Design Renegade at HPX Digital, Halifax

You and me, Halifax. On October 19th at high noon I’ll be speaking at the HPX Digital conference right here in my home town. This is only the second time I’ve taken the stage around these parts to tell my  story and show my work, and the first time I’ll be presenting my DESIGN RENEGADE talk. Really looking forward to it. HPX Digital is presented by my friends at FITC and they’re bringing in some heavy hitting presenters to share their ideas, work and general inspiration.

We rarely see events like this in our town especially in the design realm, so if you live around here I NEED YOUR HELP. Creative agencies in Halifax sometimes overlook events such as this and it would be a shame to miss out on this one. So if you work at an agency, tell your co-workers, colleagues and employers about this. Get those tickets. I’m talking to you Extreme, Revolve, Impact, Raised, Internet Solutions, Famous Folks, Chester and Co., Liberated and everyone in between. Aggressive marketing! Get to this thing, you guys.

HPX Digital is October 17-19 at the Atlantica Hotel, a short walk for most agencies downtown. Check the speakers. Get your tickets. Let’s do this.

WMCFest 2012 Wrap-up

Hanging with Johnny Cupcakes and Chuck Anderson!

The Snack Pack! Going bananas with Johnny and Friends Of Type.

The one and only Matt Stevens! So happy, lookit that guy.

Just got back from an awesome trip down to Cleveland, Ohio to attend and speak at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. I’ve heard a lot about this event over the past couple of years and was excited to check out what all the buzz was about. Was so happy to get an invitation to take the stage.

What a fantastic time. Great auditorium to speak in and a nice big music venue right across the street where everyone gathered to hang out after the days speakers. So here is a rapid fire, 20-point machine gun list of my experiences and memories from the big trip. Hit it.

1. Drew a Ninja Turtle on the plane.
2. Crazy Hyatt hotel in Cleveland looked like the interior of a cruise ship. Ritzy.
3. Accidentally/Hilariously walked into the Scottish equivalent of a Hooters. Hello Tilted Kilt ladies!
4. Ran into Nebraska’s own Nick Evans on a deserted street. Laughter commenced.
5. Caught up with the Georgia titan Mike Jones! What a gentleman. What a beard.
6. Beer folies – accidentally called the “PBR” a “BRP”. Burp. Was laughed at.
7. “A really cool hat.” If you were there, you know what I’m talking about.
8. Mad hangouts with Chuck Anderson and Matt Stevens. Many topics covered. Many laughs had.
9. “The casino gotta great spread.” was the concierge’s breakfast suggestion to Chuck. Amazing.
10. Saw Nate Utesch destroy the stage. Talked about his Ferocious Quarterly. MAD talent.
11. Tad Carpenter was on fire. Hilarious guy. Amazing work. Killer talk. Great hand-shaker.
12. Great (first time) talk by Rachael Novak. Side hustle! Really dig her work.
13. Saw Chuck sweat like a moose onstage. An awesome and glistening presentation.
14. Johnny Cupcakes told us his entire story mingled with advice and doodoo jokes. And cockroaches!
15. Went to famous Happy Dogs with Buffalo correspondent Paul Pants. 50 toppings?!
16. The Friends Of Type crew let me jump into their cab, then gave me a tote bag! Swell bunch.
17. Took the stage for my DESIGN RENEGADE talk. Awesome time, great crowd. Awkward laughs.
18. Watched Kate Bingaman Burt  set the stage ablaze! She’s one talented machine-gun. Wow.
19. Nerded-out with Johnny Cupcakes backstage. Talked about our childhood He-man collections.
20. Super fun WMCFest closing party, complete with a streaker. Yes, a streaker! With nudity!

I’m forgetting loads of stuff and people, but you all know who you are and it was more than a pleasure to meet you all. So many hands shook and so many laughs shared. A huge thanks to everyone who came out to see me speak, you packed the room from front to back and really made this lone Canadian feel welcome. You even laughed at my lame jokes. I’m in your debt, Cleveland.

