer reaches to help you pick this year’s bragging design (after all, its all about bragging rights).
Here comes the gem.
I like to come prepared to the event, and know a little bit about the folks who I find are obviously more talented than I — either another judge or a selfless volunteer. You learn more about ( I become a little more humbled by) their talent. As you experience this new found colleague, or reconnect with colleagues lost, you are re-inspired.
This particular gem of an artist and designer and creative phenom, that I get the pleasure of meeting is nearly half my age (she must be 12). She is a brilliant typographer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. I just had to share her work with you. Jessica Hische. I will meet her at the judging in Chicago. And, its going to be my pleasure letting her know that I am inspired by her craft.
Enjoy this video of Jessica that I found on her site from her blog. I enjoy that she embraces the tactile nature of designed artifacts as a young design professional.