Costumes, Casinos, and a Cause – “Photo Booth” @ Raising the Stakes for Noble of Indiana

Fundraising events are necessary for any philanthropic/non profit organization.   The more engaging the event, the better.   Last week I was asked to provide my photography skills for Noble of Indiana, and organization that “creates opportunities and provides learning disability services for the developmentally disabled to live meaningful lives in Indiana.”

“Raising the Stakes” is an annual event with a casino feel filled with a variety of staple casino games, and also includes a classy dinner and multiple raffles/auctions.   This year they added a “Photo Booth” where people could let loose and wear a variety of ridiculous costume items.   My job was to snap the photos, of course.

I’ve done the “Photo Booth” at several events around Indianapolis and I am continually surprised at how excited people get to pose for these pictures.   It’s a great addition to any event, raising the energy level and enthusiasm of everyone present.

I’ve provided a link  to the pictures on my Facebook business page below.  Take a quick look…I’m sure you’ll have a couple laughs.  Congrats to Noble of Indiana on a successful event.

“Photo Booth” @ Raising the Stakes for Noble of Indiana

Designing for Print in a Social Media World

Everyone is using social media…it’s a staple for any start up especially.  So much of what I do for clients lives online…Facebook, Twitter, eBlasts, Web banners. Ads….not to mention gB after gB of photos.

Even with all the digital work out there, people still need to print things.  From the conversations I have with clients, a misconception is taking shape…that designing images for print is the same as designing images for the web.

Don’t get me wrong, designing imagery for the web is no simple task.  Dimensions, formats, pixels, file size, images matching across multiple platforms, …it can be a challenge.  But designing for print carries it’s own challenges and risks.  If you aren’t careful you can end up costing you and your client a lot of time and money…not to mention resources.  (You can Ctrl + Z a mistake of a digital design with relative ease….but Ctrl + Z a mistake after a print run of 10,000 pieces is a little tougher)

That’s why I found this write up from Creative Bloq (@CreativeBloq) so helpful…and yes I do mess up from time to time.

“10 questions you should always ask your printer” is a helpful guide to keep even the most experienced designers from making a rookie mistake when working with a print house.

Print media and Social Media aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon.  It’s important as designers that we stay sharp on the fundamentals for both.

10 questions you should always ask your printer | Creative Bloq.

Branding the Presidents: An exercise in political design

A fun exercise I found in political design…which is your favorite? Mines the Kennedy one.  Be sure to look through them all, although the author left out Obama down through H.W. Bush.

Branding the Presidents  http://brandingtheuspresidents.tumblr.com/

Monument to the World’s Tallest Man

My shoe next to that of the tallest man ever known to walk the earth.

I’m 6 ft 1in tall and wear size 12 shoes.
Robert Pershing Wadlow was 8ft 11in and wore size 37 shoes.

Out of all the people on the planet, the honor of being the World’s Tallest Man in recorded history belonged  to a gentleman from Alton, IL, a town just 30 minutes from my own hometown.  I thought it only fitting for me to grab my camera and make the short drive to the monument dedicated to him.

The  life-size statue of Wadlow stands on College Avenue in Alton, opposite the Alton Museum of History and Art. The statue was erected in 1986 in honor of the hometown native.  I first visited the statue with my grandparents back in 1995 (check out the shorts I’m rocking in a picture in the gallery below) but hadn’t been back until this past week.  His statue looked just as enormous as it had when I was 12.  Unfortunately I was the only one at the statue when I took pictures…so my shoe was the only point of reference I had to show just how, pardon the pun, largest than life he was.

Known as the Alton Giant, Robert Wadlow was born in 1918. His size was noticeable from an early age with special desks having to be made for him as an elementary school student.  By his freshman year of college he was already over 8ft 3in and showing no signs of stopping.  His celebrity status in American culture comes as no surprise and in 1936 he toured the country with the Ringling Brother Circus.

Mobility was always a problem for Wadlow, often requiring braces to support his 440lb frame.  Sadly his giant stature would be his undoing.  On July 4, 1940 a blister on Robert’s foot became infected requiring doctors to perform an unsuccessful blood transfusion.  He would pass away in his sleep 15 days later at the young age of 22.

It is said his funeral was attended by nearly 40,000 people.  His casket was 10 feet and required 12 pallbearers to take Robert to final resting place, which was interred in a vault of solid concrete.

While Robert Wadlow will likely hold the world record indefinitely at 8ft 11in doctors said that his body showed no signs of slowed growth.  Who knows how tall he could have become.

There are six other life size statues of Wadlow, one of which resides at the Guinness Museum in Niagara Falls.

Here’s a video about his life.

Push the Button…I Dare You

Indeed TNT does know drama.

..well in Belgium at least.  Check out this clever marketing stunt gaining a lot of attention.

Would you push the button?

A DRAMATIC SURPRISE ON A QUIET SQUARE – YouTube.

