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Design Ranch Moto Adventure: Day 5

Soggy Day

Up in time to shower and grab breakfast by 8:00. We’re supposed to get some gnarly weather today, but so far it’s just a bit cloudy.

My 9:00AM – 12:00PM workshop is WOOD + TYPE with Bobby Dixon and Brian Phillips. We’ve got incredible canvases of found wood assembled by Brian and Bobby is giving us some hand lettering tips before cutting us loose to sketch our ideas and begin our final pieces. The hardest part is deciding on what to write and what style to utilize. Once I decide to make something for Lewis, I land on “Li’l Man” since Amanda calls me “Big Man.” I decide on a script solution and set to work. The time flies, but I finish my piece and am fairly pleased with the results. I thank the gentlemen and head to lunch.

Finished product from Bobby & Brian's workshop

Finished product from Bobby & Brian’s workshop


The food at Waldemar is so darn good, you guys. Their staff is all around top notch. Design Ranch is a great conference, but they also nailed the location. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

My 1:30PM – 3:00PM workshop is Old is New: Throwback Skate Graphics with the guys from Morning Breath. This is a short, fast-paced session, but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m working beside my buddy Kevin who I met at my very first Design Ranch and even took the picture of Grace, Maya and me. We each pick out a pre-made design to screen print on our skate deck, but first we get to decide how we plan to paint the background that will be behind/underneath the design. While we’re all hard at work the weather turns nasty. Heavy, heavy rain is falling and thunder & lighting even make an appearance. We’re inside, but our space has a large, open bay door, so we get a front row seat to the gnarly-ness outside. Time is running out, but I get my board painted and printed in time to wrap up and store it for later transport.

Pretty sweet art to use by Morning Breath

Pretty sweet art to use by Morning Breath


Now I just need to get all the way across camp to my cabin in the pouring rain with no jacket. Luckily my bike is parked under a shed right across from our workspace, and I’ve got my rain gear in the saddlebag. I run over and put on my riding rain jacket, which actually looks quite ridiculous out of context. But, hey, I figure it beats getting soaked. I make it back to the cabin and eventually my roommates do too. We’ve got time to kill before supper. Usually this is when you stroll around the camp and hang out with friends, go canoeing/kayaking, play volleyball or kickball, pitch horseshoes, or just lounge around by the Guadeloupe River. But, it’s raining buckets so we all hang out in the cabin for a while.

The weather eventually slacks up so we can enjoy a little outside socializing. I meet even more awesome people, including Austin-based Brad Woodard, whose work I really admire. Super talented guy and cool as hell to boot. It’s sort of a theme with Design Ranch.

At some point I swing by the room where Draplin’s workshops are held in hopes of catching him before he’s done for the day. I still want that picture and more of his merch, but I must have missed him. The room is dark & empty.

One day I hope to learn how to use a koozie.

One day I hope to learn how to use a koozie.

Afternoon turns to evening and we’re inside one of the larger halls to hear a pretty entertaining band tear it up on stage. They’re fun, but I was hoping for some two-stepping instead of head-banging.

AIGA Richmond’s biennial design award show, GRADE is tonight back in Richmond. I haven’t missed one since my first time going to GRADE 4 in 2007. Even though Design Ranch trumps GRADE, I wonder how the show goes. I wonder who wins. I get a text from my buddy and fellow Richmond designer, Stephanie, saying she got home safe. It was sent by mistake, so I don’t think much of it. I get that a lot with the whole first-name-staritng-with-AA thing. Kelly takes a quick picture of David and me so I can send it back with warm greeting from TX.

The fun and socializing run pretty late and we decide to turn in around 4:00.