Some photos from the CreateAthon reception last night! It was amazing!
I’m really sad now that it’s over, but what an amazing experience.
Some photos from the CreateAthon reception last night! It was amazing!
How will I carry the CreateAthon torch?
I’ve been avoiding this post.
This is the one post that I don’t want to write in any way, because it means that CreateAthon is over. It is the last assigned blog post for this semester.
Now how will I spread the word about CreateAthon?
Well, in part, I believe that I’ve already done this. I’ve talked to the Creative director, art directors, and others at the agency that I intern with. I’ve also talked with local Richmond business people, those that are extremely tech-savvy. I and another CreateAthon-er (Alana) talked to the founder of tumblr, David Karp, about CreateAthon.
Pretty much any chance that I get to talk about CreateAthon, and introduce what it is to someone, I take that chance. This is an idea that I believe everyone should know about, so because of that I want to talk about it as much as I possibly can. I’m sure to some people, it gets annoying, but I think that CreateAthon is a brilliant way to simply give back.
(This person is amazing by the way, she’s the one that got me hooked on CreateAthon)
I’m most likely going to talk to some of my old high school teachers as well, and see if there could possibly be a mini-CreateAthon that could be established at the high school level. Maybe they help just one client, instead of breaking into teams and helping 12 different clients, but I think with all the different electives offered in high school (or my high school at least) with students learning business skills, art, yearbook, newspaper, management, automotive, etc., that there could possibly be a class dedicated to giving back to the community. Or maybe it’s not a class, maybe it’s a club set up in high school. Either way, I think it’s a great way for students to see how they could be helping the community around them, and having that kind of experience on your college application, really helps. It shows that you’ve done something real. I realize that the CreateAthon event for them would be a little bit different when it comes to set up, but maybe it’s a 12 hour event during the day, instead of the full 24. Like I said, an intro to CreateAthon events out there for the younger audience.
How would I make CreateAthon better?
This is a difficult question. I mean, already I think CreateAthon is great.
The only thing I could think to make it better, is set break times. Maybe it’s different times for each team, or an event game of kickball, but there should be some break times where we’re out having fun definitely instilled. Those small moments of fun help us relax, and in turn, help us pump out even more creative ideas.
Going without breaks, which I almost did, results in not as nearly creative ideas, as well as stress and tension. Neither of those are good with CreateAthon.
(also, honestly, I think students in high school would work better if they had a set time during the middle of the day where they could be outside and just go crazy or relax, just give them some time to not think about school, and then they’ll most likely be more productive)
Maybe it’s bringing back jump rope, or having a crazy coloring contest, sidewalk chalk even.
But with the large majority of us being creative, we definitely need to make sure we have crazy creative outlets that relate to absolutely nothing.
I wish we could help out more nonprofits during the semester, but already we produce so much work for the one nonprofit each team is assigned, but at least it’s awesome work.
I’m a little late with this, but…..
My reflection on the field trip to Carter Printing:
OH MY GODZZ IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
About how I work
I can’t say that I learned this during CreateAthon, but I did learn how much this attribute affects how I work with others.
I am a control freak. I like to be in charge. I’m pretty organized with my work, not as much for the sake of organization, but more to make sure that I know where I am, to know where everyone stands that I’m working with. I have to make sure I have everything planned out ahead of time, that I have all the information I could possibly need. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m completely obsessive about being in control either. Im just someone who’s ambitious (to put it lightly), yet independent. I like to stay on top of things.
Being a team leader means that I had to let others take charge of certain projects, trust them to do things correctly, and trust their judgement. That is not easy for me. While I did check in on what everyone was doing constantly, and gave some feedback, I had to let my team members do their own thing as well.
I’m pretty sure anyone who knows me, knows that I like things done my way. I like to be in control of how things are done. I’m extremely independent, which may factor into all this as well.
What does creativity mean to CreateAthon?
“Creativity, the pulsating orb of light that resides in the back of a designer’s mind feeding them with vision, innovation and contagious ideas. It puts reins on a wildly running imagination, giving it direction and production; making thought reality. The degree of thought and process put into a design is what really sets it apart from the rest of the crowd. You could say that a designer’s purpose is to ignite and set off its audiences’ imaginations into a wild running frenzy. Although, as we all know some ideas come at the click of one’s fingers, while others play a desperate game of hide and seek in the back of our minds. Inspiration can work like the electrodes of a defibrillator, shocking and bringing back to life a once dying idea. The flow of creation can bring an evolution of thought and imagination, superseding anything concocted beforehand.”
Now what does creativity mean to CreateAthon?
CreateAthon means helping real clients, real people.
Taking a campaign that is either close to nothing, or is not really working at all, and transforming it to create something amazing.
