There is something to be said about this line of creative work: the opportunity to work on stranger things is far greater. For me, it's mammoths and sloths. One current client has a tremendously in depth project for which the end result is for a great cause. I've spent entire ten hour work days doing nothing but this project. Agonizing about every minute detail and trying to find ways to push it even further. Sleep has taken something of a backseat to my daily routine. And I couldn't be happier right now.

My client is the non-profit Friends of Big Bone. I've worked with the organization before on much smaller projects over the years until recently. Last November, they asked me if I would help them create a fundraising campaign for Big Bone Lick State Historic Site. I'll be honest, I've never done something on this scale solo but I was up for the challenge. It has since become something much larger than any of us closely involved could have imagined it to be. What makes it all worth it is the people I get to work with and for on this. Their passion for this campaign has been relentless and they're all volunteering their skills and resources to help out. I have much more time to dedicate to the project, so more often I'm building everything while the blocks I can't create are given to me when available from others. It can be frustrating, but I can no longer see myself where I was just a few months ago.

Breaking the final ties to an office environment was the hardest, but the greatest, choice I've made in my career. It removed the close fitting walls of what I was allowed to work on and has launched me into the deep space of possibilities. This project has been the driving force to keep up my optimism about my decision. I'm doing much more than designing a logo or a few print pieces, I'm doing just about everything that will be face-forward when the Indiegogo campaign launches on April 15th. I've learned just how demanding and time consuming doing social media really is. There was no class that prepared me for something quite so... OK I'll just say it... mammoth! Especially when working solo for about 90% of the time. Obviously I'm not working alone, but once content is handed to me, I have to weave it all together.

There are steps that I've commonly done that here I've bypassed completely for the sake of time. It's best to recognize what I'm skipping so I can look back where, more like if, things start to get shaky. School can only teach you different approaches and practices to start and generate the end products. Real life is quite different. The sleepless nights, extended meetings, massive pitfalls, all are still present but the consequences are much more dire with real world clients.

For now, I'm ecstatic that Friends of Big Bone gave me this opportunity to do something great with them. I want them to succeed just as much as they do with this campaign. Their drive and enthusiasm for their cause is something to admire and be seen as an example. Now it's back to work for me!

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Shameless self promotion time!

OK, not entirely shameless. I'm pretty proud of this current endeavor I get to be a part of.

My good friends at Friends of Big Bone are launching a social media campaign to precede a fundraiser for their visitor center. The goal is to raise $70,000 by the end of the year. The first fund raising campaign will target $20,000 to complete phase 01 of the project, and will launch on April 1st. We are still narrowing down the crowd funding platform, but I'll update that when we've secured it. If you want to be one of the cool kids and donate before the launch date, you can do so here. The funds will go to update the visitor's center at Big Bone Lick State Park.

New displays, wall murals, and lots of other great improvements to the facility.

Big Bone Lick is an amazing park, and I'm not just saying that. I love going for hikes in the woods and once the snow is gone, I'll be making a lot more trips out there. This is a great area to visit and has a lot of history that goes all the way back to the last ice age. If you've never been, check it out! I'm a fan of palaeontology and they have found lots of bones in the park. A giant ground sloth was just one of many specimens that have been discovered there. They also have a live bison herd on the grounds. Come spring time, there should be a new calf or two walking around.

Why am I sharing all of this? Well, I'm working on the social media side and I can't help but gush about it. For the campaign, I created Harlan, full name Harlan G. Sloth, a giant ground sloth character that will be the figure head of the project. He has his own Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Not only did I create the character, I made a puppet. Yes, of all the weird and fun things I've made in correspondence to my career, this is the first time I've made a puppet mascot. See how awesome he is below! He's also got business cards. While he's traveling around, I'll hand out his cards so more people can follow the quickest giant ground sloth on Earth. Or really, the only giant ground sloth on Earth. He just woke up from a 10,000 year nap and just realized he's the only one left. Kind of a bummer, but he's up for exploring and making new friends.

I hope I've peaked your interests and you swing by Harlan's accounts to see what fun things he's doing! Share with everyone you know! He'll be traveling around the tri-state area, but mostly northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. If you run into him, nap a photo and tag him. If there's a place you think Harlan should check out, let me know!
Harlan and all his giant ground sloth glory.
Harlan relaxingFull Harlan

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