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2011 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the written permission of Lauren Mulkey. Call me anytime, we can talk. Lauren Mulkey PH O N E EMAIL SITE

503.871.1660 Academy of Art University School of Graphic Design 79 New Montgomery Street San Francisco, California 94105


MFA Thesis Dave Gottwald Fall 2011 Pencils Before Pixels: a process 7”x10.5”, 150 pages Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop Canon Rebel XSi Epson Perfection V500 Photo Giant Horse Printing, San Francisco, CA The Key Bindery, Oakland, CA Brown Davey Board Finch 100lb text New Century School Book, Abadi



Table of Contents PAS T PRO CES S

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Pencils Before Pixels: Workshop

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Midpoint Advisors

Environmental Schwag Books/Materials Web/App


Sixteen Week Course





Workshop Class




Introduction Process

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” —Pablo Picasso Brand Workshop Class



It’s all about encouraging one another to get more comfortable with the creative process. It took me a very long time to find words for this simple concept, because it is the core solution for several complicated issues. Firstly, people today rely heavily on the computer, in some cases in a good way while in others in a hindering way. Secondly, many people have become detached from their ability to create what was at one time considered simple daily tasks, like making healthy food, writing a letter, sewing buttons back on shirts. Now, many people no longer have these skills because technology has made them unnecessary to learn, but not having maintained them has had some negative repercussions. 1. The computer makes it possible to skip to the end. Stop and smell the roses… 2. There is so much joy in struggle and achievement, which is so easily found and practiced through simple and complicated creative tasks.

I love working with people, encouraging and helping them with whatever it is they need help with. I never claim to know everything, because that’s ridiculous. I believe in Socratic questioning, and more importantly I believe in the process of struggle. I look forward to the opportunity to teach, and I know to expect the unexpected. I’m ready. I know for certain that this project has allowed me to explore what it is I am most passionate about; what makes me curious and keeps me excited. At the beginning I may not have had the words to explain what I wanted to investigate, but I had the idea in my mind. I needed time to sift through my thoughts and figure out the core idea. What did I really want to talk about? What is it that I want to share with people. I know that technological progress is inevitable, and not the enemy. It is what pushes society along, and we are forever connected with it (hoping the internet doesn’t die). I am not against technology. However, I have noticed that, with the invention of the light bulb the world may have become brighter, but people on the other hand started becoming dimmer.

3. Computers may create cyber network and that is lovely but it better never replace the actual interaction between people, which is often enhanced by a shared activity, working independently or in a group on projects. This thesis is the spring board to opportunities, more specifically teaching opportunities. I love graphic design for the problem-finding problemsolving process, and a big part of me uses this same methodology—albeit more sensitively—in many of the interactions I have with people.

Over the years as our tools and technologies have become smarter, it has become a struggle for people to keep in step with it. We are distracted,



and busy which can sometimes lead us into a state of mind I call Autopilot. Where you aren’t really driving you are just...going. You aren’t participating in your way of thinking in your process, and I want to shake it up.

grading based on the effort, growth and ability to reflect on 6 key categories of process which I will discuss in the Branding chapter. An article from Newsweek (July 2010) says,

A recent IBM poll of 1,500 So if the problem is that CEOs identified creativity people have become disconnas the No.1 ‘leadership ected from their processes, competency’ of the future. then the solution is getting them back together with them. I have spent the last 5 years earning my MFA and Now when I say process I mean the way someone arrives at a solution. To me it is very similar to what Craft used to mean to humans a long time ago. Each individual had a different way of doing things a different way of producing their trade. It was special to them and developed by them. They found pride and family reputation in their craft. I don’t see why we can’t re-connect with that definition.

the last 3 discovering a passion for creativity and a desire to learn, share and explore . I want to help bring creativity to the forefront of education and work in a place full of people that want to do the same.

Since everyone’s approach to process is different it is important to have an objective method to grade outcomes. Some people think similarly but more and more people think and learn in ways that standardized methods of teaching aren’t able to support. Instead of measuring outcomes by testing questions and answers you measure them by output. How many good ideas can you come up with? How many pages can you fill with your thoughts and feelings? I’d like to implement




Process Process Brand

“The noun of self becomes a verb. This flashpoint of creation in the present moment is where work and play merge.” —Stephen Nachmanovitch

Workshop Class



At a Glance 1. Phil Hamlett

Director of graduate Graphic Design, AAU

Struggle to identify the main idea, but know it relates to inspiring people about hand skills and process. Final

= Creativity Kit, maybe a Workshop

2. Ivar Diehl

Master book binder, The Key Bindery

Researched the history of craft and the current state of craft, and how the public can regroup and recommit to quality goods as well as quality life.. Final

= The Craft Crusade (book)

3. Macy Chadwick

Book Arts Instructor, AAU

Established book format, 50 to be printed by machine and 10 to be produced by hand. Contacted a writer to help organize the content I’d gathered. Final

= Craft Matters (New title) and prototype binding examples.

