If you have been reading the preceding posts, you will see that this is part of a series that explains why I haven’t posted in a while and is a sort of retrospect of a few events that I ran with AIGA Central PA.

Right about that same time I raised my hand to run the ZURB event, there was also talk about having a controversially named group out for November. That group was Good Fucking Design Advice. I was already very familiar with Good Fucking Design Advice as they were bookmarked in my design folder. At the time of talking about these events, I felt like I couldn’t go wrong. Both ZURB and GFDA were entities that I greatly admired and respected and I knew I had to be a part of them. So again, I raised my hand and jumped at the chance to do this event. It’s also worth mentioning at this time, I ended up taking over the AIGA Central PA Facebook page, because…Hell, why not. I already work heavily in social media as part of my responsibilities at Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians and had developed some content that our membership could benefit from.

At the end of the meeting, our chapter’s president Joshua Buckwalter had an aside with me.

“So Tim, you just volunteered to run ZURB. You also volunteered to run GFDA, and you want to run with the Facebook page. That’s a lot of responsibility to take one as a new volunteer, and while I love your enthusiasm, I think you might be taking on a little too much.”

I can see where he is coming from. Anyone who is new in any organization is pissing vinegar and spit hot fire. They feel like they can take on the entire world, fix all of the problems and set a new standard that rivals the peace and prosperity of the Roman Empire. I did assure him that this was not mere youthful enthusiasm. This was a promise to myself and to the board that by me taking on these responsibilities, that I would see them through to completion. That, I honestly, I just love this stuff.  There was still debate if we could even do the event with Good Fucking Design Advice, mostly due to timing and scheduling. It was kind of put on the shelf for bit, but I was still very hungry to do it.

I would get the OK about the event a week later when I received an email from the president said simply read “Let’s Fucking Do It”. That’s all I needed to get moving on this event.

The very same day that we bid farewell to Matt Kelly, I headed down to York to meet with the owner of CoWork155. CoWork155 is a co-working space in downtown York and is an integral part of the York revitalization of culture and arts. I had considered several other venues for this event, but rarely we have ventured into York to do an event. We already have great relations with other co-working spaces in Central PA, Ann from the The Candy Factory in Lancaster and our new pals the Adams’ at StartUp Harrisburg. As a communications professional, I feel strongly about the necessity of co-working spaces. Not only do they provide professional spaces for a multitude of professionals, but many of them are deeply connected with incubating sustainable business in their local communities.

So I said goodbye to Matt Kelly, and drove straight to York. I was feeling pretty awesome after having two back to back events go off so very well, but I was a bit reticent to meet with someone for the first time and ask them if we could use their space for a event with a group called Good Fucking Design Advice. This is Central PA, we’re not exactly known for being that progressive.

I met with J.J. Sheffer, this lovely woman with a soft spoken voice, who gives me this excellent tour of the facility with it’s awesome bowling lane table, open layout of desks and tables, and killer registration booth right by the door.  I admit, I was nervous now. This meeting could go very badly. We sit down and we talk about what AIGA is, what our own chapter does, and the event itself and I remember saying the following.

“The group is called, and pardon my language upfront, Good Fucking Design Advice”

Instead of being met with a blank stare and being told to leave, she leans, eyes a light and wants to know more. After a great conversation about how awesome this event will be, our mutual taste in music, and our similar travels to places abroad and in the States, I was feeling totally relieved and then totally surprised.

“This event is right up our alley, I want to co-host this event with you guys”

Over the next ensuing weeks, whenever I was back from my road trips for Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, I was working furiously on promoting the event, working to get signage and posters ready and finalizing all the preparations. We were set.

The Wednesday before the event, I was in Philadelphia for my last live streamed webcast and I had lunch with my mentor David Stencler. We had a grand time catching up and we chatted over good beer. I was telling him about my schedule. After leaving Philadelphia, I’d return home, get ready and pack to leave for Erie Thursday night, right after the event with Good Fucking Design Advice in York. His only remark was “Well, you’re young”.

Thursday, November 7th. My good friend Derek, J.J., and I have made all the preparations. Brian Buirge and Jason Bacher come upstairs and we get them setup with a merch table and we chat about The Allah Lahs, their red eye flight from El Salvador to get home to do this event, and how ancient Central PA can in areas (referring to colonial house right next door).

The event itself went off beautifully. Designers, students, educators, developers, photographers, you name it all jam packed into one half of the CoWork155 space and listened intently about how Good Fucking Design Advice got started, their successes, their failures and most importantly, their attitudes on how they reacted to each thing that came their way. They use the word “Fuck” to drive home a point. It sticks in your head. When you read the line “Learn how to code”, it means something but doesn’t carry the same weight as “Learn how to fucking code”. The language isn’t important, the meaning of what they are saying it. The event was a huge success. Everyone who came out enjoyed themselves immensely and the feedback was, well, fucking incredible.

We bid Brian and Jason a safe drive home as they hadn’t been back to Kent, Ohio in sometime. I told them I would be following right behind them as I had to drive up to Erie for a CME Conference. On my way up to Erie, I was feeling really good about the event I just left. Events like that create community, they build the solidarity we need as creative professionals in Central PA. J.J. Shefer enabled this event by seeing past the language and believing in its cause. Everyone who attended valued having seen and talked to two guys who started with an idea and nurtured it into a passion that takes them all across the world. Brian and Jason are paragons of dedication, literally globetrotting their way to come to Central PA and give their story, their advice and time to talk with our community. People left the event with smiles on their faces…and dropping the f-bomb. A the end of the evening I was  on my way, driving along 322 West, listening to my AFI, with a big smile on my face.

Then a fucking tractor trailer obliterated a deer on 322 West and freaked me out the rest of my drive.

So these last few posts I have in succession are not design work related. They are more from a personal perspective and I plan on writing a few more posts in this vein. I felt it important to share with everyone a little bit more about my personality, my appreciation for my colleagues and peers and my commitment to my own passions. This blog serves not only as a resource that I like to share with other creatives, but also a window into the kind of person I am. I feel if you are going to contact me to work on a project, you should have the right to know a bit about me.

 

 

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November 20, 2013

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