Volunteer Spotlight – Kim Bariring

Our Volunteer Spotlight series focuses on the incredible volunteers who make AIGA DC’s work possible. Find out more about volunteering and sign up to get involved here. This week we’re featuring Kim Bariring. 

What inspired you to volunteer for AIGA DC?

As I entered my annual slow period of incoming design work, this provided me with the opportunity to volunteer in community outreach, broaden my horizons, and continue to practice representing marginalized perspectives in the design space. AIGA DC is an excellent resource for mutual support and networking with other talented designers. 

What projects or events have you volunteered on?

I have worked on branding AIGA DC’s 2024 SHINE mentorship program. You can find my work here: kim-bar.org/aiga-dc-shine-2024

Why should other people volunteer with AIGA DC?

Design holds significant importance regardless of the monetary value attached to it. It serves as a powerful tool for problem-solving and condensing multiple ideas into a cohesive narrative. It acts as a vehicle for storytelling and connecting with others, especially with those who resonate with that narrative. Volunteering at AIGA DC provides an excellent space to practice those skills, to explore, and to be curious. Throughout your volunteer journey, you never know who you might meet—perhaps someone who truly understands you—and one day, you could find clarity and inspiration or land your dream opportunity.

Tell us a little about your design career and the work you do.

Since the beginning of my career, I’ve focused on branding and identity for political election campaigns across the globe and human rights advocacy groups such as Abortion AF and Hot Bread Kitchen. I aim to engage more with grassroots organizations, as I believe sincere change starts at the community and local level. My interest in illustration grew after meeting my former manager in 2021, who had a passion for animation.

How did you first get interested in design?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been an artist at heart. I love writing, playing music, taking photographs, painting, drawing, and sculpting as ways to meditate, express myself, and process my emotions. Many adults during my youth told me I’d be a starving artist. However, I stubbornly continued pursuing creativity. It’s my passion and helped me feel connected and stable in a place where I felt isolated. Transitioning into the professional design industry, I’ve been fortunate to encounter brilliant peers and mentors who have supported my journey and success.

What most excites you about design?

Learning from other designers through collaboration and demo workshops, knowing that I’m a part of an art movement that will be remembered in history, and dedicating hours on an illustration piece.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? 

Any project I’ve worked on with Hot Bread Kitchen has been my favorite. Currently, we’re working on packaging design for challah bread crafted by HBK bakers, set to be sold in NYC grocery stores! Hot Bread Kitchen is a wonderful non-profit organization that empowers immigrants, women of color, and gender-expansive people in the culinary and food entrepreneurship sectors. You can see designs from this project here: kim-bar.org/hot-bread-kitchen

Who’s your creative role model?

I’m inspired by the designers who contributed to a book titled Extra Bold: a feminist, inclusive, anti-racist, nonbinary field guide for graphic designers. Their thoughts and concepts align with my identity as a designer, and ignites a sense of empowerment to challenge the conventional norms of design spaces. The design industry is dominated by colonialistic ideas, so I aim to dismantle those typical design practices that are no longer helpful nor relevant because they’re too rigid, too elitist, don’t consider the human, and focus too much on the capital.

The contributors of Extra Bold provided insights that have been instrumental in guiding me towards embracing authenticity and a do-it-together attitude when crafting narratives through various forms of media. This valuable perspective has illuminated the profound responsibility creatives bear in ensuring that the stories we tell are not only genuine but also reflect the voices that deserve to be heard.

What other hobbies or creative pursuits do you enjoy?

Cooking, gardening/farming, connecting with nature and wildlife by reading science books or watching documentaries, hiking, climbing trees, and visiting parks.



Feel free to message me to connect on Instagram!

By Stephanie Rudig
Published June 8, 2024