4. Michael Sainato

Instructor, AAU

After accepting I am not a writer, I decided the best direction for the content was a class course. I took surveys, and began meeting with the Faculty Development Department at the Academy of Art University to design a curriculum. based on the idea of: The importance of developing and understanding process/craftsmanship for designers. Final

= Working examples of Class materials/Curriculum

5. Dave Gottwald

Mentor & Instructor, AAU

Introduce workshop as primary event, refine and produce all materials for class including an explanation of the entire thesis.

e Ju Hi n – sto A ry ug o SU f C 20 raf 08 t

= Class materials/Curriculum and MFA Book



e Ju sis n– D A eve ug l o SU pm 20 en 07 t




Officially, the journey of my thesis began at my Midpoint review, Spring 2007. I’d just finished my sixth class (GR: 600/Visual Communications Lab), and was headed for the Summer. In that class I had been given the opportunity to research one single topic of my choosing for the entire duration of the course. I decided to investigate the topic of Handmade. Why was it such a big deal at the time? With all the DIY out there and the confusion or stigma around the word “craft,” all I knew was that I loved making things by hand both for hobbies and for graphic design coursework. It was obvious I loved making things by hand but I felt shame in claiming the title of craft-er. Why did I feel shamed by my colleagues for these hobbies, and why didn’t graphic designers claim pride in their craft the same way craft-ers did? When did this split in definition of the word crafter occur, and how could it be reclaimed or fixed? Obviously after this project I had only scratched the surface. I was still very uncertain about the exact form my thesis would take, but I knew what it would be about. I knew the word craft and all it’s sub-definitions would keep my interest for many years, if necessary.

“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” — Carl Sandburg

I was writing, drawing, making lists all in the pursuit of making sense of this huge idea. The idea that while technology is an integral part of our lives, constantly making things easier for us, it is also hindering our abilities. And a true creative person needs to feel strong on and off the computer. They need to master their own brain as their primary tool, and stop thinking the strongest tool in their box is the programs they use. Understanding the biological layout of their brains and how those play a part in their creative process. They need to understand how they work, intimately. Computers often mislead people by making them forget that they are the most valuable tool, and if you can’t use your brain well, what’s the point of jumping on the computer? This journey I took to find my thesis turned into my process of finding what I love! Even after three years of this, I still love my thesis. It’s honestly important to me that it not just be a hypothetical project. I look forward to teaching these projects and exercises I have planned, and working with people to find their creative selves, be it in graphic design or something else. These next few pages introduce you to my MFA process; the advisors I worked with, the amazing things I learned, the false directions I went down, and the final successes I arrived at. Yeah! Enjoy.

t en



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While at points I felt like i was aimlessly wandering, I was always producing research, reading books, asking people questions, keeping journals where







Thesis Development The kit would be full of tools determined to be the best by votes from professionals and maybe even some celebrity designers. Just knowing you are using the same pencil and scissors as Paula Sher, might get you energized about using them. It would also come with a set of books which informed the recipient of helpful tips to get their creative juices flowing if blocked, or fun tips to help with divergent thinking (coming up with as many ideas as possible).

Right after midpoint, it is strongly advised for students to take their first Directed Study, as a Group Directed Study with Phil Hamlett, the Director of graduate Graphic Design Academy of Art University. In this class I went several rounds with my topic, I and decided on the idea of an Inspirational Kit, and maybe a workshop.



I was still really struggling to hone in on the main idea: the elevator pitch, the one-liner, but I thought that would come with time and more research which I would conduct more intimately in the near future. In the meantime, I just wanted to make sure my proposed concept was suitable.

seemed too easy, or obvious. Apparently, my gut was correct in thinking curriculum but my mind wasn’t ready to settle, so I continued my research and exploration looking for a different deliverable format for my information.

At this point in time, I remember being against the idea of the thesis becoming a curriculum mostly because that didn’t feel glamorous enough. It



The History of Craft changed with the introduction of new technologies. He introduced me to several books where over and over I was seeing how technological advancements made life easier, faster, and cheaper but also meant traditional family skills stopped being passed on to the next generation, and valuable information was being lost.

After Thesis Development, I knew it was time to step up my research, and really get my hands dirty. I was put in contact with a master bookbinder with a rather strong opinion on “craft” and where it was going. Ivar Diehl and I began meeting weekly and having great conversations about “craft.” He was incredibly knowledgeable on the history of craft, from guilds and apprenticeships to different cultures’ unique skills, and how they

I agreed with him that the word craft at one time meant pride in your family trade, it meant



quality, and it meant tradition. It had such a lovely connotation, which somehow became tarnished and redefined as kitch, cheap, and juvenile in today’s world. I wanted so badly to reclaim Craft, and restore it’s respectable reputation. It didn’t take long before he had me so deep into the idea of the Craft Crusade—as we called it—and I switched from a fun kit, maybe workshop, to a full length book. The book would discuss the

confusion and misconceptions around “craft,” include an historical run-down of craft and technology, and finally would conclude with a hopeful “get us back on the track” to quality goods and quality living.



Contemporary Book Binding version would have high-res scans of the same pages. In order to do this I contacted and met with Tom Sheffield from Watermark Press to help with the digital version, while I met with Macy Chadwick, the Book Arts instructor at AAU weekly.

While continuing to work out the written portion of the book I decided to work with an advisor that could teach me how to produce it. I was going to design 10 books I would make by hand, and 50 which would be made through a printer to further demonstrate the differences between a handcrafted experience and a machine-crafted one. The information would be identical but the hand crafted book would have textured papers, and elements with more tactile qualities. The digital

Macy introduced me to two other instructors at different art schools to get a better idea of what other school systems thought about craft. Barb Tetenbaum (Oregon School of Art and Craft) told



me how the school used to be called Oregon school of Arts and Crafts, but had changed its name to shake the negative connotations associated with Craft. This was the same when I met and talked with Nance Obanion from California College of Art, formerly known as California college of Arts and Crafts. She said, “I believe the folks in admissions were having a hard time selling “Craft” to the parents of prospective

students who didn’t really understand the whole history of the College. They saw macrame and that was bad to them. I think, along with many others, that it was a dumb decision and would love to see the “C” come back.



