Announcing our 2013 WMC Speakers
The countdown is on! Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is only a few months away, and we are working tirelessly to make it the best art, design and music festival possible. We are so excited to welcome 20 insanely talented speakers into Cleveland Public Theater August 16 through 18. Here is a list of the speakers we have lined up thus far and a little bit about why we are so pumped to hang on their every word.
Ann Friedman & Dylan Lathrop: Ann and Dylan are an unstoppable team. They first worked together when Ann was the main editor at GOOD magazine and Dylan was the main designer. They did amazing work there until the entire editorial team was let go in a pretty famous change-of-gears for the magazine. They then co-founded Tomorrow Magazine, which got Kickstarted and featured the work of some really talented writers/photographers/designers. Ann is a real role model to young journalists and writes quite a bit about building your own personal brand in the game. Dylan’s a great advocate for design and cares equally about going about things the right way, professionally and personally.
Lisa Congdon: Lisa’s got a really great story. She came into art/design later in her life and has rocketed to a real position of prominence. She’s well known for her hand-drawn yet very detailed illustration style, and she’s very sought out for it. She’s also an avid collector of a variety of little things and even published a book about her small collections. She’s a fixture in the keynote slot in speaking at events and is the perfect fit for WMC because she’s forged her own creative path in life after working in a different world completely.
Jon Contino: You’ve all seen his work; every time you put on last year’s WMC t-shirt, you’re WEARING his work. He is, of course, an amazing illustrator whose style is everywhere – but nobody does it quite as good as he does. He is a unique voice and a real advocate for craft and caring about what you do. He’s a much-sought-after illustrator (as well as speaker). He’s worked hard to build his own brand and is a great example of what hard work and talent and hustle can accomplish.
Adam Garcia: What a talent! I first encountered Adam’s work for 160over90, one of the top design firms in the country out of Philadelphia. He then went on to work for Nike (yep, THE Nike) before going on his own. He’s got an instantly recognizable style, like Jon Contino, and he will do an amazing job in speaking about the role fear plays in forging your career. It’s important for people to see that even a top-flight illustrator like him can fight the same doubts and fears that the everyday folks face.
Rena Tom: Rena, like Kate Bingaman Burt last year, is a real Pied Piper of creative types, especially creative and crafty entrepreneurs. We’ve tried hard this year to really bolster our entrepreneurial side, as part of defying the hand you’re dealt nearly always involves selling your own stuff. She started back in the early 2000s as a handmade jeweler and got to be quite famous in the craft community for that. She then has opened her own store, Rare Device, sold that, and now operates a coworking space in San Francisco (and soon one in New York) called Makeshift Society, which is really taking off. She does a lot of lecturing as well about how to build your own business and brand and is a real mixer in the community.
Kristy Tillman: Kristy’s a real fixture on social media who works for IDEO in Boston. IDEO is the closest thing the design/industrial design world comes to Willy Wonka’s factory. She’s on sabbatical now working on this huge grant/award she got to build a mobile career platform for those searching for a job who only have access to a mobile device. She’s a real authority on the intersection between emerging tech and design as it serves to address social issues. In other words, she really cares about the world around her and is using her career and training to make a difference, which is an important message for our attendees.
Christen Carter: Another awesome entrepreneur. Christen founded Busy Beaver Button Co. (a 2012 sponsor), which is one of the top (if not THE top) button maker in the country. They’re huge in the creative world and print all of the buttons you get when you order Field Notes. She’s out of Chicago and continues our tradition of bringing in top speakers and a ton of attendees from the Windy City. She’s an expert on the history of buttons as well as starting your own business; she started Busy Beaver in order to make the little 1″ buttons bands use to promote themselves. She’s smack dab in the intersection of entrepreneurship, design and music. It’s also important for our audience to see how successful a woman-owned business can be.
