Back during my sophomore year of college, Cody and I heard about the Irvington Halloween Festival Poster competition. There was a cash prize and we agreed to both enter and split our winnings, no matter who placed where.
Being from Herron School of Art and Design, we were immersed in Design Thinking and as such, were unable to approach any project just as a “simple design project.” We had to go to Irvington and interview people, research the community’s fun, spooky past and iterate several different options before settling on what would ultimately become our final submissions.
Cody turned in a cool Dracula illustration. My contribution was a watermelon into which I carved “Irvington Halloween Festival.” Pumpkins weren’t in season when the poster was due, so I turned the watermelon into a sad jack-o-lantern via photoshop. You should of seen me, I was brilliant—truly one of the best designers in the country by the age of 21.
A few weeks passed and we heard the news; Cody had placed 2nd! I assumed that because they had announced the First, Second and Third place posters, that I hadn’t won. Despite this, and true to his word, Cody split his prize money with me.
About a week later, I received a phone call from an old, mirthless women letting me know that I had placed 5th. Out of 5 total entries. She called to let me know that I hadn’t won any money and that I had placed last in the competition.
I’ve spent the last seven years wrestling with why she would let me know this.