U-Turn to Curriculum best deliverable options for the huge amount of research I had grown to love, and been gathering for the past two years.

After working with Macy I tried my hardest to finish writing the book. I hired a writer, and worked with her several weeks trying to flesh out the outline, but when it came down to it, I was just not a writer, and it was wrong to think I could figure it out in a semester or two. So after a lot of thought and conversations with advisors I postponed graduation in order to take one more advising session, hoping it would help me decide on the

I can’t remember if it was the first or second meeting with MIchael Sainato but after hearing my ideas he advised me back toward a class curriculum. While pursuing information regarding the Craft book market for one class session we went to interview Michael Carrabetta, the director



at chronicle books. During that interview Mr Carrabetta seemed so energized about the idea of a class that refocused people on the basic tools that they currently overlook; pencils, hands, and their own brain. He exclaimed, “It’s like, Have you picked up a pencil lately?”

branding for a class instead of a book, meeting with the faculty development department and taking surveys to find out what students wanted to learn, and what professors, and professionals wished students learned more of.

So began the reshaping of my book content into a class curriculum. I gladly began investigating how to go about creating a curriculum as well as solid



Finishing Touches This last term has been great. I knew Dave would be a great choice to work with because he has been a part of my Thesis process since I had to start thinking of the idea. He has been a friend along the way as the project has changed shapes and developed into a solid idea that just needed a solid form to back it up. So this term he has been doing his best to help direct me to completion. We didn’t have to waste time bringing him up to speed

on the topic so we could start right in on what needed to happen in order to bring this Thesis to life, and to make it ready for the masses. Week by week we have been able to chip away at the design while addressing holes in the concept. One of the primary shifts Dave felt was important was to shift to focus from a class and make it about a workshop. This broadens the audience from students, to people that are interested in becoming



more confident in their creative process. Initially I was sceptical but over a few weeks I accepted the change and now the Thesis is a weekend adventure where people reignite their creativity as well as a pretty sweet 16 week course.

This project has been a long time coming but I feel like it is finally taking it’s shape and turning out to be good enough to submit for final review. Yeah.

Dave also persuaded my to change the title of the course to something more catchy and less...long. So it became Pencils before Pixels.




Brand Process

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.” —Ovid Brand Workshop Class



Why the Pencil? The pencil is usually taken for granted but is no simple tool. Pencils are the fundamental tool for process. The steps in-between start and finish are put down, edited, erased, and redrawn. Preliminary ideas are ment to be replaced by a stronger better one (we hope). Some people prefer pens to do their doodles or ideating with, and that’s fine, but pens don’t have an erasure. The pencil on the other hand has been thought out and refined over many years and by many individuals.

like paint, ink, etc...get the idea? Pencils record a thought or idea that is meant to be expounded upon or stepped over, they accept this place in life with grace and patience. Due to the pencils historical longevity, its connection to education, and it’s humble temporality I think it is a great symbol to represent the process of creating and refining an idea.

Where do we use pencils? In school, maybe on crossword puzzles, definitely on math homework. Some artists use them to draw the first sketches before they apply a more permanent medium



Logo break down Ostensibly the logo is the cross section of a pencil. The graphite center as well as the yellow painted hexagonal exterior represent the six categories of Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy, or the main steps in learning and education. According to Bloom there are three main categories in educating. Cognitive: meaning your brain, your head, your mental ability, your knowledge. Affective: how you are affected by things, your growth in feelings and emotions, your attitude.

When a person understands how these three things work within them, they understand their personal tool much better. Where they excel or struggle, gives them a leg up on the frustrations or false sense of success that come with the creative process. These steps are further broken down into the six categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation. These six looping steps are the model after which I have developed my curriculum and class exercises.

Psychomotor: means mind and motion. This is basically where your head meets your motion or action, manual or physical skills.








Remembering Recall data or information. Acquaintance with facts, truths or principles, as from study or investigation, or experience. What is it you bring to the table immediately. The cards in your deck, the ingredients in your kitchen, whatcha got? Ways to demonstrate knowledge: Recite a poem, quote lines in movies, sing a song from memory, define a favorite word, list your favorite words, describe the steps to playing checkers, name paintings you know in an art history book. Make a fact sheet. Make a time line of events. Write a let of any pieces of information you can remember.

Key action words for knowledge: Define, describe, identify, know, label, list, locate, match, memorize, names, outline, recall, recognize, reproduce, recite, select, state Knowledge is power! People are always, or should always be seeking to retain more and new information as well as experiences, to me it is the basic spice of life. Get spicy!




Understanding Understanding the meaning, translation, interpolation and interpretation of instructions, problems, and solutions. The degree to with which you know something. Ways to demonstrate comprehension: Restate the rules of a game you were just taught, explain a complex task, convert moles, don’t use a calculator to do math, do you use a cook book or not when cooking a receipt. Cut out or draw pictures to show a certain event. Illustrate what you think the main idea was. Retell a story in your own words. Prepare a flowchart to illustrate a sequence of events.

Key action words for comprehension: Convert, defend, distinguish, estimate, explain, generate, give examples, infer, interpret, paraphrase, predict, rewrite, summarize, translate Comprehension to me is how well information sticks in your brain. How well you understand it, and perhaps how well you can communicate it to someone else, but not necessarily. At some point it maybe important to be able to communicate that information with someone else though.