Finally, a GIANT thanks to the guys responsible for bringing me down in such style and for putting on such a fantastic event, Jeff Finely and Joseph Hughes. The effort and care these guys out into WMCFest is unrivalled and it shows. Thanks so much, guys. You should be real proud to have brought together such a wonderful and creative hoard of people.

I’ll miss you, WMCFest!

A few days out, Cleveland!

In  few short days I’ll be getting on a plane destined for Cleveland, Ohio to speak at the mighty Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. Man, I can’t wait for this one, so many great speakers (intimidating line-up), colleagues and friends are piling into that venue for a kickass time. I’ve heard NOTHING but good reviews of this grassroots event and I can’t wait to get there and wreck up the joint up.

Holy crap, Chuck Anderson will be there. And Dan Cassaro. And Matt Stevens. Friends I’ve never met, or wedgied. Planning on doing both.

On top of actually getting onstage to do my DESIGN RENEGADE talk I’ll be packing a bunch of posters, stickers and other things to offer up at my merchtable following the presentation. Lots of stuff, be sure to check it out. Rare goodies in there. I’ll be onstage on Sunday, June 10 at 6:15pm in the Reinberger Auditorium. Sharing loads of work and stories. Possibility of lame jokes.

So if you’ll be attending WMCFest in a few days, I will see you there. Let’s do this, Cleveland!

Aaron and I

Here’s a quick one, a lost photo taken by my pal Chris Toms on the final day of FITC Toronto 2012. Dartmouth vs. Portland. Me and that Aaron Draplin. Having a good time on the streets of Toronto.

Look at that death grip, man. Draplin broke 2 of my ribs in this shot.

FITC Toronto 2012 Superpost

Standing room only in the Toronto I. Taking the stage for DESIGN RENEGADE.

Onstage for my DESIGN RENEGADE talk. Waving my hands. Yelling. Riffin' about Illustrator.

Packed the Influxis Voodoo Lounge for my supplemental talk, the Signalnoise Poster Break-down.

The gang: Eric Miller, Paul Panfalone, random street vagrant and Chris Toms.

"You mess with Dartmouth, you mess with Buffalo!" - Paul Panfalone, setting the record straight.

Justin Erickson from the mighty Phantom City Creative.

Portland vs. Dartmouth. Hung out with the man, Aaron James Draplin.

Landed back in Dartmouth last night, head spinning and blurry-eyed from my big trip to FITC Toronto 2012. My entire year seems to revolve around FITC, biggest and best event I’ve been to and is the 3rd year in a row I’ve been a speaker. Walked into the event area to see my FITC artwork and logo design everywhere. Real proud, man. Those banner were HUGE.

Before I get into the recap, I want to send a giant thanks to everyone who attended the talks I did at the event. Both rooms were packed, standing room only. Good lookin’ crowd too, I gotta say. But seriously it means a lot that you’d drop in to hear my little story and see some art. Truly appreciate it.

So here we go. A 23-point machine gun list of moments, memories and wonderful meetings that have happened over the last few days. Lets get to it.

1. Travelled with my brother in design, Eric Miller of the Dartmouth Clothing Co.
2. Good friend Alison “Eraserheader” Knott made the trek from Halifax to rep the east coast!
3. Enjoyed a killer steak and colourful conversation with Aaron Draplin, Paul Panfalone and Big Eric.
4. Then Draplin threw down the heavy plastic to cover said steaks. Scholar and a roughneck gentleman.
5. Met the mighty “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin right before my talk. Horror poster hero!
6. Packed the house for my DESIGN RENEGADE talk, then sold a load of posters. HUGE thanks everyone!
7. Sat down with the Humber and Inspiredology crew for a no-holds barred interview session.
8. Hung out with Chad Mueller, Andrew Dertinger, Steve Schiavello and others at the Loose Moose!
9. Met Justin Erickson of the mighty Phantom City Creative! Holy crap! High regard!
10. Met tons of kind folks at the FITC Opening Gala. Questionable odours in that joint.
11. Many topics covered with the amazing Kat Gaskin. Failed attempt to sneak into the hotel pool.
12. Finally saw Aaron Draplin throw down live with Tall Tales from a Large Man. NAILED it.
13. Was given an AMAZING handmade “metal” belt by Malena Gonzalez. Beautiful!
14. Got to the bottom of stuff in a big ol’ interview with Canada.com. Also video.
15. Ate schnitzel for the first time. Loved it. Even love the funny name of it. Thanks Kat!
16. Met so many killer people at the FITC Awards Show. Many hands shook. You know who you are!
17. Mad handshakes with Jerry and Grant from Influxis. Streaming kings among men.
18. Took the stage in the Influxis Voodoo Lounge for my Signalnoise Poster Break-down talk. PACKED room.
19. Saw Draplin rip up the Influxis Lounge with his 20 Points to Wreck Your Life talk. Killed it!
20. Sung the intro theme to My Secret Identity with friend Riley. Tight harmonies.
21. Met a PILE of kind folks at the FITC Closing Party. You are all amazing. Many laughs had.
22. Spotted FITC’s director Shawn Pucknell sporting a Dartmouth Clothing Co. shirt. East coast!
23. Short but lovely conversation with the mighty and creative Jon Burgerman.

