Recap: Community Meeting #6 – AIGA Orlando Does It Again!

Guest post by William “Wink” Winkler

Kicking things off with a 3-persona icebreaker as a ringmaster of an elderly circus, a used bubblegum sculptor, and a theater actor whose plays are all written in Pig Latin try to get to know each other. Though after a friendly opportunity of meeting new people, we had Victor as our key “guest speaker.”

Having worked in different creative roles across the industry myself, theft and copyright infringement has been a topic of discussion on many occasions. This time the topic hits home with a friend, leader, and an outright gentlemen. Our very own Victor was kind enough to shed light on a professional matter cleverly known as #fountaingate. A candidate running for Mayor of Orlando had used one of Victor’s designs of the Lake Eola fountain, only slightly altered without his permission or compensation. This design was originally intended and created for our AIGA Orlando chapter. As the situation continues to develop Victor will keep us informed and our nationwide community of designers will continue to show great support for Victor in his efforts to gracefully right this wrong.

Following this, the community members at the meeting had an informative discussion on the topic of copyright, theft, plagiarism, and generally wrong ways to handle intellectual property. As artists and designers we are often asked to just “Google” some designs and use them or are handed a low resolution JPG and expected to replicate someone else’s hard work. As artist of our craft, some of us feel pressured or as if our hand is forced to do work this way in order to continue providing a livelihood for ourselves and families in fear of losing our jobs.

A great way to know if your doing wrong is to say aloud what you’re asked or plan on doing, this could help your character speak louder and that little voice inside your head has the chance to be heard. Most situations and circumstances like this topic are considered taboo, where many artists have had work stolen and or have stolen someone else’s work themselves.

I feel that your character and integrity are considered “your word.” As a community of designers we have to take a stand where we will consciously not plagiarize any longer and others will certainly need to hear from us when they are attempting or asking others to act unprofessionally in this manner.

In conclusion of this topic Devon informed us she is working on publishing an open letter about the ordeal and hopes the community will continue to support this effort. Carlos shared with the group about how Adobe products allow you to embed metadata into your files to help prove plagiarism if necessary. I also made the suggestion of AIGA holding a workshop to help teach designers best practices and how to protect your online works.

Event Recaps

GUTS Orlando
Our first annual GUTS event was a huge success having raised a $4,000 donation to Make-A-Wish! Thanks to all who helped make this event happen.

October SCREAM Printing
Our Members only SCREAM Printing at Lure and Ten10 Brewing was also a “Beer-tastic” success.

If you have ideas for future members only events, please reach out to Tibby.

 We’d love to hear from you.

Upcoming Events

Bowl Your Socks Off – December
Fun socks, pins, bowling balls, and drinks = Awesome Holiday Social! More information coming soon.

Re:Solutions – January 30th
Our annual one-day conference to help you kick off the new year right! More information coming soon.


William ‘Wink’ Winkler is a husband, father, and artist who has worked on movies, games, and TV as an artist & designer since 2004. Check him out on Twitter: @willwink and Instagram: @willwinkink

By aigaorlando
Published November 16, 2015