Artist Spotlight: Lois Main Templeton

The works of notable abstract artist and poet, and long time Indianapolis resident, Lois Main Templeton were unveiled recently at the Conrad Indianapolis.  I was honored to be given the opportunity to attend the event and visit Lois in her Indianapolis studio.

Organized and presented by the Modern Masters Fine Art, this collection of work is the first solo exhibition for the  storied 84 year old artist at the Conrad.  She has had solo exhibits in seven other states and her work has been exhibited in four museums, and twice showcased by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Guests of the artist reception enjoyed live music, complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a book signing by the artist herself.   In addition to book signings, Templeton was on hand throughout the entire event to take pictures and strike up conversations with those patrons who came to see her works.  Templeton creates vibrant combinations of contemporary art and poetry. Her specialty is abstract paintings done in oil on paper, but she also makes use of acrylics, charcoal and other mediums as well.

Check out the entire photo gallery
HERE

Following the exhibition I was offered the chance to stop by Ms. Templeton’s studio, where I had the opportunity to see the artist in her element.   I was humbled that an established artist such as Ms. Templeton would allow me into her studio space, speak with her about her works, and even let me watch as she prepared another piece of work.

Lois shares the space with another established Indiana artist, Phil O’Malley.  Together they gave me a tour of the studio and elaborated on projects they collaborated on, including work they did for the youth in the area.  They even worked on a children’s book together, which Lois wrote and illustrated herself, titled “Who Makes the Sun Rise?”

Before visiting the studio I had sent Lois a handful of questions.  My purpose was just to give her a few talking points, but what I got in return was far more than I expected.  Lois provided me with pages of hand written answers, a treasure trove of thoughts and ideas from an amazing artist.  It was as if she had invited me into her world and how she perceives it.  After reading her responses I gained a greater appreciation and even a deeper understanding of her work.  I have shared her responses to my questions below.

To say it was a privilege to spend the afternoon with Lois Main Templeton would be an understatement.

What does it mean to you to have your works on display at the Conrad?

The Conrad gives my work a voice, along with Constance Edwards Scopelitis and Walter Knabe.  The really great artists of Pop Art constantly surprise, and make the Conrad an exciting place as well as a gorgeous hotel.   The fact that three Midwestern Artists are included with the greats seems to me an extension of the hotels philosophy as well, of course, of Rhonda Long Sharp (Owner-Modern Masters of Fine Art).

My work is itself; Independent of me.  While in the studio a painting and I have a grand tussle together (from the first marks to the point where it says, “Back off, Lady”).   When it leaves the studio, it is on its own.  If in a home, it becomes part of that person/family.    In a corporate or public space, I hope it says “Hello there!”  I would rather it be somewhat bumptious than just part of the scenery, just another furnishing.

Could you describe your friendship/relationship with Rhonda Long Sharp and how that influenced your career?

I think Rhonda and I took one look at each other and said, “What have we here!”  She hears a piece and places it right where it can sing.  We are direct with each other, can speak our minds freely.  She is a very knowledgeable woman, so I am honored (and a little surprised) that she thinks so highly of my work.  Both of us are family people, a fact very important in my case.

While very much a Middle westerner,  I was more than ready to get out of Dodge.  Indianapolis has been very welcoming and now it was high time the work take off in the hands of a person who has live contacts in and beyond the USA.  Rhonda’s enthusiasm and the energy she puts into her life’s work, are mind boggling.  Plus she’s more darn fun to be with.

What inspired you to include lines of your poetry in your artwork?


Most of us are more than just one person.  We are often a colony of persons – is that how to put it?  I scribble my thoughts as they come.  Just as painters like paint, so I like language.  Faced with a big white surface, I need to mark it up – words, gestures make it my world.  The words don’t have to be mine, for goodness sake, at some point the itch to paint strikes.  Most of those writings and marks will be covered by paint; some are discernable.  Perhaps writing returns as calligraphic gesture in paint or with charcoal.  We are, all of us, body AND mind.  Often my work is a reflection of that common fact.  We are, most of us quite complicated persons – a colony.

Any new projects?

You never can tell!  For instance, lacking studio space for several months in 2011 meant that all I would so was water color…drove me nuts.  An oil painter pushes, scrapes, and digs the paint.  It is very physical.  It is definitely “interactive” – Constantly!  My watercolors include ink, graphite, spit, and gouache.  Rhonda and I decided they should be classified as “mixed media art work”.  Perhaps most importantly, they can be little things done on a dining room table.  So, in answer to your question, it depends on the cards you’re dealt – to some extent.

My new project is that at 84 – I am digging up bits of sketches, snapshots, notes that are here in the Indianapolis studio.  Pinned to a wall here I spotted a remark of Billy Names (he was a photographer of the 1960) “I don’t mind being an antique.  As long as you do something authentic you stick around.”  SO- I am powering through bits of what is to see what feels authentic and THEN see if I can run with it.  Remember what I said about no fear?  Hogwash.  I, at any rate, have fear – until I begin, at which point the paint takes over.

Being authentic is all it takes – and what it takes.  Hmmm?

Check out the entire photo gallery
HERE