CentriKid Set = Kid Awesome

The summer is almost over. (Probably not what you wanted to be reminded of, first thing on a Monday morning grin ) It’s been hot and humid here, so I’m ready for a wardrobe change. Amy, what are you getting at? Well, the end of the summer means that I can finally share some of the stuff that I’ve been working on this past year.

One of the things I was challenged with in January was designing the set for CentriKid. This year’s theme was Bon Appetit. We went a French cafe, cooking motif.

One of the first things I did, was sit down with Neil, our event producer. He handles anything that happens on stage. Scripts, programming, set, you name it. For this particular set, Neil came up with the brilliant idea of portraying the outside of a cafe. Then, all the pieces spin around, and you’re inside the kitchen.

In our initial meeting, Neil gave me with a couple of things. First, some images that he had found online with elements that he enjoyed: cafe windows with plant treatments, awnings, umbrellas.

Second, he had “built” the set in Google Sketchup. He listed the dimensions of all the pieces and what he envisioned each piece being. (The piece that you see the drummer on, is actually a revolve that spins around, pretty fun.)

I left that meeting and did some “visual research” of my own.

I also spent a lot of time looking at Ratotouille

…and No Reservations. — any excuse to pull out a chick flick, right? grin

Most of these images I printed out and hung above my computer in my office. –I LOVE the whole mood board thing.

Then, I set out, drawing in my moleskine. First, I tried to think big picture.

Once I knew where I was going, I drew each piece according to scale (still in my Moleskine).

As you can tell, this sketch didn’t happen. We (we being my creative director and me) decided the artwork was so flat, that forcing perspective with the door would veer away from what we had already established.

You can tell this piece went through several iterations as well. I thought about creating a reservation stand. But, obviously, that didn’t happen either.

I scanned in all my drawings and traced them in Illustrator.

With the design finished, we hired an outside painter to paint all the pieces. We have 7 CentriKid teams that travel around the country during the summer. So, that meant she had to paint this set 7 times! — What a trooper!! She projected my designs onto each of the pieces and traced them. –As you can tell below, there are a few practicals. The lamp posts and the hoods both light up.

The final piece: