Tonight is my final Kilgour Elementary Silent Auction and Bid N Buy.
I’ve been supporting my little excellent, public school now for 9 years running.
Once they found out that I had some skills, I became the go to guy for graphic help. I did this gladly, it is a noble cause which i have trouble saying no to.
But I have some scars, here’s the story.
9 years ago, our boy Cary was in kindergarten with Mrs. Braffman. We love her. Her class was controlled chaos from start to finish. Judy is the kind of teacher that loves her kids, and with who knows how many years, she’s got the teaching down pat. So when asked to do something for her year-end present, I jumped at it. I did a ink drawing of the school and Jen Raabe had a matte made with all the kid’s fingerprints on it. It was very cool and hangs on her wall to this day.
Now the deal was, that the gift was to be put on the bid ‘n buy table at our school carnival and the parents of our class would bid it up to make money for the school. We had a new principal, Angela Cook, that year, it was her first carnival, as well. Ms. Cook started bidding against us. She wanted the drawing. It got crazy, we finally out bid her BUT I got corralled into doing another drawing specifically for Ms. Cook. So I did the drawing, made a scan, silk screened 100 prints for the next year’s Bid ‘n Buy and gave the original to Ms. Cook. All was hunky doorey. So I thought.
That class of parents were, shall we say, very enthusiastic and overly involved, and I was sucked into a 9 year project of public school branding project. The old logos were pathetic. We had a Bronko instead of a Mustang. The typography was horrible, the wareables was a mess. So I agreed to take the branding project w with a committee of Kilgour Moms. They kicked my ass….for months…version after version-rejected. The Mustang was too mean or to happy. The school logo was too artsy or too plain. Finally the year ended and Ms. Cook made the final decision on a new school logo and a new sports logo. God Bless her.
From there, it was March Madness t-shirts(which were fun to do), and sports booster newsletters(also fun) and the brand style guides that everyone ignored. I was actually told that my sports tee shirt designs were …well, one mom said “We need to design some shirts that kids(her kids) will actually want to wear”. Zing.
I did a website design for the PTA only to be ripped for being too…corporate.
At Kilgour Elememtary, we have a Spring Carnival. Did I mention that we are a Cincinnati Public School? It’s a real money maker with a 5K race. My designs for it were shitcanned.
Then we moved the Silent Auction to the Fall, four years ago. I, of course, was asked to do the invitation and other campaign materials. It was nice, pedestrian. Very successful. The next year, my friend Amy let me do my thing, no committee, just do it. We were moving back to our newly remodeled school and I did a panorama photoshop number of the new addition. I’m very proud of it. Amy set a new standard for me on all these kinds of projects and I want to thank her for that. It’s gotten better every year since.
From then on, when asked to do a Kilgour or any other pro bono project, I lay out my rules of engagement, first. I will do the best ______insert project_____ for you that I can possibly do but you have to accept the artwork as is. No committee, no meetings, no presentations. I’ll get everything donated or as cheap as possible. It’s worked out great since then. This is my last Kilgour Event. It’s a little sad.
But that original class of parents that I mentioned before. They are all at Walnut Hills HS, now. They call then the Kilgour mafia because they(we) are taking over. I left my mark on Kilgour, my logo is on the gym floor, on the wall and on the flag.
Don’t forget me, Kilgour.|I won’t forget you and the friends that we made while involved with our wonderful neighborhood school.