In the big picture, AIGA Colorado itself is mentorship. Our diverse programs share a common thread of learning and connection for those seeking to improve and develop their knowledge and practice of design. Mentorship in the smaller picture means helping our members to meet and exchange ideas in one-on-one or small group settings. Overall, the vision of mentorship is to raise the quality of our collective knowledge and thereby enhance the impact of design in Colorado and beyond.

Since mentorship is an ongoing process across the arc of a designer’s career, no matter where we are on our journey, we have something to teach and something new to learn. Consider developing your leadership skills by sharing your talents or unique perspective on design as a mentor. You may also wish to learn a thing or two from someone who has different strengths, so the mentee role can be helpful. Give them both a try—there are experts and beginners inside all of us!

Mentorship for Professional Members

We real­ize that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the class­room with a degree in hand. In fact, that’s when it really starts. New tech­nolo­gies and expand­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties require new skills. Designers are con­stantly evolv­ing to remain rel­e­vant, cre­ative and prof­itable. This is an excit­ing time to be a pro­fes­sional designer, but it can also be tricky to keep up or set the pace.

That’s why AIGA Colorado cre­ated the Robert Taylor Professional Grant. These funds are designed to help you gain a new skill, per­spec­tive, or income stream. This grant is just for you — our Sustaining and Supporting Members — to help fur­ther develop your career and meet your profes­sional goals.

Mentorship for Associate Members and College Students

Design students can access many learning opportunities through their student chapters and AIGA Colorado educational events including Design Slam—a design competition where students problem-solve design challenges in view of an audience, The Review—an annual portfolio critique and great place to rub elbows with local professionals, and the Robert Taylor Scholarship, an opportunity to put your portfolio in the Colorado spotlight and compete for tuition funding.

Our Elevate Summer College Mentorship Program is meant to enhance our design community by identifying with characteristics of what it means to be a designer. Design students from Colorado colleges and universities will be paired with professional designers from the Denver design community. Each year 15 students collaboratively design a poster centered around the year’s theme and have a mentor that guides their process and supports design decisions. The final poster product is showcased in a gallery exhibition over the summer and auctioned off to support mentorship and education initiatives for AIGA Colorado.

Where else can I look for a mentor or find other professional development opportunities?

Our best advice is get out there, be proactive about networking and growing, and volunteer. Keep up-to-date about mentorship and the latest AIGA Colorado offerings, local design happenings, and creative opportunities on our news page.

For general mentorship questions or comments, or to get involved, please contact us at mentorship@aigacolorado.org. We welcome your ideas and support!