2016 Babe of the Year: Candice Digby
In the first few months of the new year, we're celebrating the babes who helped buoy our community in 2016 with their inspiring ambition, work and success.
Even if at times it may seem like it, not everyone in Austin is an aspiring musician, painter, maker, creator, etc. Knowing that, Candice Digby has focused her own talents — creative thinking and a penchant for community building — to help those who are creating art in this city (as well as those who want to be) thrive.
In 2016, she helped orchestrate the city's first Design Week, continuing the theme of arts education that began with her position as an event organizer and marketing producer at General Assembly. Whether through workshops, events or community engagement, Digby will continue to help to sustain the Austin arts scene in 2017 and for that we're proud to have her as one of the babes.
Where does the drive to do what you do — even when the struggle bus pulls up — come from?
My drive is to help build creative communities and to create platforms for artists to succeed. Purpose makes work fulfilling and keeps you trucking. We're not all incredible musicians, painters, architects, etc., but the arts are what I value in life — they are what make it interesting. I'm a creative thinker, that's what I've got — so I use it to create resources for artists and to help foster community.
What have been your favorite moments of creative energy this past year?
Design Week! I had the great fortune of helping bring Design Week to Austin for the first time with two other women I respect a great deal. Bringing design and artist communities together across the city was a new challenge. I'd also say, working with my Partner Lead (Katy Stover) in 2016 was so energizing. She gets me, and she's a verbal processor like I am, so when we rift on an idea, it goes from 0 to 60 in minutes, and I love that ability to build off each other. I think when you have to find the other Boss Babes and people who help you thrive, they push you to be better and together you're capable of so much more.
What have been the most challenging moments throughout your career and perhaps in this year in particular?
Feeling without direction in transition. I came from a background in music and corporate events before that. I didn't think I ever wanted to leave the music industry once I landed there, but I realized quickly at General Assembly that education is an even better platform for providing skills and resources to help sustain the arts. You've gotta keep your mind open and look for direction when it comes — even though it may seem like a tangent. If you have purpose in mind, it'll take you full circle. I've also learned there is great value in those periods of "lost."
What's the one thing you're most proud of accomplishing this past year?
Design Week for sure. It's one of those things we hope is just the start of something bigger for the design community and our city, and I can't wait to see how it evolves in the future.