Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cannonball Run. (Updated)

There's an organization in Richmond called the Ad Club. It promotes cooperation among the advertising community in Richmond. Though the agency I work for is considered a national agency, it's also an integral part of the local advertising scene. So, each year, when the Ad Club's "Richmond Show" awards are handed out, it's a fairly big deal for the agency. Before last night, I'd only gone to one of the presentation ceremonies and that was because the host was Mike Henry, a former copywriter at our agency and currently co-producer of FAMILY GUY. (He voices Cleveland and my personal favorite character Herbert.)

I work in the agency's Studio department, which is kind of like being in engine room of a cruise ship. We make the boat go vroom but nobody ever sees our faces and if things run smoothly, nobody's even sure we exist. So there's no real stake in the awards for me beyond company pride. Last night, however, Suzanne and I went to the ceremony on a whim. We got tickets through the agency and I had to be reminded several times during the week that we were going. There's another fellow in my department named Mark Brye who mentioned during the last hours of the work day that a pro bono poster project we did together (He as art director, me as illustrator.) for a local non-profit group (Homeward Bound) was in the running and that he'd see me there. I didn't think too much of it but said, "See ya."

Mark is a very talented guy and though we're in the same department, his job leans more toward Design and mine is more in the way of Production. But we're still in the engine room together, you know? Sometimes they throw us a bone and let us work on something fun. But mostly it's the big boys that get to play. So imagine everyone's surprise when Mark took home about twenty Cannonballs (awards) over the course of the night. I'm exaggerating but he really cleaned up and we were very proud of Mark and our department. This was kind of a big deal. Another happy surprise occurred when one of my best and longtime friends Paul Seward took home the Interactive Best in Show for a website he Art Directed. (I say surprise not because he didn't deserve it but because he's not usually an art director and did it on a lark.) But the big surprise came later.

The award show had run it's course (a round of bronze awards first, followed by silver and then gold) and our category had come and gone without our posters being mentioned and I was looking down to make sure I wasn't going to leave anything behind under my chair or something when Suzanne started clapping and squealing with delight beside me. I looked up and on the screen were our posters for Homeward Bound. We'd won the Best in Show in the Advertising category. BEST. IN. SHOW.

I couldn't believe it. I was so excited for Mark and then Paul grabbed my shoulder and said, "Dude, don't just sit there. Go up and get your Cannonball." Which freaked me out because I didn't think I they would have one for me and I didn't want to walk back to my seat empty handed. But Paul practically dragged me up there by my shirt and, well, see for yourself:

So. Anyway. That was pretty cool.

Have a great weekend. Later.


I forgot! Here are the posters we did. For a couple of them, Mark asked me to draw in an "old timey" comic style. Drawing in different styles usually drives me crazy because I'm worrying about matching a style and I'm not at ease but I think they came out okay. Hope you like them.


Rich Faber said...

Wow, Matt! That is SOOOOO cool! Congratulations! What an incredible feeling it must have been!

You WILL post the poster here, right? Your fans deserve a look at it, you bigtime award winner, you!

So happy for you, buddy!


Matt Wieringo said...

Ask and ye shall receive. But,

Christian D. Leaf said...

Congrats, sucka! Now you just need a cannon...

Rich Faber said...

Yeah, fans...What? I don't count...? ;-)

Posters look awesome, Matt! Thanks for showing them.


Adam Hutch said...

Congrats Matt!

Heywood Jablomie said...

congrats on the award matt!

very nice work on them too!

renecarol said...

Wow Matt - congrats! They look awesome

Paul Rogers said...

Hiya Matt! I always knew that you would win 'Best In Breed'...Wait, what?...It's 'Best In Show'...for the 'Cannonball Run'...well, I always thought that Bert Reynolds was better at being a point man for a Coors bootlegging operation than you, but...Hey, that reminds me, I've got a couple of cold beers in the frig!...Seriously, Congrats on the honor buddy, I know that you deserve it...I'm toasting you as we speak...Laura & I will be in Richmond in late May for a show, let's get together...See you guys then!

Warren said...

Dang! I didn't check the blog this weekend so I'm a little late saying --


Those posters are heart-wrenching and wonderful. Good job! You deserve your cannonball!

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt,
That's just awesome!
By the looks of those posters, it's a well deserved award.

todd said...


so behind in my blog reading...

these are FANTASTIC!!!
and so is the prize--congratulations on being recognized for your artwork--and you didn't even see it coming! these are just great, matt--not just the message, but your artwork is awesome--perfect for each element! great job!

Suzanne said...

Dude, where's my ball!

So happy for your cannonball and your total modesty. Its the great ones that don't brag!

Congrats to Seward too--

Best in Show--next year Westminster Dog Show!

Brian said...

Wow! That is great news Matt. Congratulations.

PJ said...

The posters look great! Congratulations! Well deserved!