DYER │ Members of the local creative community were invited to “step outside their comfort zone” during the INsight Design Conference on Friday at The Garage at Faith Church in Dyer.
Insight, which began several years ago as a conference for local graphic designers, now provides creatives off all types a unique networking atmosphere and community platform. The format for this year’s event featured a wide variety of speakers talking about what they are most passionate about. Their unique perspectives were delivered in five-minute speeches along with five slides.
“We kind of agreed that if we were going to do it again let’s do something completely new,” said Kevin Bruinsma, who founded INsight along with Joseph Gonzalez.
Gonzalez had spoken at a similar event in Chicago and the pair decided to try it locally “because there are a lot of people in Northwest Indiana doing a lot of cool things,” Bruinsma said.
“I think it worked out pretty well,” he said. “The effect is it kind of opens it to anybody who wants to come. It’s not so design-driven anymore. It’s pulling in entrepreneurs; it’s pulling in poets and actors. It’s opening up to the creative community. There’s something for everybody now.”
Gonzalez said the format is good for creative types who offer up “intense information” in the five-minute presentation.
“I like that concept because it kind of fits with our mission which is to educate, inspire and transform,” he said. “Through the education you get from our speakers we hope it inspires you to transform to do something else with your life.”
Speakers included Teresa Zorzi, a graphic/web designer whose presentation included the advice to attendees was to learn a new skill, start a new hobby or do a new project.
Zorzi is a co-founder of Four11 Mentors, a one-on-one mentorship program in Northwest Indiana for those in the graphic design industry.
“I stress to anyone that if you’re in a bad way it helps to meet new people and reach out to people,” she said. “Start something new.”
Speakers included Clayton Denton, classically-trained improv artist, Matt Valuckis, owner of Hobart-based creative agency V as in Victor; Ann Davis, production manager and technical director, Theatre At The Center; and Daniel Joseph Field, art director at WeCreate Media in Valparaiso.
Gonzalez said one of his favorite things about INsight is seeing what happens when attendees network during session breaks.
“A week later, a month later, six months later – they might have actually started something or they’ve been working together and doing something real with the connections they’ve made here,” he said.