Michael Stout joined AIGA in 2012. He is Senior Designer and creative collaborator at Alter Imaging. Visit his website at stoutideas.com.
What attracted you to the design profession? Did you have particular mentors or experiences that opened the door to the profession for you?
Drawing and art was something I always seemed to have a bit of a knack for. Growing up, I loved to get lost in a sketch or a design. Something about the silence of just me and a piece of paper working on a creation was, and still is, something I really love (only now the paper is often replaced by a computer). I went off to Auburn University for some higher learning and an initial goal of exploring other career paths. After just one semester as an undeclared, I already began to dread the idea of a lifetime without creativity. I listened to the voices inside my head, chose design and have never looked back. I cherish the fact that I love what I do. So many people don’t have that in life, which is part of what makes this profession so special to me.
There are many mentors in my design career that have opened doors for me. I have to give some major credit to my Dad. I remember some advice he gave me once that always resonated. He once told me that having more money would make many things easier in life, but if it meant doing something that made you miserable, it wasn’t worth it. He said you have to work for a long time in life and you ought to enjoy what you do to a degree. This was also an “ah-ha” moment for me in choosing design as a career path.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
I’ve done many things in life that make me proud. I was an Eagle Scout, graduated from college, got a job, left a job for a better job, won an Addy or two, got married, and am now going to be a father. Honestly though, I feel like no one can ever fully answer this question until they are at the end of their days. I mean I feel like I’m always working towards something great that could be my next proudest accomplishment. If I’m not then what’s the point of living?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Deathly afraid of cave crickets.
What’s one goal (professional or personal) you have for the future?
Own my business. Not just freelance (did that already), I want to put together a team of creatives that will rule the design universe or at least make a significant mark.
What sound or noise do you love?
Sounds from any body of water as long as there’s a fishing rod in hand.
About AIGA Charlotte’s Member Spotlight
Each month AIGA Charlotte interviews a selected AIGA Charlotte Member. It is a great opportunity for the Charlotte design community to see who AIGA Charlotte is along with all the amazing things our members are doing. If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed and appear on AIGA Charlotte’s Member Spotlight, please contact Patrick Saleeby, Membership Director.