I had seen all the posters up for the Adobe XD creative jam for at least a month. They always peaked my interest, but I had always thought “you could never do that” or “people who do those kinds of things are really talented, you would just embarrass yourself” so, I didn’t pay them any mind. That’s why when a faculty member brought up the existence of the event I told him I would consider it knowing in the back of my mind I would never have the courage to sign up.
I was working on a pretty ambitious project with two amazing friends, Sophie and Charlotte. What we are attempting to do is big and bold (hopefully you guys will hear about it soon) but when I saw the email reminding students of the creative jam I thought about the magnitude of our project and thought,“What the hell. If I can try something this crazy awesome I might as well bring this up”. So, I mentioned it in class, not really paying any mind about what this might drag me into. And people were actually interested. As we were talking about it more the interest grew at our table and before I knew it people were asking for the information and signing up. I had the link right in front of me, and it was absolutely terrifying. I was always someone who got involved in this kind of thing in high school. But so far, I hadn’t really gotten too involved in university. But after my friends signed up, I couldn’t bail. So, I just did it. And that was definitely the right choice.
The day of the creative jam came; My friends and I walked into the space, grabbed some pizza, and turned on the livestream. It was chill for a bit, we listened to the speakers, talked with our team, ate. We even talked in the live chat., showed some OCAD pride, made some jokes. And then we got our brief. Using the Adobe XD program, a UX design program used for creating website and mobile application wireframes for click through prototypes, we had to prototype an app that promoted inclusivity in the creative community. Me and my team, two awesome second year advertising students who I already knew and two dope girls who I had just met, looked at each other and then back at our screens. You could see the ideas turning in our heads. As soon as the timer started, we got to work.
It was truly a whirlwind. Everyone was throwing out ideas and coming up with concepts. We only had 90 minutes, so we had to make it simple, but not too simple. We worked really hard and fast. Sketching, drawing, creating. Thinking until our brains hurt. But it was a lot of fun. I had never designed anything with that kind of time constraint, especially with a team. But we got the work done. In the end, considering the amount of time that we had to work and the fact that none of us had any experience working with the program, we were really proud of what we created. But we never expected what happened next.
A week later, when they were announcing the semi-finalists, our team was one of them! I FaceTimed one of my team members; I was freaking out more than I probably should have been. Although, considering that I would have to present our idea only a week after creating it, with no preparation, in less than 20 minutes, to around 150 people on livestream… maybe I wasn’t. Our time came to present, so I collected myself, pulled up some notes I had written, and accepted the invite to stream. It wasn’t the best presentation I had ever given, but considering the circumstances I was pretty proud of myself. And proud of my team. We didn’t end up winning, or even getting in the top three. But it was a pretty awesome experience.
The biggest shame was that there weren’t more OCAD students participating. From the other schools participating, George Brown, Sheridan and Humber, there just seemed to be more hype. Although our event was super fun and very well put together, I feel like tons of students didn’t even know it happened. As much as we, as students, complain about the lack of community here at OCAD, the truth is, there are tons of opportunities like this at our school. OCAD has lots of events and places to meet new people and gain new experiences. We just have to learn to look around us, pay attention and try to step out of our comfort zones.
Piece by Sydney Gittens.