[WO]MAN UP! Conference 2018

The [WO]MAN UP! Conference exists to celebrate and empower women in the world of art and design. AIGA Iowa is committed to empowering creative women and advancing the vital discourse on issues facing professional women today without generalizing or segregating female creatives. Instead, through this event, we aim to address persistent biases and inequities inclusively and constructively, while also providing a fun atmosphere for attendees to meet, mingle, and inspire one another.

This year, the conference will be hosted at Mainframe Studios. Antionette Carroll of Creative Reaction Lab will kick off the event with a presentation on creative problem solving for social justice. Attendees can then choose from a variety of break-out sessions ranging from participatory panels to hands-on workshops. The event is capped off with a keynote presentation by the acclaimed greeting card designer, Emily McDowell of Emily McDowell Studio.

Check back soon for a detailed schedule!

Emily McDowell

Emily is a writer, illustrator, and entrepreneur who specializes in chronicling the human condition. In 2012, she launched Emily McDowell Studio, making cards for the relationships we really have. Today, Emily McDowell Studio cards and gifts are sold online at emilymcdowell.com and in nearly 2,000 stores worldwide. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, BBC News, and NPR's All Things Considered, among many others, and in 2015, she was named one of Slate's 10 Designers Who Are Changing the World. Emily’s first book, There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say and Do When Life Gets Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love, coauthored with empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe, was released in January 2017. In January 2018, Emily McDowell Studio was acquired by Knock Knock, creating two distinct brands under the umbrella of The Who’s There Group. Emily now serves as partner and SVP of strategy at Who’s There, while remaining creative director/founder of Emily McDowell Studio.

Antionette Carroll

Antionette is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise that educates, trains, and challenges cities to co-create solutions with Black and Latinx populations to design healthy and racially equitable communities. Within this capacity, Antionette has pioneered a new form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for non-profits working for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion. These experiences led to her background as a social entrepreneur, non-profit leader, and design activist.

Antionette is a Next City Vanguard, 2017 Essence Magazine #100 Most Woke Woman, 4.0 Schools Fellow, Subject Matter Advisor for Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, StartingBloc Fellow, and an American Express/Ashoka Emerging Innovator.

Antionette also is an international speaker and facilitator, previously speaking at Microsoft, NASA, TEDxHerndon, AIGA National Conference, The Ohio State University, and more.


Letterpress Workshop 

Tammy & Adam Winn | Red Door Press

Get your hands dirty (or should we say inky?) with Red Door Press, resident letterpress studio at Mainframe. Each participant will print her own set of cards and a poster, the former of which we encourage participants to pen a note for ArtForce Iowa's #YESKINDNESS campaign!


Christine Her | ArtForce Iowa

Join ArtForce Iowa in their #YESKINDNESS campaign to spread kindness and promote empathy throughout Iowa. #YESKINDNESS aims to educate everyone about the health benefits of empathy and compassion, while fostering positive self expression through the arts. Learn more about the campaign and write your own kindness letters to spread the word.

Think Before You Pink: Marketing to Women Without Stereotypes, Tropes or Sexism 

E.B. Updegraff | Hatchlings Inc.

Put down the wine, stop with the chocolate, and please stop putting glitter on everything - if you're creating for an audience of women, we need to talk. We can do better. Messaging that relies on cultural shorthand for "feminine interests" can be alienating, sexist, or even damaging to the audience you're trying to reach. Discover how biases shape our understanding of demographic groups, and how you can craft messages that actually speak to the audience you're trying to reach. We'll draw from feminism, sociology, anthropology, demography and marketing practices to learn how to avoid sexist or alienating messaging and create inclusive campaigns that will increase audience engagement and connect your brand to women and minority audiences better than ever before.

The Art of Website Psychology  

Colleen Kinsey | KinseyCo

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Is your website effectively engaging your audience and representing your business? In this one hour session, you’ll walk away with key tactics to maximize your web presence, create clarity for your customers, and achieve conversion goals.

Pushing Boundaries: Strategies to Move Your Career Forward  

Lynne Belknap & Heather Hardt | Innovize Group    Laura Christenson | Pear Deck  Laura Wilkens | EMC Insurance

Ready for a shift in your career? Join four design veterans as they share how they adapted to face new challenges, explore new fields, and achieve new heights in their creative careers. Whether you're interested in striking out on your own, leading the pack, or simply reinvigorating your current practice, this panel will help you push past any boundary that may lie ahead.

Business of Design  

Bridget Drendel | Project7  Stephanie Majerin | WellRun Results LLC  Hope Wood | Attorney

Calling all freelancers and small business dreamers. Learn the ins and outs of starting your own business from a designer, accountant, and attorney. This session will cover the nitty gritty of client relationships, finances, contracts and more!

How to Uncover Hidden Insights About Your Users Through UX Research  

Katrina Reger & Brady Rebhuhn | Blue Compass

As a designer, how do you really know what your users want and if your design is working for them? When you're designing a website, UX research will help you create a product that's easy to use and meets your users' expectations and needs. In this session, you'll learn how to uncover hidden insights about how your users interact with your website and how to translate the user data into actionable takeaways that you can use to influence your designs in the future.

Your registration constitutes permission to use photos, audio and video recording taken of you at the event for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA Iowa conferences and activities, in corresponding publications, in AIGA Iowa's archives and on AIGA Iowa's website.

Become a volunteer! Interested in being an Event Chair or volunteering the day of the conference? Email programs@aigaiowa.org.

When & Where
Sat, Sep 8, 2018 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Mainframe Studios
900 Keosauqua Way
Des Moines, IA 50309