Sunday, July 14, 2013

Busy Summer: Part 2 (aka art Camp at Wandawega!)

Okay folks! Onto part 2 of my busy summer blog!

So where did I leave off? Chicago.

Well my art updates don't end at the last post. To bring you fully up to speed I'll explain a bit more about this recent trip I took. I have been dropping hints here and there about a freelance project that I was primarily working on the past 6-8 months. It was for the lovely and awesome creative director Tereasa Surratt based out of Chicago.  Tereasa is basically real life Wonder Woman. She has an amazing design eye, is a super thrifter, is insanely creative and is some sort of Jedi Master of getting a prolific amount of AMAZING stuff done with other AMAZING people. Pretty much one of the most creative and TCB people I've ever met.

So the short of the long is that Tereasa found me via my portfolio on SCBWI and contacted me to do a freelance project for her. I still can't really say too much about it, but it involves me illustrating some of my favorite things in the world to draw: anthropomorphic woodland critters doing awesome stuff in the woods. The premise of the book though is based in a real life wonderland that Tereasa and her husband David Hernandez own called Camp Wandawega. This place is a dream come true. If you've ever fantasized about going to a picturesque summer camp in the 1950's ( a la The Parent Trap or Dirty Dancing) this place is exactly that but real and full of more charm and authenticity than even the gorgeous pictures can capture. I'm pretty sure Wes Anderson might have invented this place in a lab and placed it in the woods of Wisconsin as some sort of Truman Show type experiment.

Anyhoo, while working on the project Tereasa mentioned that once a year they have an adult art camp where they invite people to come out for a long weekend of making art, eating amazing food, and playing like kids in this wooded wonderland. So you can guess I was hooked from the very second she mentioned it. So Aaron and I decided to take a trip out to Chicago and Wisconsin (where the camp is located) and see it first hand! And boy it did not disappoint. It was even more magical than in the pictures! DID YOU SEE THE TREEHOUSE??? Yeah. It was pretty unreal. I had to convince myself I hadn't gone mad and made this place up while I was in an insane asylum somewhere. Everything was just gorgeous and thoughtful. Literally every piece of a ephemera has a back story that Tereasa and David know about and its placement is so effortlessly intentional.

Aaron and I did a bit of everything. Swinging, rowing, walking, exploring, picture taking, archery, eating -pardon my french-fucking awesome food, and a ton of drawing. I was so completely inspired by actually going to the camp that I plan on doing a series of drawings based upon what we did. I can't wait. Here are some fun sketches that I did documenting some of the collections of the treasures at Wandawega.

I am so excited to make a bunch more art based off of my experiences at Wandawega. I could post about a million pictures of our trip there, I really could.  But I guess that would be me trying to capture that magic in pictures that is darn near impossible.

Tereasa did a blog post of more images from camp here.  Oh and I didn't even get to go into how many truly fun and inspirational people we met at camp. It was just a weekend of amazing overload in all capacities. But I don't really know the last time I had the great opportunity to meet such a great group of creatives. So astounding. To name just a few: Design guru Angela Finney of Post27, was the resident Camp Counselor and who orchestrated the most everything including the art projects, awesome photographer Bob Coscarelli and his super rad wife Karen documented the weekend in pictures in some impromptu photo shoots. Here are some of the lovely photographs Bob took as well as the outtakes of the big shoot.

Here are a few links to the blogs of some of the great great folks we met over the weekend. If you are looking for some inspiration, recipes, or overall radness check them out:

So that in a small glimpse was my trip to Chicago and Wisconsin. I could write about it for hours. But the busy summer continues so I must be off! Hopefully I'll be able to keep up more soon but Aaron and I are about to move, so things will be totally insane for the next two weeks so I doubt I'll be able to post much. But here's hoping! Thanks for checking in! More to come.

1 comment:

Ariel said...

Man alive - that sounds like a peter pan adventure for grown ups! So jealous. Can't wait to see the illustrations inspired by the trip :)