Red Bull Flugtag Tampa

October 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm (Art, Branding, Design Events, Florida, free, marketing, News, performing arts, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Timelapse photo of The Florida Aquarium's Flugtag in flight

Take a 100,000 of your closest friends and watch as 39 teams launch home-made flying machines off of a 30’ platform at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Sounds like a fun day? You bet it was!

This afternoon Red Bull Energy Drink returned to Tampa Bay for the only US Flugtag event to be held in 2011. Teams came from around the globe to show off their machines made of wood, foam, pvc, fabric and other basic materials. They formed these into crafts of all different shapes and sizes. Some of my favorite included a giant fork, the A-Team van, the biggest bra you will ever see, and even life-size Back to the Future DeLorean! In the three Flugtags events, and 6 crafts, I’ve helped build I have never seen the hangars as packed as they were today. I’m not sure if this was due to the layout of the hangars or the amount of attendees, but there was barely enough room to move through the crowed before the launches started.

Throughout the day weather was a bit of concern. Wind was definitely a factor throughout the event, but the rain stayed away until this evening. Weather wasn’t the only good luck had during the day. A big scare came when Little Evil, Dade City Motocross Dare Devil, appeared to be knocked unconscious and had to be taken out of the water on a backboard. Luckily he was checked out and up walking around before the next team was out of the water. Other than it seemed to be a fairly safe day in the skies and water of the bay, which is always good to hear after an event such as this.

If you missed this event Red Bull is holding a Kart Fight in Orlando on December 1st and there are rumors of another Red Bull event in South Florida during 2012. If you have a chance to attend Flugtag I would definitely suggest it, if you have the cans to built one I would encourage it. I’ve actually built 6 of them helped launch two. This go around I designed and helped build two, one for Fox 13 and one for Jana Water, so you have some catching up to do …get on it!

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Inspired to Drink – Little Label, Big Ideas

September 10, 2009 at 3:22 am (Art, Design) (, , , , , , , )

Labels

Let’s face it; we all have the occasional project that we just can’t get started. No matter how hard we try to find the aesthetic metaphor that would encapsulate the hopes and dreams of our clients, we stumble out of the gate when we should be racing toward the finish. It’s a creative form of writer’s block (not to say writing isn’t creative, just a different form of creativity). So how do you overcome this wall of artistic destitute?

Like many designers, I enjoy a good a drink. Beyond the exciting array of flavors, bouquet of scents, and the occasional inebriated search of self-wonder, remember to look at the outside of the bottle. I absolutely love the artwork bestowed upon the labels and bottles of alcohol containers. This market contains some of the best, and possibly worst, examples of illustration, packaging, and textures. When I get stuck on a project, nothing gets my creative juices flowing like a quick trip to liquor store. In fact, I don’t even have to buy, or drink, anything during my search. Wine bottles are my preferred source of inspiration. Depending on region, vintner, bottling method, vintage, etc there is a plethora of styles, materials, and designs available to motivate you.

In addition to perusing the halls of liquor stores, I have started collecting labels of my own. The Wine Enthusiast is one of a few companies who have a product called “Label Savers.” This product allows you to peel almost any label off almost any bottles. I collect the labels, and when I need quick inspiration for color, texture, or style the labels are at my disposal.

So next time you get stuck and just need some inspiration head out to your local liquor store (as if you need an excuse), and check out what’s on the shelves. Good luck and happy drinking searching.

Please comment: What do you use as a source of creative inspiration?

