The AIGA CO Pro Grant Upped My Game

The greatest for most of us is not that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
– Michelangelo

Marni receiving her AIGA Pro Grant check at the AIGA Centenntial Birthday Bash last January.

Marni receiving her AIGA Pro Grant check at the AIGA Centenntial Birthday Bash last January.

As a 2014 AIGA Colorado Robert W.Taylor Professional Grant recipient, I have had a wonderful year filled with new experiences. The grant funds opened doors to many opportunities normally out of my reach, like attending a Facilitation by Design workshop in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.


Facilitation by Design workshop

I flew to Phoenix in April 2014 with some preconceived notions of what I wanted to get out of this workshop and was blown away by the endless possibilities of facilitating groups using a variety of design thinking practices. Using my seasoned creative skills and new tools, I am able to educate businesses, schools and organizations on the value of using creative thinking in the work place. As part of the team, I will assist in problem solving internal and external issues and help everyone clearly communicate their messages in order to grow and prosper as strong communities. AIGA is looking to gather skilled and interested facilitators and develop a group of candidates to pool from, and I’d like to be one of those people. I plan to further my knowledge in facilitating and add new skills to my services.

When applying for the AIGA Pro Grant, I knew if I had received it I would have a chance to move my ideas forward and actually implement them into something tangible. But, this meant I needed to dare greatly and to get comfortable in front of an audience and share engaging, relevant material.

In May 2014, I joined Toastmasters International to polish my presentation skills and learn the structures of speech outlining and speech evaluating among many other roles I partake in at bi-monthly meetings. Every speech has been about creative problem solving, design thinking and brainstorming. One speech called “Design Thinking Crash Course: Define” touches on the second of five methods of design thinking. I will be working through all five methods: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test, all leading up to the final speech-the big finish to the first manual.

I scheduled my first local presentation in June 2014 called “Break The Rules: Discover Your Creative Genius” which is geared towards businesses, organizations and individuals who wish to discover new and different ways to solve problems and work on strategic planning. The presentation gives a glimpse of creative thinking and whets the audiences’ appetite on creative problem solving.


break the rules

The attendees have an opportunity to further their knowledge by signing up for a half day workshop called “Creative Problem Solving for the Non Creative Genius,” where they discover solid solutions through collaboration and big idea thinking. By planning, creating, experimenting and introducing new tools they’ll find a deeper understanding and are able to apply their findings and bring them to fruition.

I use design thinking methods to help uncover a challenging problem and learn how to move towards creatively solving it. I continue to research different ways to bring creativity and design thinking into the workplace. I am currently researching the many variations of brainstorming and confirming that no one way is the best way. It’s about finding the right fit for the right client, project and problem.

In the beginning I was excited by the idea of demonstrating what I knew and finding out what I didn’t know.
– Milton Glaser

The Robert W. Taylor Pro Grant has enabled me to broaden my skills and take my passion for my work to the next level. I look forward to scheduling more presentations, workshops and Big Idea Brainstorm sessions on the creative thinking process and make powerful tools available to businesses, organizations and individuals that otherwise wouldn’t have that the opportunity or access.



Marni is Chief Creative Officer at Marni Myers Creative, a brand strategy and graphic design studio in Denver, Colorado. She also owns Myers Photography and Fine Art Photography Studio that sells digital and print images and shows work at local galleries.

By Marni Myers
Published February 17, 2015
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