Creativity. With CreateAthon, you take the foundation of the client, what they need, and find a way to create something completely amazing. This can be website design, posters, brochures, a new logo, anything. The amount of creative brainpower that comes through during CreateAthon is unlike anything else. Perhaps it’s the pressure, or maybe the amount of time, possibly the knowledge that you’re doing something for good.
Whatever the reason may be, creativity is essential. Thinking outside the norms, coming up with crazy ideas.
Creativity during CreateAthon means pushing the limits. This can be a video spot, showing television sets being thrown or even some crazy new website design to draw in the audience. Guidelines are set, of course, saying who we need to target, what is essential to get done, what problems need to be solved; but going beyond those guidelines is where creativity comes in.
How do you take what needs to be done and then push that even further?
And all of this within 24 hours.
Working with clients is..?
There’s no argument about that.
Don’t think of working with clients in a bad way though. The stressful part comes from the constant changing of the mind, wants and needs, and trying to figure out what it is that the client needs.
(the following is an example of client/designer interaction, not my interaction with my client)
Communication is essential, but can be frustrating. Each party involved, the client as well as myself, has different areas of specialty. While the client’s specialty is their nonprofit, what it does and how it helps people, my specialty is design and seeing things from a graphics point of view. I think in terms of, how will this help my client, but how will it pull in the audience that we need?
Because of the differing points of view, this is where the needs can get confusing, so communication is essential to help clarify ideas, as well as what will work out best for both the client and you.
Why is CreateAthon good?
There’s so many answers to this question.
First off, the obvious. CreateAthon helps out the local community by providing thousands of dollars worth of advertising and deliverables to non-profits free of charge.
Secondly, CreateAthon onCampus helps out students. It does this in many different ways. It helps students get real world experience dealing with real clients. Through school, many students deal with imaginary clients answering only to the professor. The professor judges the work, deciding whether or not it is what the client needs. With CreateAthon, students deal with real clients, and with this, students deal with real needs and problems.
An example can be taken from my experience this year with CreateAthon. My client is VASS, or Virginia Advanced Study Strategies. I worked with the president and the board of VASS, narrowing down what it was they were essentially looking for, as well as what they truly needed. With my client, there was a lot of emails exchanged back and forth, probably 2-3 times weekly at first, and then as it got closer to the event, anywhere from 2-6 times daily. There were many different ideas exchanged, as well as other various needs that arose at different times.
After the event had occurred, we received information from VASS that the direction that we had initially gone in was not the one that worked best for them. They had decided after seeing the work that they needed to focus less on the youth audience, and focus more on the corporate audience so that they could receive more funding.
This was frustrating to hear, no doubt at all. But it’s a situation that you have to deal with in the real world. Clients constantly change their mind about what they want and need.
This kind of experience, interacting with the clients, going through the needs and wants, and dealing with sudden changes of direction is amazing to have. It may not be the ideal situation, but it prepares you for the real world.
And lastly, why CreateAthon is good. The process of brainstorming, creating, and executing condensed into 24 hours is a time period which is exhausting, yes, but leaves you feeling with an amazing feeling of accomplishment. You just stayed up for 24 hours, helping out a real client, a real organization. The thanks and gratitude that you receive for all the work you put in as well are overwhelming. They leave you with a feeling of warmth, a feeling of knowing that you did something good, that you helped someone who truly needed it. Giving up your time to help someone move forward.
If nothing else, that last reason for why CreateAthon is good for students is one that I would recommend to anyone.
Collaboration is essential.
I think everyone knows this already.
But working in a nonstop creative environment for at least 24 hours, how does one keep from basically wanting to kill the other members that they’re working with?
-Simple Answer: Respect.
-Long Answer: Listening to others’ ideas as well as your own. You have to be willing to listen (not necessarily agree) and be open to other’s ideas. You may not like the ideas, and you may not always agree with them, but being open to the ideas is essential. Your ideas aren’t always going to be the best, and you have to be willing to accept that.
During CreateAthon, as a team leader, I can say that my ideas were not always the best. Thank goodness for my team members. They definitely saved me, and not just with the work, but they critiqued my ideas and concepts efficiently in a way that actually helped us to move forward as a group. Because of the honest critiques, and accepting of other’s ideas, our group functioned a lot more efficiently and effectively, and were able to really pump out some strong pieces. I can definitely say that if we had kept back all our thoughts and worked more on our own individually, we would definitely not have gotten as far as we did with the deliverables.
Collaboration during CreateAthon is more than just the ideas as well. Collaboration is knowing who you’re working with. Knowing that everyone needs a break, takes criticism differently, and that everyone functions differently. Yet in the end, you take all of the different factors about each individual person, and you make it all work together.
I miss my CreateAthon team. I really miss how we worked together to create something new and awesome.
If I could do this again with them, you better believe I would jump on that opportunity ASAP.
Adrienne, Carl, Katie, Ken, Travis… I miss you guys.