This year’s TEDxUF creative director is the wonderfully creative Victoria Gerson, a senior from Miami in UF’s graphic design program. Let’s find out more about her!
Q: How did you become the TEDxUF creative director?
A: “I kind of stumbled upon it. In my sophomore year, the TEDxUF curator posted on Facebook that she was looking for a designer. I wanted to get more involved at UF, since I didn’t really do anything my freshman year, so I applied and she chose me. She was the previous year’s designer, which was great because she taught me everything she did the year before. Then, I was a designer again the next year. This year, my third year in TEDxUF, I wanted to advance in my role, so I applied to be creative director.”
Q: What does the creative team do?
A: “We mainly focus on branding and designing for the theme. For the day of the event, that incudes T-shirts, stickers, programs, badges, the slides that appear behind the speakers during their talks – anything you can actually see and touch. That’s something I love about the creative team – that you can see with your eyes the work we do and it’s tangible. We also do a lot of brainstorming and work with the marketing team and other teams to bring ideas to life.”
Q: What kind of experience has TEDxUF given you?
A: “It’s definitely one of the largest events I’ve designed for, so I feel like it’s given me good experience with real life design. School projects are usually for imaginary clients and they don’t go out into the real world, but this is for something that’s actually happening. Also, it’s been a great experience to work with such a big team. Each team within the larger TEDxUF team is focused on something different, and we work within and between all of them. It gets us out of our team bubbles, and it’s given me experience with working with different kinds of people that I don’t typically work alongside, such as those on the logistics team. I’ve gotten to learn more than just what the creative team does.”
Q: How did you become passionate about design?
A: “I’ve been into art my whole life, and when I got to middle school, I got really into photography. For high school, I applied to an art magnet high school in Miami called DASH. Since I was already really digital from my photography experience I knew I wanted to focus on the graphic design major they had. I studied graphic design starting in tenth grade, and then my high school pushed me into going to an art school for college. UF was the only university I applied to, but when I visited the design studio here, I was like, ‘This is it. I’m coming here.’ And I’ve become more excited about design ever since.”
Q: What does TEDxUF mean to you?
A: “Well, during my sophomore and junior year, I was designing for both student government and TEDxUF. And for my senior year, I decided I had to pick one to continue involvement with, and I chose TEDxUF without hesitation. I’m truly passionate about TED and I stand behind its purpose. It’s about spreading knowledge throughout the world, and with TEDx, that involves bringing TED directly to campuses and communities to share great ideas locally. TED is just people wanting to share their ideas with others and it’s very genuine. That’s something I can definitely stand behind.”
Q: Describe yourself in 3 words.
A: “Tenacious, passionate and loud.”
Q: Something a lot of people don’t know about you?
A: “I’m Brazilian and I speak Portuguese.”
Q: Book you’re currently reading?
A: “’Design: The Invention of Desire’ by Jessica Helfand”
Q: Dream job?
A: “If I could be anything in the world, I would be an ‘International Bad Design Fixer.’”
Q: Who’s your role model?
A: “My parents.”
Q: Favorite spot on campus?
A: “The graphic design studio. It’s my second home.”
Stay tuned for more interviews, and keep your ears pealed for the TEDxUF theme reveal, coming soon.
To get more involved with TEDxUF, come to our next TEDxUF Club meeting on Nov. 7 at 6:30 in Stuzin 101.