Applying To put to use, especially for a particular purpose. Use of a new concept in a new situation. Applying what was learned in the classroom into new situations in the work place or just...outside of the classroom! Ever heard, “Apply yourself!” well this is what they mean. Ways to demonstrate application: Redesign a promotional flyer using the exact same elements and materials. Organize multiple things into groups based on certain similarities, take a set of photographs to demonstrate a particular point. Make a papier-mâché map to include relevant information about an event. Make a diorama or model explaining a movie or play.

Key action words for application: Change, compute, construct, demonstrate, discover, manipulate, modify, operate, organize, predict, prepare, produce, relate, show, solve, use When you were a child you spent your whole day trying things, and usually failing. You quickly learn that when you cry whether hurt or not, odds are you get attention. You learned expressing pain, brought you attention, later when you want attention, you apply tears to get that attention even though you are not hurt. You may not know it but you are applying things all the time.




Analyzing Separate materials or concepts into component parts so that it’s organizational structure may be understood. When you understand what makes up the idea, structure, problem, or individual you can understand how it works and how it may work better. Ways to demonstrate analysis: Trouble shoot a printer by using logical deduction, listen to a girlfriend complain about her boyfriend ask her questions and find out what’s wrong with her relationship (don’t tell her what to do unless she asks).

Key action words for analysis Breakdown, categorize, compare, classify, contrast, diagram, distinguish, deconstruct, differentiate, discriminate, identify, illustrate, infer, outline, relate, survey, select, prioritize Analyzing can happen anytime. People often get stuck in the act of analyzing and never get to the next step. It is a very important step, but beware of what’s called Analysis Paralysis, which means you are analyzing so hard that you can’t move forward. I always imagine a fine toothed comb, and it feels so good to be patient and comb straight through something, but really there are usually tangles, and its easy to get stuck in the tangles. It’s how we deal with the tangles that is important.




Creating Make something from combining other elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating new meaning. Ways to demonstrate Creating: Design your own calendar-sketch pad-organizer, write about your feelings in relation to something else, sell an idea, Create a new product, Make up a code or language, Write a poem or make those words into lyrics for a song.

reconstructs, relates, reorganizes, revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes Creating is the act of making. This can be a complex or simple procedure. It can happen very quickly or take years, or even a lifetime. Creating can come naturally to some and be difficult for others. In this class we will find out where you stubble, and where you naturally take care of business. In the end though you will have a better understanding of yourself and your ability to create.

Key action words for creating: Categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, designs, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges,




Evaluating Key action words for Evaluating:

Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials. Easy, right? Ways to demonstrate Evaluating: Select the most effective solution. Decide if the relationship you are in is worth it. Figure out which entrĂŠe you want when everything on the menu looks delicious. Pick out your clothes for an interview.

Appraises, assess, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, judge, justifies, rate, relates, summarizes, supports Evaluating is tricky your brain has to be in two places at once. Which for some people can be very difficult, and frustrating. Having to decide if an idea is worth it is hard when your not sure what a worth it idea would be. But with some experience and confidence you learn to work through the process of sifting good ideas from great ideas, to even ideas you love, but just aren’t right for the current application.


K EEP I T CL AS SY New Century Schoolbook is familiar to many in as being the typeface many first learned to read with.



Typography Have You Picked Up A Pencil Lately? New Century Schoolbook

A B C DE F G H I J K L M NOP Q R S T U V W X Y Z ab c de f g h ijk l m nop q r s t uv w x y z 01 2 3 4 5 6 78 9 ! @ # $ % ^& * ( )_

Sub Header New Century Schoolbook: Bold Italic

A B C DE F G H IJ K L M NOP QR ST U V W X Y Z a b cd ef ghi jklmn op qr st uvwx y z 01 2 3 4 5 6 78 9 ! @ # $ %^&* ( )_ +

Bold Copy Helvetica: Bold

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV W X Y Z abcdefghijklmnopqrstuv wxyz 0 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9!@# $ %^&*( ) _ +

Body Copy Helvetica: Light

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV W X YZ a b cd efghij k l m n o pqr st u v w x y z 012 3 4 5 678 9!@ # $ %^ &*( ) _+



Hand Drawn Type

Trace Job This typeface is based on the New Century Schoolbook family, but with a twist.



The Family



Color Palette

PM S 576 3u C = 52 M = 39 Y = 73 K = 16 PMS 648u C = 90 M = 75 Y = 50 K = 51 PM S 74 6 3u C = 75 M = 54 Y = 40 K = 16 PM S 17 9 7u C = 13 M = 80 Y = 81 K = 2 PM S 74 0 6 u C = 13 M = 23 Y = 100 K = 0 PM S cool gray 1u C = 8 M = 8 Y = 15 K = 0





1835 Clay Street Apt 403 San Francisco C alifornia 94109

Have you picked up a pencil lately?

It’s time to be fearlessly awesome. Pencils Before Pixels REDEFINING C R AFT IN A DIG ITAL AG E

Have you picked up a pencil lately?

S tationary Official envelope, Letter envelope, Pencils, Business Cards, Letterhead









Get Digital

i Pad App Allows participants access to all class materials as well as the ability to post written as well an inspirational content from anywhere they are.




Pencils Before Pixels O N E H ECK O F A GO O D WEEK E N D.


“Surround yourself with people who respect and treat you well.” —Claudia Black

Brand Workshop Class



F irst Look Word of mouth, through AIGA, or through this mailer; the hope is that people jump online to check it out. 3 days 2 nights at a hip cozy hotel doing creative activities with awesome people. People that like process as well as innovation. People interested in discussing and listening, people that enjoy problem-finding and problem-solving. People will be surrounded by others that enjoy finding not just great ideas but the best ideas.



