Inspiration and a Healthy Dose of Southern Hospitality
Recently–ok, it was back in April, but it feels like it was just last weekend–we had the pleasure of traveling outside our comfortable San Diego bubble of sunny skies, 24/7 flip flops, and top shelf taco shops to the warm, albeit wet embrace of southern hospitality, innovation and inspiration among those who call Baton Rouge and the south, home. It was two very jam-packed days of filling our eager minds with industry insider tips, sharing stories of community, inclusiveness, and collaboration, and taking in all the glorious design eye-candy one could possibly handle in a mere 48 hours. Oh, and crawfish. Lots of crawfish.
The conference was divided into two parts over two days with day one consisting entirely of workshops ranging from social media know-how, to hand lettering, letterpress poster design, and the business side of this thing we all call design. I’d be lying if I said we made it to each one, but the harsh reality was that a smattering of client work had to get done at some point that day. Sacrifices must sometimes be made!
Day two was the big show so to speak. Seven speakers tickled our collective fancies with anecdotes, advice, and yes, a slide show or five. Design heavy hitters James Victore and Snask from Sweden elevated the entire affair to absurdly captivating levels, and although Mr. Victore was unable to physically attend due to inclement weather, he still managed to inject his own brand of irreverent humor and insight live via Facetime; a towering, altogether Victore experience that everyone who attended is sure to remember.
After an entire day of inspiring talks, crawfish, multiple visits to the merch area upstairs, more crawfish, and all manner of excellent swag collecting, it was time to take the party down the street where the boys from Snask, who also happen to moonlight as the band, Vag (it means ‘road’ in Swedish!), played us out with their punk-tinged, retro garage rock stylings.
If we learned anything from our time down south, it’s that we as designers all speak the same language of creativity and weirdness. Coming together at The Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge to participate in this collaborative spectacle, we discovered that we gave each other the strength to embrace what made us different as kids and celebrate that difference as adults.
These are the fine folks who enriched our lives and charged our creative batteries for two rainy days in April along the mighty Mississippi River:
Snask Stockholm, Sweden – actual design rockstars
Lauren Hom – handletterer and all around go-getter
Grits Co. – celebrating southern lifestyle and using design for good
Adam Vicarel – fusing hand lettering, design direction, and a love of the outdoors
Industry Print Shop – on site screen printing at the venue (many shirts were purchased)
Pretty Useful Co – designers, makers of things, and successful followers of dreams
Michael Fugoso – illustrator, master of digital origami
Lisa Quine – master letterer
Jon Contino – influential, award winning New York designer
Lauren Dickens – designer, peddler of awful goods
Oh, and Crop is having a pop up conference in San Diego. Tickets. Are. Here.