I’m missing all kinds of stuff in here. Lots of gaps. But I want every last damn person I met at FITC Toronto that you really made this trip an epic event. From the other speakers to press people, volunteers to timid students. Loved hearing stories about individual creative passions and answering questions. Keep fighting the good fight, people. You are all part of the Signalnoise Crew of Design Hooligans whether you like it or not.

And finally a massive thank-you to Shawn Pucknell, Lisa Walters, Lindsay Munro, Alfred Park, Erin Kelly and Alison Britt for everything they did to make this event a colossal success. For myself and everyone else. They raised the bar this year, saturating the event with inspiration, passion and downright fun. I’d take a bullet for those six … well, six bullets in total I guess. I’d take a RIDDLING of bullets for them. Not to be messed with. Thanks so much, gang.

And now the evil eye of Signalnoise shifts to you, Cleveland. Things will be ramping up for WMCFest real soon. June can’t come quick enough. You have been warned.

From the road: FITC Toronto 2012

Photo by Aaron James Draplin. That's right!

Updating from the road, holed up in my Hilton hotel room at the mighty FITC Toronto 2012. One more day to this beast of an event and already my head is swimming with thoughts of who I’ve met, hands shook, laughs had and fires ignited.

First off, a HUGE thank-you goes out to everyone who showed up to see my DESIGN RENEGADE talk. Man, you guys packed the room, front to back. Couldn’t even believe it. Standing room only. Being the guy onstage harping about Illustrator and fonts your enthusiasm really drove the show. And then you destroyed my merch table, grabbing pins and posters. Thank-you so, so much everyone. Humbled.

Too many tales to tell at this point, but I’m keeping notes. Before I go, check out that 8-bit slice of awesome up above. That was done by Mike Gaboury DURING my talk. That bugger was listening while rocking that killer pixellated graphic. Floored. You’re the man, Mike!

Today at 12:25 I’ll be destroying the Influxis Voodoo Lounge with a complete Signalnoise poster break-down. Several designs will be displayed and I’ll rip apart my entire process for the masses. Also, apparently free beer in that joint. Lets pack that room, I want to see the walls sweat. On stage right after me is that Aaron Draplin. Double threat. Be there.

I’ll update with a nice FITC Toronto 2012 wrap once I land back in the Signalnoise HQ.

One week out, Toronto!

A few of the posters that will be available at the Signalnoise merch table.

New FITC logo and FITC Toronto 2012 creative.

Custom FITC wallpaper.

Signalnoise magnets will be found in the FITC delegate bags.

The Signalnoise HQ is in full prep mode all this week. Boxes and tubes are everywhere as I nail down all the final details for my big trip to FITC Toronto 2012. I’ll be onstage a week from today, April 23rd at 11:45am with my new talk DESIGN RENEGADE. Can’t wait. This week might be slow on the blog as I run around like a buffoon so I thought an update was in order before stuff catches fore around here.