Purpose The mailer is meant to excite and inform. Aesthetically it focuses on the tools commonly used to design and create without the aide of the computer. This idea compliments the workshop’s goal of reintroducing each participant with their most powerful tools; primarily, themselves and not their computer.




M A I LER In the mail you will receive an exciting poster, meant to get you energized or at least curious about the phenomenal time you could have at a weekend workshop such at this one.




Printed front and back While the front looks good the back informs. Directing you to the website but also giving you a taste of what you would be in for.













Upon arrive Upon arrival at the hotel you will check in and receive not only your room key but also a PBP backpack full of helpful tools and gifts from our sponsors. Among the awesome goodies is your Workshop Notebook, which has everything you will need during the weekend such as schedule, daily tasks, and other helpful resources.

You will also receive your PBP T-shirt, T-square, schadler Rulers, Pencil and Erasure, and your post-it note napkin pad. Instead of writing on real napkins we just made it easier. With the postit note napkin pad you still have that feeling of spontaneity with the function of the post-it.






You can be A student, a teacher, a professional. Anyone that is interested in reconnecting with and igniting their creative process.


The Notebook Designed for every sort of creative person, the majority of the elements are left blank to let them decide the look and feel of the notebook, including the cover. This book will go everywhere with the them. It is a place to record thier thoughts, ideas and tidbits they don’t want to forget, phone numbers, business cards, anything. With an introduction written by Keri Smith the author of

Mess, and This is Not a Book, the feel of the book is anything goes. If you have ideas this is where you put them, good, bad or ugly. To Be kept in mind:

1. Trust in your imagination. It is the course of all true journeys. 2. Things are not always what they seem. 3. Anything can happen.




D ifferent K inds of S preads Various kinds of paper have been designed into the notebook to allow for multiple functions. Blank, gridded, angle gridded, lined, and half blank/half lined. Among these pages there are also folded/ perforated assignment pages to be opened at the beginning of each specific workshop to ensure order and timing of information.





S urprises Each assignment sheet is folded and perforated closed. Once the workshop session begins each attendee will open the corresponding assignment. Keeps things exciting and helps control the pacing of the exercises.







T he covers Are designed to be “blank� so to allow the color and character of the books to be determined by the participant





H elpful S tickers Each book comes with a set of colorful stickers with encouraging sayings as well as page edge stickers, to make finding special pages easier.



The Workshop Experience

Lists Thoughts Inner Critic Reminders Free-writing Analyze

Collect Gather Doodle Diagram Cut & Paste Collage


Critique Give tips Share Learn Recommend Evaluate Reflect

Workshopers are encouraged to focus on digging deep into understanding thier creative self.



Recall data or information

Understanding the meaning, translation, interpolation and interpretation of instructions, problems, and solutions

To put to use, especially for a particular purpose.

Separate materials or concepts into component parts so that it’s organizational structure may be understood.

Make something from combining other elements

Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials

Develop and produce a final piece that celebrates something they’ve learned about their creativity.



Day by Day Friday

5:3 0 pm – 7:3 0 pm Check-In/Registration 7 pm – 8:3 0 pm Opening Reception

8 am – 9 am Breakfast 9 am – Noon Workshop Set 1

Confusion around craft Physiological importance of Craft and Craftsmen historically. How that important connection is weakening due to technology. How that effects us psychologically How that effects our work/progress How we can get it back, or learn to maintain it better. 9 pm – 11:4 5 pm entertainment/bed time refreshments

will be available for those who would like to stay and mingle, but it is also a good idea to get to bed early and be ready for tomorrow.

M idnight Lights out

Gather Collect & Observe


1. Remember

What you already know Your experiences Your Biases Strengths weaknesses

2. Comprehend How do you learn and understand information best?

What do you get hung up on? How can we work with that?

3. Apply How do you try things out? How do you get ideas out?

Do you have a method of organizing your thoughts Do you sketch? Write? collage?

Noon – 1:30 pm Lunch 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Workshop Set 2 4. Analyze Are you able to distinguish between better and

worse? Can you Categorize and differentiate well?

5. Synthesize If at first you don’t succeed.

How many ways can you get that information back out, in different combinations? Build it, draw it...

6. Evaluate

Now that you have made something lets focus on how it went. Can you do it better? What’s going wrong what’s going right? How to take critique

6 pm – 7:30 pm Dinner 7pm – 11:45 pm Workshop Set 3 (Coffee, Cocktails and

Tea Provided) Reflect Re approach Group Dialogue and Critique

Midnight Lights out


Converge & Refine

Reflect & Reappoach




8 am – 9 am Breakfast 9 am – Noon Workshop Set 4

8 am – 9 am Breakfast

Idea Pitch

Present what you came up with? Have a couple directions? What did you get stuck on? What are your concerns? How do we get around them

Noon Checkout

Group Critique

Everyone grab a post it and write down your comments on each others projects

Revise What are you considering from your peers? Why?

What did they think of you hadn’t? How can you incorporate this into your project if you can? Noon – 1:30 pm Lunch 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Workshop Set 5 Work and complete Idea

Say good byes Exchange e-mail,and numbers and business cards

Take these three hours to work on your project Have a good time Discuss with your new friends If you are completed or satisfied with what you have produced spend some time walking around and looking at others projects.

6 pm – 7:30 pm Dinner 7pm – 11:45 pm Show

Silent Auction Closing Reception Show your work Mingle Vote for your favorite Bask in the completeness

Midnight Lights out



Tor Helmer workshop attendee no.124

Polaroid exploration

Tor brought his own Polaroid and plenty of film to document the weekend, and ended up using it in his final piece. This set of lovely photos are an instant reminder for him to try to avoid getting caught up in the details, while still being able to appreciate them.



