I had originally met Stefan the first weekend in October 2002, when he was judging the AIGA Nebraska design competition along with Steve Hartman and Sharon Werner. It was the first year I had entered more than one item into the competition, and the first time I would witness a design competition be judged, as I was helping move entries and doing some of the behind the scenes work.

I got shut out. Nate, who designed the poster for the competition won a gold award.

I have yet to be shut out since, but I realized how random some judging can be. You will almost always lose more than you win, so it seems pointless to hold it against anyone. I just found it odd that the first two guests we’ve had on the podcast are two of the judges from the same show, and I of course had to mention it to both of them.

But neither were in the area to judge this time, they were here to present, and in Stefan’s case, also paint a mural (shown after the jump).


Paul Berkbigler, who teaches design at Concordia University had Stefan come to Seward, Nebraska and hold a three day workshop which ended with the hanging of a mural (shown above (Paul took the photo this morning)). Stefan’s book 100 Days of Monsters actually hit stores while he was there, and the whole event ended with a podcast recording, and a presentation he gave. The first packed house for a design speaker I’ve witnessed on a Saturday.

We would like to thank Paul for letting us borrow time from the guest, and of course Stefan, who has more talent than I remember, and I remember him having a lot.

The highlight of the event for me was when Nate asked if he’d draw a Daily Monster on the show, and he said yes (we’re auctioning it off for charity on eBay this week). Students gathered around, and everyone circled as the ink hit the paper. Most processes of design are rather boring to watch, but seeing someone with superb drawing skills work with ink at a fast speed, no pencils, and upside-down so it was even easier to watch must be the designers equivalent to the guitar solo. And the crowd ate it up.