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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Kinkade’

Y Did It Have to End So Soon?

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Sure, we made it home safe, but we’re not happy about it. We wish the Y Conference in San Diego could have lasted a whole week. Now we’ve heaped praise upon these stars to the south before, and it’s not really news that this little regional conference is no longer little or regional. What Y is, however, is small enough for even the lowliest student to hobnob with the biggest of big-time speakers. The conference fee is relatively cheap. And we don’t think we have to mention the beyond-perfect climate (72 and sunny; okay, make that very sunny).

As we smooched old friends goodbye at the Red Circle Cafe Saturday night, realized that were it not for Y regulars Stefan Bucher and Petrula Vrontikis, we’d have never known about the wonder of Y. We thanked Terry “Stampy” McCaffrey for changing the way we think about those little perforated stickers. And we praised conference chair Adam Rowe, who has been doing this for an incredible seven years, although we’d like to offer one popular thought to mull over for the next year: 12 white guys and only two women?

On our way out we were busy describing the plot of Idiocracy to Tucker Viemeister when his eyes drifted towards the ceiling. “It’s a shame we can’t get these guys some lightbulbs,” he said, as we followed his gaze to two burnt-out lights over the bar. Ah, the curse of the man who can do everything. Next to him was Mirko Ilic, forever cursed as the only man confident (European? crazy?) enough to take his shirt completely off while sunbathing in the lawn of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. We may have missed hearing Ilic speak, but it didn’t matter; he was pretty much presenting all weekend.

Finally, we got totally busted by our newest best friend Stefan Sagmeister who promised to bore us again and again with his deja vu-inducing presentation. We turned bright red and said that we didn’t think everyone felt that way, it was just that we happened to be at every single conference. “But so am I!” he laughed. Man, that Stefan Sagmeister is downright impossible not to look up to–and not just because he’s like seven feet tall.

So if Y was the question, what was the answer, you ask? Probably the most important thing we learned that when you Ask a Ninja (and believe us, we did), the answer is most likely going to be “Thomas Kinkade.” See you next year.

More Y Conference coverage.

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Straight Talk and a Spirited Sermon Saturday Morning at the Y

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Depending on where your hotel room was situated at the Hotel Solamar your anticipated bedtime may have been delayed (windows facing the pool were treated to a fratty party scene of epic proportions). Luckily, there was somewhat of a wakeup call this morning at the Y Conference.

First, Christopher Simmons from MINE delivered a casual, no pretense heart-to-heart that was a pretty nice deviation from the canned presentation–and this is coming from a guy who made police tape that says EVERYTHING IS OK and puts it up in random places to see what people do. We like that. Simmons also gets bonus points for the Thomas Kinkade reference.

And when Hank Richardson from the Portfolio Center took the stage, the mood shifted yet again. Beginning with bashing the new branding direction for Uncle Ben’s as way of example (very frightening, check it out), Richardson ranted and raved about design ethics for the better part of an hour, even as the “time’s up” light flashed in vain. Soon the hot pink slides matched Richardson’s rosy cheeks and we felt like we were back in school–or church; this was design fire and brimstone! Richardson acknowledged that he always gets dragged off the stage, “I don’t even get warmed up in 35 minutes.” But the bottom line from Richardson’s presentation: When it comes to great design work, it’s ALL personal. And it was pretty obvious to everyone in attendance that this is one man who practices what he preaches.

Stefan Sagmeister Gives Us Deja Vu All Over Again

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Stefan Sagmeister ended the day with a crowd-pleasing presentation at the Y Conference that seemed to send everyone out into the world with a smile. Now you know we love you, Sags, we do. And we love that thing you do. But as regulars on the conference circuit, we’ve gotta ask you to switch it up a bit. Here’s the recap from a year-and-a-half ago. And one from a year ago. The new developments, as far as we can see, are a cool ad for a economic development agency in Singapore, and that he’s trying to make a giant floating speech bubble out of a blimp.

One thing we did learn is what happened when Sagmeister was performing one scene of a short film which required him to hang out of a window in Debbie Millman‘s office in the Empire State Building, holding a sign that said OVER. The cops came, thinking he was a jumper, and wanted to seize the camera as proof. Millman thought fast and said that the camera contained “personal” footage…they backed off.

Ninja co-conspirator Kent Nichols returned the favor during the Q&A, asking about Sagmeister’s affinity for the painters of light, like Thomas Kinkade. Oh Ninjas, we do hope you’re back tomorrow for more hijinks.

More Y Conference coverage.