Adam Ward workshop attendee no.67

S pinning S uccess

Difficulty focusing is often a problem for people, and this does not exclude creative people. Adam is one such character, and he found a brilliant way to find beauty in this often frustrating problem. Way to go Adam!



Annette Dalton workshop attendee no.102

A calendar to remember

Some attendees bring items they want to work with. In this case Annette brought some art that she’d been collecting and looking for a way to use them. Through her group discussions she made a great calendar set.



Sue Elliot workshop attendee no.58

N ot your grandmas sampler

Sue is a worrier. She often got creative blocks early in her process and got so frustrated she would quit the project all together. This simple sampler was her playful solution to help remind her to not sweat the small stuff.




Pencils Before Pixels 16 WEEKS O F U N I VERS I T Y CO U RS E FU N

Process Brand

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” —Martha Graham

Workshop Class



The Process Books The goal of the course is to help each student dive deep into their own personal creative voice by focusing on their process. By taking the pressure off of a final project and help them find it if they don’t know what that is. Teach them the importance of keeping it healthy and happy, and how to handle or anticipate hang-ups that will inevitably come along during their creative process. The process is divided between three books, so to really help dial into the different cognitive classes.

1. Work Book 2. The Inspiration Journal 3. Writing Journal Together these books represent the entire journey of the student’s class work and experience.









Learning Outcomes things you will know after you finish this class

Recognize the importance of process Critique ideas more efficiently Identify your strengths and weaknesses Draw/sketch your ideas more easily Demonstrate your step by step “thought process� Develop your creative process Express the uniqueness of your process Produce conceptual ideas Differentiate between good ideas and great ideas Organize your thoughts Explain your craft and what that means Evaluate ideas more accurately Produce well-crafted final artifacts



To Remember the rules

1. Bring your workbook everywhere you go especially this class (you will know what this is in a bit). 2. Never leave home without a pen or other writing utensil. 3. Add anything to your workbook that you want. 4. At some point do something to the cover of your workbook to make it yours. 5. Check website weekly for assignments. 6. Review rules number 1 & 2.



The Course Experience

Place to allow the Rational voice (Left Brain) to practice without interrupting the creative voice (Right Brain).

Place for the inner creative (Right Brain) to play without judgment or restrictions from the inner critic (Left Brain).


Hold all assignments week by week. Also shows a calendar for the entire duration of the course. Allows the student to plan out their time and events.

Students are encouraged to focus on digging deep into understanding their creative self and process.



Recall data or information

Understanding the meaning, translation, interpolation and interpretation of instructions, problems, and solutions

To put to use, especially for a particular purpose.

Separate materials or concepts into component parts so that it’s organizational structure may be understood.

Make something from combining other elements

Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials

Develop and produce a final piece that celebrates something they’ve learned about their creativity.



Week by Week The sixteen week program in broken into three segments:

The first segment’s tasks focus on helping the student develop a strong creative foundation mentally and physically. By giving them many simple tasks with no wrong answer they get used to letting go of the outcome and just focusing on the gathering and the exploring. They should stop focusing on the results and just enjoy the activity. By the end of the first seven weeks they should be able to look back and be pretty impressed with the amount of content they have gathered. Yes, a lot of it will be just process, but hopefully at least one or a couple of the tasks were interesting, and sparked their curiosity so much so that they want to take it further, and start developing an ideal for the final. The second segment is three weeks of reflection and re approach. The students will reflect on the past 7 weeks and start to reevaluate some of the tasks they accomplished. Through several iterations of class critique in addition to personal reflection, by the tenth week the student should have a good idea of what they would like to investigate and potentially produce for a final piece. The last segment of six weeks is a time for the students to design and produce their final pieces as well as finish their process journals.

Where is your Happy place? Find it! Gather Collect & Observe

(Seven weeks) Reflect & Re approach (Three weeks) Converge & Refine (Six weeks) Gather Collect & Observe

wk_01 Helping each individual identify which physical and mental spaces help or hinder their productivity. wk_02 Figuring out Who you are

By taking time to identify what is important to them they have a foundation to work from, and keep in mind while exploring things outside of themselves. wk_03 Developing a sense of Power

If last week was ment to establish the foundation of the self, this week we find the fuel for that fire, passion. Embrace what it is that moves you, and act upon it. wk_04* Developing a sense of Integrity

Who else is going to do it for you? No one. So let’s figure out what makes you a unique individual and get proud about that. This way you are whole and undivided and can stand strong for what you feel. wk_05 open-minded, Possibilities are endless

Creative block will happen, and this week we learn the important of keeping an open-minded, even when it’s the hardest thing to do. It’s always worth it. wk_06 Reflect on you collection

Time to reflect on the last 5 weeks and what you have learned and gathered, any highlights? Something you’d like to investigate more? Well time to start thinking of a final project idea, so take advantage! wk_07 Midterm: Bring it all together

Midterm week! Now that you have reflected it’s time to pitch your ideas? What is it you want to investigate further? Take advantage!

By the end of the course each student will have a self directed final piece as well as three bound journals, reflecting their creative process.

* = Progress grade 106



Developing a sense of Strength

It’s all about Balance

Coming to the realization that no matter what limitations or blocks you encounter you’re confident in your abilities to work through it is an incredible point of personal strength, lets find it.

