We are thrilled to have Mikea Hugley join our community as one of the two 2017/2018 AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund Scholarship recipients. Mikea is a junior pursing graphic design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Her passion for using design to make an impact goes beyond her course work in school and into the Baltimore community with her small business CRE8T1V3.
Congratulations on being a recipient for the Design Continuum Fund! How does it feel?
It feels unbelievable. You can get scholarships from many places, but for the scholarship to be from something I love is amazing.
How’d you hear about the scholarship?
One of my teachers is the department chair at MICA, Brockett Horne. She sent me an email to apply for the scholarship and I think it was three days before it was due. The scholarship looked interesting on the website.
What made you want to become a designer?
That’s a huge question. In high school, I was introduced to Graphic Design in 9th grade. I didn’t know anything about it but I knew I wanted to do more with my art that had a social purpose. So I took the courses from 9th through 12th. I found that graphic design helped me connect with people more than general art. I could help change lives and impact my community by designing and creating using someone’s ideas.
Tell us a bit about the projects you have been working on while attending MICA and those that relate outside of school.
So when I graduated high school I took on this role on being an entrepreneur. Some people asked me to design for their business and church. I would see the value it brought. In 2014, I started my own company called CRE8T1V3 and we help people build brands. We focus on social design work.
I took a social design class last semester and it goes beyond graphic design. One of the projects we worked on was with the Baltimore City Health Department on HIV and stigma. They wanted to see how they can build a better relationship with people living with HIV. My whole concept was to show how design has a huge part in how we communicate and perceive people with HIV. We created a few deliverables for Baltimore City Health Department with pamphlets, posters, and prototypes more focused on User Experience design. It’s a continuing project so I may work more on it outside of school. It felt great to work on something that could change the world. It was something purposeful.
Is there anything you’re working on outside of school that has a huge influence on your style as a designer?
Outside of school, I’ve been working with the Maryland Health Connection. The last few years I’ve done a lot of print design for the newspaper to get people to sign up for health insurance. This year I’m doing outreach and design on how to reach African American millennials. So I’m hoping they’ll give me the space to find a creative approach. I’m proposing a social media campaign with graphics for Instagram and animations.
So what’s next after school? Will it include a social impact component?
I want to grow my company, CRE8T1V3. Not by just having a studio, but having a space for people to connect with designers and artists. One of my goals for CRE8T1V3 is to work with Mom and Pop shops with their brand. It’s always gonna focus on social. As I grow, I want to take it to another level.