Carter Printing & Little Dots
Carter Printer is not only providing the printed deliverables that were made during the CreateAthon onCampus event, but they also invited the CreateAthon@VCU crew behind the scenes to check out the printing process. It was a blast! Not only is everyone down at Carter unbelievably awesome, they REALLY know what they’re doing. For a place that handles MILLIONS of sheets a paper to transform them into posters, books, or pocket folders all on a time crunch, and despite the constantly booming sound of the massive printing machines, the place had a sense of calm and order.
Here I am with Chad, Summer, Alana, and Matt while Mike from Carter Printing explains how this printer works. If I’m not mistaken, this is the printer that Carter owns and just so happens to be the largest sheet-fed press in the state of VA. Imagine the printer you have at home. Now imagine it was the size of a dump truck. Now double that. That’s almost how big this thing is.
Here I am again with Alana and Matt looking at the magenta roller mechanism. This thing was pretty mesmerizing. Since so much paper runs through the printer in a short amount of time, ink has to be in steady flow. The curly Q pattern on the top of the roller appears as the machine on top dollops down ink in a very particular way to ensure everything is printed evenly.
And here I am again, geeking out as I look at a test print of my letterhead! You can’t really tell, but I’m looking through this little super microscope eyepiece (loop) thing over the new CAT Theatre logo, and I can see the pixels, the ittttty bitty teeny weeny dots that make up the new identity me and the five ladies on my team created.
Little dots. That’s what I took away from this experience. You can hold the letterhead as close to your eye as you want and you still won’t know they’re there. It’s pretty cosmic, dude.
(P.S. All of these photos were stolen from CreateAthon@VCU social media maven Kristen Ablamsky!)
The Day After
Yesterday was the day. I was awake for over 30 hours at the end, and after three naps I feel human again.
I am so proud and grateful of my team for their hard work. All plans I had changed (for the better) when we got together and discussed the CAT Theatre. The mentors and members of other groups were impressed with the volume of things we were able to present, and even more exciting was the client’s reception of our presentation. We put words and visuals to a vibe they have been trying to grasp. The new logo and identity still has to be approved by the board, but I’m confident that won’t be a problem.
And did I mention that I got to drop a TV from a second story fire escape? Yup, that happened. But, more on that and the rest of the 24 hours later. For now, I leave you with a picture of everyone involved in making the magic happen. See if you can spot me! (hint: look for a pop of flannel in the sea of blue)
Sign up for CreateAthon
Are you a student that has been looking for the perfect opportunity to do some good in the Greater Richmond community??
Now is your chance.
Today is the last day to sign up for CreateAthon onCampus, and WE WANT YOU! Writers, artists, graphic designers, PR/advertising folks, thinkers, strategists, web designers, creatives, social media gurus, boys, girls, gophers - if you think your skill set can be utilized to help our non-profits, then CreateAthon is right for you!
Click here, scroll down, and fill out the form if you can lend a hand with some deserving non-profits.
Since I kept you waiting for so long, I’m going to leave you with two awesome photo sets from my night of set construction for my non-profit CAT Theatre. Again, I have to thank Stephanie for taking the majority of these pictures. It left me with time to lend a hand, explore the theatre, and schmooze with the locals. The older gentleman helping me rebuild the wall was a volunteer who had been coming to CAT for 12 years after seeing “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” Not only that, he comes from the West End, which was an eye opener. My assumption was that someone who was devoted enough to volunteer would also be from the Northside. It made me realize that I need to think even broader when considering the potential Richmond market.
The bearded fellow in the photos is Jim Barbour, member of the board for CAT Theatre. He was busy throughout the night, as cast members for the upcoming “The Children’s Hour” were coming by to pick up scripts, as well a coordinating the construction happening around us. Fortunately we were able to have a few conversations in the mix, mostly fodder for inspiration of promotional materials. The coolest thing we talked about is his upcoming appearance on an Investigation Discovery show. Apparently crime show reenactment casting is a niche market for some actors, and Jim has played in a number of roles on various shows, everything from the victim to a family member to the murderer. Pretty cool, right?
All in all, the trip was a lot of fun and rather informative. I was calling Stephanie my assistant at one point as I was driving and coming up with ideas for her to jot down in my notebook.
Well, until next time!
CreateAthon Anxiety Theatre presents
5 CreateAthon What Ifs:
What if I freeze? What if I get in front of my team and I just draw a blank, or I get so nervous I just start quivering and incoherently babbling about cats?
What if I’m thinking too big? What if I try to get so much accomplished that just organizing all of my ideas is too heavy a task my head bursts and I get brain all over my team?
What if I’m not thinking big enough? What if I’m super happy with my team’s work and I present it and my clients raise their collective eyebrow and say - that’s it?
What if I can’t stay awake? What if at the eleventh hour exhaustion hits like a zombie taking a bite out of my ankle, and thus making me a zombie?
What if I fail? Sure, disappointing Peyton, my clients, my team, and this process would suck, but what if I don’t live up to my expectations?
P.S. Not gonna happen.
Tell Me A Story
I have a friend who is an illustrator. When he’s working on a project he will sometimes ask my opinion, and vice versa. Sometimes we really get into it, like two nights ago.
I am a huge fan of his work. He takes the most mundane, normal human actions and puts this amazing, fantastical twist to them. One of my favorite pieces is this average looking house, but it’s set in a valley, and has dozens of windows. When you look closer there is this tiny human figure on a cliff, gazing at the house.
He is currently going through some personal existential artistic crisis - thing. So he’s getting down on himself as I’m trying to be encouraging and explaining why some of his pieces are so memorable to me, particularly this house painting. When I look at it, I feel like this figure has just barely come out of the end of a long quest. But he’s the victor. There’s something triumphant about it.
It tells me a story, this piece of art, and that really ticked him off.
We have different sensibilities when it comes to art, coming from different backgrounds. He showed me a few artists whose pieces really struck him, that he wanted emulate. To me they were dull. Pretty to look at, but no life. There was no story.
I think I figured out why he is so adamantly against storytelling, and it comes from the learning differences between our fields. I am designing with a particular goal in mind, to have a product/company/belief portrayed in a way to make people buy/visit/feel the same way. He, however, has been taught in a way to make him the best artist he can be. Neither of these is a better way of learning that the other, it’s just the nature of the fields.
Anyway, the point to all this is really just to highlight what he saw as a flaw but I saw as the beauty of the piece - that little figure of a man concluding his journey. By freezing one second of time in a way that was dynamic and bold in a nuanced way, he became the accidental storyteller of this fictional man’s journey. It may not have been the entire story, but sometimes you don’t need all of it. In fact, it’s often more intriguing to hear just a piece, because you leave your listener wanting more. And this mentality is one that can certainly be put to use during CreateAthon to help out all of our non-profits.
For me, the magic is in both the part of the story you know, and the mystery of that you do not - yet.
For more work from my friend, the fantastic Dane Cozens, visit his site here.