Member of the Month – May 2019

Andrea Heser

Senior Art Director, Manifest
AIGA Member since 2002

How did you get started with AIGA Arizona?

In 2002, I finally got accepted into the Visual Communication program at ASU Tempe. I was looking for ways to be involved in the design community at school and with Arizona as a whole. During that time, I discovered AIGA (and the Arizona chapter), signed up to be a member and asked them for ways I could help the board out. For a year I assisted the membership director at the time with updating lists. It wasn’t glamorous, but by volunteering I was able to meet other creative people. That helped me feel more comfortable as an emerging designer because I got to know other creatives in various stages of their careers. I’m incredibly thankful for AIGA in helping me build my confidence.


What do you like most about AIGA Arizona?

The community. Since I’ve been a member for many years I noticed some things changing within the group. The one thing that is constant is the strong sense of community within the AIGA AZ chapter. That’s what I like most about AIGA Arizona.


What design event do you look forward to every year?

That would be PHXDW. My husband and I attended the first one in 2009 and we both enjoyed the experience. I already purchased my ticket for this year!


What is the superpower you wish you had?

This is a tough one! It would be fantastic to have the power of omnilingualism. Not only would this superpower give me an advantage in my career it would be incredible to simply be able to communicate with every person regardless of their language.


Take a moment to showcase some designers or creatives who you think people should be following and why. (list as many as you want)

  1. Josef + Anni Albers. They were both artists and pioneers of twentieth-century modernism. Try not to be inspired by Josef’s Homage to the Square paintings. He explored the experience of color and the effects that adjacent colors have on one another. I still turn to his works today for color palette insight.
  2. Steve Thompson. It’s delightful when you discover a favorite creative person is someone you’ve been following for some time but never knew it. I’ve loved Disney animated films ever since I was little and I am still inspired by them as an adult. Last year during PHXDW I realized that one of my favorite Disney animators was on stage giving a presentation. Most of his work I remembered from my childhood. So for years I was following him by watching his work on VHS. Now I follow him on social media.
  3. Jessica Hische. She’s well known, famous and maybe a given as a recommended creative to follow. Still, I suggest following her on social media and here’s why: Jessica’s work is constantly changing/growing/evolving and I love that. It’s like she is always reinventing herself all while being a married mom running her own business.


Tell us about your favorite event or moment with AIGA Arizona.

One of my favorite moments with AIGA Arizona was during a volunteer outing for the AIGA ASU student chapter. A group of us visited the Thomas J. Pappas school for homeless children in Tempe. We brought cookies for the kids to decorate and enjoy. I don’t remember the exact month in 2003 we visited. I do remember that the children were filled with joy to have us around even though they were dealing with adversity in other parts of their lives. It taught me that even the smallest opportunities to give back could be the most impactful.


Connect with Andrea


Have a story to tell about your own AIGA journey or want to nominate someone? You don’t need to be an award winner, a prodigy, or even a graphic designer to be chosen. Send a note to Membership Director Julian Martinez and tell us what being a member of the AIGA Arizona community means to you. See you next month!

By Matt Adams
Published May 29, 2019
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