How’s it going in there? It’s up to you to know what’s going on in there and keep your self happy, Giving yourself time to play and work is an incredibly important and difficult thing to master. So we will practice.

wk_09 Give your self a break

More often then not, as a creative, you are your worst enemy, your worst critic. If that’s the case this week we take a look at how to give yourself a break. You deserve it.

Converge & Refine

Reflect & Reappoach


wk_10 Developing a sense of self-protection

If you are worth a break you are also worth defending. By identifying distractions you are able to protect your productivity.

wk_12* Developing a sense of Trust

At this point you have covered a lot of personal ground. One of the last steps is trusting the process and practicing it. Creativity requires receptivity and profound trust. Avoid sabotage, let go of trying to control everything, identify blocks in your path, have the courage to follow what it is you want to do and maybe are afraid of achieving. Admit it, accept it, work with it. wk_13 Getting and giving the Critique

Learning to give can be just as hard as learning to get. Criticism is problem-finding as well as problem-solving. Getting good at these skills are invaluable. wk_14 LEarning to wrangle ideas

So we have two weeks left and depending on your work load you may be fine or you maybe struggling. If you are struggling let’s work together to get to the bottom of the issue and keep you moving forward. wk_15 Finishing touches

Obviously this is your final week to complete your lovely ideas. Ideally you are nearly there, but in some cases you may have a ways to go. Try not to let anything get you down, focus, find your happy place and keep going. wk_16* Celebrate and Congratulate

You have reached the end of this course. Today please bring your final project, your three process books, all tertiary materials you have gathered through the projects that you couldn’t fit in your books.



1. The Workbook You could think of this book as your brain on paper. A place to collect and document ANYTHING you want to remember. It is also a resource. Your very own reference material that will contain your unique thoughts, visions and ideas of the world. It will be different from any other book in the world because you are unique, and you are the designer. You can add to it or change it at any time. It changes as your perception of the world changes. It is portable. Perfect for taking with you; have spontaneous showings wherever you are). You can reference your thoughts whenever you want or when you need ideas. Take this wherever you go (all the time, to the mall, to work/school, on vacation). You do not have to travel to far away places to take interesting notes or to observe interesting things. You do not need large amounts of time either. Amazing things happen all the time and in the blink of an eye. You just have to be looking for them and ready to record what you observe. The following pages include a variety of projects and exercises that will guide you during this course. There is also a section to help you get acquainted (or reacquainted) with some tools and terms you will need to be familiar with. Remember, all of your most important tools exist in your body! Use them. And remember to have fun.





Calendar Printed blank, to be filled with the current date that takes place during the class will take place. This makes a great chronological record of the students activities and happenings.

W hat you can ’t see Each workbook has the syllabus printed in the front as well as the professors phone number and e-mail. I encourage students to correspond with me directly when ever needed.

Blank space All this blank space is for thoughts, quotes, appointments, ticket stubs, doodles, mementos... anything the student might like to keep track of.



W ire - O Since this is a workbook it will often be open on a surface somewhere. Wire-O binding allows it to lay comfortably flat so the student don’t have to fight with it, we design to help not hinder

M onth to M onth At the right of every spread there is a place to mark the month as well.

T ip in Assignments Each weekly assignment is a half sheet tipped into each spread. This way the students can look ahead and plan, but they won’t get the full lecture. At least they will have record of the homework due each week.



wk_01/15 W here is your Happy place? F ind it! Creative people need space to work, both mentally and physically. This week we are going to focus on finding these spaces for you. When it comes to mental space, it is important to have support. Unfortunately, this can be really hard to find, or even ask for. You’d like to think there would be an abundance of support from your families and everyone around you, but this isn’t always the case. As new creatives, it is important to have your attempts and efforts acknowledged just as much as your achievements and successes. Hopefully you are surrounded by those kinds of people, but if you aren’t you need to be prepared to find it elsewhere. If you are going to be successful, you need to establish a positive creative space to which you can call on often. When it comes to physical space, this can be your desk, a coffee shop, the library, the laundry mat, a working studio. There may or may not be music playing, other constant noises or a TV on? Whatever the case maybe, it’s important to establish where you work well, and where you don’t work well. This week we begin your creative discovery. You may feel both giddy or defiant, hopeful or skeptical. The tasks, and exercises aim to help you establish a location or several where you are able to explore without fear or reservations.

Tip ins Assignments come in the form of Tip ins. Each week has a half sheet bound with in it. Those sheets have a short introductory paragraph that focuses on the topic for the week. After the paragraph follows the In Class activities and After Class activities. The After Class activities are broken into two categories; the activities the student should record in the Written Journal and the activities to be recorded in the Inspiration Journal.

I n class Warm up Go over course materials Get out early to gather supplies! Don’t get used to it. After Class • Get your supplies on! • Sign Contract Written

• Inventory: Make a list of items you own. Beside each item put a quantity of the particular item. • Everyday write at least one page, stream of consciousness (don’t read them)

I nspirational

Each week the class discusses how one or several of Bloom’s Taxonomy categories of learning are present within the assignments. Working through any challenges they maybe encountering throughout the exploration of their creative processes.


• Daily contribution: Each day collect something lovely and store it in this book. Cut and paste till it’s full, no seriously, by the end of the course it needs to be full, and turned in for grading! • Map: Create a map based on some part of your everyday life. Your desk, your commute to school or work, your dinner table, your hand. Draw it, diagram it, record it somehow.








