I recently did a little Keynote speech at a Primary School in Te Awamutu, (TAPS) for a Symposium they held for a select number of Schools around New Zealand.
It was a great experience talking to the kids about finding and following your passions and I talked mostly about my own experince growing up and being inspired to become an illustrator. I had some of my original work on display for them to get up close to and created this showreel of some of my work created over the past 10 years for them to watch.
A brief synopsis of what I talked about:
Collecting film posters when I was younger from my local video shop, they were all over my bedroom walls. I was always drawing pictures from a very young age mostly inspired by the films and tv shows I loved to watch. One day I noticed something about the posters I had collected, they all bore the same signature.... "drew" who was "drew"? I soon realised that this was a person who's job was drawing pictures for a living - and out of that came the notion of what an illustrator was! I then knew what I wanted to do....
Years go by following my path and I'm at college, my Art Tutor, Jon Warmisham handed me a new magazine... he was very excited about some digital art/software that was coming out and wanted me to have a look at it. Jon was an amazing teacher and he was something of a pioneer when it came to digital art, ever heard of ProArtisan? Jon Wrote that software for Archemedes Computers back in the day...
Well, I had a look at the article and while flicking through, something caught my eye. An article on Drew Struzan, my illustration Hero! I read the article front to back, sideways every way imaginable, the internet was just getting started back then and print was really the only way to really find stuff out... no google back then! I found that at the back of the publication, there was a list of contributers to the magazine and their contact info... and their was drew's info!
I thought about it for a while, then figured, what have I to lose, I sent drew a fax.
That evening I got home and there was a piece of paper on my bed. A faxed reply from Drew!
It was amazing to hear what drew had to say, although a little disappointing to hear him say there is no film poster industry anymore... but one phrase of wisdom has stuck with me from that first correspondance. "keep knocking until the door is opened to you..."
We have kept in touch over the years and I am fortunate to have invited to meet him at his studio in Pasadena for a day (an awesome day never forgotten!)...
The main word that came out of the keynote and the Symposium as a whole remained Drews words "Keep knocking..."
This is just a part of what I talked about, it was unscripted but I'm sure you get the gist.
It was a real privelidge to share my story with everyone that was at the symposium and hold a couple of logo design workshops with you all - you are quite a talented bunch for sure! Hope you are all still wearing your red TAPSFM T-Shirts!
Thanks to Gareth Duncan and his team of exceptional people at TAPS for holding this great event!
Big thanks to Drew for inspiring me from such an early age and continuing to do so today!
And thanks to all the kids for coming along and listening to my story, I hope you enjoyed it!