Posts Tagged ‘competition’

My PENSOLE Experience by Barbieswaggkid

Wow, I do not know of any better experiences I have had in my life than the one I had in Portland at PENSOLE.

Arriving in Portland I was very excited, and Portland was everything I expected it to be… besides the rain.  I arrived in Portland about midnight and I could already tell that I was going to like it there.  I immediately fell in love with the town the scenery was beautiful.  The people dress dope and have some amazing sneakers on their feet.  I couldn’t wait to get off the plane to take the train since I had never ridden one before, but that would have to wait for the next day since I had missed it.

The first day I arrived late to class, since I have no sense of direction, and was greeted by Dwayne.  I became excited when I found out that the man shaking my hand created, my favorite sneaker competition of all time, Future Sole.  Dwayne teased me about being late but let it slide the first day.  Then he made an announcement that for every min we are late a push up would have to be done.  I was never late again.  Later he told us the reason he does this is to teach us time management.  If you are 15 min early you are on time, If you are on time your late.

I was expecting a class full of men, but was surprised when there was another girl.  The footwear industry is mostly male dominated, so going in I knew that I would have to be focused and dedicated.  What I liked about our class was that I never felt out of place.  Everyone treated each other like we had been friends for years.  We were in class a lot together but when we weren’t in class everyone would still meet up to go around Portland and do various activities together, like going out to eat, the Nike art show, or meeting up to go over our sketches for feedback.

The thing that I enjoyed about Dwayne the most was, he was down to earth and honest with us.  He was always there willing to help, no matter the time.  I appreciate and respect the feedback he gave and the lessons he taught.  He put us in front of other well-respected people, in the industry, that normally we might never have met.  He is serious about us succeeding and wants us to be even more serious about it.  Dwayne was hands down a great teacher and mentor.

While at PENSOLE I learned so much.  From my classmates I learned, when you’re working on a project by yourself it’s only your thoughts and ideas going into it, but when you have other designers with different thoughts and creativeness helping you out it is great.  They help your mind reach a whole new side to your project.  So many ideas are floating around, some good, some you appreciate but may not use, and some ideas make you say “Why didn’t I think of that”.  It also teaches you to take criticism.

Dwayne also taught me a lot. One of the first lessons that he taught was how each shoe has a story.  There is a reason for the colors, the sole, the design; everything has a purpose.  I had NEVER thought about that before.  Before coming to PENSOLE, when I wanted to draw a sneaker I didn’t think about a story and what it’s purpose would be, I would just draw.  So seeing it from his side taught me to be more serious about my designs and just “think”.  Another thing Dwayne taught us, was that a lot of times people don’t think about and understand what they are about to draw on paper.  The first week before we began drawing Dwayne just had us think about our designs.  Think about what type of products are needed.  What purpose is our design going to be used for?   We spent a lot of time thinking about it so when it was finally time to draw, we already knew what we wanted to do, and half of the process was done.

I had a great time in Portland, great time w/ Dwayne at PENSOLE and my PEN TEN classmates!!

If interested in attending PENSOLE be sure to check out the latest class PENSOLEOGRAPHY.  adidas will provide scholarships for up to 12 hand-selected aspiring footwear designers to experience PENSOLE’s rigorous “learn by doing” curriculum, where students are assigned  projects to develop from idea to final concept while working in a team environment.

Submission Deadline: May 13, 2012 11:55 PM GMT

visit to learn more



MESH01 2011 Designer of the Year: Renderman

We are proud to announce that Mark Kokavec AKA Renderman is the 2011 MESH01 Designer of the Year. I had the chance to talk with Mark to learn a little more about him and his background in design, he even tells us where you can learn his and other leading designer’s techniques.

  How did you learn about MESH01?

I was doing some “design” research online.

Had you participated in a design competition before?

I had never participated in an online competition but I had hosted a couple on my old website a few years back.  They were focused on footwear design and the winner was featured in SLAM magazine.

Can you tell us about your path towards becoming an Industrial designer?

