Monday, June 15, 2015

TEDx Philadelphia 2015

TEDx Philadelphia 2015's host, Erica Atwood,
the only speaker I forgot to draw
It's been awhile since I felt I had anything important to write about here, but my experience at TEDx Philadelphia talks last week definitely deserve a post! I have watched a few talks on the TED website but seeing a whole day worth of talks (14 in all) was a different experience entirely. I wasn't familiar with any of the speakers before seeing them on the day of the conference, so I wasn't too sure what to expect. I was hoping for a few talks about Graphic Design or other art-related discipline, but the theme, "Justice for All" suggested otherwise, which was ok, I do realize there are more pressing issues in the world than picking the right font.

There was one talk about artwork made while incarcerated, and one about architecture, so art wasn't completely off the table, however, I was surprised to find I was more interested in other subjects discussed, such as being an openly gay preacher (I didn't know that was possible!), just how hard it is to break the cycle of poverty (with some pretty sobering statistics), and police brutality (spoken by Philadelphia's own chief of police, Charles H. Ramsey). Downstairs in the basement there was also an art show and a screen printing station were attendees could make their own 2 color screen print to take home with them, and two live musical guests, so don't worry creative people considering attending next year, you will get your art on :)

David Norse, Philadelphia first Openly Gay Preacher!
I bought a little 5 x 7 inch sketchbook with me with the idea that I would draw people in the audience during the talks - but ended up drawing the 14 speakers instead. Each talk was 18 minutes or less, so I worked quickly to try to capture each guest's likeness and pose during their speech, then add their ending quote & name.

Charles H. Ramsey, spoke about police brutality and other experiences
during his 46! years of working in law enforcement. Cool guy.

The short drawing time for each speaker meant I worked in pen with no chance to erase mistakes (which I made many!) and some line work that I would considered sloppy, however overall I was happy with how they turned out. I liked the speed of each drawing  - no time to second guess yourself or over think, just do it.
Yasmine Mustafa, former Persian Gulf War refugee & Entrepreneur

If you want to see all 14 drawings, you can check them out in my TEDxPHL15 Album on Flickr.

Thanks, TEDX Philadelphia, you've given me a lot to think about, I'll be back next year.....
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