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Graphic Design

World Basketball Festival: Make Something Workshops

Posted by Will Hudson,

Just over two weeks ago, Nike, Converse and the Jordan brand launched the inaugural World Basketball Festival in New York. The creativity went well beyond the basketball court though and saw the most recent series of the Make Something workshops take place.

Started in 2008 the The Make Something Workshops bring in some of the world’s best artists and designers working today and gives local teenagers a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate and learn from them. We caught up with founder Aaron Rose to find out more.

Hi Aaron, the work always feels very raw and honest, with a get up and go attitude. Is the finished piece important or is it all about the process?

I actually feel that the process is much more rewarding than the finished piece. Completed things are nice to look at, and to experience, and I suppose for history’s sake it is important to have evidence of the creative act, but the journey from start to finish is seriously where all the discoveries and breakthroughs happen.

Does it help to have the World Basketball Festival as an event to structure the workshops around?

Yes. We always like to have some sort of context for our curriculums. It helps us to develop a line of teaching that becomes a cohesive whole. We think it is very important that everything leads towards a common goal. A sense of accomplishment. That’s the best confidence building tool one can give.

Can you tell us a little about the people you’ve worked with in the most recent workshops and how you came to have them involved?

Wow…there are so many! In New York we had people like Todd Selby, Emma Reeves, Eric Elms, A-Trak…so many good teachers! Basically we choose instructors based on who we think would have the best skills for the particular workshop. Then we call them and ask if they can do it. It’s a pretty simple process actually. The most difficult thing is locking down artist’s schedules. Everyone we want is always so busy!!

If you could participate in a workshop, who would you want to be running it?

Helmut Newton?

Finally, when can we expect to see the Make Something workshops come to London?

Invite us!!!

More Details on the Workshops

The line-up of these workshops is incredible, for a series of one-off events it would make many of the worlds leading design institutions jealous of the calibre of teacher Aaron has got involved, the only disappointment being that we’re not still in our teens and can’t get involved ourselves.

Starting with Nike Sportswear’s classic Destroyer Jacket it was transformed by a group of very enthusiastic teens working alongside Nike designers and taking inspiration from the core countries of the World Basketball Festival, the combination of their new found skills, global inspiration and raw creative talent saw some exciting results. This was followed by designing their own renditions of the Jordan jersey’s and shorts and a workshop with superstar Kevin Durant and the opportunity to create their very own Hyperdunk trainer. Local artist Eric Elms ran a day full of colour and expression resulting in the large ‘United we Rise’ mural. This was followed by Jeff Canham’s sign writing workshop and Andrew Jeffrey’s two day crash course in poster making. It’s Nice That favourite Todd Selby lead a workshop on the streets of New York focussing on how to take a successful portrait photograph and film maker Cheryl Dunn worked with the teenagers to capture New York City’s melting pot of communities, interviewing people on the street. As if that wasn’t enough there was a costume design workshop with Carri Munden, creating flag’s and banners with Julia Chang, puppet making with the amazing Todd James and as if the days weren’t loud enough already DJ A-Trak ran a one-day music workshop.

Finally, to document the process of the previous weeks work Emma Reeves from V Magazine worked with the students to help put together the Make Something Magazine which was printed and ready in time for the launch event. All in all a fantastic series and the sooner this comes to London the better!


Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

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