Thursday, October 25, 2012

AIGA Upstate NY Design Crawl

Last night was the upstate NY Design Crawl, held simultaneously in Rochester, Syracuse, and Troy. It was a chance for designers and creative professionals to tour local studios and see other artists at work in their unique environments. Our evening took place in the Village Gate, one of my favorite "artsy" areas of town. I didn't realize there were so many designers under one roof. 

Myself and about 10 coworkers attended. Our first stop was at Minerva, a creative design, marketing and interactive studio. The place was packed.

They provided some stylish glasses to sport while we mingled. I was having some deep thoughts. We all agreed that we would like to work in their space - a modern industrial loft with lots of windows. It was great meeting Mike and the Minerva design team. It's always inspiring to see what other desingers are up to. 

Next stop, a screen printing demonstration by Hope Mountain News. These guys love to design and screen print. They obviously appreciate it as a craft and a hobby. You gotta have some serious parience to lay down ink, one by one, by hand, wait for it to dry, then on to the next. It does produce a beautiful graphic technique with gorgeous color. Reminded me of the screen printing that I did with Alex, on burlap and fabric. We only used one image and one color per print with a stencil method. There's nothing like using a jar of real ink and creating with your hands. 

The last stop was definitely my favorite. We toured Pistachio Press, my friends who printed the wedding invitation I designed this summer. Rachel and Jake are a husband and wife team who design and produce the most beautiful letter press pieces you ever saw. They share a space with Booksmart Studio, who print and bind books (in a nutshell). My bro in law, David, used to work there.

I was ready to move in as soon as I saw their space. Heart be still. Such a crafty-vintage-art-filled place. I even spotted some milk glass pieces. How I would love to work with letter press every day. 

They had a variety of work on display, including Sari & Travis' wedding set - hooray!

 Some of the team checking it out. 

My "big brother" Daryl. 

We even got to print a holiday card! Here's Cassandra, running the press. Use those muscles! 

Jake, helping me line it up perfectly. Getting my hands on a press was the highlight of my evening. It made me long to go back to my print making classes in college. I would gladly clean all the plates and rollers and deal with inky hands and clothing if I could spend a week printing to my hearts content again! 

They have some of the most adorable pieces for sale in their shop. I was inspired everywhere I looked. 

Of course, we had to try on some mustaches. 

We ended the evening at Good Luck Restaurant, one of my favorite "posh" places to go out. The atmosphere, food and drinks are so unique and never disappoint. Definitely a cool place for a special occasion or date night. We tried the autumn sangria, and it was absolutely delicious. I may need to try to replicate the recipe. The food was outstanding as well - savory flavors, unique combinations and always a beautiful family-style presentation.

It was a fun evening to gather with other local creatives, celebrate what we do every day and gain inspiration. Designers unite!

Thank you, Cassandra and Heather for sharing some of your photos :) 

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