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a bit of sketching in Indy

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a bit of sketching in Indy

It's been a while since I've done a watercolor sketch. Too long of a while.

Yesterday, in between coffees, I decided to take a little time out for ol' sketchy. I came across this abstract drawing I did a few weeks ago while in Indy for work. While waiting for clients (in between stage rehearsals), I sketched this out mostly as a means of keeping myself awake. There can be a lot of sitting and waiting when working corporate events, so it's always good to bring something to keep your brain going when needed. I'm glad I had my trusty sketchbook that day, because I really like how this abstract piece turned out. Also, I successfully kept myself awake. :)

I had a little bit of downtime to explore Indy, too. I even got to hang out with my best friend from childhood, which was a lot of fun. Actually, every time I go to Indy, I end up having a lot of fun. What a great city.  

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stage design: pampered chef national conference

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stage design: pampered chef national conference

What a crazy, incredible year! I've been lucky enough to have had quite a few opportunities to do work for some really cool clients. And so, naturally, I'm super excited to share this new work with everyone - as it was months in the making! 

Just to give you a little background here, Pampered Chef held its annual National Conference at the Rosemont Theater just outside of Chicago, Illinois this past July. Every year, their consultants come together for this event to share their love for everything Pampered Chef. To help make this event be as super awesome as it could be, I worked closely with the Strategy, Staging and Design teams at my company to develop the initial stage concepts/looks for each general session. In additional to working with those (internal) teams, I also simultaneously worked with creatives from the Pampered Chef team to develop set looks that suited their specific needs. And the result is what you see below!

The overall theme for this year's event was Gather 'Round. Each day used similar colors (pinks, glitter(s) and gray) and materials but the graphic and scenic elements were designed differently to create a robust, unique look for each general session. This helps create a fine distinction between each session for the attendees.  

General Session 1 was largely inspired by chevron shapes. A combination of hard and soft pieces were used in harmony to create a layered effect. Bogo lighting can be seen on the stage sides and top center to further carry the look of the day. The speaker support (screen graphics) also reflect the inspiration of the day.

Geometric circle shapes and patterns are what drove the look of General Session 2. Varying sizes of Chinese lanterns covered in glitter dangle from the stage ceiling. Circular patterned hard panels line the legs of the stage with semi-transparent fabric draped behind to create textural contrast. The speaker support uses similar elements graphically to enhance the circular, geometric theme.

For the Awards Session, glitz and glam were the driving themes. The butterflies are symbolic of blooming/achievement. Lush swags of gold and silver fabrics are used in the background and foreground to create a rich, dimensional space for attendees and presenters to stand, enter and exit. Balloons, although not visible in the 3D render, are netted against the ceiling above the theater seating; these are to be used as a finale to the evening. 

General Session 4 is inspired by hexagon shapes. Floor and ceiling supported hex clusters are used to create visual interest in space and aesthetic. Each cluster is made up of colored, semi-transparent and opaque shapes. Soft fabric columns are use on stage right and a large sheer fabric is used on stage left; both work together to create an asymmetrical tone.    

*Although these weren't the final set or speaker support looks the client landed on for the actual show, they were a great start/foundation to the 2015 final event look! I'll be sure to post some photos from the show at a later time! It was there that I was the lead on-site Grpahics Operator, which is a whole other ballgame compared to the set design stuff! Fun times! 

Ciao!    

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sonoma california

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sonoma california

Mountains, somewhere over Utah or Colorado, perhaps. Dreamy and big.

California. So, so beautiful. I was there last week for another work related event. There wasn't much time for dilly dallying or site seeing on this trip, and what I did see was enough to keep me wanting more. Another trip there, one day, for sure. 

One of my favorite parts of being in California was walking through courtyards. Sometimes I felt like I was back in San Juan. More than once, I caught myself closing my eyes...imagining walking her streets again. Flowers and other beautiful plants, everywhere. Gorgeous tile and other architectural details...Spanish Colonial homes.  

The photo below was taken at The Fairmont in Sonoma, a super swanky spa/resort where a majority of the event we were working was held. Lots of fountains, trees, flowers. 

One thing that surprised me was the amount of green in that part of California. I guess I expected less with the drought that's been going on there. So this is what Napa Valley looks like. Huge rolling hills lined with rows of grape vines and green, green grass. I feel like I've been to a lot of different cities/places and I can honestly never seen anything like it before. We drove Sonoma for a second part of the event - the gala/awards session. It was held at the Artesa Winery, which was a super modern take on the typical, classic winery. There were sculptures and infinity pools. 

These photos were taken inside Artesa. When we first got there, the space allotted for the remainder of the event was nothing more than an empty room in the basement with a bunch of barrels all around. Everyone was running around...tech people setting up their gear, winery and hotel staff setting tables and hanging lights. I couldn't help but think of an ant farm as everyone was scurrying around. After the whole crew finished, it looked like this! It amazes me how everything comes together to create something like this. 

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On our last night in Sonoma, I hit up a local dive bar where I shared a few drinks, laughs and (weird?) experiences with my coworkers. A fight broke out between 2 random drunk guys. One of us was offered recreational drugs in the bathroom. Another was thought to be/look like Anthony Bourdain. All of this stuff felt like something out of a movie. Insane. 

But to conclude, being a part of these events/shows really feels like something special. There's something cool about being down in the trenches with your team and then coming out on top...pulling through and delivering a unique experience for the client and for their guests. All in all, it was a great show for a great client, and I decided to celebrate with a Pear Cider. :) An awesome end to an awesome show in an awesome part of the country. Cheers, California. I'll be seeing you again here soon. 

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(new) summer work

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(new) summer work

Woah. This summer. Pure craziness. However, I did make it through alive and I've got some pretty cool stuff to show for it! 

For the last couple of months, I've worked with my Design and Creative Directors at Iacono Productions to develop a design look for speaker support for the annual Pampered Chef summer conference. Total, there were 4 different sessions I needed to develop a look for. After those designs were pulled together, they were applied to 3D set renders so that the client could get a feel for what these designs would actually look like on stage. Check out these gorgeous set renders created by a CAD designer! 

This is the session 1 design. It was used to kick off the event on day 1. Fresh and summery, eh? 

The design for this one actually changed a couple of days before the session, so it ended up being designed a little bit differently (by someone other than myself) than what you see above. It was used on day 2 in session 2. 

This is session 4 which was used on the last day of the event. 

And this is session 3, designed for the awards Gala. This look was also used on the 2nd day of the event. 

I actually got to travel to Louisville for the event to help with graphics operations, too. It was there that I was able to see my designs come to life in the real world, and it was pretty freaking cool! Check out some of these photos from the event! If I remember right, I think there were about 4,000 or so people who attended! 

This is what the backstage areas looked like. So many cords, wires, monitors, laptops, etc. It's like a command station or something. In case you were wondering what types of stuff I did while on-site, you can see me in the top left of the frame in the picture below...I'm talking or doing something with my hands. I was there watching a seasoned professional (the guy sitting next to me) cue the show in hopes that one day, I'd be able to do the same. Also, I did a lot if designy tweaks and stuff on a laptop. 

That's me up there on the top left, saying god knows what with my hand. 

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