Member of the Month – May 2020

Member of the Month – May 2020 featured image
By Matt Adams | Published May 19, 2020

Name: Lisa Peña

Title: Lecturer, ASU, The Design School
AIGA Member since 2008

How did you get started with AIGA Arizona?

I first heard about AIGA AZ when I was an undergraduate at ASU. Like most students, I was interested in learning more about our industry, so I began to pay attention to the various AIGA AZ events. However, I was a bit shy back then and didn’t become a participating member until I started teaching at ASU. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of attending numerous events and networking to meet so many fabulous creative people.

What do you like most about AIGA Arizona?

As an educator, I love how AIGA AZ provides opportunities for students and professionals. Designers never stop learning, so it’s wonderful to see the local chapter bring creatives together, no matter their level of design, and support their growth. Through the organization, creatives are able to raise one another up and help the next generation, which is lovely to witness. 

How has working remotely changed your workflow?

Interestingly, it challenged me most in how I delivered content to my students. Since everything went online, I had to reorganize my process. Content could no longer be given on the spot. Students needed time to internalize what was being asked of them via Zoom. Therefore, I found myself brainstorming the various ways I could streamline my process and identify the methods that worked best for the students. Luckily, everything ran smoothly and I found I actually had more one-on-one time with my students during this pandemic.

What design event do you look forward to every year?

I imagine most people would say Design Week (and they’re not wrong, it’s fantastic!). However, I’m going to say AIGA AZ Portfolio Review Night. As an advisor to the AIGA at ASU student group, I help host the event for the Tempe campus. Seeing students interact with professionals is a beautiful sight. The students are full of emotion (excitement, nervousness, enthusiasm), and hearing about their experiences after they receive feedback is great because it’s clear they are now feeling empowered, confident, and ready to conquer their next interview. For those reasons, it has become a favorite of mine. I must give a special shout out to Christina Carrasquilla for all the work she does to make that event amazing! Especially when she and her team worked quickly to shift it online this year. 

What is the superpower you wish you had?

Just one? Haha. Hmm, I would love to manipulate time so that I accomplish more in a day and/or extend weekends so I can enjoy longer visits with friends and family.

Take a moment to showcase some designers or creatives who you think people should be following and why.

Amy Robinson – Tiny Fox Creative – Anyone who knows Amy understands that this woman is passionate about design as well as helping small businesses and nonprofits find their design vision.

Scott Curtis – The Brand Navigator – Scott has worked in the industry for over 20 years. He has designed some of the most famous brands out there and worked for firms we only dream about joining. He also co-teaches a studio course with me.

Shireen Dooling and Alexis Quezada – Defiant Science – These two are alums of the design program at ASU. They recently started their nonprofit to promote female mentors within the STEM fields. They’re able to share stories where science, society, and design collide.

Oscar Saylor, Mark Small, and Phylander Kirk – Estudio Bodega – These three are alums of the design program at ASU. They live on different coasts, work for different companies, but still come together to produce creative work. They love giving back to the community and recently started holding chat sessions to discuss design with fellow designers – our students loved picking their brains about design and the future of design.

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

My favorite moment was when AIGA AZ invited me back to be a breakout speaker for PHXDW 2019. The year before, I had shared a different topic and wasn’t sure the organizers were looking to hear about something completely different. However, they were supportive and encouraged me to proceed with my new plans. I decided to discuss my dissertation topic, since I’m currently a PhD candidate, and was overwhelmed by the support I received. A shout-out to all of those in our community who attended my session and were kind enough to hear me geek out about historic information design. This was my favorite moment and I will never forget it.

Connect with Lisa



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!