As a sole-proprietor, small business owner or freelancer, it’s easy to get so focused on your own work that you forget that there is an entire community out there that needs your encouragement and support. I’m talking about those that are new to the creative field. High school students. Those just starting out. Recent graduates. Those transitioning from another industry. All of these groups can use the wisdom and support of experienced, creative professionals (that means you!).
High School Students
As you may have read, we hosted a web tech meetup here at the Firebrand Media office. The meetup was for eastern panhandle web tech people. Basically, people that work on the web in some way, shape or form. This is going to be a regular thing and if you’re interested you can find out more about it at the Panhandle Web Tech meetup page.
One of the folks that attended the meetup was from James-Rumsey Technical Institute. He spoke to the group about the Vizzi Awards, an awards program open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors from Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties. It’s open to all students, not just those that attend James Rumsey. Students can submit work in the following categories, which you can read more about on the Vizzi Awards site.
- Printed Piece
- Web Design
- Page Layout
- Ad Design
- Digital Art
- Other Media
- Short Video
- Black and White Photography
- Color Photography
You can view selected 2014 winners on the Vizzi Awards page.
There are many ways to get involved with the Vizzi Awards ranging from writing a check to helping to judge a category. This is a great opportunity for you, the practicing professional, to help guide or at least provide some insight for students that are considering a career - or at least have an interest in the areas listed above. It will also help you connect with your past, reminding you what it was like when you were just starting out.
An added benefit to engaging with young people who are interested in a career in digital art is that you have an opportunity to find talented people. I am currently working with a past winner of the Best in Show award and it’s exciting to work with someone so talented.
Our meetup, the Vizzi awards and the thought of helping those that are just getting started reminded me of an article from Issue 4 of The Manual, On Mentoring by Diana Kimball. It’s a great read for those that are thinking about becoming mentors. She gives some great insight on what can make a mentoring relationship successful. I highly recommend it - even if you aren’t considering becoming a mentor.
Next Step, Stop Giving at the Office and Get Involved
So, how are you going to get involved?