Growing up, I was always an artist and realized I wanted to do something related to design while in High School.  It wasn’t until my best friend introduced me to the College For Creative Studies (CCS), where I decided to make “Design” a career.  I started studying Automotive Design at CCS and later transitioned into Product Design.  I never interned for a large company (but wish I had).  I landed my first job with Reebok 3 months prior to graduating.  Yes, I finished my degree before starting the new job!

After 6 years heading up the Tennis category, I moved to Converse to manage and lead their Basketball division.  Then it was off to Under Armour where I worked on Football, Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Training, Slides, Kids and Basketball footwear.  My main responsibility was as Sr. Design Manager for Running and Trail.

What are some of the highlights of your career to date?

The exciting part of being a footwear designer is the opportunity to work closely with professional athletes.  I’ve have the opportunity to work closely with athletes at the top of their game such as… Venus Williams (Tennis), Chris McCormack (Iron Man) and Dwyane Wade (Basketball).  Seeing my designs on their feet during Grand Slams and Playoffs is a hard feeling to describe.  It’s very special.  Being part of that history, albeit in a small way, is extremely fulfilling.

What do you feel makes your designs and style different/unique from others?

The main difference is the integration of the digital medium into my process.  The way I use multiple software packages in harmony to achieve a final design is my “special recipe”.  I’m always looking for new processes to add into my workflow.  If there is a program that can help improve the final design, I try to figure out which parts to use and add them in.

Who are some of the designers / artists that you pull your inspiration from?

When I feel the need to get inspired, I typically turn to the entertainment industry.  I find the images and concepts to be full of creative energy and always come away with a refreshed and energized mind.  Daniel Simon’s “Cosmic Motors” picture book is always nearby.

In addition to designing you have also founded a company called Render Demo.  Can you tell us a little about what Render Demo does?

Render Demo started out as a hobby in 2008.  I wanted to share the skills and techniques that took me years to develop, with other designers.  I was fortunate to receive an education at CCS and realized that there are so many young artists and designers out there that (for whatever reason) wouldn’t be able to access this type of training.  So that’s when I decided to start Render Demo.

Render Demo consists of industry leading designers sharing their real-world techniques and processes through detailed video tutorials.  We currently focus on digital techniques but will be expanding our library to include traditional techniques like pen and paper, in the near future.

Our mission and goal is to provide artists and designers that are looking to improve on their current technique or interested in exploring new techniques, the means to do so.  From beginner to advanced level training, there is something for everyone.

For design training tutorials:

I have personally seen one of Renderman’s live demos and would recommend it to any designer looking to expand on their techniques.

Where can our designers go to see more of your work?

For my portfolio and freelance design services:

Thank you for the interview, can you offer any words of advice to the other designers out there in the MESH01 community?

Never give up!  Keep pushing for your dream and do whatever it takes to live it.

One other thing… Always keep an open mind.  Taking criticism can be tough at times, but use it as a learning experience to grow and as a “fuel” to better yourself.


And the Core77 & MESH01 Co-Sponsorship Scholarship Winner is…

Congratulations to Edmund for winning a scholarship to study at the Footwear Dedicated Design Program at the University of Oregon this summer!

Edmund graduated from the College for Creative Studies with a B.F.A. in Industrial Design in May 2009.

MESH01: How did you find out about MESH01, Core77 and the No.2 Foundation?

Edmund: I found out about Mesh01 and No.2 Foundation through D’wayne Edwards. I asked him about a design competition I was interested in but I didn’t qualify for it. D’wayne told me to check out the MESH01 website. In college, students and teachers recommended that we should put our portfolios on the Core77 site so the design community can see our work.

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MESH01 Designer: Bee

Meet Bee! She has competed in the Hi-Tec Colours and Materials competition as well as the Everactive Stand Up Paddle comp.  Her designs have been outstanding! She is a graduate of RISD and currently designs from Cardiff By The Sea.

MESH01: Had you ever participated in a design competition before MESH01?

Bee: I’ve participated in several art competitions from the time I was little.  I won my first competition in 5th grade for  a safety calendar competition.  I drew a picture of a kid being electrocuted by Christmas lights and my art was used for the month of December.

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