The Signalnoise presence at FITC Toronto this year will be more than what I usually do. Outside of the new logo and event creative I supplied to the FITC crew, we have arranged for a Signalnoise merch table to be set up for after my talk so you poster hounds can check out the wares. I’m busy printing up a bunch of previously unavailable and out of print posters (see image above for a few), as well as my very first screenprint poster. I’ll have 2 different colour versions of that one, 30 of each. Low number edition so act fast. On top of all that, there will be stickers and buttons as well.

Also, my good friends over at Abduzeedo have posted a wallpaper design I put together for the FITC crew. If you’re looking to spice up your computing device or mobile pocket thingy, swing over and have a download. Free, from all of us to you.

And for those attending the event, when you get your delegate bags hunt down the Signalnoise magnet in there! It’s not a piece of swag or advertisement, it’s a little gift I paid for out of pocket for you. Stick it on your fridge.

Me and you, Toronto. Third year in a row. I’ll see you soon.

Montreal Meets 2 Wrap-up

Gettin' down to business at Montreal Meets 2. Photo by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.

One good lookin' crowd. That noisy white spec onstage is me. Photo by Steve Schiavello.

The spirited MMTWO merch table. Lots of colour.

Fabio Sasso telling his story from Abduzeedo to Google.

The mighty Radim Malinic setting the record straight.

The MMTWO question period, way more fun then we look. Check Rik out, ready for war!

The man behind MMTWO. One and only Francois Hoang.

Shelby White spreading some wise thoughts, theories and stories.

Rik Oostenbroek takes us through his entire creative journey. Laughs included.

Where to begin? I just returned from my trip to Montreal for the anticipated MMTWO event where I debuted my new talk, DESIGN RENEGADE. Amazing weekend voyage that flew by far too quickly. Many laughs had, many hands shook, many friends made. Lasting memories of great conversation, seedy remarks, general joshin’, poop jokes, deep thoughts and all the rest.

What better way to recap then a machine-gun list of moments. Lets do this.

1. McKibbon’s Irish Pub gathering, minus one unfortunate Radim Malinic.
2. Carbombs with one Mat MacQuarrie.
3. Floored by Drew Gilchrist and his unexpected Signalnoise iPhone skin. Magic.
4. Hell of a nice backstage area to hang in at the venue. Came with with Jack Daniels.
5. The mighty Fabio Sasso and his amazing story/talk.
6. Radim Malinic finally caught up with us, destroyed the stage, and gave me a shirt. Thanks man!
7. Got RAD gifts from Buffalo-correspondent Paul Pants.
8. Ate a fantastic burger and discussed wiener-guns with Kat Gaskin.
9. DESIGN RENEGADE hit the stage. Had a blast. Finally noticed Colin Oakes had his hand up.
10. Poster-seeking mob destroyed my merch table. Huge thanks everyone!
11. Shook hands with Nick Hess, Dave Hardy, Paul MorelJoseph Cotten and Steve Schiavello.
12. Got an awesome character design gift from Marie-Michelle!
13. Saw Shelby White drop mad wisdom onstage. Profound. Deep.
14. Rik Oostenbroek did his first talk and NAILED it. Amazing work.
15. Shelby and I threw down a big drawing collaboration at Steak & Frites.
16. Paul Pants became an international sensation over dinner. Pants for the People™!
17. Saw Rik open a beer with a lighter, cap hit the ceiling! Jaw-dropping!
18. Did a few doodle requests of Superman, Spider-man, Iron-man and Wolverine.
19. Matt Marshall is from my neck of the woods, travelled to represent Nova Scotia. Pride!
20. The amazing and accomodating Francois Hoang, Thi Alyson and Suzana Manolache made every last detail go off without a hitch. None of this would have been possible without them. Indebted. Standing ovation!

I know I’m missing all kinds of details and names in between, but I appreciate everyone for coming out to see the talk. ALL our talks. Killer event and I’m honoured to have been a part of it for the second year in a row. Montreal, you are held in high regard at the Signalnoise HQ. Big thanks to Tina Mailhot-Roberge for the photos above.

My sights are now set squarely on YOU, Toronto. I’ll be bringing DESIGN RENEGADE to the stage at FITC Toronto in a very short 2 weeks. You have been warned.