Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Olivia Riley, who volunteers as a graphics creator.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
That old idiom that “a picture is worth a thousand words” tends to hold particularly true on the internet, where users face an info-overload on a daily basis. The OTW needs visuals in order to break through the babble: bright, easily digestible messages to catch audience’s eyes and draw them into the larger conversation. That’s where we graphics volunteers come in!
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
Part of the fun of being a graphics volunteer is that it’s always changing! The most frequent graphic we make is headers for the “This Week in Fandom” post, but aside from that, it depends on what events are going on in the OTW that need visual accompaniment. So, I’ll get a message from the folks in Communications, who wrangle requests for graphics from the other arms of the OTW, and they’ll give me the basics on what they need. I’ll draft an image up and share it, and then it’ll go off to be approved by the relevant committee. If it needs some tweaking, I’ll edit it, and then the new version will go off into the cyber-world!
What made you decide to volunteer?
I’d been studying AO3 & the OTW as the centerpiece of an undergraduate research project for a while, so when I saw a call go out for volunteers, I really wanted to do something to give back to this awesome organization that had so benefited both my personal and academic lives. I’d recently taken a class introducing me to graphic design and realized that the graphics volunteer gig was a perfect opportunity to use those skills!
Do you have any favorite graphics you've created?
The “This Week in Fandom” graphics are always fun! They give me a reason to experiment with new graphic design tips and tricks. This one is a particular favorite…
What fannish things do you like to do?
It pretty much runs the gamut! I love to vid (Gotham and Hannibal, lately), I write a good bit of fic, and I’ve tinkered around with making gifsets and drawing fanart. I’ve recently started listening to a lot of podfic and would like to try making some of my own!
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.
The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.