Join us for an intimate even of story and type play in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Limited spots available.

The traditional design event model has become troublesome to me in more recent years. In hindsight, it always was...but now I have the self awareness to realize it. Typically, this model is set up for two kinds of people: the expert and the student. The expert is there to give, to impart, to teach. And the student is there to listen and receive. There is value in this, no doubt, in the right places; however, this structure leaves us with two main problems.

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It is categorically easier for people to latch onto a person that lives in a “happy nice” world than it is for someone who is lit up by less accessible issues.

I came across a Twitter thread that asked for people to name their top 5 most “valuable and important” women in design. A friend had nominated me for this category. Now, MOST people would look at this, feel warm and fuzzy, say thanks, maybe nominate a few women that came to mind for them, be happy that women in design were being raised up, and go eat a sandwich.

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Sharing diverse perspectives is a privilege, not a chore.

Coming up in my early career in New York City meant design industry was infused into my bloodstream. Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, AIGA, various co-working spaces, conferences, art schools, etc. were available to me as I “found myself” (or tried to) as a young designer (letterer/illustrator). Part of this was a blessing.

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My real wish for you this holiday is to Be Well. Not to be confused with the sentiment of the infamous email sign off: I hope you’re well!

Every year since I graduated college, I’ve sent out self-designed holiday cards. They were never typical as “Happy Holidays!” never seemed to accurately express what I wanted to say or be enough. But this year, with the state this world is in, it definitely didn’t seem to be enough. So I sat down & wrote The Holiday Card I Really Want To Send.

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How is LA treating you?

In the last month, I have been in my new home city of Los Angeles a total of 7 days. First, I was on a three-week stint on the East Coast celebrating the marriage of one of my best friends, with a break to visit my old stomping ground of New York City, and some time around Philly and New Jersey with family. Then, not long after my return, I ran up to San Francisco to spend time with more close friends I hadn’t seen in a long while. For most, if not all, of the people I have been reconnecting with, this is the first time we had seen each other face-to-face since I left New York; and the first question that leaves each person’s lips, verbatim, is the same across the board: How is LA treating you?

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Sharing personal parts of yourself will never be a) easy or b) accepted by everyone.

A few years ago, I fell in love for the first time. I was living in Brooklyn, NY and he lived in Austin, TX. As is the case with many long distance, star-crossed loves, it was an emotional roller coaster of a grey area relationship that inevitably ended in the most bloody crash and burn disaster of the heart I had ever experienced.

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©2017 Jillian Adel