Feeling Like Kids Again
While the majority of Design Ranch attendees come from Texas, about a third of the Class of 2011 come from out of state. Two from Toronto, representing Fresh Books made Design Ranch an international festival for the first time. There are all kinds here, from accountants to advertising people, from photographers to account managers, from sales reps to in-house designers from DELL of Austin, TX and STATE FARM INSURANCE of Bloomington, IL. People like Jami Anderson cannot make up their mind where they’re from—so they claim two cities as home!
Volunteers this year had to prove their value through an application process and that culled the herd of slackers. This is my third DR, I can attest that this is the best managed DR I have seen and the young volunteers aren’t only cute, but smart, helpful and not hungover!).
But the best part of DR really, truly, totally is the workshops. Totally. Absolutely. Sure, sure you sign up for workshops thinking, “Hey, this will be fun but its really just filler between the Lone Star, fajitas and tequila. Sure, I might make a cool poster… but…”
But!?? But, everyone gets into it! You see, DR’s charm is its setting, its size and the incredible way it makes you feel like a a kid again. Even some of the most jaded art directors start giggling and smearing ink all over their pants. DR is a joy because it is an equalizer. The most sophisticated (and intimidating) art director at home is just another ink-splattered, paint-covered, dusty, sweaty grinning first-timer here. Guys collage. Gals make lamps. Fellas write camp songs. Girlies stamp block prints. No one is immune to the fun fever. Why, bless his little ole heart, even 9-time DR champion Jason “Happy Hour?! Happy Second, Dude!!” Brantley was captured on camera—participating in a workshop rather than standing off to the side sipping a cool one while making smart-alec comments. Ain’t that sweet?
“How can so many people have so much creativity, diversity,
and lucidity in the same vicinity? “— Jason Brantley