1.25.12: Skype with Stefan Sagmeister
A sea of at least 100 people probably lined the hallways before 2:30pm yesterday. I barely got to stick my head out the door and the all of these people had showed up at least 30 minutes early, hoping to get seats as close as possible to the main screen where Sagmeister sees everyone.
This whole event was not possible without each and every single person’s involvement. An hour before we went live: I was pacing back and forth trying to remember the order of what I had to present for my process and then I heard Skype go off. I looked at the screen and it announced that Sagmeister had signed on. It sunk in, and I remembered almost being so happy that I got emotional and was an inch from letting the water works go.
I looked around and saw how much effort was put into this event. The AIGA board members were gathering chairs to fit more seats into the room, double checking that every room was good to go, entertaining the crowd waiting outside, putting up signs, IT was working on hooking all the technology up, the student affairs department was setting up a section to help sell refreshments…
We easily had over 150+ people in attendance from all three rooms we hooked up. It was all so surreal when I got up in front of the audience and saw the AIGA advisors, our academic director, instructors who I had personally invited to be a part of this event, our AIGA board members who had seats next to me to “save” me in case I was too flabbergasted to carry on a conversation with Sagmeister, my wonderful non-designer cousin who was the closest thing to family and knew what a big event this was for me, and the sea of people who filled the entire room were all smiling back at me.
I got to present my process into how we arrived at this event and it was perfect timing to call Sagmeister as I sat down.
I got to see Sagmeister live on the screen. He was such a charming gentlemen and with a big smile on his face. We spent about half an hour before trying to get the audio to work correctly, so up until that point he had only seen a room of like, 4 people standing around the monitor. When we went live at 3pm, Sagmeister smiled and said, “Wow! You are many now!” That pretty much set the stage for a candid, informative, and highly inspirational talk with him.
If there’s something I remembered back in December of 2010, it was how much I felt my perspective changedon how I made work: whether it was graphic design related or not, it had to have more meaning than something that looks cool. I have to find a way to, “Touch someone’s heart with art and design.” Sagmeister did just that for me, and it’s all true. He is such a wonderfully nice and generous human being, with an incredible list of accolades in his portfolio. Like one of our AIGA advisors said, “Stefan Sagmeister is like the Steven Spielberg of graphic design.”
Stefan Sagmeister’s skype event was even better than I could have EVER imagined. Just like I’ve read in his books, he has confidence in knowing what he knows, isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, and has lived an incredibly affluent life in context to the diverse amount of things he has encountered or experimented with. I’ve read in his lastest book; a commentary about how the way Sagmeister leans in towards people just to let them know that they have his full attention is almost admirable.
Sagmeister was relaxed yet attentive to us skyping with him and we ended our hour long chat just like we started: with a lot of thankfulness, big smiles and laughs, and both of us waving frantically at the webcam so show our excitement.
I will never forget this day for as long as I live.