Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When Art Directors Get To Go Outside

They go to the HOW Design Conference! This year Third Degree sent Kathleen and Liz to see what's-what in the world of design at the national conference held in Austin, Texas this year.


Every professional creative person from inhouse designer to big bad agency art director drools to go to HOW. At Third Degree we try to budget for two creatives to get to attend every other year or so.


One thing that helps make it affordable is sharing a hotel room. What the budget does not cover is a hotel bill for trashing the room.


Kathleen and Liz kept me posted on their experience in real time with frequent texts. The first outing upon arrival was an agency tour of a quaint bungalow-style house that was home to Creative Suitcase a local Austin agency. The girls felt right at home.


A particularly inspirational session was one by Kate Bingaman-Burt of, a blogger/illustrator/design influencer in her own right, and a big believer in handcrafted design, which is something both Liz and Kathleen feel passionate about, as well.

Craft + Activism = Craftivism by Kate Bingaman-Burt of


A more serious session was all about staying organized and the importance of actionable steps in an "idea" world. It's not all troubled genius and late night brainstorms. It's actually a lot of being organized, consistent and just responsible with your energy and focused on the right things. Kathleen was a front-rower at this one – the kind that nods at everything the speaker is saying. This was presentation was given by Behance, and was so on the Third Degree train, Kathleen almost jumped up and yelled "testify!"


Kathleen's notes from Living a Curiously Creative Life breakout session by Von Glitschka.

In fact, having been to HOW myself, I would compare the experience to something probably not unlike a revival. So we just started ending all our texts to and from the conference with "revival! testify! hallelujah!" This doodle-note is one of Kathleen's... hmmm, looks like she is already being inspired by that handcrafted session she attended earlier in the conference.


Now that they are back to the daily grind, we hope that a little of that inspiration lingers.

Liz at the agency tour of fd2s in Austin.


Not that it's ever too dull around here. Case in point: just a week after their return from HOW, and we see what really happens when art directors get to go outside – especially when they get their hands on a client's used outdoor vinyl, coat it with baby oil, stake it to a hill, and.. yes...


... turn it into a slip and slide.

TFCU's Get Going promotion may be over. But that didn't stop some of our more inventive minds from inventing another way to get going (and get grass burns).

1 comment:

Jeremy and Kathleen said...

Another big THANKS to Third Degree for sending Liz and I to HOW! Revival Hallelujah!

And for the slip 'n' slide - talk about non-traditional media! It got us thinking about ways to sponsor park parties and recycle leftover vinyls in the future.