Design Camp: Studio on Fire and Paper Puppets

Written by in Events

I really wasn’t planning on drawing an owl for my third Design Camp post illustration. In fact, I was actually thinking of doing something more along the lines of a loon or a squirrel. But last night I got this urgent request from Alec Rutgers (@Cdianshield) via twitter:

@benlueders @NeenahPaper Can I request for the next daily drawing a Arctic white Owl ruffling it’s feathers,pls.

Through a little internet sleuthing, I discovered that these owls are officially called “snowy owls” – and they’re not really that common in Minnesota. However, I also found some articles that claimed more snowy owls have been showing up around these parts in recent years – so I thought it’d be safe to scribble one out. Thanks for the suggestion, Alec!

For me, the second day of camp started with some great interviews for The Reflex Blue Show. Above, we find Ben and Selina from the JAW-DROPPING Minneapolis letterpress shop, Studio on Fire. Please click on that LINK. Here it is AGAIN. SUCH good work. HERE’s their blog. YES.

Here’s Matthew Doty and Fred Beecher. These guys are “user experience designers” from Minneapolis. I grabbed them right before they headed of to teach separate workshops introducing traditional graphic designers to the exciting and beautiful world of UX design. We had a great time podcasting!

After interviewing Fred and Matthew on the podcast, I peaked into their workshop sessions to take a couple pics. Here’s Fred giving his presentation entitled “Becoming a Unicorn”.

Here’s Matthew giving his presentation entitled “The User is Not Like Me”.

Speaking of workshops – Jamie wrapped up her wildly popular paper presentation yesterday – and I’m proud to say that she ABSOLUTELY KILLED IT. (And yes, that’s a good thing.)

Speaking of KILLED things – here’s some paper meat friends.

What a fun/awesome workshop, Jamie! It was fun to see some Neenah love rolling in on the Twitter feed too – like this one from Shelly Marie (@see_shellz):

@neenahpaper – great take home sample. good resource and sweet design #designcamp #design #paper t.co/d9AIvPrU

I’m not sure you can really call it camp if there’s TVs in the restrooms.

This one’s for Matt and Donovan.

Of course, the biggest Day 2 highlight for most campers – was an amazing presentation by the one and only Chip Kidd. Of course he was funny. Of course he was crude. Of course he had amazing work. But I think what everyone will remember the most, is how long he waited for the internet to start working so he could play a certain movie trailer. And, unfortunately, it never really ended up working.

What amazed me most about this scenario, was how patient and attentive the audience was during this long/silent wait. Not many speakers could get away with a lull like that. It really goes to show how much designers love and respect Mr. Kidd.

After Chip’s presentation, we went down to the shore. The sky began to clear up – and it started to remind me of my hometown in Hawaii.

The Neenah folk noticed the amazing lighting at sunset – so we thought we’d capitalize on it’s beauty and take some dramatic profile pics. That’s Kim

…here’s Jamie

… and that’s me: Ben Lueders.

The evening ended with some more outstanding interviews. Over the last few days I’d gotten to know this amazing design duo: Ron Fleming and Brent Stickels. These guys run a small four-person design firm called YYES, that’s based in both LA and Minneapolis. In addition to their unique experience, fantastic story-telling abilities, and exceptional design work – these guys also have amazing voices for radio. Really looking forward to re-listening to this interview…

And here’s the interview I’d been looking forward to all weekend. Eric Madsen, who gave that emotional and inspirational presentation on Friday, sat down for a long conversation about life, music, art, design, friends and a host of other topics. We really connected on both our love of John Denver and also our passion for incorporating art and sketching into our daily lifestyles.

After I turned off the microphone and began to pack up for the night – Eric and I kept on talking and talking. I found so much commonality with this man. And was really impressed with his heart and intellect. Thanks for such a memorable evening, Mr. Madsen. (And thanks to Kim and Jamie for making this interview happen!)

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    cassie dee. said:

    Ben, these pictures are great! I’m happy to see my little bow-tied meat man making friends. Sounds like your interviews went really well, and isn’t chatting with Eric Madsen a joy? That man is so wonderful! I wish I would have talked to you while I was there, it’s always nice to ‘meat’ new people!

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    Loved seeing so many friends and former students at Design Camp!