ADC Festival: Day Three

Guitars, Art and Lasers, Oh My!

That’s a wrap on this year’s ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design! With two days of inspiring, non-stop activity (and more than a few rounds of drinks) already in the books, Festival attendees were bonded together in the spirit of art and craft and ready for more. Knowing as ADC does to always keep the creatives happy, we answered their hunger with the most hands-on, exciting and engaging day of the event by far!

Day Three began with the regular Festival routine of morning yoga and a special ADC Members-only breakfast where attendees enjoyed good conversation and some secret hand-shaking. The muggy humidity of the past two days had broken and a pleasant breeze carried creative energy throughout the sunny day, as attendees geared up for the last workshops of the Festival.

The first was led by Martin Guitar’s Dick Boak and gave participants an insider glimpse into the custom guitar-making process. But it wasn’t just a presentation–everybody donned aprons and chiseled their very own guitar frames. The session brought people out of their usual creative process but still highlighted the attention to detail, elbow grease, and craft that goes into any creative output.

Brushing off the sawdust, people switched gears completely for the next workshop with Joshua Davis, Code of the Streets. Josh demonstrated his signature digital art-making process and shared all of his personally developed coding tricks, showing how simple algorithms and html formatting can be put to use in the name of art. Josh rejects the idea that you have to use a physical paint brush to be considered a painter: “All this bullshit with people telling me, ‘Oh, I’m a real artist,'” he declared. “Fuck you! So am I.”

After some more time poolside and another casual, intimate networking lunch, attendees strapped on their second aprons of the day for Kazilla’s Art Is Life/Life Is Art workshop. Kazilla armed participants with paint, markers, and salt and dove right in with her interactive lesson in letting your mind wander on the canvas. “Instead of going in with a plan,” she explained of her process, “you can create from what you already have in you by just letting loose.”

Gary Baseman and David Charles were next, leading a free-flowing workshop that encouraged participants to create their own Mythical Creatures, the title of Gary’s new documentary about his own artistic journey, based on personal memories and subconscious feelings. The last workshop of the Festival, this session was a cathartic conclusion to three days of reconnecting to the inner creative energy that fuels the best work in our industry.

After guests enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner, it was time for the second installment of the 93rd Annual Awards at the stunning New World Center, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and perfectly equipped to showcase the most innovative and beautiful creative commercial work of the year. Among the highlights was a jaw-dropping performance by conceptual artist Natasha Tsakos, emcee Cindy Gallop’s battle cry for a new era in advertising, and the presentation of the first Black Cube for Best in Show since 2011, to Forsman & Bodenfors for their “Live Test Series” for Volvo Trucks.

Unlike the typical awards show, where honorees accept their award, snap a photo, and are in bed before midnight, the show did not stop after the last Cube was presented. Attendees still had to see Hungry Castle’s epic installation Laser Cat, a months-in-the-making celebration of 15,480 pieces of artwork fed to the giant feline by creatives in their time not spent appeasing clients. When they were able to peel themselves away from the transfixing display, guests headed up to the gorgeous rooftop deck of the New World Center to dance the rest of the evening away with the help of DJ Obscene and closing cocktails. And even when that particular party drew to a close at 1 AM, those who were still in a dancing mood headed back to the James Hotel for three more hours of beats and beverages.

And there you have it, ADC fans! Three incredible days of creative excellence and inspiration under the south Florida sun, three days of curiosity being piqued, sated and expanded, and three days of new friendships and connections to take back to the  “real world”. But perhaps that last one is a bit misleading; the experiences at the ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design were about as real as it gets.

See you next year!


Photos by Lynn Parks