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5 Ways to Stay Current as a Creative

September 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm (Art Event, Design, Design Events, economy, Education, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, marketing, Miami, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, Uncategorized, unemployment) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

gaping1You’ve been downsized, laid-off, or decided it was time to strike out on your own and try the world of full-time freelancing and consulting…Now what? In school we’re taught that “no one designs in a vacuum”, but lets face it, when your whole company consists of you, your computer, and maybe a pet, you are not constantly surrounding by other creatives that provide inspiring stimuli. Have no fear, here are five ways I’ve found to keep myself  out of the vacuum and up to date while working as a design consultant:

1. Stay in the loop through social media
Social media can mean different things to different people, but what it comes down to is forging relationships with people online who you may not have otherwise met or stayed in contact with. Though reluctant to it at first, I have found Twitter to be one of the most informational and beneficial social media hubs. The reason for this is because I follow other professionals, media outlets, and design related companies and websites through Twitter. Here’s an example of a tweet from Smashing Magazine:

“@SmashingMag: 30 Amazing Retro Posters and Flyers – http://bit.ly/nG9i4#retro #inspiration

If I’m interested in the topic I don’t have to search through the website, because the link is right there. Other good online networking and portfolio sites are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Behance, and Coroflot.

2. Socialize and network in real face-to-face situations.
If you are on Twitter or Tumblr you might want to attend a local tweetup, where twitter members gather to have real conversations. Refresh and barcamp activities are usually free and informative. The open platform allows for a wide variety of topics to be covered by several presenters. Meetup.com is another great resource. You can find social groups for just about anything. I’ve written several posts about the Shoot Miami photography group that I belong to, but there are groups for WordPress, photoshop, young professionals, etc.

You can also go to art galleries, design events, museum openings, and other social events. Mix with a new demographic, tell them what you do, and maybe you’ll generate some new business contacts.

3. Read industry (and non-industry) related publications:
You don’t have to subscribe to the publications because most of them are online. Some of my favorites for inspiration are: Smashing Magazine, Inspired Magazine, Freelance Switch, Web Designer Depot, and Wired Magazine, and I still receive printed versions of Event Design Magazine. Computer Arts Magazine is a great resource that I check out when I go to book stores, and Smithsonian Magazine and Reader’s Digest are a great resources for escaping from all the creative stimulus when you want a well written and engaging story.

4. Start a blog:
Having a blog and actually trying to write interesting, topical, and engaging information everyday really helps to change your thinking. You start looking for new technologies, techniques, events, and anything else worthy of note to add to your blog. Pick a general topic you are interested in and write about it. As our good friend Benjamin Franklin said: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

5. Expand your creative horizons:
While working full-time you probably hit a comfortable stride. You knew what your boss wanted to see, how things should be done, and what type of clientele you were dealing with, so shake it up a little bit! Do projects outside of your comfort zone; this helps you expand your design reach. Be careful not to over extend yourself, but look for a project that is in a different style than what you are used to, or a new industry that you haven’t explored. E.g. I recently created a logo for a cake decorator. Most of the concepts I did were feminine with script fonts. This is not my usual style at all, but it expanded my design style a little further.

Another great thing you can do is volunteer. Find a museum or charitable organization within your field to help support with your time. You’ll feel better about yourself, have access to industry developments, and make valuable contacts all while doing some good in your community.

Hopefully these 5 little tips will help to keep you out of that design vacuum. Good luck in this new phase of your life, and remember to enjoy the journey.

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Creative Truths

July 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm (advertising, Art, Branding, commercials, Design, marketing, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The Vendor Client Relationship Video is a fantastic representation of what designers go through every day. Most transactions that people face day to day are non-negotiable, or partially negotiable. As designers we deal with perceived value in a much different way. People say “why would I pay you that much when my [insert friend or family’s name and relation here] can build a website” or “knows Photoshop.” Many people do not understand that an attitude like that is like saying: “my friend can give you stitches just as good as a medical professional and at a deep discount” just because she know how to cross stitch.

The video presents this disproportioned view of the design business in a comical and uncomfortably true way. On top of the comedic genius of the final product itself, the video is an example of viral video done well. The creative force behind this video is Scofield Editorial – creator of videos, web spots, documentaries, and the like. They did a great job of creating a successful, humorous, and non-sophomoric viral video. Now if they can only figure out how to use proper kerning on their logo!

The video reminds me of the Designing a Stop Sign video that featured Al Samuels and Katie Nahnsen from Chicago area improv theaters and the NBC show Sports Action Team.

Both these videos are a must see for anyone in the creative arts!

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