March Magic Memories: Jocelyn Strong
Raised in Austin, Jocelyn Strong says her upbringing was influenced by nature, music and an urban environment. An accomplished artist who uses both traditional and modern platforms, Strong is currently working in graphic design. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology and is currently studying User Experience Design at Austin Community College.
What surprised you most about your experiences at SXSW 2017?
How many times I would run into the same people! Despite hosting thousands of participants, SXSW always does a great job of bringing people with similar interests together.
Who was your favorite speaker?
Cory Richards, I’m a huge fan of National Geographic. His story was real and relatable. I liked that he contrasted his personal struggles with a backdrop of beautiful photographs he took throughout his travels.
What other kinds of activities stood out for you?
I participated in several Meet Ups. I also hosted a Meet Up for Aspiring Artists and attended a Meet Up for attendees under 25. In the evenings, I went to the opening and closing parties and attended film screenings.
Was there a particular group of registrants you gravitated toward?
I interacted with student-aged and older registrants fairly equally. The Aspiring Artist Meet Up I hosted lent itself to younger participants. However, one participant was an Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. His experiences and the younger attendees’ questions generated a thought-provoking conversation about finding one’s passion in life.
Last spring, did you use your badge to attend SXSW Music and SXSW Film events?
Yes. Going to see films was the most fun for me. A Q&A following the film opens your eyes to the film’s intention and purpose. I think the most memorable film experience I had was when I saw Trophy. The film documents the controversial topic of big game hunting. The hunter featured in the film participated in the Q&A. I admire his willingness to participate in the conversation, as he faced backlash from some audience members.
What speaker are you most excited about seeing at SXSW 2018?
Michelle Lee, of IDEO. For me, IDEO would be a dream company to work for. I’m intrigued by how they apply a design mindset to come up with creative solutions to such a wide range of problems. I look forward to hearing about how “play” influences Lee’s work.
You’re now studying User Experience Design. What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I’m still trying to figure out what specific field I would like to work in, but I hope to work in a creative environment with innovative people. I’m hoping I can gain better insight into UX Design opportunities during SXSW 2018.
As you think about coming employment options, are you concerned that jobs you might be interested in will be taken by robots and other artificial intelligence enhanced machines?
Luckily, I believe UX Design is a field that could not be replaced by robots and other AIs. It requires human interaction and the ability to empathize. While studying UX Design, I’ve realized how important it is to conduct user interviews face-to-face. Users may not always directly say how they feel, but express themselves non-verbally through facial expressions.
What do you like least about living in Austin?
I feel Austin has lost some of its charm during the rapid development that has happened in the past five years or so. A lot of local businesses have moved to the outskirts of town due to rising rents.
What do you like most?
The food, the weather, and the music. A few of my favorite bands — Spoon, Bright Light Social Hour and White Denim — are from Austin. There’s something special about being able to see these musicians perform live in the city they are from or live in.
Other installments of the March Magic series include interviews with Bruce Sterling, Amir Husain, Tim O’Reilly, Guy Kawasaki, Robyn Metcalfe, Stephanie Agresta, Andrew Hyde, Brad King, Gary Shapiro, Chris Messina, Yuval Yarden, Jenny 8. Lee, Aziz Gilani and whurley.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.