The AIGA's AIG-Ugh

Finally, the evening of the AIGA 100 show had arrived. The weeks that led up to this event were a culmination of frustrations and excitements - and this evening was to be the big payoff.

Recall - Bill and his partner-in-creativity Lauren had spent countless hours animating, voice recording, synchronizing and tweaking this video into as close to perfection as they could get in the time they were allowed in one short semester. There were sleepless nights. There were dinners sponsored by the hall vending machine. There was blood, there was sweat, and there were tears (okay, the tears were mostly mine).

After the video was turned in for a grade, it sort of took off and took on a life of its own. It became a popular Vimeo video, getting hits that grew exponentially in number as the weeks went on. Soon enough the President of UVU took notice and commented on it. It was discussed in a newspaper article. Bill and Lauren were hired by UVU to fine tune it further into something that could be used professionally.

And they submitted it for consideration in the UVU 100 show.

The Judges passed on the video, but thanks to its popularity and the votes of friends and family (thank you!) it was a definite candidate for the People's Choice award.

I don't know about you, but I think that the favor of the general public is just as important as the favor of a small group of judges.

Which brings us to Saturday Night. Bill was ever cool about the whole thing, reminding me that they may or may not win - but it was good experience either way. I, on the other hand, wanted to win. I wanted so desperately to see my hard-workin' man get recognized by the community of Graphic Designers. I wanted to see him validated and no-excuses pleased with his work. I wanted an award - something physical that I could point to and say, "See? SEE?"

We weren't even going to attend the 100 Show this year. Too expensive, too busy a weekend, family in town, etc. etc. But then it looked like Bill might win - and we decided it would be good to go. You know. Just in case someone needed to be there to accept an award. Or at the very least, stand and wave.

So we bought ourselves and Shirley and Garry tickets. I was excited. Last year I really enjoyed it. It would be fun to share such an event with the Walkers, and it would be so great to have them there when - I mean if - Bill won.

So we arrive at the venue - the Museum of Fine Arts - and check in. We are issued our 3D glasses (the theme for this year) and peruse the offerings of the silent auction. Shirley and I are curious about a 'quilt' that turns out to be a blanket made from remnants of the 2002 Olympics banner.

We are ushered into the auditorium for the awards presentation.

The presentation is nice. Funny. Well-done, with a creatively designed video to accompany each presenter. Awards were handed out. Sponsors were applauded. Efforts were thanked.

No People's Choice award. Not even a mention.

After the presentation, we were all invited to go to the back gallery, where all 100 pieces of the show were on display for closer look. Savories were being catered at the front. Drink bar at the back. While we wandered through the 100 best tokens of design for the year, Bill kept his eye out for someone to ask about the overlooked award.

Finally, on our way to refill our water glasses, he caught up with the president of the SLC AIGA chapter. I stood next to him during the conversation. I don't know what my face was doing while the boys talked. I hope I kept it stoic, because inside I was anything but calm. I was infuriated, grossly disappointed, extremely proud, impressed, and hurt all at the same time.

I was infuriated because the Prez said that the People's Choice had been such a hassle - lots of technical difficulties with the website and etc. - that it sort of lost its charm to the powers that be, and as a result was, in fact, overlooked. Bill kindly reminded him that the website made it seem like it was a big deal, that it would be announced at the awards ceremony, and that it was something far too legitimate to be 'overlooked'. This was where my being impressed came in. Bill explained that it meant something to him, and to everyone who helped us out with the votes - and that he brought his Aunt and Uncle tonight, for goodness sake. I was very proud of him for sticking up for himself - and the People's Choice!

The Prez apologized, said that he would go find the guy who was in charge of the website to get the final tally, and that he'd see what he could do.

I felt so disappointed. This had been a big deal to us. It was a big deal to my man, and to have his efforts just...overlooked...because it was a hassle? I know it wasn't personal. I know that with big events, things slip through the cracks.

It's just that nobody slips William McCrery through the cracks. Nobody!

Pretty soon, a voice came over the loud speaker and very animatedly announced that Bill had won the People's Choice award - and asked him to please meet them at the bottom of the stairs to receive some award-type goodies.

Everyone at the event clapped and cheered for him - even though most of the guests had gone by that point - and he put on a show of waving to his adoring fans.

The prize? Not a Copper Ingot - though Bill tells me that the Ingots were reserved for the 10 judged winners, so we wouldn't have received one, anyway. But our prize? A poster from the event, and a promotional booklet featuring the all 100 pieces that were judged for this year's win.

They told him that they'd have to print the certificate and get it to him, later.

I was very impressed with Bill's demeanor. He was very gracious, was pleased with his gifts, and determined to enjoy the rest of our evening.

Which we all did! The highlight (aside from Bill's win) was the photo booth. Even Aunt Grammie and Oompa got in on that action!

So that was our evening. But that is not the end of the story. Because the next day was Sunday. And we spoke in church. And in Bills talk, he spoke a little about the disappointing evening. He compared it to his Saturday one week before, when he went to the Temple. He said that at the temple, he was treated so kindly. Everyone was happy to see him there. At the temple, he never felt overlooked.

He said that at the AIGA thing, he was seeking after the glory of the world, and he was disappointed. At the temple, he was uplifted and filled with joy. Isn't that cool?

Yes, I married that boy. Yes I did.

And Sunday evening, after the post-blessing get-together began to die down, my mom presented Bill with a silver box. Inside was a chocolate gold nugget. She said, "It's not a Copper Ingot, but this Gold Nugget is to show you that WE think you are a winner."

And you know? Copper Ingot Shmopper Ingot.


Matt and Carolyn said...

Wow, what a disappointment that they just forgot like that. But it sounds like you guys handled it well. And how sweet of your mom! :)

Janey said...

Love that he SAID something! Aside from the fact that they "forgot", congrats on Bill winning! I was keeping myself posted w/ the voting process you had on Facebook.

Charms said...

I am STOKED that Bill won the award--good on ya both!!! And I am deeply sorry that it wasn't presented to him in the way he deserved. I have a similar story about my hubby but I'll share it with you another time.
It's very hard being married to a humble and talented man who is overlooked when he really deserves a parade. Even harder to keep your mouth shut as his supportive wife.

You both did a great job! :)