These Are Things: Jen and Omar both attended last year as part of the gallery. They got their start in Columbus and were a real feather in the cap of Ohio before moving to Brooklyn earlier this year. Their maps can be found everywhere – design/lifestyle/home magazines, websites, on TV in shows, etc. They started their entire niche when they were dissatisfied with the maps they found for purchase. Talk about defying the hand you’re dealt! They’ll be presenting a great talk about the ways creatives can build their brand as they did and overcome the kinds of struggles we all face.
Kern and Burn: Jess and Tim attended last year as well and also had a table to vend from. They’ve interviewed top creatives nationwide and just put it all into a book that they successfully Kickstarted last year. So they’re a great resource on the many paths we can take to achieve what we want and are a great example of how we hope to elevate gallery participants to the speaking world, which we hope shows our audience how our message can be applied in the real world at the event itself.
Brandon Rike: Brandon is one of the most important fixtures to WMC. He’s had a table every year and spoke in a small slot at the first event. His message is directly in line with ours and it’s important for our out-of-town audience to recognize how talented, hard-working and creative Ohioans like Brandon are. He plans on talking about fighting back against the will to conform and instead build your own career. He’s a real credit to our festival and his year-after-year enthusiasm is contagious!
Nick Disabato: He’s an interaction designer in Chicago and is a much-sought-after freelancer and speaker there. He started and published his own journal about design and technology, Distance, and has published a book about interaction design, too. He’s great from a best-practices perspective and is as vital to creatives about how best to go about the back-end of your work (contracts, planning, etc.) as Ann is with writers.
Jacqui Oakley: This Canadian illustration superstar has done spot work everywhere you can think. She’s got a great story as well, having lived in Canada, England, Bahrain, Zambia, and Libya. She’s worldly and her work reflects that. She’s got a great talk planned about style and what the concept really means. She’s a teacher as well as illustrator and is great in front of a crowd. Her client list is a real who’s who that includes the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic, among many others.
Stewart Scott-Curran: Stewart is a native Scot who came to the U.S. to work for CNN Digital and is helping spearhead a new look for CNN.com. He’s a big fixture on social media who was the inaugural speaker at Creative Mornings in Atlanta. He just moved to San Francisco, where he still works for CNN (his wife designs for GAP). Like Adam Garcia, he worked for Nike, as well as for Coca-Cola. He’s got experience in designing the World Cup uniforms for quite a few countries, which is amazing. His is a message about how going the extra mile and doing it while being polite is so, so important.
Troy DeShano: He beat cancer and is a real storyteller in terms of using his illustration talent. He created the Old & New Project to re-tell classic biblical stories for a new audience, using some of the biggest names in design, including Nate Utesch (WMC alum). He’s native to Michigan and will bring a great message from the state up north to the festival.
Alonzo Felix: He’s a Brooklyn-based designer who has become really prominent for his type design, which can be found, among other places, in the Lost Type Co-op. He’s a big believer in craft and detail and will be a credit to the lineup. He’s another teacher, like Jacqui, and is really dominating the industry.
Caroline Moore: She’s been our official photographer and is a real credit to the festival. Her message about how punk rock made her a better entrepreneur will be a hit just like Dan Christofferson’s was two years ago.
John Jennings: He’s an expert in African American participation in the comic book world, which promises to be an amazing topic on the roster. He’s also a professor. I cannot wait to pick his brain about his subject area and know that, despite being in many different fields, love of comic books is something that unites nearly all of our attendees.
Stephanie Landes: Stephanie’s perhaps the biggest up-and-comer in Cleveland’s surprisingly large advertising community. She won the city AAF club’s young visionary award. She also bridges the gap between writing and design (like Ann and Dylan) and will follow in Austin Kleon‘s footsteps in terms of bringing a real writer’s angle to the fest.
Our final two speakers will be added to the roster very soon. Stay tuned for updates here on the GoMediaZine as well as on our WMC Facebook page. In the meantime, help us build momentum for Weapons of Mass Creation 2013 by donating to our Kickstarter page and joining the WMC Street Team! And, don’t forget to vote for the next featured designer at WMC 2013!