View From Here

Everyone who sits in a theatre for a live performance has a distinct experience, for some it is a revelatory escape, for others it is a chance to critique, for others still it could be an exercise in what might’ve been.

Will has participated in the Tooning In program for the last two seasons of the Adirondack Theatre Festival. Toning In invites artists to sit through rehearsals and sketch whatever they are inspired to create. This year John decided to try his hand at the project for the musical production of SPUN.

Rather than throw a bunch of words on this post, we’ll let the sketches do the talking. Because in the end, we all see things differently and a glimpse into the distinct perspectives offers priceless insight and the potential to broaden our own views.

These sketches are for them production of SPUN, which is reviewed here by the Albany Times Union. There are two nights left to see the show, purchase tickets here.

John’s sketches.

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Will’s sketches.

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The artists and their sketches in the studio.

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Butt Out

What we do always involves storytelling, whether we are creating a brand identity, mounting a capital campaign, or rendering a message in copy blocks and illustrations. Ego takes a back seat to purpose as we focus on connecting the arc of a story with the heart, mind, and in this case, conscience of our intended audience.

Our most recent chance to tell a story involves addressing tobacco marketing. What’s the story? Well, it’s pretty simple and gruesome, tobacco products are marketed to kids in stores, on screens, and on the streets. Our job is not just to tell that story, but to compel people to want to rewrite it.

Tracy Mills, Director of Research and Planning at Glens Falls Hospital, has been our client for several years. We asked her what it was like to work with us on health related initiatives; here’s her story.

One of the things that has become clear to us in this process is that as marketers and consumers, we have been woefully oblivious to the concentration of tobacco marketing that is, in fact, directed at kids. As we thought about how best to tell the story, it seemed appropriate to remind viewers how it felt to be a kid. We wanted to portray the realities of tobacco marketing in ways that would make denying the inappropriateness of it laughable.

The vehicle we chose to use rather than a brochure or billboard for the first chapter, was a View Master. These illustrations will be arranged in a loop that many of us remember fondly from our childhood. The images are not at all like the Disney stories one might expect, instead the frame fills with parallels for other harmful objects being displayed at eye level.

You’d never let a kid near a shelf of grenades, or a case of poison. Children don’t cuddle with dead rodents, or play with fire. Let’s treat tobacco products like the danger they are, and keep them away from boys and girls.

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