I had the great honor yesterday to be the guest presenter at the monthly Shiloh Lifeskills series in New York City. I was asked to come spend some time discussing with high school students from Harlem and the South Bronx what a career in graphic design looks like.

[From the Shiloh website:] Shiloh is a New York City not-for-profit Christian organization dedicated to equipping at-risk children with tools that build hope, confidence, and the skills to attain their goals.

After I was introduced and asked some guided questions on what life as a designer is like, I decided to have some real fun with the kids and as a group, design a movie poster from scratch. I went into it with a blank slate and let the kids make all the creative decisions. After we came up with the movie itself, it was time to discuss who the actors were, the plot, title and emotional feeling that we wanted to get across. We projected my computer onto a big screen so they could see it being built. It was very spontaneous and a lot of fun – and I think the kids really enjoyed it.

The movie we came up with was a story about a NYC-based chimpanzee named Charlie who got mixed up with a no-good talking parrot named Squanto. Squanto convinced Charlie to give up on his love interest, Delilah, and pursue his stage career in the Broadway version of Dirty Dancing. I doubt I could have ever come close to predicting THAT plot line! You can click on the visual to see the final poster larger.