Mentor Matchup :: Design Study

We asked mentor, Mark Iafrate, and mentee, Megan Dobrusin, to share with us their experience with the Mentor Matchup thus far. Here is what they are working on…

Their meetings so far
Meeting #1 @ Caribou Coffee
Mark: We got together for our first official meeting and reviewed each other’s portfolios. We talked about individual pieces and what made some great and others no-so-great. We determined that apart from technical and aesthetic aspects, our favorite work was done when we had an emotional connection to it, when we took longer to work on it with multiple iterations and when we focused on the little details. We also chatted about the process that goes into good design and briefly discussed freelance work and the importance of presenting yourself just as well as you present your work. We also setup the rules for our game of “Volleyball Design.” We will volley a poster design back and forth each week and iterate on it throughout the MentorMatchup program (see sample below).


Meeting #2 @ Amelie’s French Bakery
We met at Amelie’s for coffee and this meeting was much more informal than the last. Generally, we talked about what had been going on the past week. I was working on some freelance projects and was talking to people at FIG marketing, and Mark gave me some details on how his interview went for a freelance project. We also talked about our love for letterpress and screen printing and other design topics for the rest of the time. Even though we didn’t have a set structure for the meeting, it was still a good way to catch up and learn about new topics.

Meeting #3 Carolina Ale House
Mark: For our third meeting we decided on a specific topic of discussion: freelance. Megan came up with a few great questions and we went through them together. Topics included how to get your portfolio noticed, good networks or groups to be part of, ways to improve your work in your downtime, pricing projects and coming up with hourly rates and how to handle different types of clients. I think it was one of the most productive and information-filled meetings we’ve had so far, and it helped a lot too because it got me talking about topics I hadn’t thought about for a while.

Meeting #4 @ Paper Skyscraper
Megan: We met at Paper Skyscraper on East Blvd and perused the aisles of books and funky items in the store. We talked about current fads, like how mustaches are everywhere, and classic designs that are here to stay. We went through some of the books and talked about how cool they were and the good ideas people had put into production. It was nice to be able to talk about each cool item we found from one designer to another. We learned a lot about the other’s interests and design style by what we appreciated in the store.


Mark and Megan will give us an update in a couple months to let us know how their mentorship partnership completed. Stay tuned…

By aigacharlotte
Published March 29, 2013