A great chattering crowd sat anticipating the beginning beat of Mig’s acclaimed “dance party” intro, but instead we saw a disappointing “How to Reach Success” opening slide and fell instantly silent. Could we have been let down on high expectations of fast style and the artful moves of Mig? A second slide in green told us no: we were straight ahead “GO”; “J/K” followed a round of laughter that lasted all night long. No surprise that in writing, speaking, teaching, and designing Mig is always a no.1 hit; his animated approach to people and projects blends into every track his career has taken. In addition to a complete blast of a time, those who missed Mig missed his “honest talk,” his recount of beating the likes of Jessica Hische, Armin Vit, Mark Weaver and Noper with his quick and quirky comebacks in this season’s Layer Tennis, and the debut of his newest design for threadless.com.
Not that it was all frivolous and fascination and fun; Mig got down to business on assessing the makeup of a finely tuned portfolio; one that includes passion and personal projects both. “Passion projects are key,” Mig emphasized; projects that require experimentation and elasticity in every way, and also push us into a new creative and career realm. Speaking of his “Hush Sound” project for the annual film festival Artimation, a “passion project” of caliber might require a few days of learning an application, applying it, breaking a few rules, and 5 AM McDonald’s runs before the “fade to black.” With “Hush Sound” that process led to new work that paid his rent for a whole year, “all for one little video I made in college,” quipped Mig as he reminded us to also include self-started personal projects. They must be those that have your heart and emanate that passion inside us, since according to Mig, “Inspiration is temporary.”You’ll have it for a minute, but if you don’t use it — it gets away.”
Next and last item of business was a little talk on networking, which Mig happens to think is total bunk, for lack of a better term.”It’s about making friends in the design community.” Mig explained: “Try to make a friend and have a beer — not just trade business cards. If you treat people like your friends, you wouldn’t treat them like crap… So drop your ego at the door, and don’t think to highly of yourself.” Only a fearless Mig could get away with that kind of straight talk, and we took it in as much as every second of his story. After all, “It’s all about stories and story-telling, without that… you’re just kind of decorating.”