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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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Ebowlas

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Ebowlas

These t-shirts were designed for my bowling team (my company party had bowling tournaments at Axis Alley in Newport, Ky). We had the best team name there ever was: The Ebowlas. Our tagline was, "Bringing everyone down!" We actually won 1st place for design in the t-shirt contest, so I was pretty excited about that!

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199C

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199C

I'm participating in BLDG's 199C annual exhibition this year! 199C is an art show that celebrates the baseball, Cincinnati and Opening Day - featuring works from many talented designers and artists in the area. Here's a sneak peek of my piece. Come to the exhibition if you want to see the whole thing. :) Click here for more info.

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farewell friend

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farewell friend

One of the most talented illustrators I've had the pleasure of working with is retiring from my workplace at the end of this month. His name is Gary Kramig, and he will surely be missed by all. As a send-off gift for his retirement party, a co-worker had the brilliant idea of putting together a booklet that contains drawings and blurbs from all of us. This was is my contribution...a really awkward digital collage. I think it fits him, though. Ha!

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new work

Check out some of my latest design work! These pieces were designed for a local company called Zephyr Blowout Salon. It's located in Hyde Park (Cincinnati), just 1 town over from where I live! If you don't know what a blowout salon is (like I didn't), it's where you can go to get your hair washed and styled. 

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how to find fulfilling work

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how to find fulfilling work

I just saw this pop up on Lifehacker and Brain Pickings. Everyone else is sharing it so why don't I?!

Are you having trouble figuring out what your career should be? I know I struggled for a time before landing on design and illustration. It's hard to decide on your whole life's work when you're 18..21..even 40. I really dug this illustrated video about how to go about making the right choice for finding fulfilling work. 

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year in review

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year in review

Well, the Kuhlmann family has had quite an interesting year this time around! We thought we'd share it with our close family and friends by sending out a goofy holiday card that doubled as a year in review (info?)graphic - letting everyone know what we've been up to as of late. I think we got some pretty good laughs out of it. You can see more detailed photos of the card here!

Here's the Kuhlmann family, up close and personal. But not that crazy squirrel. How'd he get here?

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on creative downtime

I've had some downtime lately and I've really been trying to spend it smartly. After reading Assignments for Yourself on Design Observer this morning, I was inspired to try something new: A self assigned digital collage! Rules: None. Deadline: None. Client: None. 

With my spare time at work, I'd normally watch mind numbing software video tutorials. Which is of course good, for sure. Sometimes, though, a creative needs to just screw off and put something together that has no real purpose or that makes no sense. I feel like so much of what I do relies on purpose and/or functionality, but boy is it fun to create without it. 

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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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best feelings

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best feelings

If you've glanced at my blog before or follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, then you probably already know that I like to draw. Buildings, people, patterns, dogs...whatever. Every once in a while, when the cosmos align just right, I get the chance to simultaneously draw and get paid. When that happens, it's really pretty much one of the best feelings in the world. It's special...like building a house with your bare hands and whole heart and then someone saying, "That's a really pretty house. Can I live there too?" That made more sense in my head, actually, but I'm not sure how else to explain it. 

So recently, one of these types of opportunities came across my path and I was, and still am, pretty psyched about it. I was asked to do a full cover illustration of Writer's Digest magazine to go along with some illustrations I had previously done for the interior feature package of the July/August issue! You can see the cover above along with some close-ups and interior shots from the feature package below. 

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