Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Perpetual Recess - Doodles On Chalkboard"

With the new year came the end to the four month long top sheet design contest I had ever so willingly been participating in. At the end of December, G3 wrapped up the contest with Round 4 and their Infidel ski.

G3 describes the Infidel as a freeride ski for everyday fun, nicknamed the "smile factory." Well, obviously the design going on the ski should be one that invokes and! I had a plan for this ski through the entire contest, and could barely wait to get to work on it. The idea was simple, and came from a certain (five at the time) now six year old and his random ever changing and evolving drawings.

I've never spent much time around kids. Well, not enough to witness their evolution, how quickly they learn and the changes in the way they think and see the world. A few years ago I met a young feller by the name of Zack. Wild, high spirited, energetic, extremely caring, very athletic, great at sports and loves so ski! I have had the pleasure of living with this particular young man since he was three. I've witnessed his improvement in knowledge of vocabulary, spelling, counting, colors as well as his motor skills in sports. Especially his ability to learn to ski. I've also watched as his doodles went from random heavy strokes of forceful color back and forth to squiggly wiggly lines all over a page to the formation of things he sees in the world. One of the first things he ever popped out onto a page was a wheel, odd looking but definitely a wheel. The wheel then became part of a race car he had seen at the tracks in Vegas. Soon after there was fire and rain, then mountains and trees. Then a whole picture of him fishing with his dad. Every now and then an occasional skier on a mountain. After many hours of watching Matchstick Productions ski flicks with me in the living room, he was drawing and demonstrating avalanches.

As much as I love his doodles, there is a same-ness to all of them. They are very much his style. After chatting about my idea with his mom, we came to the idea that maybe we could get doodles from his entire kindergarten class. They would draw whatever they thought of when they thought of Winter. Every drawing would be individual and unique in its style and composition. In turn the ski would be most unique in its own right, have not one artist, but 26 little ones!

I remember being in school, looking out the window unable to pay attention or focus on my school work as the snow fell outside. Excitement overcame us. All we could think of was the bell of recess or the end of the day ringing, signaling it was time to go outside and play in the snow. Oh the snowmen and the snowball fights and the snow forts, snow tunnels, snow on a slide, a huge pile of snow, catching snowflakes on our tongues...etc. How we couldn't wait to get to the sledding hill. Playing so hard we never noticed as the sun set. So sad we had to go inside and wait till we could get out and play in the snow again. Recess was the best! If only the snow play could never end!

A few days before Christmas break, when little children's minds are filled the most with thoughts of snowmen, snowballs, sledding and anything else they look forward to when it snows at Christmas time, we commissioned the kindergarten class for one drawing each. A massive pile of amazing drawings it was! They were all so different, the skill, the images, the composition. Away I went, scanning and cutting, scanning and cutting until I had a completely random layout of each and every drawing. It was perfect! And to give it a different twist, I reversed the background, making it look as though they drew all of this on a chalkboard with different colors of chalk.
You can view my entry for Round 4 here:

The Skigraphiks contest was such a great opportunity to put my skills, the skills I use for my own personal design play, the skills I never get to use as a newspaper advertising designer, to great use! I finally had a chance to take personal stuff I would play around with doing, apply it to a formal design and put it out there for the world to see! It was the most fun I have had with ideas and designing them in a very long time. And to see all of the fantastic designs that came out of this contest, I was blown away! The Skigraphiks contest was such a wonderful opportunity and who knows, maybe this year in 2012, I will throw out more ideas and enter the contest again.

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