Moving through the creative process can seem insurmountable. When it comes to embracing the creative process, Emily Kemp, a design student, does so without hesitation. There is no better example then in her split-second decision to hop on a plane to meet designer, Michael Bierut, in person.

Emily shares her experience:

“A week ago from today I never imagined I would be sitting on an airplane, anticipating to meet one of the industry’s most influential designers, Michael Bierut. Less than a week ago, I sat in my content branding class and picked a designers’ name out of a hat. The assignment was to research and create a presentation about the designer we chose. I went home and wanted to put a face to the name I was learning more about. Of course I was familiar with Michael Bierut and his work, but I wanted to know more about his thinking and philosophy. After watching several of his past talks online I mentioned to my mentor Hank [Richardson, Director of Design] how much I looked up to the way he discusses client relations, simplifies ideas, and makes the whole design process more palatable for non-designers to understand.

After talking more about the work Michael does I asked Hank if there was a way I could contact him and he told me “Michael will be speaking a week from today in New York at the 92Y, I think you should get on a plane and go up there and meet him!” . I had never been to New York so I was a little nervous, but knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

I booked my plane ticket the next morning, and Hank picked up the phone and called Michael. Hank mentioned I should turn this experience into a deliverable for my portfolio, rather than just ending the assignment with the class presentation. I walked into Hank’s office the next day to be greeted by a hot pink spiral bound notebook of student posters designed for the Yale open house years ago involving Michael Bierut.

The night before I flew to New York I was a bit anxious to say the least, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to navigate the city, what if I took the subway and ended up in New Jersey? I later learned people in New York are very kind and willing to help with directions, which made me very happy and much more interested in the city.

I arrived at the 92Y and was able to talk to Michael before the talk started, I’m still so grateful Hank set this up, I still feel very lucky to have had this opportunity. After meeting Michael backstage I went downstairs to get my ticket.

I have to say, coming to Portfolio Center has changed my life completely. It’s not just about studying design here, but studying to be a better person, and to have a moral attachment to your work and make the world a better place. It’s my last quarter here and I will never forget this experience. More importantly, I will always cherish the network of Portfolio Center, we all want each other to succeed. So many classmates expressed their excitement for me, I am very lucky to be surrounded by some of the most talented and supportive people I’ve ever met.”

Emily’s work was recently featured on the dieline. The emaculate production by AtoA Studio Solutions in CT and Taylor Box in RI are yet another brilliant example of her commitment to the execution of her design concepts.