05/12/2010 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

For those of you who missed Tuesday’s Pecha Kucha event (because you had your Lame Pants on, or forgot that you could watch LOST via DVR, hulu, or ABC’s website), well, we all had a good laugh at you last night. We listed you by name, then laughed and laughed and laughed. Just kidding. But we did sign you up for about 1,000 Land’s End catalogs. So, look for those.

Below is the mother of all recaps. Am I being sarcastic? Well, if you hate this blog post, then yes. I was being sarcastic. But if you love it, then know my aim was true. (© Elvis Costello)

1. This is what I like to call “the calm before the storm.” Or, for those folks who got a head start on Happy Hour, “how to know you’re actually in the right place.”

2. This is WMSE‘s Shopkeeper Ken, who DJ’d the pre-show, post-show, and intermission. He brought what looked like a crate of common vinyl, but in actuality was more like Pandora’s Box. If Pandora’s Box unleashed some of the wildest, most beautiful music in the world instead of, you know, pure chaos. Instead of taking pictures of him for this blog, I should have been asking him the name of each record he played. His mixtapes are probably better than handshakes from Alec Baldwin.

3. Obligatory crowd shot #1.

4. Scene from Matrix? Nope. Poltergeist? Double nope. This is Dylan’s computer. (Dylan as in “Dylan, who organized all this and ran the slideshows for each presenter.”) Apparently, when he plugs in the projector, his laptop turns into a backdrop for Max Headroom. Did I just date myself with that reference?

5. Well, well… what do we have here? Why it’s America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 7), Kristopher Pollard! As an added bonus of attending the evening’s festivities, ol’ K.Pollard was doing on-the-spot portraits of any interested party with a $10 bill they were willing to part with. I only wish he would have given all his subjects Bieber-do’s.

6. Oh, look! It’s our buddies, the general public, again! More of them, too. Sugar Maple is a big bar, but these folks did their best to challenge its spaciousness. And their tap lines. Good thing Sugar Maple has 60 of ’em.

7. This is 800-CEO-READ‘s Jon Mueller, introducing tonight’s presenters. Why is he seemingly masked by shadow? Well, it could be that he’s a man of mystery, and all good men of mystery are perpetually masked in shadow. Or, it could be that I refuse to take photos with the flash on, because natural light always makes for a better-looking photo.

8. And here are your May 2010 Pecha Kucha presenters! Wait– why aren’t there any photos of their presentations? Well, because I was too busy doing the drawings you’re about to see. One drawing per presentation, completed within the 6-minute time-limit each presenter is given. Do you know how exhausting it is to visually sum up something as it happens? Especially when you have no idea what the topics are? VERY. But it turned out okay! I think. See for yourself:

Katie’s a good cookie. She used to work at one of the most unique places in America, but it closed because times are apparently tough. Or the rent’s high in the Third Ward. Now she’s reclaiming all the things she lost while immersed in the shifted-focus her job demanded. Reclaiming her sense of fun, playfulness, and curiosity. And expanding her creative identity beyond the beautiful jewelry she makes.

I only really know Jim from his work with Collections of Colonies of Bees. And from bumping into him at other Pecha Kuchas. Jim talked about his love for synthesizers, and his hate for folks who gave them a bad name. But mostly the love.

The most challenging one I did all night. Largely because, as I wrote at the bottom, how do you doodle a doodler? Mike’s name has been all over the Internet this year thanks to his illustrations for a book called Rework. His sketch notes are most excellent, and will remind anyone who ever worked with a great art director of those early agency days. (I’m looking at you, Tim Ryan and Dylan Menges!)

One of our favorite folks in Milwaukee, Jessica Kaminski, gave an excellent presentation on being half-Polish, half-Puerto Rican. Or as she refers to herself, “Polarican.” Which reminds me of the word “Polaroid.” Which is perfect because she’s a photographer. Perhaps Polaroid can make her a limited-edition camera and call it “The Polarican?” Something to think about, Polaroid.

Joe’s another fantastic artist and friend of ours, who threw us a total curveball with his presentation on Math. Frickin’ Math. But cool Math. FUN Math. With the exception of the “genius” drawn in the middle, the rest of the drawing pretty much sums it up.

Only at Pecha Kucha will you hear about someone’s fascination with conjoined twins and other Anatomical Exemptions. Not at all what I would have expected to hear from Susan, but pleasant surprises are the best kind of surprises.

This one started with Evil Santa, crossed an ocean, mentioned jack-o-lanterns, and closed out with a lot of love for Milwaukee. Total crowd pleaser, this one. And easily the presentation with the most abundant amount of material for me to pull from. (Evil Santa might have to become a permanent fixture around here.)

Stephen wins the “Holy Shit” award. Because after showing what he and his friends made with a few thousand simple clothespins, all you could hear from the crowd was “Holy shit!” Or maybe that was just me saying it louder than everyone else. Click on his name and check out his site.

And closing out our little tour de last night is Emmet Gross, who makes bicycles way cooler than the one collecting dust in your garage right now. (Unless, of course, you have one of his bikes.) Even cooler than the bikes, though, is his story. How he got to where he’s at. It involved Scarface (the movie, not the rapper), kids, and the positive power of gambling. Lesson learned: Always bet on Kansas. (Unless you’re talking about 2010’s universally disappointing NCAA bracket.)


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