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 http://www.mesh01.com/forms/competitions.aspx to learn more