I am down in New Orleans for a few days attending my first NAEA conference! Checking out sessions related to at risk students, art therapy, technology use in the arts classroom, portfolio creation, motivation, the impact of the arts, arts advocacy, etc… My kinda stuff!
I love the title of this session, “How a #2 Pencil Changed My Life” (and we aren’t talking about state and federal pressure to give students tests)!
Presenter/Designer D’Wayne Edwards has been creating shoe designs since age 17 for many of the major brands and ball players/rappers. He is 45 now. The digital age allowed random kids in school drawing sneakers to upload their designs. He created an online design contest “Future Soles” sponsored by Nike. In year 2, they actually began creating the winning pair of shoes, which were worn during play and endorsed by a famous player. D’Wayne was the second African American sneaker designer, when he began. In 2011, he opened the contest up to include women designers. He owns over 40 show patents worldwide. He has mentored many upcoming designers working with Jordan @Nike.
D’Wayne says he started off as a dreamer, misunderstood. People told him he couldn’t do it. He knew his true passion was always drawing with a #2 pencil, and discovered after working for LA Gear, Sketchers and Nike, that he really loved teaching and mentoring.
So, after all that success, he retired so he could focus on other people’s big goals related to making great things happen for others. He created his own school, PENSOLE (PENcil + SOLE), in Portland, Oregon created to be the school he wanted to go to, but never did. He competitively recruited 30 students to come to Oregon the first year, to learn the skills that exist in product marketing that do not exist in regular schools. This school is free for all attendees and very intensive. For more info, go to http://www.pensole.com/