3. Writing Journal People that come up with ideas for a living have to deal with two kinds of thinking; divergent and convergent. Divergent is thinking of many ideas and then convergent is distilling that idea into one single idea. They need to be able to think of all ideas and then find the best idea out of those ideas. This is a very difficult thing to do. Often people suffer from analysis paralysis trying to do both at the same time. No idea sounds good enough to pursue. So in the beginning it is best to treat them as totally separate steps in the process. This book acts as a stage for the inner critic. The inner critic is the Left brain, it is the analyzer, it is sometimes a very ruthless energy that tears down any attempt at creativity. While it doesn’t have a place during the divergent thinking part, it does have an important role during the convergent thinking. So these pages are a place to give it the microphone, let it say it peace and then calm down to allow the creative energy to flow, and be collected in the inspiration book. By splitting the activities up in this way the student gets better and dividing their creative energy/process into more efficient steps. It is a place to vent, to freewrite, and to complete written assignments from the class. This book too needs to be filled cover to cover with only written content, and will be checked for progress at each grade







2. The Inspiration Journal This book acts as a place where the student’s inner creative is encouraged to play in a safe place. When you can practice this, it gets easier to recognize that energy for what it is, as opposed to the more critical voice that sometimes can take over your creative process. In these pages anything that inspires can be gathered and collected. You can try things and take risks free of judgement. You can fill the pages with anything; clippings from magazines, clothe samples you like, paint chips from the hardware store... anything but by the end of the term the entire book needs to be filled cover to cover. The book is meant to be brought to class everyday, and I will be checked for progress at the four grading classes. The format is 8.5� by 11� and matches the size of the other two process books. It is blank but for the introduction pages, page numbers, and the branding from page to page. This allows the student to again add the character through their process no matter what it maybe.










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Home Page It is important that this class embrace technology while focusing on the creative process. A website will create a cyber presence where anyone that has seen the url can visit to find out more. The home page shows current events; where the next workshops will be held and which schools are teaching the course. It also shows guest speakers, and showcases students/attendee work from recent classes and workshops.

The website acts as a hub for people to come and see what is happening no matter where they are located. All they need is internet access.



About me The website also has a page where people can find out about me. A place there I can let them know why I love doing this. Whether they are a student, parent, potential employer or workshop attendee I want my credentials and reasons for teaching to be readily available. I also think this would be beneficial because of my energy for helping people figure out their creative process. I think personal creative process has an incredibly fascinating story from historical Craft

guilds and apprenticeships to the introduction of Industrial Revolution, and how that changed the craftsman to a mechanic and technician. When making things by hand was not a hobby but it was a source of personal pride and tradition. Humans used to gain self-confidence and worth from how they did what they did. Today, I want to help people regain that feeling of pride in their own creative processes.



Don’t forget to login The online site also has a place for people participating in either the workshop or course to login. In addition to the workshop and the course people can download the Pencil Before Pixel App and take the class totally digitally, with other people that have signed up. This will be discussed further in the App section but is important to mention now that this is a place where those people can also keep track and see what others are doing. By making the entire class available

in several forms (ie: Workshop, In class Course, Online, and on App) just covers the gamut of possibilities, and really gives the audience the chance to give the subject a life all it’s own. For example it would be amazing if the focus was more on the App, and Online course because it was so popular it didn’t rely on the Workshop and Class. Yes, the likely hood of that happening is slim, but hey, I’m optimistic.



To buy It is important to also support our sponsorships, and promote quality tools. We have given out many surveys asking people which tools specifically are their most helpful. Here on this sight we make available for purchase the top three most popular tools from each category we gave. So people can custom create their very own portable design kit from a selection of the most recommended tools.

In addition to general tools there are also some branded goods from PBP. Such as a t-shirt, backpack, and iPad Cover branded with the logo. We are pretty proud of what we do and love to see people sporting our stuff.





Displaying all the weekly assignments as well as the current one. Perhaps you want to go back and review something, totally allowed. However, if you want to skip ahead, Nope, each week a new assignment is unlocked, thus controlling the release of information and keeping things a surprise!





Any one that wishes to use an iPad or would like to try, is able to purchase the Pencils Before Pixels App at the App store. Once you have loaded the app then you are off. The welcome page displays the week by week buttons for easy access to which ever session you would like to look up. It also shows what you have been posting recently as well as what your classmates have been posting. Since the iPad has the ability to take photographs or even paste found images from the web, this is a great way to collect and show off the cool things you may want to share with the class.

In the Post-it-all section you are able to take photos, and then see them all at a good size on the screen. You may also make captions to go along with your images. This is a larger more focused version of what you can find as far as image display goes from the welcome page. This page however also shows what your classmates have been taking pictures of.



Get inspired


Just like the in class course, the students are responsible for gathering inspiration. In this section you get a larger view of the images you have collected that inspire you, as well as the ability to drag and drop them in a certain order or to batch them into certain categories.

In order to encourage critique and correspondence between classmates or just free participants there is a Constant chat box. When you sign up for the class you are run through dialogue boxes to set up your course. One of these lets you set up your chat to talk with everyone, or those starting at the same time as you. This way you can share images, and tips with everyone else taking the course.

Shown at the top the dots represent one of the 16 weeks which make up the course. This allows you to see which photos you uploaded for which week and how they apply to the assignments for the corresponding week.



Within the App there’s even a place to keep track of your thoughts, just like the written journal for the course. It keeps track of what you write every week allowing you to review it whenever you like.





Hall Posters Sent to participating schools, these three posters will help spread the word and excitement about the course.








All I want to be is a person who makes things and thinks about them. – John Maeda

Thank You.

Pencils Before Pixels  

An MFA Design Thesis by Lauren Mulkey

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